I grew up reading Marvel comics. X-Men has long been my favorite, followed closely by Spider-Man and Captain America. My mother hated my love of comic books, because she had religious issues with characters who could read minds or even enter the astral plane (a common theme in X-Men comics). If she found me with them she always tried to get rid of them but to this day I have a big box full of old Marvel comic books in plastic and X-Men figures still in the boxes. I still keep up with my favorites, and still sketch them when I have time (Wolverine was always a favorite).
You can imagine my shock and disappointment when I saw this in a recent issue of Captain America:
In the issue, Captain America and The Falcon (a black superhero in NYC) come across a large rally somewhere in the Midwest where protesters, as you can see, are carrying anti-tax signs. Look closely: one says, “tea bag the libs before they tea bag YOU!”
More than that, though, The Falcon makes a snarky comment that he likely wouldn’t be welcomed in this crowd of angry white folks.
Is every medium that I’ve enjoyed for much of my life going to be hijacked by liberals who are incapable of doing nothing more than assigning labels of “teabagger” and “racist” to every person they disagree with? The writer of this particular issue was Ed Brubaker, who has gone on the internet and made no bones about his hard-left beliefs. He has disparaged Sarah Palin at every turn. And he had the temerity to say that the sign in the picture, the one referencing the Tea Party movement, wasn’t his idea and must have been added in the lettering process (which occurs after the sketching, inking, and coloring have all been done) and it wasn’t his idea. He claimed to have been shocked by it.
If he thinks I believe that, he’s delusional.
I am not a racist. I am not a hatemonger. I am deeply insulted when these labels are assigned to me by anybody, but it hurts that much more when it comes from the folks that I have looked up to for years. Brubaker can swear all he wants that he didn’t intend to label my beliefs or my friends with such ridiculous titles but the end result was something that anyone could have forseen and I think it was deliberate.
Marvel Comics have always marched to the beat of their own drum, something I’ve always liked about them. When the governmental comics code authority announced that any mention of drug use in comics would result in a revocation of their endorsement in the 70’s, Marvel ignored them and continued to print a Spider-Man storyline in which character Harry Osborn turns to drugs after a relationship gone bad. The story was meant to show how drugs can completely ruin your life, but the comics code authority had demanded no drug references, period–not even for the best intentions. Marvel creator Stan Lee and a host of writers and artists have worked to define comic books in both artwork and storylines for decades. I have always had a profound respect for them even when I didn’t necessarily agree with the subject matter.
Now, whether they meant to or not, they’re attacking me. That hurts. It hurts that it has to get political and my beliefs, my ideals, are held up as a horrible caricature simply because I don’t agree with the artists and writers.
And I’m supposedly the intolerant one.