Before 2012 wraps up, please join me for one last awkward, slippery, cringe worthy trip down memory lane! In 2012 the comic book industry had its fair share of scandalous, controversial, and downright embarrassing moments. Let’s give them a final sendoff by voting the worst, and then do our best to not make too many new ones in 2013!
Rob Liefeld’s Twitter Flameout: When Rob Liefeld left DC Comics, he opted for airing out his version of the dirty laundry instead of the typical PC answers you often get in the situation. The entertainment journalist in me should have been psyched to have some off-the-cuff remarks to write about and investigate, but as a fan I found the whole thing unfortunate. It got downright ugly with the name calling, especially when it turned into an online “beef” with Scott Snyder. When grown men fail to act their age in public, it only reinforces negative stereotypes about comic books.
James Gunn’s 50 Superheroes You Most Want To Have Sex With: The offensive blog post was actually written and posted in 2011, but the embarrassment came in 2012 when an enterprising journalist dug it up and turned it into news. Gunn removed the post, and later apologized, so he’s “done all the right things” that became expected of him, but he still had his name dragged through the mud over this one. Is there really no such thing as bad press? Disney/Marvel and James Gunn are going to find out when the Guardians of the Galaxy movie is released.
Fake Geek Girl Outrage: How anyone thinks they can participate in this fandom witch-hunt and retain any semblance of class is beyond me. I guess I can see where the misdirected anger comes from, geek culture has been watered down as part of the effort to make it more marketable and profitable. Star Trek is an action franchise now, conventions are becoming ever more commercialized, and if a movie adaptation is successful you better believe any changes made for it will work their way back to the source material. Yes, there are fake geek girls out there. Fake geeks come in all shapes, and sizes, and genders, and so on, but you are the one embarrassing yourself when you act like this is a thread you can pull without the whole thing coming unraveled. If you start excommunicating everyone whose involvement in your hobby has any motivation other than 100 percent pure interest in it, soon there won’t be many people left even making comic books, movies, or video games. For those who would be left, there wouldn’t be much support left to publish and distribute that work. I’ve probably already given this “issue” more thoughtful analysis than it deserves.
Catwoman Cover Swap: I actually need a little help with this one. I understand that the pose in the image on the left is rather anatomically creative, but why did we as a community suddenly decide to jump on this now? It’s not exactly anything new. My outrage is reversed – I feel like the change from the voluptuous Catwoman, to the image on the right, is actually pandering to the skinny, model thin ideal. Maybe I’m just embarrassing myself here, but I don’t think anyone will argue against this being on the list.
Cyclops in Prison Wearing a Big Doofy Helmet: So the darker, edgier path he was set on has finally led to this – Cyclops imprisoned with a big doofy helmet on his head. My how the mighty have fallen. Once Charles Xavier’s prized student, he’s now killed his mentor, and is on the run with Magneto establishing what is basically the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. I predicted a crowning moment of embarrassment for this character, and this has to be it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the story immensely, and Cyclops has become far more interesting since ditching the teacher’s pet, little blue boy scout routine. I often debate how much a character has to retain their core traits, and how much they should be allowed to grow and change, and I think they’ve found a great balance with Cyclops. Still, I applaud whoever’s idea this was, thanks for the laugh!