Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski recently sat down with CBS This Morning to discuss the state of Marvel Comics. In the interview C.B. Cebulski described where he sees Marvel Comics in the big picture of the Marvel brand as well as his goals for the company.
C.B. Cebulski described Marvel Comics:
“The movies are the face and the body. It’s what everybody sees. Our TV division are like the arms. Maybe consumer products are the legs that move the body along. But at the heart, we are the muscle that pumps the blood into the rest of the divisions to get that body to move along.”
Cebulski would go on to discuss Marvel’s Fresh Start Initiative which includes new number ones for Venom, Captain America, The Avengers, Punisher, and more.
“It’s one big tapestry, one big soap opera. And our job is to keep adding to this tapestry in new and original ways and every now and then we have to come up with new ideas, create new characters, switch up the creative teams, and that’s what we’re doing now.”
When asked about Marvel’s commitment to diversity in its characters and in its creative development C.B. Cebulski answered:
“We’re 100 percent committed to diversity…Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn’t been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio… But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work — are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has.”
But if anyone who has actually been reading and following Marvel Comics over the past few years, Marvel has been anything but diverse and reflecting the “world outside your window.” One of the worst examples of this is Marvel writer Nick Spencer. Spencer was given a number of Captain America books to write and he took the opportunity to attack conservative and libertarian values and ideas.
In the first issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson, Nick Spencer decides to turn the long-time Captain America villains the Sons of the Serpent into conservatives who love the United States, believe in the Constitution, and are against illegal immigration.
Spencer wouldn’t stop there. In Sam Wilson: Captain America #5, he would malign exceptionalism, hard work, and free markets.
But maybe Spencer’s most egregious attack was an attempt to destroy the entire brand of Captain America by turning Steve Rogers into an Agent of Hydra, Marvel’s equivalent to Nazis.
Spencer isn’t the only one at Marvel who has used the publisher as a political platform.
In Spider-Gwen Annual #1, writer Jason Latour and artist Chris Visions imagine President Trump as M.O.D.A.A.K. or Mental Organism Designed As America’s King. The character is a riff on the Marvel villain known as M.O.D.O.K. or Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. The story sees Spider-Gwen team up with an alternate reality version of Captain America to beat up the President Trump look alike.
And Marvel wasn’t afraid to actively promote feminist rhetoric in a number of their books.
In Mockingbird #3 the book shows women as oppressed. It promotes the gender pay gap fallacy and created a fallacy that you had to be a man to be a superhero ignoring a number of iconic Marvel female superheroes like Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Storm, Black Widow, Moondragon, Mantis, and more.
Marvel would even show Jane Foster punching the Absorbing Man because he said, “feminist like it’s a four letter word.”
In recent years Marvel’s villains are always the one’s refuting liberal ideas or embracing conservative ideas. It’s not very diverse at all.
We spoke with comic book creator Chuck Dixon, who co-created Bane for DC Comics and had a very long run on The Punisher War Journal and Savage Sword of Conan at Marvel Comics, about Cebulski’s recent comments. Chuck has been blacklisted from Marvel Comics for over 15 years.
Chuck told us:
“Apparently, Marvel hasn’t seen me outside their window for twenty years. Funny how all this ‘inclusivity’ only extends to a small circle of creator.”
“Diversity is code for ‘comics are too male and white, right?’ What gave them that right to decide that for their audience. And, trust me, that’s what this is about, making up their audience’s mind FOR them. There”s no real tolerance here. No real diversity. You take their brand of indoctrination or hit the pike. And millions of readers have chosen the pike.”
I tend to agree with Chuck Dixon. I’m not really sure what kind of world Marvel Comics and C.B. Cebulski see outside their window, but mine sees a duly elected President Donald Trump who is the current leader of the United States of America. It also sees a number of hard-working people who love the United States and support free markets, campaign against illegal immigration, and believe there are big problems with the current welfare programs in the United States. They also disagree with the current rhetoric on feminism.
You can disagree with those ideas and even think they are wrong, but the problem is Marvel is claiming they are diverse, but they aren’t. They don’t have a diversity of ideas being expressed in their creative teams. Current Marvel Comics don’t reflect the world outside your window. Instead it reflects a small world created by political pundits and activists who have somehow become Marvel writers. It’s why we get books like Nick Spencer’s Sam Wilson: Captain America where conservative ideals are blatantly demonized and we get books like Mockingbird that promotes feminism without any place for potential critiques or push backs.