Over the weekend, Marvel Comics announced a partnership with arms manufacturer Northrup Grumman. The plan was to produce a comic book aimed at kids that promoted STEM education, but the fans, thankfully, weren't having it. Here's something delightful from a Guardian story by Joanna Walters about the blowback:
Tom Catt, a Brooklyn drag queen who declined to give his real name, was attending dressed as Cat Woman and with his friend Tony Ray, who was kitted out as the Voltron comic character Princess Allura. Tom Catt said Marvel was guilty of “the militarization of our comics” and said the company had “failed the fan test”.
That paragraph alone renews my faith in fandom for another twenty years.
Marvel later announced that the deal had been canceled, though their statement was certainly lackluster, citing a failure to properly capture "the spirit" of the "activation," which was "meant to focus on aerospace technology and exploration in a positive way."
Seattle's own G. Willow Wilson, who has been writing Ms. Marvel for the publisher for over four years now, blogged about the decision in a post titled "Yeah, No":
I would have left. I’m not naive; I know all collaborations involve compromise, ideological or otherwise. But everybody has their own red lines, and bespoke recruitment paraphernalia for combat drone manufacturers–under the fantastically cynical guise of encouraging kids to get into STEM careers–is my red line and then some.
Wilson also wrote beautifully about the crossroads of commerce and art a couple years ago, when it was discovered that Marvel Comics CEO Ike Perlmutter donated a million dollars to the Trump campaign. By taking these very public stands against corporate malfeasance, Wilson is proving to be the conscience of a company that is supposedly interested in telling stories about the pursuit of justice against all odds.