Friday, January 9, 2009

Poor Spidey

When I first heard that this issue was set to hit the stands next week, I thought that it was just an attempt to cash in on the upcoming festivities for our next president. Anything with Obama's face on it is sure to sell. .No big deal. Sure, it turns my stomach a little bit to see my favorite hero of all time getting the bump from Obama, but I was willing to leave it at that. Then I did some more reading. Now the content of that issue makes me angry. It's enough already that Hollywood is so far left that most of what we get is biased towards that end of the political spectrum, but our comic heroes too? Please!!!!! I don't have a problem with a story about Spidey saving the President-Elect from an assassin, especially if that assassin is a classic Spidey villain. What I have a problem with is Spidey telling the President he did it because he's glad that the "right man is in the Oval Office." What??? What makes Spider-Man so great, or MADE him great, is that he was prepared to do what was right no matter what it cost him. Shouldn't a superhero save the President because he is the President? What chaps me too is that there are plenty of instances in Marvel comics where it has been made clear that our last President was the wrong man in the Oval Office. From the Punisher threatening a drunken Bush, to a horrible "Civil War" storyline that was clear in its parallels and thoughts on the War on Terror and its leader, to hints of Captain America being killed because he knows the truth about Bush an 9/11. The Bush of The Ultimates is a stupid cowboy dictator. But nothing about Presidents on the other side of the aisle. COME ON! Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, can we please just have our heroes be heroes? Joe Quesada has destroyed Marvel with this junk. I no longer recognize the hero of my youth. I guess this bothers me so much because in our country politics has become our Golden Calf. We look for it to save us, so it has saturated everything we do and say in this country. This may be the last straw for me as far as current Spidey goes, not because of ideology, but because I want my Spider-Man back.


Travis said...


While I understand your laments I'm also a bit surprised at your apparent surprise. Whether it's a Hollywood film company or a New York publisher artists have the right to express their views through the medium of their work. Comics have been expressing political and social opinion since their inception, albeit more subtly than in the current Spidey mag. Evolution, feminism, gay rights, racial equality, and others have all been causes that heroes in the comics have taken up in the past. Whether we agree with the cause they are advocating (racial equality) or disagree (evolution) they have a right to use their artistic medium to make such statements. If they didn't then the whole viability of comics as legitimate art would be suspect.

I haven't read any of the issues you've mentioned so I can't speak to the content. Though I'd agree that it sounds as if the Spidey comic was written in poor taste. I think the issue for me is what you raise, his comments seem out of character. The Punisher threatening someone, even the president, makes sense and fits with who he is. Maybe the writers were thinking that Spidey would have saved any president as his duty but he took greater pride in saving a president he respected. I don't know, I'm not trying to defend poor writing or political pandering. I'm just saying it's really nothing new.

While they have the right to write whatever they want, you also have a right not to read. Maybe you should send them a letter.

Hope all is well.

Jason Kennedy said...

Hey Travis,
I guess I'm not so much surprised as upset. I know that comics have been used for political/social purposes for as long as they have been around. I think I am just lamenting how far my favorite has fallen into poor taste, bad writing, and forgetting who Spidey is and what made him great.

Kelly said...

I've switched over to Ultimate Spiderman....much closer to the original than the original is. Lets you know something when JMS wouldn't even put his name on the last issue he wrote because they were making him do something he really didn't want to do...