Iron Man to become a black teenage girl

A 15-year-old black girl will become Iron Man, so says an exclusive from Time. Her name is Riri Williams and she takes on the role of Iron Man after events in Civil War II. I’m assuming Tony Stark will get killed off at the end of Civil War II. Captain America was killed off at the end of Civil War, so it’s probably safe to assume Tony Stark will meet the same fate.

It’s Marvel Comics. Imagination and creativity is not one of their strong suits.

If they are going to replace Tony Stark, why announce it before the fact? I can remember when you learned about changes to a character from reading the actual comic. It happened organically. If Marvel wanted to replace Tony Stark as Iron Man with a teenaged girl, why not let the reader learn about it by reading the comic? They could walk them through the change so it made some sort of sense. Instead, because they want the non-comic book reading populace to know how diverse they are, they announce the change in an exclusive story with Time.

Then again if Marvel Comics allowed the change to happen organically in the story of a comic book, nobody would know about it. Nobody reads comic books anymore.

Justin Trudeau’s crotch is choosing sides

Marvel Comics released the cover image of Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5. It features Canadian Prime Minister and self-proclaimed feminist Justin Trudeau pretending to be a boxer. He’s wearing a Canadian tourist tank-top and a pair of shorty shorts so skimpy, not even 1980’s John Stockton would have worn them.

What you can’t see are Trudeau’s feet. I’m assuming he’s wearing roller skates. Usually when you see a man dressed like Trudeau, he’s roller skating, usually running afoul of the law.

Shorts Justin Trudeau would approve of.
Shorts Justin Trudeau would approve of.

I think it’s safe to say that if you’re still reading monthly floppy comic books, especially Marvel comic books, something must be wrong with you. If spending four bucks for a 22-page comic featuring the crotch of Justin Trudeau on its cover doesn’t give you pause and force you think about your life, it’s really quite sad.

Some upset over ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ ad

There’s a billboard promoting the movie X-Men: Apocalypse that some are saying is inappropriate because they feel it promotes violence against women. In the image Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac, is choking Mystique, played by actress Jennifer Lawrence.

I have a hard time understanding the underlying logic with this criticism, mostly because it seems to be devoid of logic.

X-Men: Apocalypse is a superhero comic book movie involving superhero comic book characters. Violence in a comic book superhero movie is as commonplace as obnoxious Hawaiian shirts are at a Jimmy Buffett concert. I haven’t watched X-Men: Apocalypse yet, so I don’t know the context of this image. My guess is that it wasn’t because Apocalypse was mad at Mystique because she didn’t fix him turkey pot pie.

To associate this image with domestic violence is silly. When I saw this image for the first time, it reminded my of this famous scene from Star Wars:

Some upset over 'X-Men: Apocalypse' ad - Bent CornerI thought of this scene from Star Wars and not violence against women because I don’t think of women as victims. I think of men and women as being equal. I’m also a giant nerd. When I see someone choking someone else, I think of Darth Vader.

Captain America is a Hydra sleeper agent

Marvel Comics retconned the hell out of one of its most prized pieces of intellectual property last week. They made Captain America a Hydra sleeper agent. Not only did they make Steve Rogers a Hydra agent, they did it by adding it to his back story. We see that he and his mother were recruited by Hydra back in 1926. That means everything Steve Rogers has done in the past 75 years as Captain America has been done by a Hydra sleeper agent.

To drive home the point that Captain America is evil, we see him murder Jack Flag.

Captain America is a Hydra sleeper agent - Bent Corner
Can you fly Jack Flag?

At least it looked like Captain America murdered Jack Flag. He chucked him out the back of an aircraft without a parachute. Then again, Marvel might have retconned Jack Flag so that he had the power of flight, or maybe he’s actually Thor.

I think Thor is a woman now, so I doubt he’s Thor.

I imagine hardcore fans of Captain America are pretty distraught over this. The writer who wrote Steve Rogers Captain America #1, the book the deed took place, has reportedly received death threats on social media. Although I don’t support or condone death threats, even fake ones on social media, I can certainly see how someone could be upset over this.

Imagine someone reading Captain America books for years, spending thousands of dollars on Captain America collectibles only to find out that he was a Hydra agent the whole time. Some people have a strong emotional connection to comic book characters. There are people who have had Captain America tattooed on their body, not because of how he looked, but because of what he represented.

Personally I’ve never been a fan of Captain America. He always seemed a bit too patriotic, almost as though he was trying to compensate for something. I imagined he was the type of guy who would always try to get you to join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every 15 minutes. You love America Steve, we get it. Now give it a rest.

Then there’s the way he obtained his super powers. He was a hapless weakling until he was injected with Super-Soldier Serum. In other words, he received performance enhancers to make him into something he wasn’t. He was Lance Armstrong before Lance Armstrong. At least Lance Armstrong was pretty good at riding a bicycle before taking performance enhancers. The same cannot be said for Steve Rogers. Without performance enhancers, he was nothing.

Sometimes comic books can be really stupid. Captain America retconned as a Hydra sleeper agent? This is one of those times.

Emerald City Comicon sued for not paying ‘volunteers’

Jerry Brooks, a former Emerald City Comicon volunteer, is initiating a class action suit against the con, alleging the convention broke Washington state employment laws. Volunteers, referred to as “minions” by the convention’s organizers, performed tasks normally performed by paid employees.

Emerald City Comicon minions were not paid.

Emerald City Comicon sued for not paying 'volunteers' - Bent CornerLegally, Emerald City Comicon was not in a position where it could take advantage of a volunteer labor force. They weren’t a non-profit organization. If they applied for and were granted non-profit status from the IRS, it could have used volunteers as worker bees.

They didn’t do that.

Emerald City Comicon is now owned by ReedPop, the Walmart of comic conventions. Reportedly, ReedPop paid Emerald City Comicon minions at this year’s event.

I’m no lawyer, but I would think that fact would be problematic for the defendants. If the 2016 minions were paid for the work they performed, why were minions in prior years not paid?

Something else that may be trouble for the defendants is the plaintiff. There’s a Linkedin profile for a Jerry Brooks who listed volunteer work for Emerald City Comicon, specifically, that he supervised over 100 volunteers. If this is the same Jerry Brooks who filed the lawsuit, he may have detailed, comprehensive records of the work done by the minions he supervised.

In retrospect, I wonder if the creators of Emerald City Comicon wish they had called their employees something other than “minions.” I doubt that term would go over real well in a courtroom deciding if you should have paid your employees or not. It’s probably related to the animated movie Despicable Me, but it sounds extremely pejorative.

Free Comic Book Day 2016

Jen King, owner of Texas comic book shop Space Cadets Collection Collection, wrote an op-ed published on Bleeding Cool in which she complained about Free Comic Book Day and the people who show up at her store expecting to receive free comic books. Imagine that. From Bleeding Cool:

It seems to happen every year. A customer comes in and wants to pick up 20 copies of one of the FCBD titles being offered. When they are informed that they are limited to one per customer, they loudly yell that the comics are supposed to be free and how dare we limit the amount they can grab. What’s even worse, in my mind, is that even though we clearly advertise our FCBD as a charity fundraising event (and have been doing it this way for 6 years), there are still attendees who get red-faced mad when we ask them to donate a canned good or one dollar for every 3 titles that they pick up.  These donations go directly to a food pantry a block away from our store and directly benefit our community.

It seems hard to believe that every year, someone comes into the store and tries to take 20 copies of a single book and when they are denied, they then begin yelling. That seems a bit hyperbolic to me. Then again, this is Texas. Hyperbole is as common in Texas as armadillo roadkill or inaccurate license plates.

I didn’t realize shops participating in Free Comic Book Day could require people to donate canned goods or money in exchange for books. According to the official website for Free Comic Book Day, participating comic book shops give comic books “absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.” It’s Free Comic Book Day, not Exchange a Can of Soup for Comics Day.

That’s not to say collecting canned goods for a food pantry is a bad thing. It’s not. Just don’t make it a requirement for Free Comic Book Day. That’s not what the day is supposed to be about.