2016/05/30

Declan Finn's Public De-Pantsing of Captain America Writer Nick Spencer

Joker vs Red Skull

Do read Declan Finn's merciless fisking of the latest hack whom Marvel Comics has tasked with desecrating one of their iconic characters.

A sampling of highlights:

It’s a really funny thing, there was not an enormous amount of debate about the story. We do our creative retreats and this was a major subject at both of the last two. And honestly, that was a little surreal for me as well. Everybody seemed really into the idea and really supportive. I know that I went into the first [retreat] really expecting to have to fight for it and for there to be pushback, and there was very little. We had a luxury though, I could lay out the whole story for them. What everybody got today is obviously just sort of an opening chapter. I was able to kind of explain the whole thing and put it all into context. I’m as excited about this story as anything I’ve ever done in comics. I think we’re onto something here. And certainly in the room it seemed to go over well and that’s always a really encouraging sign.
In short: "No. They ran out of ideas too."

Daily Beast then softballed it with "Where did this new idea come from and why did a change of this magnitude feel necessary for the series?"

New idea. Bah. You could tell that this guy is a newb. Making the good guy into the bad guy is about as new as Oedipus. In fact, it's even less original than that in comics. Don't believe me? Look up DC's Injustice universe, where Superman is a villain.

It almost happened by chance, really.
"You see, the Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror was on the television, and ...."

Finn correctly calls out the creative bankruptcy which, even more than partisan zealotry or cynical greed, motivated Nick Spencer's retconning of Captain America as a Nazi mole.


So I started to kind of drill it down a bit and I started wondering, what if there’s just one Hydra plant? What if they think they’re looking for a hundred people and it turns out there’s just one really good one? And if there’s just one really good Hydra plant, who would that be? Within a second, I realized that Steve was by far the person who could do the most damage. He’s the leader of the Avengers, he has a relationship with the U.S. government, and he works closely with SHIELD. Not to mention just his status in the Marvel universe—he’s a symbol, everyone trusts him, everybody looks to him as an authority.
So, in short, you took the Secret Wars premise of "The shape-shifting aliens Skrulls have infiltrated the planet by impersonating superheroes," and instead of Skrulls, you just replaced it with "Hydra," and boiled it down to one hero.

You are the biggest, most unimaginative hack in the universe, aren't you?

Spencer's most damning admission comes when he brags about getting zero pushback on his "Cap Was a Secret Nazi All Along" story pitch. The fact that his colleagues and superiors at Marvel greeted the sacrifice of their most beloved character to the blind idiot PC gods with glee instead of disgust proves definitively that the House of Ideas is:

a) out of them

and

b) run by soulless ghouls whose utter lack of creativity leaves them incapable of engaging with art in any way other than destroying it.

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