So while most of us were enjoying fireworks, swilling cheap beer, and scarfing down wieners, social media got itself all whipped up into a frothy lather this weekend when a hashtag calling for the firing of Captain America writer Rick Remender trended on Twitter. The calls for Remender's termination came in response to the latest issue of Cap, in which vaguely 30ish Sam Wilson, The Falcon, had an alcohol-inspired night of passion with genetically engineered extra-dimensional Arnim Zola spawn Jet Black. Proponents of the hashtag insist that Black was a toddler at the beginning of Steve Rogers' stay in Zola's pocket dimension, and that, since Cap spent twelve years there, she is currently around 14 or 15 years old, and, therefore, the sexual encounter was statutory rape. However, the official position presented in the comics, from Black's own words, is that she's 23.
Who's right? Beats the hell out of me. I stopped reading that book months ago because Remender's Marvel work is kinda lackluster, and he has a shitty attitude (see all the RELATED posts in this article for more on that). There might be something there. It certainly wouldn't be the first time Remender stuck his foot in his mouth. But then, there might not. It wouldn't be the first time people got outraged over nothing either. The Daily Dot makes a case for it. being offensive.
Rich Johnston has another idea though. On Bleeding Cool, the rumormonger penned an article accusing the #FireRickRemender crew of being closet racists angry that a black man was sleeping with a white woman. He claimed that fans may have been confused by the inconsistent scrawlings of coasting-since-the-nineties John Romita Jr., who depicted the tween Jet Black as a toddler in the comic despite the script backing up Johnston's version of the age. In any case, Johnston's interesting tactic of countering outrage over sexism with outrage over racism took a turn for the absurd when Johnston compared Remender to William Shakespeare, since the Bard's 1595 classic Romeo and Juliet also featured teenagers having sex.
After that, comic book professionals began chiming in with sarcastic responses to the hashtag. Here's some samples:
Whether you think Falcon's decisions were poor or not, falsely crying "statutory rape" is insulting to genuine victims. #FireRickRemender.— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) July 7, 2014
ugh, I do not want to mow this grass today #fireRickRemender— Jeff Parker (@jeffparker) July 7, 2014
Rick remender has great skin and looks ten years younger than he is and it's creepy. #firerickremender— Ryan Stegman (@RyanStegman) July 7, 2014
Rick Remender always wears shorts but I like pants. #firerickremender— Ryan Stegman (@RyanStegman) July 7, 2014
How bout we just tar and feather Rick Remender instead? The nerve of that guy, not idiot-proofing his work. #firerickremender— Erik Burnham (@erikburnham) July 7, 2014
This one was our favorite of all the tweets last night:
A 23 year old white woman from an alternate dimension is having sex with the token black guy from Captain America: TWS #firerickremender— Jamal Yaseem Igle (@JAMALIGLE) July 7, 2014
The drastic turn of events reportedly has corporate stuffed shirts baffled as to how to handle the whole thing. Do they fire Remender in a knee jerk reaction to the hashtag trending more than ever? Do they take advantage of all the attention and release a month's worth of #FireRickRemender variant covers? Do they hire ousted SiriusXM shock jock Anthony Cumia to write Captain America? Do they unleash a flood of hobo piss upon the internet to drown everyone, the supporters and the detractors, like a vengeful corporate God, and start fresh?
Nobody knows, but it's certainly interesting to follow the hashtag right now. So you should probably do that.
Meanwhile, Johnston's hashtag, #FireWilliamShakespeare, failed to gain traction, possibly because Twitter's 140 character limit makes it nearly impossible to tweet in sonnet form. Let us know whose side you're on in the comments below! Do it in the form of a sonnet for bonus points!