The Creator of Avengers: Infinity War Villain Thanos Hates Marvel Comics’ Guts

This is one of those cases I’ve seen among several where Marvel shows a long history of bad behavior that they keep repeating. As one spot puts it:

Together, they enforce conformity on a multitude of individuals tasked with creating garbage, solely because “that’s the way it’s always been and always will be!”

Which is at the heart of any time there’s a problem at Marvel with the company/people working at it insisting on doing the exact same bad things over and over again for nostalgia sake, rather than providing actual improvement.

The Creator of Avengers: Infinity War Villain Thanos Hates Marvel Comics’ Guts

Things I’d like to see for Polaris/Lorna Dane in comics

I’ve said fairly often what things I would and wouldn’t like to see in comics that involve Lorna, but I don’t think I’ve said them in a comprehensive list on Tumblr before. I’ve decided to make that list right now.

These are pretty much things that either Marvel hasn’t done anything with, or hasn’t done nearly enough with.

Genosha

This is the biggest, most important one. Lorna nearly died during the Genoshan genocide. She had to endure hearing the death wails and voices of millions of her people murdered around her, not just in that exact moment, but on repeat because her powers “stored” all of it like a recording. The whole experience made her darker and harsher.

… And Marvel never does anything at all with it. What she went through is something that should never, ever be forgotten, and Marvel acts like it never happened. This is the #1 top priority thing that needs to be covered in the comics, badly. Not covering it is like ignoring Magneto survived the Holocaust. It’s a major flash point for the character that had major implications on who they are and their development.

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are Magneto’s kids. I don’t accept the forced retcon saying they’re not. Marvel only did it because Fox owned the film rights to X-Men, and Marvel didn’t do nearly enough with the whole family before the forced retcon. It needs restoring ASAP.

AU versions like Secret Wars House of M are not sufficient. The 616 versions need to be family again.

Specific to Scarlet Witch, I personally would like to see the consequences of M-Day addressed in relation to its effect on Lorna and their relationship. Wanda seemed to target Lorna for definite power loss purely because she was part of the family. That power loss came not long after Genosha, when being a mutant was practically the only thing Lorna had left to keep herself together. It led to her nearly killing herself to deal with identity crisis, then getting abducted by Apocalypse and tortured into becoming Pestilence, then chased off to space (cause of an anti-Apocalypse cult) where she once again got tortured and then mind-controlled.

Wanda’s actions brought a lot of suffering into Lorna’s life; this is something I’d like to see covered. Not “hammer it into oblivion” addressed, but just one real good story.

Lorna also had a good brother-sister dynamic with Pietro even when they weren’t known to actually be half-siblings.

Even if we act like they can’t still be a family, there are things they’ve done together that mean they could very well interact more in the future.

History with Malice, Zaladane

I know some people are very concerned about Malice in the coming X-Men Blue arc, and they’re complaining a lot, specifically because it’s Malice.

Here’s the thing with me: I actually WANT to see that history explored. Last time it was really addressed in any significant way was the early to mid 90s. That’s 20-30 years ago. If the history with Malice was a constant problem that spanned multiple decades of use, and was done poorly recently, then yeah, I’d say stay away from it. But I think enough time has passed that it’s safe. The only thing that worries me about the coming arc isn’t Malice, but how Havok’s presence could mess up the use of Malice. Without him, I’d have no concerns right now.

Likewise, with Zaladane, it’s been 30 years or so. I think there’s potential, NOT as another sister, but as an archrival. IMO, the “family” stuff from the late 80s can be explained as her trying to screw with Lorna and possibly Magneto, and that they aren’t actually family at all.

With Malice, there’s a lot to be said and gathered from the experience of another entity controlling you. A more empathetic look would be big. I also kinda headcanon the idea that Malice brings Lorna’s darkest, cruelest impulses and desires to the surface, but she’s weaker than Lorna would ever be with them because Lorna is resisting her from within. I think possession/”mind control” stories can be good IF a writer knows what they’re doing. And that generally requires a hard focus on that specific character, not diluted by tons of team stuff.

In both cases and many more, there’s a lot of poor treatment in Lorna’s history that I think can be rehabilitated into something great if modernized. It’s all about the writing. I’d like to see that history on show and done well. And I think people opposed to it without giving it a shot unintentionally give Marvel an excuse to ignore that she has a long, storied history, which then allows Marvel to act like she didn’t exist until the 90s.

When I say this, think of M’Baku from Black Panther. In comics, a very problematic character, codename Man-Ape, generally seen as racist depiction. The Black Panther film rehabilitated the character so well that his film version is very popular.

I think the same could be done for Lorna with things like Malice and Zaladane.

More acknowledgment of her LONG history and milestones in general

This year is Polaris’ 50th anniversary of her creation. Marvel’s done nothing. Polaris was the second female X-Men member to join, after Jean Grey. Marvel ignores that.

When Marvel made an X-Men comic of all women, she was excluded. When Marvel had events like Avengers vs X-Men, where she had a huge stake because of Genosha and Wanda removing her powers, they excluded her. When Marvel celebrated the X-Men franchise’s 50th anniversary in 2013, they excluded Lorna from everything – yet somehow found a place to highlight Havok.

Marvel needs to do more to acknowledge her history, value and development. They treat her like a random character made in the early 90s that has little value. She deserves better.

Romance

Havok is the only character Lorna’s ever been allowed to have as a romantic partner, in all 50 years of her character history, while Havok’s had several women as partners (Rahne, Goblin Queen, Wasp to name ones I remember immediately). Closest Lorna ever had was a love triangle with Iceman in the real early years, and some very light flirtations with possible romance with Gambit on All-New X-Factor.

I’d like to see Lorna in a romantic relationship with someone new, as long as she’s written well and respectfully as her own character while in it.

Friendships

Lorna doesn’t have any really clear roots where she’s able to interact with characters regularly. As noted above, she’s largely forced into a pigeonhole of Havok and only him.

But she used to be Jean Grey’s closest friend, before Claremont put Storm in that position AND bent over backwards to push Lorna out at the same time. She was close to Iceman, but decades of them not getting to interact much means that when the Iceman solo was made after both Icemen came out as gay, the writer decided to keep Lorna only at a single text bubble as her contribution to the story.

She needs her old friendships restored, badly. They’re a vital part of her history that’s been erased. And it wouldn’t hurt to forge or strengthen new ones. With adult Jean Grey back, now’s a perfect time to rebuild those needlessly burned bridges.

Expanded Power Use

In a series of posts I used to make called What Could Polaris Do, I shared articles and pics of things to emphasize how Lorna’s powers could be used. The point was to note how much more could be done than what we were seeing.

With what we know about electromagnetic power, Lorna could intercept communications. She could make herself and people around her “invisible.” She could use her powers as sort of low-level psychic powers, reading minds, altering memories, relaying messages via telepathy.

Marvel tends to relegate her only to throwing metal around, but she could do so much more.

Marvel Support/Sales Bias: Mockingbird vs Scarlet Witch vs All-New X-Factor

Most people are aware by now of the Mockingbird situation. The below cover was used for the comic book, and a bunch of assholes decided to harass the comic book’s writer for it until she had to get off Twitter.

Since yesterday, the comic book shot up Amazon’s lists, putting it at #1 for print copies of comic books and #5 for Kindle. The huge sales jump comes after Marvel canceled the solo comic book due to what it cites as low sales. Out of this, science fiction writer Annalee made an important point on Twitter: comic books worked on by women or that feature women not receiving marketing and reviews means people don’t know about comic books they might want to read.

This feed right into something I’ve been saying about how Marvel treated All-New X-Factor and continues to treat Polaris, so now I’m writing a Tumblr post about it. Read on for more.

Numbers

I’ll be going into numbers now. Numbers are important for my message.

Here’s Mockingbird’s sales. The numbers include a link to verify.

Mockingbird #1 (March 2016): 42,335

Mockingbird #2 (April 2016): 32,965
Mockingbird #3 (May 2016): 21,912
Mockingbird #7 (September 2016): 14,751

Got it? Good (or not good, if you don’t get it).

Here’s sales for the Scarlet Witch solo comic book. Same deal.

Scarlet Witch #1 (December 2015): 57,835

Scarlet Witch #2 (January 2016): 25,728


Scarlet Witch #3 (February 2016): 23,900
Scarlet Witch #6 (May 2016): 16,842
Scarlet Witch #10 (September 2016): 15,388

Finally, here’s sales for All-New X-Factor.

All-New X-Factor #1 (January 2014): 45,727
All-New X-Factor #2 (January 2014): 32,228


All-New X-Factor #3 (February 2014): 29,915


All-New X-Factor #10 (July 2014): 22,563


All-New X-Factor #20 (January 2015): 21,132

Mockingbird #7 and ANXF #20 were their series’ last issues. Scarlet Witch is still running, so #10 is its most recent issue.

As far as I’m aware, Mockingbird had almost no marketing from Marvel. I can confirm for a fact that All-New X-Factor got none from Marvel. Scarlet Witch, on the other hand, is getting a lot of promotion from Marvel.

This paints a pretty interesting (and for me, enraging) picture about the way Marvel thinks and operates.

Analysis

As you can see, the sales for both Mockingbird and Scarlet Witch dropped at about the same rate and to the same levels, with the exception that Scarlet Witch’s drop from issue #1 to #2 was much faster. About 10,000 for Mockingbird, compared to about 22,000 for Scarlet Witch.

Notice: Scarlet Witch is still running. Its sales have been about as low as Mockingbird’s, and that’s with the benefit of heavy marketing and a major film role for Scarlet Witch that Mockingbird didn’t have. Yet, Mockingbird is the comic that got canceled.

And then, as soon as something really shitty happened to its writer for the final issue, and that caused people to discover the book exists, surprise: it sells like hotcakes on Amazon. Whether the quality of the comic itself is good or bad is immaterial; once people found out about the comic, they were willing to give it a chance.

Now I get into the real impetus behind this post of mine: All-New X-Factor, and Marvel’s unwillingness to support Polaris.

Don’t let All-New X-Factor reaching issue #20 fool you; it only got that high because Peter David churned out scripts at such a rapid pace that the comic often shipped two new issues per month.

All-New X-Factor got almost no marketing support from Marvel (literally only one tweet to advertise it that I’m aware of, that didn’t even refer to the book by its name). With no marketing support, ANXF’s #10 still managed to sell about 8,000 more copies than Scarlet Witch #10… and ANXF got canceled around this same time months-wise anyway.

I’ve always said that if a well-written, respectful comic book with Polaris as a main star were put out by Marvel and got real marketing support, it would not only sell, it would sell beyond anything Marvel could ever comprehend out of the character.

What happened to the Mockingbird solo proves me right.

The Mockingbird solo’s situation vindicates me for everything I’ve ever said about both Polaris and Marvel. With absolutely no help from Marvel, the Mockingbird solo managed to jump from “sales so low it needs to be canceled” to the top of the charts. Meanwhile, with all the resources and the kitchen sink Marvel throws at the current Scarlet Witch solo, it continues to languish at the same numbers or lower that got both Mockingbird and All-New X-Factor canceled.

Two biases held by Marvel have now come to light. First, they’re biased toward doing everything they can to sell Scarlet Witch because she’s already a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Second, they’re biased against Polaris because they can’t use her in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thanks to this situation, Marvel can no longer claim “There isn’t enough fan interest to justify giving Polaris a bigger role.” They can’t claim “Sales of All-New X-Factor were too low to justify being more inclusive toward Polaris and her history.”

Mockingbird just proved that Polaris is one solo comic and real marketing push away from becoming a breakout star of the X-Men franchise just like Emma Frost before her.

Final words

I am truly sorry for the entirely undue and inappropriate harassment Chelsea Cain received from assholes. I wish she had not received any such attacks, and that her final issue sold this well without them. But, because it happened and can’t unhappen, I can at least make something out of it.

I am also not saying the Scarlet Witch solo should be canceled. Rather, I’m saying that Marvel should give Polaris and should have given Mockingbird the same second and third and fourth and eighth chances they keep giving Scarlet Witch.

*drops mic and steps off soapbox*

I just realized: a lot of people on Tumblr will reblog or like what someone posts JUST from a glance, without looking at the whole post, much less thinking through everything it says. I even realize I’ve done it before in retrospect.

That can be pretty dangerous. I’m not going to explain how it works, what I’ve observed, because really shitty people would exploit it as a way to ruin lives. I’m just going to say that if you see a post, try to look at all of it before you like or reblog it.

I don’t like when companies make excuses, especially when it’s excuses to cover up the fact they did something they know was wrong.

I didn’t like when an exec at Square-Enix tried to claim the game mechanic in 3rd Birthday focused on making clothes rip off “Aya’s” body when she takes damage was about realism.

I didn’t like when the writer and director of Final Fantasy XIII at Square-Enix tried to blame a lack of towns in the game on making them in HD being “too difficult” in a time when we have massive worlds like Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas.

I ALSO didn’t like when that same writer and director for the same game, Final Fantasy XIII, claimed dungeons had to be linear to fit a JRPG story. Even Final Fantasy IV had tons of branching options and had the same on-rails approach for half the game.

I didn’t like when a certain person tied to the “Tomb Raider” “reboot” tried to make excuses for “Lara” not being her tough, cool self innately by adulthood because you supposedly can’t have a game starring a child character learning to survive.

I didn’t like when Ubisoft claimed they didn’t have enough to to add
playable women to Assassin’s Creed Unity, that it was something they
could only add “if they have time” as if they couldn’t have added
playable women if they wanted.

I didn’t like when the director for Resident Evil 6 claimed Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield couldn’t be added to the game, an anniversary game part of a celebration for the franchise, because it would be too many characters. When half the new game’s roster was random new characters.

I didn’t like when Capcom tried to blame fans of Megaman Legends on the cancellation of Megaman Legends 3, claiming there “wasn’t enough fan interest.” When it was incredibly obvious Capcom was doing it to spite departing creator Keiji Inafune, and after Capcom had plans to try to make MML fans PAY FOR A DEMO to “prove [they] want it badly enough.”

I didn’t like when the director of DmC tried to defend his radically changing “Dante” into a completely different character better suited to a brand new IP by saying the actual Dante from Devil May Cry wasn’t “cool” enough, would be “laughed out of a bar” for his looks, and that fans only cared about hair color and nothing more.

I didn’t like when an editor at Marvel tried to claim Polaris shouldn’t be Magneto’s daughter by making a convoluted excuse about genetics “breeding true” in order to excuse permitting Siryn to have the same powers as her father Banshee while saying Lorna can’t have the same powers as HER father.

I didn’t like when that same editor tried to claim Polaris couldn’t take part in Avengers vs X-Men and interact with her family because such events are only for A-listers and B-listers, basically saying Lorna can’t be part of it despite her huge stake in that event because he didn’t want her there.

I didn’t like when Marvel tried to claim the cover for All-New X-Factor #14 wasn’t released until a week before release purely because the second issue in a double shipping month doesn’t get that out until previews. We know damn well Marvel could and would have put that cover out and promoted ANXF #14 well in advance if they wanted.

I don’t like basically every single excuse Marvel keeps making to justify or hide the fact they’re trying to undermine and ruin the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises in all the rights they have purely because they don’t like the deal they have with Fox over the film rights.

I’ve been dealing with poor excuses and bad behavior out of companies and people heading up major franchises at them for nearly 8 years. Every excuse is paper thin to me, and frustrating. These are people working jobs at major companies that don’t seem to appreciate what they have, and don’t respect their fans and consumers like they should. They get hit hard financially and PR wise like they should, yet their egos and wet dreams about somehow making more of a profit by being tools toward IPs and fans keep them going at it.

Obsession with personal goals and changing things based on false assumptions is rampant as hell in creative companies, and I’m sick of it.

By the way, I deliberately left out the names of people responsible for these cases where I knew them. There’s a serious risk over the past couple years that people might send threats and harassment to those people when named, and I don’t want to risk that happening. If you want to create change, refuse to buy products from those companies. If you know the people responsible, refuse to buy stuff they specifically make until things get better. Either they change for the better, or the money line and any prestige and power they seek suffer. Sending them direct personal attacks is never right or helpful. They can be greedy, selfish or ignorant, but they’re still people, and it can at least be said that they’re not killing anyone. Not directly and intentionally, at the very least.