Marvel Removes Essay By Mark Waid Criticizing America From Marvel Comics #1000

An essay by writer Mark Waid which was critical of “America’s systems” that appeared in early preview copies of Marvel Comics #1000 has been removed from the final version of the issue.

In preview copies of Marvel Comics #1000, a comic celebrating Marvel’s 80th anniversary, an essay by Waid was published alongside an image of Captain America drawn by John Cassaday and Laura Martin. In this essay, Waid discussed “how it’s possible to love a country that’s deeply flawed.” (Related: Humanoids Director of Creative Development Mark Waid Accused of Insulting and Assaulting Retailer at Diamond Retailer Summit)

“I’m asked how it’s possible to love a country that’s deeply flawed.

It’s hard sometimes. The system isn’t just. We’ve treated some of our own abominably.

Worse, we’ve perpetuated the myth that any American can become anything, can achieve anything, through sheer force of will. And that’s not always true. This isn’t the land of opportunity for everyone. The American ideals aren’t always shared fairly.

Yet without them, we have nothing.

With nothing, cynicism becomes reality. With nothing, for the privileged and the disenfranchised both, our way of life ceases to exist. We must always remember that America, as imperfect as it is, has something. It has ideals that give it structure.

When the structure works, we get schools. We get roads and hospitals. We get a social safety net. More importantly, when we have structure, we have a foundation upon which to rebuild the American Dream — that equal opportunity can be available to absolutely everyone.

America’s systems are flawed, but they’re our only mechanism with which to remedy inequality on a meaningful scale. Yes, it’s hard and bloody work. But history has shown us that we can, bit by bit, right that system when enough of us get angry. When enough of us take to the streets and force those in power to listen. When enough of us call for revolution and say, “Injustice will not stand.”

That’s what you can love about America.”

However, this essay was changed prior to publication, and retail copies of Marvel Comics #1000 feature a different essay, far less critical of America and also written by Waid, which reflects on the identity of Captain America as “an idea.” (Related: Marvel Comics Writer Mark Waid Accused of Calling Black YouTuber Just Some Guy a ” Borderline White Supremacist”)

“Masks are designed to hide things. Some heroes wear them to protect their true identities so as to shield their loved ones from retaliation.

I have a different reason. I wear mine as a reminder to people that Captain America isn’t a man. It’s an idea.

It’s a commitment to fight every day for justice, for acceptance and equality, and for the rights of everyone in this nation. At it’s best, this is a good country filled with people who recognize that those—not hatred, not bigotry, not exclusion—are the values of true patriotism.

Several others have had occasion to don this suit and carry this shield over the years. I have faith that someone else will continue that tradition long after I’m gone. Maybe it’ll be your neighbor. Maybe it’ll be you. I’m not the first to represent those values. I won’t be the last.”

This change comes shortly after Marvel reportedly removed an essay by Maus creator Art Spiegelman from Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 Collection which referred to President Donald Trump as the “Orange Skull,” with Marvel allegedly moving to be more apolitical in their publications. (Related: Maus Creator Art Spiegelman Claims Marvel Comics Wants to Be “Apolitical”)

Marvel has officially declined to comment on the change, but The Hollywood Reporter reports that an insider claims the updated essay better fit the tone of the book.

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