Was Bob Iger Right About Marvel Comics?

When many corporations are taking a stand to support Black Lives Matter, with Avenger #34, written by Jason Aaron, and illustrated by Javier Garron, Disney’s Chief Bob Iger may be right, Marvel Comics is comfortable being on the wrong side of history.

In Avengers #34, While most of the Avengers have been beaten, and Black Panther is prisoner to Khonshu’s acolytes (in the comic’s most problematic scene featuring the white-clad minions whipping a black man in chains which is at best ill-conceived) source, razorfine.com

I don’t know Matteo Buffagni, but he pulled from the most stereotypical images he could imagine portraying T-challa as a black man not a hero, whips chains, stripped punched and Jason Aaron wrote this disaster that editorial green lit.

A fact most Blacks can testify to is for every progressive “Black Lives Matter chanted to express the glaring history Black have endured in the country, “all lives matter,” will be shouted to discount the need to change the treatment of America’s Black citizens.

Symbols have meaning

See how important it was that Moon Knight is upright, taller, looking down on the Black Panther
(c) Wilberforce House Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

What is glaring is that while city’s, and states pull down monuments and flags dedicate to the preservation to the confederacy and its inhumane doctrine, Marvel would choose this time to release this book with all of its not-so-subtle symbolism and that its editor- and editor-in-chief would approve it.

I’m sure some will argue I’m reading more into this than what is there. Am I?

Did I illustrate T-challa isolated, tattered in chains tortured and whipped?

Did I create an image of white villains like the KKK, holding whips over a black man?

Did I draw a character in a white hood slapping this imprisoned black man?

Did I write the words surrender, bowed, praying for escape?

Did I write a story that would have the lone black character in a situation that inflicts trauma?

In Jason Aaron;’s run what other Avenger has suffered like this?

Am I to believe this is all coincidental? I don’t.

Outside of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Jonathan Hickman, Black Panther’s rise to prominence has always been in the hands of Black writers. At his lowest, white writers, normally undoing the progress created by the Black writers.

From 2005-2008) Reginald Hudlin wrote Black Panther and in an early interview stated “that Wakanda had never been invaded,”

“They (Wakanda) were ahead for us a thousand years ago. And no one has colonized them, burned their books, erased their language, or broken their spirits.” Reginald, writer of Black Panther from 2006-2009  said in an interview. It can be said, Stan Lee/Jack Kirby gave T-Challa birth, Christopher Priest gave him majesty, Hudlin gave T-Challa respect and made him a character to be feared. Ta-Nehasi Coats gave T-Challa balance and a future In the video. Hudlin he also states “in order for Wakanda to exist,  “They really, at least once a generation, whoop ass on a pretty massive scale” see link

After that statement, Marvel made sure

The Skrulls invade Wakanda, PANTHER #39-#41

Doom invaded Wakanda

Namor destroyed the Wakanda by flood

After the marriage of the Black Panther and Storm, also written by Hudlin, a marriage that rivaled the Obamas

They, (Marvel) dissolved the marriage with the couple literally fighting

Finally

Disney CEO Bob Iger had to overrule Marvel execs to get ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ made

Marvel Entertainment put up “roadblocks” in order to stop Black Panther and Captain Marvel getting made, says Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The Hollywood mogul has written a memoir about his last 15 years in charge of The Walt Disney Company, called The Ride of a Lifetime, and in it, he discusses the issues faced after the purchase of the comic book company.

According to Iger (via Screen Rant) he had to put his foot down to ensure diversity was taken into account for future Marvel movies.

“I’ve been in the business long enough to have heard every old argument in the book,” he writes, “and I’ve learned that old arguments are just that: old, and out of step with where the world is and where it should be.” source

Here’s an image of the Black Panther in the 70’s, pretty overt

 Don McGregor’s Black Panther storyline was traumatic

Empyre #3, by Al Ewing, Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti. released July 29th 2020

Notice how “Boy” is associated with T-Challa’s name and the title Most Dangerous Man Alive. Is Marvel sending messages to the Alt right?

Its important to remember the people that held up the Black Panther film are still running Marvel comics and its clear to all that Disney should intervene again

AJ Harper @HarperWorx is the author of the Tales of Urban Horror Series

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