Rick Remender and Faux Outrage
About five days ago, the latest faux outrage hit social media. This one was a movement to get writer Rick Remender fired for a scene in Captain America #22 featuring Sam Wilson/Falcon and Jet Black, the daughter of Armin Zola. The rage was over the “fact” that Remender depicted statutory rape, between the two characters… except that’s not what happened in the scene, and the claim was initially made by a website whose main focus is hate towards Remender. But this didn’t stop individuals for calling on Marvel to fire Remender.
Below is the beginning of the scene in question and this blog has a good timeline about the character Jet Black and her age.
From what I can tell, the outrage began about five days ago from this Tumblr blog Weiner Soldier, a site “living a rick remender hate life.” The site generally is dedicated to how Remender ruined comics for Jackie, a 26 year old that thinks “marvel comics has ruined (their) life.” How has he done so?
That’s a long list of complaints, and while some might be valid, most haven’t had their story lines played out, and much of the “fridging” will be likely undone when Remender’s story arcs wrap up, and the current Cap storyline is leading us into Marvel’s next event AXIS. But, right there, in bullet point #8, the individual admits that Jet is now “23.”
Topsy pegs the hashtag #firerickremender starting at this point, linking to the blog mentioned. While generally, the complaints are that he’s “ruined Captain America” at some point it morphs into his depiction of the alleged statutory rape. This is the earliest mention I’ve found of it:
While this rolls, the actual issue of sex while under the influence of alcohol is ignored, an actual issue one can make an argument about. Unfortunately, the false info made it’s way to the Examiner, a bastion of bad reporting, and that only threw more fuel to the fire. Add in the fact the one committing the “act” is African American, and now you have racial overtones to boot. On top of that, “facts” like sales figures are thrown around in a vacuum and context is left out, like the normal attrition in sales for ongoing comic book series. Don’t let “facts” get in your way people! We’ve got some raging to do!
Luckily cooler heads prevailed, and the Twitter
fiasco hashtag was hijacked by those who found the whole situation silly. But, this is the latest example of geek rage fueling the internet and driving the reactions from individuals who don’t have the entire story, or outright lied to. Dan Slott was accused of depicting rape in Superior Spider-Man from a site who should know better. That “event” never happened in the comic, and was based on little. JJ Abrams was accused of a hell of a lot of things spurred by the initial casting announcement over Star Wars Episode VII. After more announcements, the movie is the most diverse Star Wars film ever (and one of the most period), and I’m still waiting for people to apologize for their knee-jerk reactions.
In the end, social media has allowed us to connect with each other, and creators more so than any other time before. Unfortunately, it has also allowed for armchair activism that’s misguided, and misplaced. Rape is a serious matter, and to point fingers and rage when there’s nothing to do so about, diminishes actual victims and dilutes a real world problem. When there’s so much to actual rage about, this sort of faux outrage only distracts us…. and drives up clicks for websites.
Update: Please don’t direct anger at the original blog (or any of the Twitter accounts) linked here, or any folks online in general. “Rage” in general just isn’t cool, you just head down the road to being a Red Lantern. Comics are supposed to be fun people! – Brett
Update 2: Comments have been closed before things spiral. What was thrown towards Remender was wrong, and what is spewed back the other way is wrong as well. As one commenter has stated “be better people.” Simple words to live by.