Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Whap! Pow! Fans Boot Defense Contractor Out of Marvel Comics | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2017

Comics have been going diverse, PC and SJW on us of late.  Apparently there are limits.  Shame on Marvel for wanting to accept the mark of the beast.

Over the weekend, something remarkable happened at, of all places, the New York Comic Con. Fan protests broke out surrounding Marvel Comics’ announcement of a joint venture with U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman. In short order,Marvel had scrapped the joint venture entirely.

The plan was an unsubtle attempt to thread the military industry leaders into the Marvel comic book universe—and in a positive light—introducing a Northrop Grumman-armed team working with the iconic Avengers for some sort joint adventure. Northrop officials said this was intended to emphasize the value of science and aerospace technology for readers.

But there is another degree of influence here. In the course of buying advertising with a football league, the military and its allies are buying the league’s loyalty, too, and the ability to cultivate the notion that super athletes and battlefield heroes are patriotically interchangeable.

In movies and video gamescollusion between creators and the military industrial complex ensures preferred pro-war, heroic narratives and political outcomes. But at what cost? Movie studios routine give the Pentagon, NSA, and CIA opportunities to veto aspects of their scripts, or demand radical changes to a story to ensure it comes off as sufficiently pro-government or pro-military. Again, this is so common that it doesn’t even register with the public, because it would be unimaginable to see a big-budget Hollywood movie that wasn’t government-approved on some level.

This has gone far beyond just military movies, too. The Interview, a 2014 Seth Rogen flick which ends with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un assassinated on-screen in an incredibly bloody fashion, was produced with State Department and CIA input. Reportedly, the driving force for this was Washington defense researcher Bruce Bennett. This is particularly noteworthy because the movie’s plot closely follows Bennett’s ideas for regime change in North Korea, which he has been peddling in the Beltway’s power centers for years.

Television is perhaps the laziest of all in terms of allowing for this influence, structuring entire shows around government agents, police, and military being impossibly heroic, and above all, sacrificing everything for country. Three new such shows debuted just this fall, the highest profile of which, CBS’ SEAL Team, uses the tagline, “When we face the worst, America sends in their best.” This sort of military porn is apparently viewed as a safe bet in prime-time network line-ups these days.  

Comic book readers, it seems, are a bit more savvy than the typical media audience. 

It’s a positive story for comic book fans, and a teachable moment for fans of other pop culture. How much better would television, movies, and video games be if storytellers had the freedom to tell whatever stories they want, without manipulation, subsidy-driven cajoling, or fear that some bureaucrat down the line is going to find something objectionable and force a re-write?

Be seeing you


I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6

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