Monday, June 1, 2020

Morituri Mondays, Episode 20 - Strikeforce: Morituri #20 (1988)


Strikeforce: Morituri #20 (July, 1988)
"... Salute You!"
Writer - Peter B. Gillis
Pencils - Brent Anderson
     Both for the Final Time!
Inks - Scott Williams
Letters - Phil Felix
Colors - Max Scheele
Edits - Carl Potts
Chief - Tom DeFalco
Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $1.00 USD
Release Date: March 1, 1988


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Cosmic Treadmill Presents... Comix Tawk, Episode 1: Variant Covers


Want to start today with a little bit of housekeeping.  I mentioned the other day that I finally figured out how to regain access to the Chris and Reggie Patreon page (in order to turn out the lights... and download all of our exclusive audio, of which there was plenty).  I decided to start transitioning all of that exclusive audio to the main Chris and Reggie feed... and that starts today, with the first episode of our "off-the-cuff" Comix Tawk.


Comix Tawk was more or less Reggie and I committing some of our pre-recording "warm up" chatter to audio... only without quite as many expletives.  We thought it would be fun to share some of these discussions with our Patrons, while also allowing them to see a more casual side to us.  This program, along with Cosmic Treadmill: After Dark were the initial (and ultimately, only) "exclusives" we offered to our wonderful supporters.


Over the next several months, I will be sharing this "new-to-most" content... probably weekly... probably on Sundays.  This will include five full-blown Cosmic Treadmills (After Dark), which will bring our total episode count for that series to a round 150.


The topic we chose to begin is one of the more contentious and controversial among the comics community... variant covers!  After a look into the history of variants... we share some of our personal feelings on the "current year" glut, and how these shelf-hogs inflate the numbers on some books that might not necessarily deserve the "rub"!

What are your thoughts on variant covers?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

X-Force #4 (1991)


X-Force #4 (November, 1991)
"Sabotage: Part 2"
Plot/Art - Rob Liefeld
Balloon Stuffer - Fabian Nicieza
Letters - Rosen & Eliopoulos
Colors - Brian Murray
Edits - Bob Harras
Chief - Tom DeFalco
Cover Price: $1.00

Before we begin, I want to address a little bit of "housekeeping" and discuss how things are going to look around here going forward.  I've spent the last several weeks reflecting, and looking backwards... and for anyone who stuck we me through that, I humbly and sincerely thank you.

At present, I'm trying to think about the future... and kind of brainstorming ways to begin moving forward again, if that's ultimately what I decide to do.

As it currently stands, I manage three "dot coms":

At this point, I think that's too many "web presences" for one guy... especially when that "one guy" is me.  Also, Chris and Reggie (dot) com will likely be reverting back to it's former weirdcomicshistory.blogspot.com pretty soon, as I don't have access to the "accounting" section of that account.  If I can figure that all out before the domain expires, I will do whatever I can to keep it going.

At present, I do intend to keep updating all of the sites... however, Chris is on Infinite Earths will become the "hub" for all of the content I produce.  This requires me to be a bit more flexible with the format for this place... which, is more than a little bit nerve-wracking a concept for me.

So, going forward... if I put out a new podcast, I will discuss it here.  If I am updating the audio archives, or revisiting an old show... that'll also be here.  I just figure "streamlining" things will be the easiest way for me to press on.

I apologize if this is too radical a departure from what we're all accustomed to here at the site... but, it's really the only idea I have at the moment.  It will allow me to both create new content, while reflecting and revisiting some things Reggie and I created over the past half-decade.  If anyone has any ideas, I'm open to hear 'em.

Thanks... and, here's the senses-shattering second-half of Spider-Man/X-Force: Sabotage.  I'll toss the two-parter onto the Collected Editions page as well.

--



We open with a warning that this story started in Spider-Man #16... and tells us to "pick it up as we go along".  Well, we're about to find out that's far easier said than done.  The first half-dozen pages of this thing are more fighting between Juggernaut and X-Force (with Spider-Man).  Domino has also somehow joined the fight.  There's some... real cringeworthy dialog here, including Juggernaut asking if X-Force is "nuts" for Warpath attempting to "fastball special" Shatterstar into the big dummy... to which, Shatterstar replies with "yes".  So, X-Force is nuts.  Juggs also calls Shatterstar a "little prancin' SOB", so there's that too.



After Shatterstar's onslaught... which sort of plays like this is the first time they'd clashed during this battle... we can see that Juggernaut is bleeding from both eyes (he wasn't a second ago!).  So... did the eye-trauma thing happen in Spidey #16... or, is this like "another view" of the same scene?  Who knows...  We also don't have any indication that one of the Trade Towers was knocked down... ya know, the entire friggin' cliffhanger from the Todd issue.



We hop inside the non-toppled tower, to find Cable still hunting down Black Tom.  He tells Tom that... he's a dead man.  Like, he's got two choices... surrender and die, or fight... and die.



Tom chooses "fight"... and so, they do.  Cable manages to knock Tom into an elevator shaft, where he's ironically hanging onto a "cable" for dear life.  Wonk wonkkkkk.  Cable (capital C) decides it's time to "Shoot fish in a barrel" and blasts his Mark-69 Liefeldian Bumble-Bomber right into Tom's defenseless face!



Tom plummets down the shaft... where he's eventually caught by... Deadpool!  Hey, this issue is suddenly worth a few bucks!  He tells Tom that Mr. Tolliver needs him... and they blink out.



Outside... jeez... the Juggernaut fight continues.  Also, we get a scene featuring ol' "Front-Butt" Gee Dub Bridge himself.  He suggests that now might be the best time to bring Cable down.  Talk about a one-track mind!



Back to the skirmish.  Siryn flies up to Juggernaut and... well, swipes his helmet!  That shouldn't be able to happen, right?  Well, Shatterstar informs him (and us) that his swords were forged in a "Dimension of Magic and Science"... and, I guess when he impaled Juggernaut's eyeballs on them, they also somehow sheared off the supports for the helmet?  In response, Juggernaut informs Shatterstar that his mother's a pansy... or something.  Da hell?



Finally, Cable shows up outside... and confronts Juggernaut.  Before the final-battle can commence, however, Deadpool... uh, comes up from under the ground, and grabs Juggernaut by the ankle?  The hell am I looking at here?  I guess Mr. Tolliver needs Marko too... because they vanish into thin air.



Front Butt Gee Dub arrives to arrest Cable, who... as always... pulls the ol' "Bodyslide by whatever" gimmick and zips the team away.  That's that!



--

This was... not great.

One of the things I try and do anytime I discuss an "infamous" run of books, is... not so much be contrarian to the hive-mind, but to... I dunno, not allow the hive-mind to influence my feelings.  Welp, sometimes the hive-mind is right.  While I feel like Liefeld's work gets the short shrift more often than not online... sometimes we get a "story" like this, which... really isn't one that holds up to any positive critique.

Actually, I take that back... the one "check" I can place in the "positive" column is, Rob and Fabian had a much better grip on these characters than Todd did.  Though in fairness, Rob and Fabian didn't think they were cashing their final Marvel check with this story either.

When I revisited this, I made the "mistake" of reading the Spidey chapter and X-Force chapter in succession.  Like, as soon as I put the Spider-Man ish down, I picked up this one expecting... ya know, a continuation.  That's... not exactly what we get.  At least, that's not readily apparent anyway.

We don't get any indication that a building was toppled at the end of the Todd ish.  It's unclear whether or not the Shatterstar-eye trauma scene had already occurred... or was occurring for the first time here?  Was this some weird, artistic attempt at "multiple POVs" or something?  Whatever it was, it didn't really work.

Did this "story" (again, we use that term loosely) really require forty-something pages to be told?  It really all comes down to Spider-Man and X-Force fight the Juggernaut... and that fight ends as unspectacularly and predictably as you'd expect: Juggs' helmet comes off.  Never seen that before, right?

Oh well... it's worth noting that there were some subplots bubbling... which, I suppose is another "check" in the positives column.  Juggernaut and Black Tom were nyoinked out by Deadpool on behalf of Mr. Tolliver... so, there's that.  Ol' G.W. Bridge is still acting like Cable's scorned lover, so there's that too.

Is this worth the read?  Well... ehhh.  If you're in the mood for like "top tier" 90's excess... yeah.  I mean, let's be honest, there are times when an issue/story like this is just what the doctor ordered.  Otherwise, ya probably don't need this one in your life.

--

Pin-Up:



--

Letters Page:



--

Interesting Ads:


Friday, May 29, 2020

Spider-Man #16 (1991)


Spider-Man #16 (November, 1991)
"Sabotage, Part One"
By Todd McFarlane
Special Assist - Rob Liefeld
Colors - Greg Wright
Letters - Chris Eliopoulos
Edits - Danny Fingeroth
Chief - Tom DeFalco
Cover Price: $1.75

I'm taking a little break from reflecting today... but, I'm not quite ready to return to "business as usual" for the site... and also... just don't feel right actually reading comics just yet.  And so, I decided to repurpose a synopsis I'd written a few months ago in preparation to script a segment from the From Claremont to Claremont: An X-Men Podcast project.


The synopsis portion may be old, but my thoughts following them will be new to this piece.

--

We open with Spider-Man swooping in, while avoiding some flung debris... the Juggernaut is loaded for bear against Warpath... and the streets of New York have been torn up but good.  We've got quite a few Todd-isms in this opening splash, a street-sign reads "Cyan" and the name "Wanda" is scrawled on some rubble... I think we're a Felix the Cat away from the "Todd-fecta".  Hmm, maybe the giant indicia box is covering the Felix?  Anyhoo, Spidey decides to forgo the fight for now, and instead head up to the top of the exploded World Trade Center.  Feral and Shatterstar rush out of the building to give James some much-needed back up.


Before the fight can commence, Cannonball barrels into the scene and plows directly into Juggernaut's chest!  Unfortunately for him, however... he just bounces off, ricocheting right into the swingin' Spidey.


Back inside the Towers, Cable (in his still-horrid armor), Domino, and Siryn are chatting up Sunspot and friggin' Gideon.  Black Tom's gone missing, but Cable assures everyone that he'll track him down.


Back on the street... the fight continues.  Spidey sets Sam down, and decides it's probably high-time he make his presence known.  After all, Juggernaut's basically just toying with these "kids" at this point.  Juggs asks "how many heroes are in this town?", which... I mean, dude... like all of them live there, which makes it even stranger that only Spider-Man shows up when the World Trade Center explodes.


Inside, Gideon and Cable get pretty catty toward one another... a really lame and forced argument commences over the course of a few pages.  Cable basically "sons" Gideon, before going about his business.


Outside, Spidey shoots some webbing into Juggernaut's eyes.  Ah, the classics!  While Jugg's is "blinded", Spider-Man squats behind the baddies' knees, while Warpath gives him the ol' shove.  More classic stuff here... well, classic for bullies anyway!


It doesn't take long for Juggernaut to recover... and, just then the X-Force aircraft flies overhead.  The hatch swings open, revealing Boom Boom.


We swap scenes back inside where we get a sideways two-page spread of Cable... and his armor... in all its glory.  This might be the ugliest page Todd McFarlane has ever drawn.  Worth noting that the tip of Cable's pistol here looks... uh, suspect.


Next up, we return outside for... probably the most infamous scene from this issue... and, in fact, reportedly the reason Todd McFarlane quit the book!  Here's a bit from Todd's Facebook Page:


Ya see, Todd was asked to rework his original concept for this next page.  In it, Shatterstar and Juggernaut face off... with pretty gruesome results.  Here's the original (also from Todd's Facebook):


Shatterstar runs his blade right through Juggernaut's eye!  Pretty extreme, innit?  To be honest, the scene we get instead... isn't really "tame" in comparison, it's just a little less explicit.  Still pretty crazy how this page... from a weird sideways crossover issue, was the proverbial "straw" that broke the camel's back for Todd.


Juggernaut, though pained, shrugs off the attack... considering the ol' Cytorrak Gem has healing properties, it's not hard to see why.  He lunges at Spider-Man...


... driving him into, and toppling, a nearby building... perhaps one of the Twin Towers?  It's never going to be clear what building went down, ya see... the second part of this crossover (in X-Force #4) has... zero backgrounds drawn in!  That's right... zero!


We wrap up with a farewell to Todd...



--

Not that great an issue, was it?  The story (if we can even presume that this comic book contains one) is just sort of "there".  The real import and interest in this one falls to the behind the scenes stuff.  First, this is Todd McFarlane's final Marvel work... and also the "kick in the pants" he needed in order to finally make him quit.  Second, it's here that Rob Liefeld finally got to pull his "sideways" gimmick without poor Karl Kesel getting stuck having to haphazardly cut 'n paste the "landscaped" pencils into "portrait" style.

From Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #36 (February 2, 2006) regarding an issue of Hawk and Dove Rob turned in:


Weird stuff.  By 1991, however, Rob was able to punch his own ticket... especially when paired with Todd on a project putting two of Marvel's hottest books/franchises together.  There wasn't an editor who was going to turn down the silly "sideways" gimmick.  It's worth noting, it's a real pain in the ass to read this.  Not due to the storytelling, but just because it's quite uncomfortable to hold a comic book sideways.  I mean, when you read something over-sized, like a newspaper, you could fold it into origami to make it a bit more comfortable, while allowing you to focus on an article of interest.  You weren't going to be doing that with a comic book... especially at the mid-dawn of the age of speculation. 

Todd, however, did get told no when he turned his pencils in.  I showed the images above... and, while in 2020, even the more explicit panel looks rather tame... I guess I can see the editor's point in not wanting something quite that gruesome included.  Spider-Man, the adjectiveless Todd-book, for all it's warts (of which it had many), was a fairly "mature" book for its time.  And by "mature", I mean like it probably should've included a "For Mature Readers" warning.  Todd focused on things like child abduction and sexual abuse... weird religious rituals... demonic possession... again, things when we list during "current year", sound pretty tame, but for the early 90's... on arguably Marvel's "flagship" title?  That's kind of extreme.

Todd has complained that his creative freedom was often stifled... and that he'd regularly bump-heads with his editors.  Considering what they often allowed him to get away with... I couldn't imagine what his original pitches were!  If the prior fifteen issues of Spider-Man are as a result of Todd cutting a compromise... man, those first drafts must've been insane!  I wonder how much of what hit the "cutting room floor" wound up included in the first few years worth of stories on Spawn?

Anyhoo, this issue, being a crossover with another super-hot book in X-Force, might've made editorial a bit more stringent when it came to what could/couldn't be included as it pertained to explicit violence.  This might sound silly, but... consider the price difference between the two books.  X-Force was $1.00, Spider-Man was $1.75... almost twice the cost.  It's almost as though the price-difference was a sort of "barrier of entry" (as well as a Todd-Tax), to perhaps put it just out of reach (financially) of younger readers.

The fact that X-Force #4 (which maybe I'll put up here tomorrow) can be read on its own, and does not reference some of the bits and bobs from this issue (even though Rob gets a credit in both books), might be a sign that Marvel expected for many X-Force readers not to buy both books?  But, for those who did... especially those of a younger variety... maybe they wanted to keep this issue as inoffensive as possible?  Dunno.  These are just the theories of an idiot.

Since there really is no story, let's take a look at the art.  It's... uneven.  Perhaps Todd had already "checked out" for this issue... but, we go from some insanely great panels... to some sorta-kinda "phoned in" stuff.  That double-page spread with Cable and his phallic pistol stand out as being especially unpleasant.  I suppose disenfranchisement with Marvel might be a cause for Todd to slack (assuming he did)... but, really... this could have been better.

Overall... this probably isn't a story you need in your life... but, as an important piece of Marvel/Image/comics history, you may want to have it in your collection.

--

In lieu of a letters page, we get Todd's farewell address and "thank yous".  Remember, he's not leaving this book (and this company) out of anger... it's just that he's a father now, and wants to have more "family time":


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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Reggie and Me - Anatomy of a Logo

Something a little different today... okay, a lot different.  As we approach the end of the month, I realized that the responsibility for the old Chris and Reggie Patreon account now falls to me.  We haven't been putting out exclusive content for many months now... and so, every month, Reggie would "pause" the charges.  We didn't want our loyal patrons to pay for content they weren't getting.

When it came to Patreon, I never really knew how it worked... I'm the kind of guy who's still scared of PayPal... so, e-commerce (if that's even what this is) and I have always sort of been at odds.  That said, I knew the time was coming that the folks would be charged again... and I didn't want that to happen... and so, I had to dig through my old laptop to try and procure our Patreon Password.

Spent much of the morning revisiting the old Patreon site... which, I don't think I've looked at (or had access to) in many months.  I successfully "unlaunched" the page, which hopefully stops the fine folks from being charged.  I also downloaded all of our exclusive audio to repurpose on the main Chris and Reggie feed at a later date.  And, also... came across some bits of Chris and Reggie History, including a short piece I wrote discussing the evolution of our Cosmic Treadmill Logo.

Since this is an important piece of our history, and the next reflection-piece I planned to write was more Cosmic Treadmill focused, I thought it would be nice to include it here.

--

Hello friends!

By now, many of you are enjoying your Cosmic Treadmill pins... and I thought now would be as good a time as any to share some of our earlier logo concepts.

Long time listeners will no doubt remember our original "cover art".

It was quick and dirty... but did the job just fine.  From there, we tried to think of ways to incorporate the letters "C T" into the artwork... and, came up with the idea that the C and T, when stylized... could look a little bit like the belt of a Treadmill.  And so, brainstorming began!

In case the chicken-scratch isn't clear enough (because, it might not be!) that's a little man running on the "CT" treadmill.  From here, we handed over the concept to an artist friend, Jef Caine, who came back to us with:

A great little image... but, the running fella might've been just a little bit too familiar to that... other guy... who uses a Cosmic Treadmill.  And so, we tried to "genericize" it a bit, while adding a microphone in lieu of the treadmill "monitor" 

I think we realized this might have been a little *too* generic, and so... we decided to go with just the familiar "treadmill" portion of the image.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Reggie and Me - The "New" Comics Code Authority?



Going to try and wrap this series up today... there are only a couple more things that I wanted to touch upon.  One will definitely go "against narrative"... the other, might just tick some people off.

Let's start with "What Ever Happened To..." Dr. Frederic Wertham?

Wertham's crusade against violence in media would evolve with the times.  Come 1963, he was more focused on the violence that might appear on the big and small screens rather than on the comics page.  He'd even go so far as to debate Alfred Hitchcock on the subject!  Of particular note, among the first words out of Wertham's mouth during the debate were that he didn't see Psycho.  So, perhaps this was more Hitchcock vs. Half-cocked.

Wertham would write more on the subject of violence in media.  The Circle of Guilt (1958) claimed that, due to media, Americans were beginning to feel less responsible for their actions.  Stands to reason, doesn't it?  When every crime, murder, and delinquency gets blamed on a piece of media... rather than the individual (or the parents of an individual), it's easy to no longer feel responsible for what we do.  Why blame a criminal or a bad parent... when we've got all these wonderful Boogeymen?

A Sign for Cain: An Exploration of Human Violence (1965), was based more on culture than any one piece of media... though, it is in this book that Wertham takes credit for "putting 24 out of 29 crime comic book publishers out of business."  He blames culture's acceptance of media for making violence an acceptable way of dealing with everyday problems in life.  All of this is fostered in the "devaluation of human life"... he goes on to discuss/compare with Nazi propaganda and whatnot as well.  This book, it's worth noting, is not written in the more layman/casual/average Joe language of Seduction of the Innocent.

Let's jump to the end of Wertham's life... where, check this out... he actually sort of came around to comics!  This was something they left out of my comics history textbook... and, from the looks of the attitudes of the internet, I don't think I'm alone in that.  He'd become very interested, not only in the comics themselves, but the culture and fandom surrounding them.  Now, this is interesting for a number of reasons... but, one I'd like to address here is: comics were no longer viewed as being "just for kids".  Sure, there are folks even to this day who look at comics as kid's stuff... but, that's always going to be the case.  What I'm trying to say is, the average reader of a superhero comic in the late-1940's into the 1950's, probably looked a lot different than the superhero fan of the early 1970's.

Wertham would actually write-in to comics fanzines.  He became very defensive of his role in "the day the comics died".  He'd state that he is firmly against censorship... which, I mean, we may never know how true that statement actually is.  He stated that he had no part in the creation of the Comics Code.  This is technically true... though, if you were to post that statement on Twitter, you'd likely be bullied off the platform.

In fact, Wertham thought the Code Seal was worthless!  He'd be quoted in the Seattle Star as saying, "At present it is far safer for a mother to let her child have a comic book without a seal of approval than one with such a seal."  He would address the Kefauver Hearings, and claim that his only role in them was as an "expert witness".  This is another true statement.  He also claimed that he never called one single comic book "terrible".  He "never judged comics as 'good', 'bad', or 'the worst'."  I'd have to do some digging to confirm this, but... from what I can recall, I might suggest he ever even read one of the comics he was rallying against to completion.

In 1973, at 78-years old, Dr. Frederic Wertham would publish The World of Fanzines: A Special Form of Communication.


In it, he would applaud and celebrate the comics fandom subculture.  He would go against the narrative that would come to proceed him (by people who have no idea what they're talking about) by saying: "Fandom is not subversive; it is special".  He is especially fond of the Zines, calling them "a constructive and healthy exercise of creative drives."  He saw fandom... comics fandom in particular as a... get this... positive force in the individual growth of teenagers.

During his later years, Wertham would get heaps of hate-mail... and, check this out... the Boogeyman, the man who "killed comics" and couldn't be reasoned with... personally responded to most of it.  Yeah, that bit was left out of my history textbook as well.  It's almost like comics fandom needs a Boogeyman... the same way Wertham and Kefauver did back in the 1950's, innit?  It's pretty crazy how fans put themselves "above" the Werthams of the world... when many of us are just as bad.

One last thing about the Doc.  He was invited to... and actually attended one of Phil Seuling's early comic book conventions!  It was the 1973 New York Comic Art Convention.  Wertham showed up... was led to his panel, annnnnd was roundly heckled and treated very poorly by comics fans.  I'm going to guess that these comics fans were just as knowledgeable about the establishment of the Comics Code and Wertham's part in it as the fans today... which is to say, they weren't... like, at all.  Dollars to donuts, not a single one of 'em ever uttered the word "Kefauver".

Think about that for a second.  Frederic Wertham appeared on panel at a comics convention... and rather than viewing it as the historic moment that it was... these jackasses chose to heckle him and run him off the stage.  Could you imagine reading a transcript of Wertham dealing directly with the passionate and knowledgeable comic book fans of the 1970's?  What a missed opportunity... just think of the history we lost because people had to be jerks.

Those jerks were successful in silencing Wertham once and for all.  He'd leave the show, and never wrote about comic books again.  Again, right after he's officially "on our side"... we run him off.  What an absolute waste.

This brings us neatly into our final piece of this project... the "New" Comics Code Authority... also known as social media.  At the time Reggie and I recorded the fifth, and final episode of the Comics Code series... there were several "hot-button" (non) issues floating around on Social Media pertaining to social-regulation.  Let's talk about a few here.

First, the variant cover to Batgirl #41:


Again, I'd like to stress that this was going to be a variant cover to Batgirl #41... which was during one of DC's Anniversary gimmick-months.  Most every book DC put out was going to get a Joker-themed variant.  So, yes... a variant... meaning, if you don't want to buy a book with this on the cover... you don't have to.

A (successful) social media campaign was put together to get this cover cancelled... likely by the very same sort of people who might tweet out an image of the CCA seal while lambasting it as "oppressive" and "hateful".  Here's the question though... is this a form of censorship?  Just because it isn't the government or an industry regulating content... does that make it any less censorious?  Clearly, those who were actually offended (which I'm guessing were very few of the mob), did not have to buy this.  Were they worried that it would be successful?  That it would further cement A Killing Joke into Barbara Gordon's backstory?  This is a whole nother kind of narrative control, innit?

A buzz-phrase hitting the rounds during this non-event came from the then-Batgirl creative team.  It was "not on our watch"... referring to making reference to A Killing Joke.  Fans of the this creative team were quick to jump in, and make claims that we don't want this in our comics (likely the same sort of folks who complain daily about fan-entitlement).  Were the campaigners (and creative) worried that, had this variant made a favorable "splash" at market, it would render many of their own talking points null and void?

Another contentious piece of business was the Milo Manara "butt-cover" from one of the many variant covers from one of the many #1 issues of Spider-Woman (does anybody ever buy that book?):


Placed next to Spider-Man in the same pose for emphasis.  Now, Milo Manara (1998 Jack Kirby Hall of Famer) is... kind of an erotic artist.  When you hire Manara to draw women, you sorta know what you're likely to get.  Here's the big question... if not for the social media "outrage"... would anyone have given this cover a second thought?  I'd suggest not.  Whatever the case, the "New" Comics Code Authority... aka social media, "censored" another variant cover.  It doesn't take much digging on your Google Machine to find more cases of this.

I find it to be very hypocritical, personally... especially when you see how many of the internet activists claim to be champions of the First Amendment, and 100% against censorship.  Ya gotta pick a lane... what makes this "New" Comics Code any better (or more righteous) than the old one?  You can't call Wertham a Boogeyman for stifling creativity... and then go and... stifle creativity.  Censorship isn't a "half-pregnant" scenario... you're either for it, or against it.

There's plenty about "current year" comics that I can't stand... stuff that makes me roll my eyes so hard I almost do a back-bump... here's the thing though, I just choose not to read it.  I don't rail against the companies and demand things I don't like be cancelled.  I might complain here or among friends, but I never demand cancellation.  Just because I don't like something doesn't mean there isn't someone who does.  Even if it's just one person who likes it... they have every right to have it and enjoy it.  The "invisible hand" is a thing.  If Marvel/DC/whoever aren't making that money, they won't support the project.  If you don't like something... don't buy it.  Let the invisible hand do its job... or, are you afraid you might be wrong?  That the stuff you don't like... is actually popular?  Just something to think about.

I think I'll leave it here.  I hope this past week and change of discussing the Comics Code Authority has been an enriching experience... I know it's certainly helped me with the healing process.  If nothing else, I hope it changed your perceptions on much of the established narrative you might find online... especially as it pertains to Dr. Wertham.  He wasn't perfect... he did have an agenda... but, he wasn't the Boogeyman.  If you need to point blame... just think about Kefauver's Kangaroo Court in 1954.

The next time you see someone share the cover of Seduction of the Innocent they stole from Google Images, with a bunch of karma-farmy half-truths... just smile with the realization that you now know a whole lot more about that book, and it's author than they do.

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