Several years ago, Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso worked with Val D'Orazio on a Punisher comic. During that time period, D'Orazio was reportedly the subject of prolonged bullying by blogger Chris Sims. Years later, Sims was hired to write X-Men '92, a tie-in for the Mega Ultra Super Cross-Over Event of the Summer rest of the year, Secret Wars. At that time, that past bullying was recounted to the public by a blog post from D'Orazio, and many statements were made by lots of people, all of which are recorded here. You should go and read that for a comprehensive account of the events of that time.
But one person whose response during that time was particularly lackluster was Axel Alonso. Though Alonso personally witnessed the events and understood the effects on D'Orazio, which persist today, Alonso shrugged it off in a CBR interview.
After about a week of coverage of that story, and with an apology from Sims to David Gallaher and the internet, things quieted down. That is, until yesterday, when the House of Ideas-That-Someone-Came-Up-With-a-Decade-or-Two-Ago promoted X-Men '92 to an ongoing series, prompting another blog post from D'Orazio, who elaborated on the situation and then said goodbye to comics:
Several years ago, Chris Sims made it his mission to humiliate me out of this industry, instigating a spiral of cyber-bullying that has given me challenges to this day. One of the things he focused on was my Punisher book from Marvel Comics—a book that editor Axel Alonso convinced me to make as personal as possible, including scenes of sexual abuse. This Punisher book was positioned, from an editorial standpoint, to be about my own life experiences. In the mainstream comics press I was universally savaged over this book, that Sims—now a writer of an ongoing series at Marvel—encouraged people to hate.
Sims also encouraged hate over my Cloak and Dagger mini-series—edited by Jordan White—which was eventually cancelled before it even came out. I later found out that White and Sims were friendly with each other while the C&D book was still active, and during its cancellation.
After everything I've heard about Marvel over the last month, I have no surprise that Marvel has rewarded Sims with his own series, because frankly the misogyny over there rather reeks from literally the top down. It's certainly not just me.
And that's the thing, folks—it's hardly just me. The list of female talent and editors who have been pushed out of this industry is huge. It's a scandal, and I don't see it really ending until the way comics themselves are produced, distributed, and promoted changes.
For her final bow, Val followed with a personal message for Marvel, Alonso, and Jordan White:
[G]o fuck yourself, Marvel Comics. Really, really, really: go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself Axel Alonso, go fuck yourself Jordan White, and as for Sims...he's not even worth a fuck.
Marvel frequently uses high profile announcements to paint itself as a champion of diversity, but when stories like this come to light, it paints a different picture.