In an effort to avoid it, Marvel Comics has managed to stir up some controversy.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that an essay included in preview copies of the upcoming Marvel Comics #1000, a celebration of 80 years of Marvel Comics, has been removed. The Mark Waid penned essay in which he described America as “deeply flawed.” He also called for people to “take to the streets” which prompted Marvel to remove it from the final, published version.
The 80-page special issue features a different creative team telling a story inspired by a particular year in Marvel’s history on each page. Waid’s essay was accompanied by a full-page image of Captain America by John Cassaday and Laura Martin and was intended to tie in with the 1944 release of the first Captain America movie serial.
The original essay is as follows:
I’m asked how it’s possible to love a country that’s deeply flawed.
It’s hard sometimes. The system isn’t just. We’ve treated some of our own abominably.
Worse, we’ve perpetuated the myth that any American can become anything, can achieve anything, through sheer force of will. And that’s not always true. This isn’t the land of opportunity for everyone. The American ideals aren’t always shared fairly.
Yet without them, we have nothing.
With nothing, cynicism becomes reality. With nothing, for the privileged and the disenfranchised both, our way of life ceases to exist. We must always remember that America, as imperfect as it is, has something. It has ideals that give it structure.
When the structure works, we get schools. We get roads and hospitals. We get a social safety net. More importantly, when we have structure, we have a foundation upon which to rebuild the American Dream — that equal opportunity can be available to absolutely everyone.
America’s systems are flawed, but they’re our only mechanism with which to remedy inequality on a meaningful scale. Yes, it’s hard and bloody work. But history has shown us that we can, bit by bit, right that system when enough of us get angry. When enough of us take to the streets and force those in power to listen. When enough of us call for revolution and say, “Injustice will not stand.”
That’s what you can love about America.
The above essay replaced by one deemed less critical of the U.S., which is also credited to Waid. It is also more closely associated with Captain America.
Masks are designed to hide things. Some heroes wear them to protect their true identities so as to shield their loved ones from retaliation.
I have a different reason. I wear mine as a reminder to people that Captain America isn’t a man. It’s an idea.
It’s a commitment to fight every day for justice, for acceptance and equality, and for the rights of everyone in this nation. At it’s best, this is a good country filled with people who recognize that those—not hatred, not bigotry, not exclusion—are the values of true patriotism.
Several others have had occasion to don this suit and carry this shield over the years. I have faith that someone else will continue that tradition long after I’m gone. Maybe it’ll be your neighbor. Maybe it’ll be you. I’m not the first to represent those values. I won’t be the last.
This change follows news that Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist and creator of Maus, had his essay remove from Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 Collection because he referred to President Donald Trump as “the Orange Skull.”
Marvel has officially declined to comment on the matter, but it is being reported that the change was made because the updated essay was more in line with the tone of the book.
What do you think about Marvel’s decision to have Waid change his essay? They say that they want to remain apolitical, but by doing so, are they actually making a political statement?
Marvel Comics #1000 hit shelves on Wednesday.