So check this out. A real-life radical organization called The Rising Tide, described as an "all-volunteer international climate justice network challenging the root causes climate change," is upset that Marvel is using the name for the villains in their television show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. In a blog post titled "No, Actually, We Are The Rising Tide," the group had this to say:
This long time Marvel Comics true believer is finding Joss Whedon’s new TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a deal breaker after decades of love and devotion to Marvel Comics and Whedon’s fantasy world that’s given us Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But now, the other true love of my life, Rising Tide North America, is under attack by the real corporate super villains, Disney and ABC Studios, seeking to co-opt our name and brand for some ratings and commercial air time with Whedon’s new show.
We're not sure what we find more amusing about this: the fact that Joss Whedon and everyone else on Marvel's payroll couldn't be bothered to look into whether or not there was an organization called The Rising Tide before deciding to use it as the name of their villains on a major network television show, or the fact that an actual radical activist organization is angry that a fictional radical activist organization is being treated negatively on mainstream TV. It's actually not the first time this has happened. A few years back, a Toledo, Ohio based plumbing equipment wholesaler called Hydra Plumbing Supply (motto: plug one leak, another three will spring up to take its place) was reportedly extremely offended by the use of the name Hydra for the neo-nazi terrorist organization in the first Captain America movie.
Making matters even more surreal, The Rising Tide (IRL) went on to defend the actions of The Rising Tide (AOS):
In our estimation, exposing governmental secrets and lies is a most worthy pastime and similar to what groups like WikiLeaks and Anonymous have done in real world. Unfortunately, the series plays to our mainstream culture’s fears around anarchists and radicals, and portrays the group as a threat to national security. Some reviews call the group “cyber-terrorists.” This is par for the course in a Hollywood that uses pop culture to turn government agents into heroes and seekers of truth, justice and ecological sanity into evildoers.
Okay, actually, we kind of agree with that. Nevertheless, what really got the Rising Tide pissed off was the fact that Marvel portrayed one of their (fictional) members as a sellout:
Some may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the big problem for Rising Tide North America is that Whedon’s show uses our name and a very similar logo to ours for his villains. In a most humiliating blow, at the end of the first episode, the lead Rising Tider, Skye, actually joins S.H.I.E.L.D. as an asset. So not only are we depicted as terrorists, but one of our own actually switches sides and joins the police state.
They've got a point there too. Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actually a propaganda tool being used by the United States to prop up the free market capitalist system, showing how undesirables can be reprogrammed to understand that the government really has all of our best interests at heart, and should be allowed to do whatever it wants as long as its for "the greater good?" Spoiler alert: Rising Tide's blog post went up before the second episode of the series aired last week, which introduced the plot thread that Skye may be a double agent.
Then again, Outhouse forum poster HNutz points out, "Of course, there's also Rising Tide Studios (founded in 1996), a record label (founded in 1995), a couple of books, movies, etc." So maybe, and we're just going out on a limb here, the name is so commonly used that no one can really lay claim to it. Marvel can keep the trademarkfor TV while the Rising Tide can keep the trademark in the realm of anarchist direct action organizations.
Coexist, people! We are the 99%! Wait, no Marvel is the 1%. Dammit. But still!
Marvel has yet to offer an official response to the group's complaints, so The Outhouse has communicated with a fictional version of Joss Whedon via carrier pigeon in order to get his take on the controversy instead.
"They're complaining about my fictional version of Rising Tide," the director told us, "but I think they're the ones that are fictional. I mean, climate change? Come on. That's not real."
"It's not real," he insisted. "It's a talking point used by the liberal media to scare people into buying electric cars and guilt companies into not spilling millions of tons of oil into the ocean."
But what about the scientific evidence?
"Hey, it was a little chilly last night, wasn't it?"
What? We guess, but we don't see what that has to do with...
"If the world was constantly getting warmer, it wouldn't be chilly."
We don't think that's exactly what...
"There you go," he gloated. "Case closed."
Wait a minute... Are you a Republican, we asked him? In Hollywood?!
"Shhhhhhhhh!" the nervous Whedon replied. "What do you want to ruin my career?"
What are you talking about?
"I said, I really think the think the Affordable Health Care Act is going to provide quality health insurance for people who need it at a fair and reasonable cost," Whedon loudly proclaimed, making sure anyone within earshot heard him. "Justice for Trayvon!"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air its next episode this Tuesday on ABC. The Rising Tide can be found, according to Whedon, reportedly, anywhere other than the soap, deodorant, and shaving accessories aisle at your local pharmacy, "because they're filthy hippies."