>The Scarlet Witch/Pietro/Magneto family fandom is of course very nervous about these “revelations” coming. Sure you are victim of trolling. You are guilty of trolling back, to people who had legitimate concerns. Throwing out there that their pasts have been unstable in the past is dismissive and patronizing. Like we don’t know about Whizzer and Miss America, or the fact Wanda’s last name was Frank for many years, like you are somehow judging us as not real fans based on our obscure knowledge of the characters we love. You can understand how that would frustrate and infuriate a fandom that is already hurting and worried, that consists of a high percentage of female readers who already face the “fake geek girl” testing every day of our lives.
The Marvel target reading audience is 18-35 years old, yes? For the last 30 years the twins have been the children of Erik, and pretty much every story focusing on them has revolved around that fact. So for the entirety of our reading lives, this has been the one and only canon. Sure, many of us read backwards and read their confusing and convoluted backstory before the retcon. Its understandable why there was a retcon. To argue “Magneto being their father was a retcon too, lest you forget!” is (again) patronizing, and also a false analogy. To compare the necessary clearing and streamlining of their fractured backstory is not the same thing as taking (as you acknowledge) their relatively stable canon of the last 30 years and changing it out of the blue. Magneto Rex, Magneto Not a Hero, House of M, Children’s Crusade, all these stories revolve around their family dynamic and shape the characters and even the world around them. They are compelling character driven stories with the twins dealing with Erik being their father. Countless stories of Pietro being compared to Erik, how they look alike, but act so differently (Magneto Rex) or how the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” (House of M) and all the in-between. The same cannot be said about Whizzer. His time as their father is not a fair comparison. To bring that up is dismissive.
With all that said, yes, I cancelled all my Marvel titles and am reevaluating whether or not I want to support this company from here. I am a strong opponent of Marvel/Disney synergy between film and comic. The movies are different than the comics, that is something as a fan I am capable of dealing with. Disney white-washing my favorite characters was insulting and upsetting, but it’s Disney, so antisemitism is kind of expected. Making them not mutants/Erik’s kids was a clear cut case of licensing rights. I was dealing just fine with that change at least, because it’s just a movie. I would just pretend in my head that “miracles” are “mutants” and carry on. But changing the comics to reflect the movies? That is not how it’s supposed to be. Movies are supposed to be based off the comics, not the other way around. That should never be the case, and therefore unforgivable. Do not even try to argue this is not coming down from Disney/Marvel to tie the movies to the comics in a way that would explain their newest characters while alienating the comic properties Fox owns. They want these fabled “new readers” trickling in from the films to pick up a comic and have a story like their movies, and not tie into the Fox films. So no more Magneto. It’s so transparent its insulting. What are the numbers to defend this decision? The comic book growth directly linked to movie viewers turn readers influx that warrants turning your backs on established readers? I have been giving Marvel my money for over 20 years. I own everything and anything with the twins in it, even when the writing and/or art has been bad…you guys have been taking and taking and taking my money, and the second I feel I will be rewarded by this with a focus on my favorite D-list Speedster, and his sister who has been torn down worse than the Amazon rain forrest by Bendis, with new stories, you people do THIS? Only to be handed this crap? Really? Is Disney/Marvel that upset that Quicksilver single-handedly sold tickets to Days of Future Past that they have to destroy the character and his backstory for them? They already killed off their dollar maker Wolverine. *side-eye*
So you are going to say “This isn’t the movies” (even though it clearly is) and it’s just some kind of “natural progression of the characters” (it isn’t) and you are going to tell me to “give it a chance” (without giving me any reason to) and then dismiss this as just a fan who can’t “handle change”?
I deal with change all the time. I’m an X-men fan. You think anything I love or enjoy has ever been stable or exempt from change? From Genosha to Decimation, the deaths of Nightcrawler to Charles Xavier, nothing has ever been ok, nothing has ever been safe. But the change to the status quo and deaths are a pendulum, always swinging one way or another, nothing is ever permanent, except retcons. Changing the past is totally different than sending the future off in a different direction. Changing a character’s parentage, ethnicity, race, and identity (in this case quite possibly not making them mutants) casts a different light on everything ever written about them. (ALL MY TRADING CARDS ARE WRONG!!!) Every scene with Pietro calling Erik “father” with that little drip of disdain is now painful. Every artist who drew him as a mini-magneto now looks like a fool. Every time the twins were persecuted as a minority to only now not be one is a slap to the face of the representation they gave so many people in comics. Representation matters. Are you people at Marvel aware of this? I sort of think you people do not. Or at least do not care.
All I can hope for is that Rick Remender (god save us all) writes something that can be easily retconed later by a better writer who agrees this is a disaster. Wanda just needs to rewrite reality again. I was hopeful for a Scarlet Witch solo since I was 10 years old. (Vision and Scarlet Witch doesn’t count, she was second billed in her own damn comic) but now I honestly want Disney/Marvel to leave her alone. I really want to go back to the time when I and maybe 30 other people in the world who even gave a crap about Quicksilver and Wanda was hated by everyone except, like, another 30 people, and I can just have my little broken family and be happy.
Now we do not have that.
I have been thinking long and hard as to how Disney/Marvel intends to bastardize their backstory. I thought maybe they could be creations of Chthon specifically as vessels for him to possess to gain access to our dimension (Which would explain why he won’t stop possessing the twins) and with Chthon being a rumored villain for the Dr Strange film, it would be an easy tie-in. There has always been an issue with the age of the twins, being born in 1948 but only being 30 years old today. The High Evolutionary putting them in stasis was always the accepted canon for this. Magda is still listed on the Marvel Wiki as the mother of the twins while Erik has been removed as the father. Immaculate conception by Chthon and intervened by High Evolutionary because he was like “oh hell-naw” and froze them so Chthon would not cause a mess on his mountain is one theory. The fact that Bova lied though has me feeling personally violated. This whole situation has been giving me (and many fans) a real identity crisis. This sort of existential crisis is rough. Some people have said to me “It’s just a comic” but those people are clearly people who have never literally relied on comics to live. Comics have kept me from killing myself, kept me from feeling alone, and I strongly identify with particular characters. Their pains are my pains. It feels like, at 30, I too am finding out I’m adopted and its devastating. This doesn’t mean writers and editors have to handle everything they work on with baby gloves because a small number of us are emotionally unstable. But how many times do i have to suffer Wanda being raped? Pietro being emotionally abused? How many friends do I have to see turn their backs on the twins before it hurts too much and it stops being “entertainment” much less an escape?
I do not expect you at all to tell me what is going to happen. But you could try to be a little more proactive with your answers. Sure, answer trolls with gifs of a dog dragging it’s anus across a rug. It’s hilarious. But when a fan comes to you with legitimate concerns and looking for reassurance that everything will people Ok, you really should give them at least one kind sentence. i think you own us that much. People came you you worried about Lorna, and you didn’t mention she is going over to the Magneto title? (Because that’s an X-men title, and that is not in Disney/Marvel’s interest in promoting it, I get it) but to simply say “stay tuned” is….infuriating. Say something like “The team working on the book are huge Wanda fans” or “The team has a lot of experience with complex character driven plots, they will handle this with grace and care” sure, we all know those are lies because this is Remember we are talking about but you couldn’t give us lies to make the pain less?
That is why I’m unable to support Disney/Marvel at this time. I’m too emotionally fragile to watch Wanda raped and murdered and torn apart again. I’m too protective of Pietro to watch him suffer from more alienation from his broken family after all the beautiful progress he just had in All New X-factor with Lorna under Peter David’s beautiful hand.
I just felt the need to try and explain our community’s concerns and feelings, and tell you it’s not what you said, but how you said it that is at least two thirds ate problem.
I don’t want to have to retire my favorite cosplay, but already I have had three men ask me “Hey, did you know!? Wanda isn’t Magneto’s daughter!” showing 1) men really do not believe women read comics, and 2) I can never escape this. I can’t retreat into my back issues and be selective as to what I accept as canon. Because I can never express my fandom publicly without this new canon coming up. I really wish I could walk away from this feeling better having gotten some of this off my chest. But, honestly, I feel like in the end, your hands are just as tied as mine, and nothing can be said or done to make this hurt less.
Sarah Jean Maefs>
This is clearly an important issue to you, based on your Tweets and what you’ve written here. And because of that, I don’t know that there’s anything that I’m going to be able to say to you that’s going to make you feel better. I would point out that Marvel has a long history of making stories that people care about, and your connection with these characters is proof of that. So trust in the good intentions of those involved, and everything will work out. Or don’t, that’s completely up to you.
The one thing I must take issue with is your insistence that this storyline is some Disney-mandated thing, and that no amount of people stating the contrary will convince you otherwise. Sarah, Disney has nothing to do with the content of this storyline, or really, with any of our storylines. Marvel is Marvel, and we go where we go because that is our choice. So while it’s lovely to have an “evil empire” to blame this all on as a scapegoat, I must be forthright and tell you that you’re smearing the wrong people, both in your mind and in public. If you want to be upset, be upset at us, the people responsible, and not the shadows that exist solely in your imagination.
Why didn’t I mention that Lorna was going to be in MAGNETO? Because I’m not omniscient, and I didn’t know that. We publish 70+ titles every month, and it is impossible for any one person to be absolutely up-to-date on the planning for each and every one of them. This is why we’ve got a whole editorial staff, rather than just a few people. But again, nothing to do with Disney or with any attempt to make people forget the X-Men or whatever. I’d be very happy if everybody ran out and bought a few more copies of MAGNETO—it’s an excellent book.
I also must take issue with the fact that you dismiss the history of the characters you like from before your time as a reader as being irrelevant, and having no bearing on what new stories might be being planned now. This is what is known as “personal continuity”—you care about the stuff you read and that has meaning for you, but that’s it. I’m sorry, but it is neither patronizing or dismissive to point out that, for the first twenty years of their existence, Wanda and Pietro had no familial connection with Magneto at all. Those twenty years may have been before you were reading, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Also no less important are the readers who started reading before you did. Everybody is equal here, everybody’s experiences carry the same weight.
You are making this personal to you in a way that it simply is not, and projecting your anger and your fear onto a bunch of people that aren’t involved, and then reacting as though your fears are true.
Let us tell a story. There’s always the crazy possibility that you’ll like it. (Lorna wasn’t Magneto’s daughter either until a very few years ago, and you seem to have embraced that change.) And it’s certainly possible that you won’t like it, and that’s all right, too.
I’m going to address this a little out of order, starting by saying “oops, typos, lawl” but from there, I’ll mention the “Personal canon”…it’s true, we all have one, and I realize i’m guilty of coming across as dismissive to older canon even tho that wasn’t my intent. So there is my humble pie. It’s easy to come across as dismissive even when calling someone out on being dismissive.
I actually adore the pre-1980’s Twins, the one’s with no family. Their uncertainty as to who they were, who their parent’s really were, their search for answers. I loved that. I read that after the Magneto, because, well, I’m only 30. As I already admitted that canon has existed since just before I was born, much less reading, so that is pretty much unavoidable. But for reasons I myself cannot even explain, I read Pietro and became infatuated with him and his story. (Him of all people, right?) So I read his back story I went back and read whatever I could get my hands on, (Lots of discolored smokey back issues from the 10 cent bins) and I treasure those stories, as confusing and weird as all silver-age comics are, for what they were, and they were made special (to me and many) because they ultimately lead to the answer of “who am I?” with “Oh shit, I’m Magneto’s son. Damn it.” and I loved that. So my apologies, I did not mean to say those stories were without value, or those who had been reading longer/are older somehow have less value. I actually value them greatly, but for where they ended up, not for what they were on their own. But, again, that’s the personal canon thing.
The Lorna bit next…Lorna is actually the ONLY reason I still have….hope. She wasn’t Magneto’s daughter. Then she was. Then she wasn’t. Then she definitely was. Then she was definitively proven not to be (DNA test) then they were like “Oops, no, we were wrong, you totes are.” So am I used to this? Oh yes, I am sooooo used to this. I always supported Lorna as a Magneto baby. Every time they un-daughtered her I would scream at my comic and just be like “WHY ARE YOU EVIL DUMB PEOPLE WRITING MY COMICS!” and then go pout in my room for a week, (I was, like, 12…and this is still my reaction…damn) The twins are not “Blood related” according to Wanda’s spell, but her spells are wishy-washy at best with a spotty history of success, one having failed just five minutes before that spell for crying out loud, but I still hope they can be a family. There is no denying blood or not that that they have had life altering influence on one another and just finding out they are adopted can’t un-do that. But reading Magneto Rex (and crying because I like to punish myself) there is never ending comparison of Pietro to Erik, about how much they look alike (ouch), about how they act so similar and so different at the same time (ouch). It hurts so much to read House of M. Children’s Crusade? Ouch. Actually, Avenger’s Academy hurt surprisingly hard, When Magneto shows up and banishes Pietro from future involvements from “Mutant affairs” and Pietro is like “They are my people” and I’m like “Oh baby, baby no, I don’t think they actually are…” then…you know, crying.
Will I be able to accept these changes? Well, with time I might stop crying every time I think about them. That’s a starter. My actual family all cosplaying the M family with me kinda hits close to home. My daddy is Magneto, I’m Wanda, my sister is Wanda…Having the House of M crest tattooed is…hella awkward now? I love this bunch of people (mutants, family, I don’t even know) too much to truly turn by back on it. But I have friends who work at comic shops who will let me read their issues without paying, so I can keep up without giving Marvel money. If that is the path I choose to take. Because, in the end, I’m still not sure I want to support Marvel. This is like the New 52 reboot. I walked away from DC SO HARD after that. Haven’t read DC since. Never underestimate a woman scorned, sir.
Anyways, you said Marvel isn’t phasing out X-men. But out of the 74 new issues Marvel is publishing next March, only 13 are X-Men -4 of which are the new weekly Wolverines series. People say the movies do not influence the comics. People say they are not phasing out the x-men. People keep saying these things. Yet I watch these things happen, and I wonder if it is just some kind of crazy cosmic coincidence, or if people really think we’re too dumb to notice.
Lastly, if you want to take the bullet instead of Disney, well, that is your prerogative. There is a call for a boycott of the Disney film but many of us want to continue to support the less stable and often struggling comics because we are, after all, fans. But if you want to say this is not the doing of Disney and purely Marvel’s decision to take away the heritage of two of our most beloved Jewish Romani characters, then I will pass on the word to the blogs, and we will know where to best focus our revenue, or lack thereof.
I take this family very personally, but I do love a good story. Emphases on good. I cannot and will not speak for the whole fandom. There are some who are more upset, and less upset, and upset for different reasons. I open this up to them to add or take away from this what they need. But I can pass for a reasonable adult from time to time, and I managed to get through a really dark week where I came very close to taking my life. But The Maximoffs helped me through dark times in my past, I can help them through this dark time for them. Its the least I can do, because I owe them.
And I still have Thor. New Thor is why I wake up in the morning.
I have to say a few things here.
1) Either Brevoort’s lying when he says the comics aren’t being deliberately changed due to the conflict between Disney and Fox on movie rights, or people at Disney or at least people higher on the totem pole than Brevoort are playing him for a fool. I sincerely doubt the latter. We’ve seen the Fantastic Four comic canceled. We’ve seen Marvel also drastically cut the number of X-Men comics by half in a year (as the text above shows), and not give the X-Men franchise its own panel at San Diego Comic Con but give one to the Spider-Verse at a time when X-Men had more comics than Spider-Verse. We’ve seen every crossover event benefit the Avengers franchise and make the X-Men franchise worse off. These are no coincidence. These are planned, intentional, and insulting.
2) He’s willing to take the blame and have it hit the comics because the comics are considered the lesser, inferior medium for Disney making money due to how both markets work. More to the point, the comics could be in the gutter making next to nothing and as long as whoever has power (in this case, Brevoort) tows the line and acts as a tank, Disney will support, keep and possibly even promote them. I’ve seen it many times, and this is how they operate.
Don’t fall for the “it’s exclusively our fault” shtick. It’s not. The nicest possible interpretation I can see that would keep his claim intact – while keeping all the evidence in mind – is that Brevoort and the rest of the power players at Marvel really aren’t being told by Disney to do these things, but the culture they’re participating in implies that giving a big “screw you” to fans to do things that make the Disney suits happy will lead to rewards for the people that do it. Which, in turn, means that atmosphere is Disney’s fault, or else Disney would do things to dissuade such an atmosphere from taking root.
3) Actions speak louder than words.
Brevoort tries to say a lot of pretty words to convince people of things. He’s an editor high on the totem pole and extremely public, it’s his job to know how to smooth talk the fans, make them feel like they’re not being betrayed, and sow doubt into any plans to not give Marvel any money. And he has decades of experience he’s drawing on when he does that.
If he wants people to trust his words, he and the rest of Marvel need to perform actions that make their words worth trusting. Otherwise, they’re just the comic book editorial version of a snake oil salesman.
If he and the rest of Marvel want to tell a story, they can tell a story. But when it’s a disrespectful, insulting and damaging story nobody asked for, one everyone is screaming should never have happened in the first place, it’s no longer just “telling a story.” It’s throwing a big middle finger to fans while insisting it’s just the sign language for “friend.”
A company that cares about its fans doesn’t talk like that and act that way. A company that cares about its fans does not dismissively tell them to “let us tell a story” and leave it at that. What a real company that actually cares about its fans does is hear them out, try to understand how they feel and do something to make it up to them. And that something isn’t just “Here’s an alternate universe where that thing is still intact, we’ll secretly kill that alternate universe a couple years from now when we think we can get away with it, but enjoy it while it lasts!”