Civil War Addendum

28. February 2007

Some clever fellow named Christopher Bird has been Photoshopping his own version of Marvel’s Civil War, as the series has progressed. I’ve only seen the Chapter Seven final installment, but I like it a lot better than the official version.

Kategorie comics, Posts | 2 Kommentare »

Civil War: The fascists win

27. February 2007

Earlier last year there was a dust-up among libertarian bloggers concerning a just-launched Marvel Comics series titled “Civil War.” In this story a massively-deadly disaster prompts the U.S. government to pass a Superhero Registration Act, commanding all super-heroes to register with the government, reveal any secret identities they may have, and either become government employees or retire from super-heroing.

Very quickly, different heroes lined up on opposite sides of this issue. Iron Man joined with the government and became leader of the government superheroes. Captain America understood what was at stake and became leader of the heroes rebelling against the new order. A bona-fide war ensued between the two camps, causing considerable damage to New York City which, this being Marvel Comics, where nothing outside of The Big Apple really matters, became the hapless battleground.

Many libertarian commentators protested vociferously and called for a boycott of Marvel. I’m no fan of that company but I was among those adopting a wait-and-see attitude. We had a conflict-in-progress here, one mirroring fairly closely a conflict our culture is actually dealing with now. Let’s see how the conflict plays out in the Marvel Universe before we pass judgement.

Well, the seventh and final installment of the series hit comics shops last week, and the winner was: Iron Man and his Safety Nazis. And by default. Captain America and his team had beaten the pro-government forces on the ground, but Cap looked at the damage all around him and decided that while he was winning the battle, he was losing the argument. So he surrendered.

Okay, now libertarians should boycott Marvel, The House of Really Bad Ideas. No doubt Jack Kirby is spinning in his grave, and Steve Ditko would be too if he were dead. Stan Lee seems to be mostly detached from all this, still living in the 1950s and 60s which were his heyday.

This is going to inconvenience me some, as one of my favorite comics writers, Warren Ellis, has been doing a fair amount of work for them lately. But I can always find that stuff for free on the ‘Net and I can send Warren a small check to cover what would have been his share of sales. And of course I have no illusion that a libertarian boycott of Marvel will even be noticed by them. It’s just the principle of the thing.

And Mark Millar, who wrote this trainwreck, can kiss my shiny metal ass.

Marvellio dalenda est.

Kategorie comics, Free speech, Posts | 5 Kommentare »

The Gardasil Flap

8. February 2007

The story about the funny-mentalist opposition to Texas Gov. Perry’s mandating the HPV vaccine for school kids has been making the rounds, but there’s another important angle to this story that most of the media, for some reason, is overlooking.

The vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck & Co., has been lobbying very strongly to get state governments around the country to mandate these vaccinations. Merck donated $6,000 to Perry’s 2006 re-election campaign, and their chief lobbyist for Texas was formerly Perry’s chief of staff. Merck stands to make quite a pile of cash off this caper, grossing $360 per child vaccinated.

By the way, Perry did not “sign into law” this mandate. There was no law passed by the Texas Legislature for this. Perry simply ordered the vaccinations by executive fiat (another tendency he shares with the Bush administration). In fact, it’s not truly a mandate. In Texas, parents can sign paperwork to opt their kids out of these vaccinations, although school districts discourage that sort of thing.

Consider, that all the other vaccinations “mandated” by the state for school children involve diseases that are communicable by casual contact. The cervical cancer-associated virus can only be transmitted only by the most intimate contact. Texas does not vaccinate its school-children against any other STD, nor are there any indications of plans to do so.

This is not a case of goofy religionists versus science and public health. It’s a case of corporate manipulation of both the government and, apparently, the news media.

Kategorie Posts | 2 Kommentare »