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In Wheeler’s article he writes about the speech Havok gives, in Rick Remenders Uncanny Avengers #5, in which Havok rejects the word “mutant.” Havok (Alex Summers) says:
“…I see the very word "mutant" as divisive. Old thinking that serves to further separate us from our fellow man. We are all humans. Of one tribe. We are defined by our choices, not the makeup of our genes. So please, don't call us mutants. The "m" word represents everything I hate."
Wheeler describes how the Havok speech is harmful because it rejects minority identity and promotes the idea of identity self-loathing. I agree with everything Wheeler has to say about this and how the idea of not embracing similarities and differences is an equality issue. With that said, I think claiming that Havok's speech is a harmful piece of fiction is simply ridiculous.
Writer Rick Remender has established a character (Havok) that thinks a certain way and is speaking the character’s mind. His character, while misguided on his stance, is written in a way that feels real. Remender's Havok feels a lot like a minority leader in the Republican Party. His rhetoric is very real and can be seen in the real world, today.
Examples of minority leaders seemingly taking stances against minority interests can be found in the Republican Party. Adolf Reed Jr., a professor of political science (specializing in race and American politics), recently wrote the New York Times Op-Ed piece, “The Puzzle of Black Republicans,” which touches on Republican Party African American members who seem to share opposite views of their own African American community.
Remender’s Havok can be hated for his views and opinions, but attacking Rick Remender for writing a very real character is simply wrong. We complain when writers write characters who don’t feel or act like real people (the 2 scientists in Prometheus that get lost), yet when characters are too real we still complain. I would say the complaints, or even anger, about what Havok said is a reasonable reaction to have; however, the criticism of Havok’s speech should be targeted towards real life leaders who Havok may be similar, not Rick Remender or Marvel Comics.
One last thing, whether Havok were a fictional character or a real life minority leader, he has the right to define himself however he would like. The issue of self definition, and others trying to make one define themselves a certain way reminds me of this scene from HBO’s the Newsroom. In an episode last year, a black gay man is being told what he should be defined as. The man tells the reporter, "I am not defined by my blackness. I am not defined by my gayness. And if that doesn't fit your narrow-minded expectation of who I am supposed to be I don't give a damn because I'm not defined by you either. “ (Check out the scene below)
I think Comics Alliance is a bit like Jeff Daniels. They are good reporters with good intentions, but they got a little too carried away this time. In this case, maybe we need to stop telling others what the text is telling us and let the text speak for itself. After all, by having Havok develop this view on being a mutant, he now has a complete opposite view of his brother, Scott. Maybe this is how Marvel pulls Scott Summers back into the role of respected leader. Let’s let Marvel and Remender tell the rest of their story before we tell everyone they are good intentioned bigots.
If Remender is going to lash out at anyone who disagrees with his mouthpiece in his superhero comic books, it shows he can't handle discussion on the issues he brought into them. Comic book writers need to get smarter about how they use twitter, etc.
Victorian Squid wrote:If Remender is going to lash out at anyone who disagrees with his mouthpiece in his superhero comic books, it shows he can't handle discussion on the issues he brought into them. Comic book writers need to get smarter about how they use twitter, etc.
I think writers can use Twitter and their social networks as they choose. If people have a problem with him they can stop buying his books. Thus, it may be wise not to alienate some tweeters with certain comments. Thus, his follow-up apology.
Also, he's writing a comic book, not starting a discussion on a forum. That's for the readers to do. If Remender is being interviewed and not tweeted hate filled messages, maybe he answers the question differently. Also, maybe some of the answers come out in the stories to follow.
I didn't have a problem with his hobo piss reaction. I write for theouthousers...how could I?
Personally, I think anyone who doesn't like Rick Remender telling people to drown in hobo piss should drown in hobo piss. Additionally, I think that anyone who doesn't like me thinking that anyone who doesn't like Remender telling people to drown in hobo piss should drown in hobo piss should drown in hobo piss.
S.F. Jude Terror wrote:Personally, I think anyone who doesn't like Rick Remender telling people to drown in hobo piss should drown in hobo piss. Additionally, I think that anyone who doesn't like me thinking that anyone who doesn't like Remender telling people to drown in hobo piss should drown in hobo piss should drown in hobo piss.
What if the people who don't like you telling people they should drown in hobo piss because they don't like Rick Remender telling people they should drown in hobo piss, actually like drowning in hobo piss? Seems to me like they would be right back at square one and then nobody is drowning in hobo piss.
Grayson wrote: What if the people who don't like you telling people they should drown in hobo piss because they don't like Rick Remender telling people they should drown in hobo piss, actually like drowning in hobo piss? Seems to me like they would be right back at square one and then nobody is drowning in hobo piss.
Had Remender not told people to drown in hobo piss, I would have never known this controversy had existed.
I don't agree with fans getting on creators' cases for what they write, but when you lash out at people like that, you just ask for trouble.
In terms of controversies, this should have been a Level 5 (Mild Tumblr Anger and Sporadic Indignant Blogging) controversy. Instead, because Remender brought in the Hobo Piss, this was definitely a Level 3 (Widespread Indignant Blogging) and even had some indicators of Level 2 (Viral Anger and Derision, Calls for Resignation, Widepread Reminders that Comics are Serious).
So in summation, hobo piss. Lots and lots of hobo piss.
When you're eliciting "controversy"or discussion by shoehorning social issues and your own opinions about them in your comic books, I think you should let that discussion play out without immediately chiming in on twitter with what you as the writer think is the "right" answer and nastily insulting anyone who might view things differently, even if you don't agree with them.
Twitter's the worst thing ever, I almost always like the writers on twitter whose work I don't care for, and then many of the writers whose work I like lose esteem by acting like dicks with it.
BlueMole wrote:I don't agree with fans getting on creators' cases for what they write, but when you lash out at people like that, you just ask for trouble.
I know you're Juding it up with this post but I think you're on to something.
I also strongly agree with Dom's article.
I understand that comic book writers are treated like freelancers by the companies but I think companies need to set some type of standards with them as employees. With Dan Slott going off on people on the internet (we all know about that) and now Rick Remender telling people to DIHP as well as other stuff, In many respects, these guys are representing the company with their work even if it is work for hire, so they should have some sort of accountability when it comes to the shit they say on the internet.
Punchy wrote:That Newsarama interview just proves that all of the complaints about the comic were unfounded and people just jumping to conclusions.
At this point, the Twitter Outrage-sphere is beyond parody, they want to pick a fight about everything, because everything is a perceived injustice.
Comics Alliance should be embarrassed.
I don't care at all about who wants to be called what in the X-Mengers or whatever it is, but I thought wow just not the best way to respond when you do something to generate controversy in your comic books.
You might be right, though, because I couldn't tell if my own parody of self-righteous outrage was getting all those 'likes' on BC for the right reasons...probably it was, I suppose.