June 2, 2016

Agent of Hydra Was A Business Decision



I have a lot of thoughts about the Captain America Agent of Hydra controversy (especially re: “fan entitlement” as an insult to blow off critique) that’ll I’ll get to later but for right now, there are a couple of things that are in the forefront of my mind.

First, I think some of the conniption fits like this would just die down if the media wouldn’t turn them into a big deal. But unfortunately, real journalism is dead so things like Captain American secretly being an agent of Hydra get reported widely. And a big part of the problem is we still haven’t worked out all the kinks in our relationship to the internet/social media so no one seems to understand: the internet/social media makes it easy for people to complain, the asshole and the jerk will always open their mouth, and not every complaint is valid or even worth acknowledging.

However, I think part of the problem is that we have a screwed up relationship to “art.” I think, we need to view the entire thing more broadly through the lens of labor and less through our emotional attachment to it. The artist gets paid by a company to work on a product, then the consumer (because that’s what you are if you buy comic books—you’re a consumer) pays money for the product. If that product does well, then more products get made that are like it, not to mention the artist gets more work.


Yes, the artist may have “deeper” things that they’re hoping to invest in the product, but really that’s all them, just like how you relate to the product is all you—no one can change that regardless of what gets released other than you—as a Superman fan, I grokked this a long time ago. So decisions like revealing Captain American as a longtime agent for a fascist organization are business decisions—it’s not a perverse desire to ruin your childhood, it’s a desire to sell product.

So your best recourse when something like this comes along is not to take it personal, don't send outrageous hate mail  threaten to burn down the Marvel Offices. Your best recourse is not to buy the product and go focus on the stuff you like.

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