The social justice-pandering approach still exists at Marvel, if you weren’t entirely certain, and now, it’s all come back to haunt Jason Aaron over a King Conan story he wrote, as told by far-left CNN, after he faced accusations of cultural insensitivity to Indians, and “hypersexualizing” a character based on Pocahontas:
Marvel is changing the name and design of a character that debuted in a recent issue of the comic miniseries “King Conan” after it was criticized for its portrayal of an Indigenous woman.
The third issue of “King Conan,” published on February 16, finds its protagonist stranded on a island with a scantily clad princess named Matoaka. The princess, as it turns out, has a dark past: She hails from “a land far to the west,” and once fell in love with a man who tried to colonize her people. When the man ransacked her home, she killed him, but her father nonetheless exiled her to the island, where she’s now cursed to lure other would-be colonizers away from her native land.
To people in Indian Country, Matoaka’s name and backstory were a clear reference to the real-life Pocahontas, who privately went by the same name.
What’s ironic is that Aaron surely penned this as a metaphor for “bad white men”, and an insult to the English explorer John Smith, but got slammed by the wokesters anyway, who refuse to accept a girl being portrayed as sexy, no matter how much the Indian empires of MesoAmerica approved of it in remote times.
For centuries, Pocahantas has been romanticized and mythologized as a woman who defied her father to save the English colonist John Smith from execution. In reality, she was around 11 or 12 when she first met Smith, and historians have disputed Smith’s claims that she rescued him at all. Later, she was kidnapped by the English and raped in captivity, according to the Mattaponi tribe’s oral history.
Given that history, some Indigenous comic book artists and fans found the character in “King Conan” — and the hypersexualized way she was depicted — to be demeaning and disrespectful.
“The real Matoaka was a pre-teen girl who suffered at the hands of her English captors,” Arigon Starr, a comic book artist who is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, wrote in an email to CNN. “What’s even more shocking is that most of this information is online; a quick search would have informed the writer, artist, editor and publisher that it was a poor choice to give this character the name of a famous victim of violence.”
Kayla Shaggy, a Two-Spirit comic book artist who is Diné and Anishinabe, said she felt that the character reduced Indigenous women to an offensive stereotype.
“The fact that they depict an Indigenous woman as this nubile prize to be won by non-natives in stereotypical, fetish-y clothing contributes to the current, ongoing harm and ignorance of missing and murdered Indigenous women,” she wrote to CNN.
In light of the criticism, writer Jason Aaron apologized for the character, calling his decision to use the name Matoaka “ill-considered.”
“This new character is a supernatural, thousand-year-old princess of a cursed island within a world of pastiche and dark fantasy and was never intended to be based on anyone from history,” he said in a statement shared by Marvel. “I should have better understood the name’s true meaning and resonance and recognized it wasn’t appropriate to use it. I understand the outrage expressed by those who hold the true Matoaka’s legacy dear, and for all of this and the distress it’s caused, I apologize.”
Aaron added that he had donated the money he made from the issue to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. A spokesperson for Marvel said that Matoaka’s name and appearance would be changed in future printings, upcoming issues and digital editions, though the details were still being finalized.
I don’t like Aaron’s work, based on what a SJW he is himself, but I think it’s absurd to suggest he literally based the lady on Pocahontas. What if he just picked the name at random, and there were billions of other girls in the American continent centuries before who bore it too? It should be noted the biblical Dinah was raped by Shechem, but no sane person allows that to literally impede upon employing the name for fictional characters any more than modern women. Yet the selfish approach practically endorsed by CNN doesn’t stop there:
Still, Shaggy was disappointed that the company didn’t pull the issue from stands and halt distribution altogether.
“The character is still an Indigenous stereotype, her story is a rehash of racist narratives, and overall continuing the story still puts money in the company’s pocket at the expense of native people,” she said.
Native Americans have long been marginalized and misrepresented in comic books, “from the bloodthirsty barbarians and noble savages of dime novels, to formulaic secondary characters and sidekicks” as Michael Sheyahshe explored in his book “Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study.”
“To paraphrase from Michael’s work — Native people have been relegated to the sidekick, shaman, overly sexualized or super tracker characters,” Starr said. “We are rarely the main character or the hero.”
Well, this is definitely telling. Somebody’s actually advocating total censorship here, to say nothing of obscuring any and all positive depictions of Indian characters decades before, like Dani Moonstar, and even Wyatt Wingfoot. They may not mention Stan Lee and Jack Kirby here, nor Chris Claremont and Bob MacLeod, but one can only wonder what these self-important moonbats would like to do with their famous creations as a result of their mentality. Why, what would they want to do with Alpha Flight’s Shaman and his daughter Talisman?
Nothing good, you can be sure of that, and on that note:
In recent years, however, projects helmed by Native artists and writers have provided more authentic representation in the comic book world. Starr and Shaggy said they hoped the “King Conan” controversy would result in more opportunities for Indigenous creators in the industry.
“The support for authentic Native characters and comics is out there,” Starr added. “Maybe one day, Marvel and DC will catch up to us.”
Yes, so in other words, this is little more than an attempt to embarrass the industry into more diversity hires, devoid of merit, as though no POC were ever employed before. Say, do they also believe the Legion of Super-Heroes’ Dawnstar was the worst thing that could ever have been created, since she was originally of Indian descent? What’s sickening is the thought that now, if she were to show up again in DC output, badly affected as it is by PC already, these scum no doubt want to terrify all artists and writers from ever daring to draw her hot either, and Moonstar’s doubtless a target too. Clearly, these are products of the far-left university networks, who’re hell-bent on ghettoization in the worst possible ways. The very kind of charlatans who even made a mess out of Carol Danvers.
The Wrap has more on how selfish know-it-all comedian Amber Ruffin added fuel to the fire when she addressed this subject:
Comedian Amber Ruffin is pretty much appalled with Disney for its historical inaccuracies in its 1995 animated film, “Pocahontas,” which she pointed out on her Friday night Peacock series isn’t much better than Marvel’s scantily clothed Princess Matoaka character.
“We talk a lot on the show about how representation matters, but what if that representation is so deeply offensive that it’s worse than not being represented at all?” she said in the “How Did We Get Here?” segment of “The Amber Ruffin Show!”
I guess all Indian women should be illustrated as jaw-droppingly grotesque, is that it? She’s certainly running the gauntlet of implying that. But in contrast to representation, story merit, in her opinion, obviously matters not.
Ruffin noted that Marvel Comics has introduced a new character named Princess Matoaka, which “is the birth name of an indigenous woman most of us known as Pocahontas.”
“I know what you’re thinking — what a great opportunity to show a historic Native woman for the complicated, resourceful, brave person that she was. Well, instead, they did this…”
A drawing was shown of the Marvel heroine in a metallic gold, teeny tiny bikini.
“Wow, yeah,” Ruffin laughed. “First, that’s super racist second it’s very confusing to literally anyone who has seen a woman in her underwear. Now, in case you’re wondering if this was drawn by a man, let me point out that there are zero bra straps and she’s wearing gold pasties and, yeah, she’s holding up a metal orb entirely with the strength of her breasts. Apparently, this comic is set in an alternate universe where Native women exist but gravity does not.”
“Now if it’s not clear to you why that character is upsetting people, let’s take a minute and decolonize your understanding,” Ruffin said. “Native women have been hyper-sexualized throughout American history, and the consequences have been devastating.”
Does that mean the descendants of the Mayans and the Aztecs in Latin America were wrong to allow their women to wear the beautiful folk dresses they wore for centuries past, along with other fancy accessories? In sharp contrast to the sad state of affairs in the USA, Latin America takes pride in their folk dresses, including those worn by women in Mexico, which are some of the most marvelous, colorful outfits in history. Does Ms. Ruffin also believe Indian men shouldn’t have fallen in love with women of their own societies and countries? Don’t be surprised if the answer to that is yes. It goes without saying that, if she believes this is a serious topic, laughing is hardly the way to address it.
And Ms. Ruffin additionally has the gall to belittle fantasy elements that were common in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Warlord of Mars series, along with, to be sure, the original Conan tales by Robert E. Howard. On which note, one can only wonder how much longer Howard’s estate, if they still have control over the creations and the products haven’t yet entered public domain, will continue to approve of Marvel turning out new stories, if this apologia path is what they’re going to travel. I’m amazed that for now, Red Sonja’s solo stories are still published separately by companies like Dynamite, yet if this flap is any suggestion, they’ll turn PC to the point where writers and artists won’t depict lady guests of different races as sexy, and Sonja will be the only one, if at all. Why, by her twisted logic, even women shouldn’t draw women sexy (so don’t be fooled about the story being drawn by a man), and Indians shouldn’t be allowed to have sex symbols. That’s the terrible mentality the PC crowd’s brought society down to, along with the victim culture they’re pushing.
Yet let’s not think Aaron deserves our sympathy for running afoul of the very people he’s pandering to. It was surely to be forseen, and now they’re turning against him. A would-be writer who’s spent much of the past decade kowtowing to political correctness in his Marvel career, and now he’s learning it can only get him so far. No need to feel sorry for him that he’s incurred the wrath of the woke, and certainly not if he grovels.
The same goes for C.B. Cebulski, who obviously is among those still groveling too.
Originally published here.