Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Watch Out, True Believers: More on a Bad Month for X-Man Comics

George Grattan explained that we Catholics don't believe in the Rapture and wrote in part:

So that's probably where Mr. Austen got tripped up-- he swallowed the association of the Catholic Church with all the bad parts of the Rapture story (fundamentalist Christians have always been *profoundly* anti-Catholic), but got confused about the fact that the Evil Catholics are Evil precisely because they *don't* believe in the Rapture (and all it portends), and hence won't be in any position-- for long-- to benefit from it.

My, it's delicious when they give idiots pencils. Anyone got the appropriate editor's address at Marvel? I feel a letter of complaint coming on. If they're going to let their writers be bargain-basement bigots, they should at least require them to get the plots and players straight. Next thing you know, we'll have Magneto as a Holocaust-denier....

Then Jeremy Henderson pointed out:

The problem with this...the only people disappearing would be Catholics (since they'd be eating the... sigh... disintegrating wafers). So what's that going to say to all the Rapture believers when the only people being beamed up to Heaven are the very people belonging to the Church led by a devil? No matter how you cut this, this is an evil plot that just makes no freaking sense whatsoever.

Then George Grattan sighed:

Not that the Church-- my Church--doesn't deserve it, to an extent. But it's pretty damn hard these days to walk that line between criticism and what's been wisely identified as the last publicly acceptable prejudice in America: anti-Catholicism. I have no idea what motivates the writers and editors at Marvel these days in such matters-- and Catholics certainly aren't the first group they've given cause to take offense, nor even the most aggrieved, by a long shot (paging Luke Cage, paging Luke Cage....)--but perhaps they have tapped into an overall mood in the culture which says such things are fair game right now.

Entertainingly, one Bonehammer commented:

Nice shot in the balls, Chuck. Thanks for making us anticlericals look like bigoted morons now. Cardinal Ratzinger will surely 'preciate that.

Meanwhile, Saxon Brenton noted from over in Australia:

My goodness. Literal 'Death Cookies'. Between this story and the Wolverine arc that had the Shadow Pope planning to mind-control New York into becoming Catholic, it sounds to me like Jack Chick might have infiltrated Marvel Comics. Do the villains laugh by going "HAWHAWHAW!"?

To which Terrafamilia replied simply:

Well, they have already gotten us used to bad artwork.

While the X-Men newsgroups discussed the issue fairly thoroughly, most of the review sites on the Web did not. Jason Cornwell detected plot stupidity, at least. But Franklin Harris' Pulp Culture column goes into detail about Mr. Austen's writing problems.

Here are the covers of some recent issues, including #424. The art looks pretty nice, actually. Maybe we ought to let the artists control the content again....

The really mindboggling thing is that the editors would allow a storyline this nasty to come out right after the latest movie. The people who've just gotten on board the X-Men comics are likely to get right off it again. It's a far cry from the days when Stan Lee's friendly summaries made everything sound exciting and called everyone a "true believer". There's not much here worth believing in.


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