Even as the world seems to tremble on the brink, Marvel Comics keeps its focus
Of late, the news seems to be devoted almost entirely to the Chinese Virus. Whether or not it's as bad as it seems, the virus and its downstream effects are sucking all the air out of the news. That's why it's almost refreshing to learn that Marvel Comics is going forward with a new batch of superheroes.
The company, which was founded in 1939, although it took off only in 1961, has proudly introduced its latest offering: "New 'New Warriors.'" It describes these warriors as "a batch of promising young kids," who will learn how to survive as heroes in Marvel's universe. And what young heroes they are, courtesy of writer Daniel Kibblesmith, an Emmy-nominated writer from Stephen Colbert's show, and artist Luciano Vecchio.
A Meme-Obsessed super teen whose brain became connected to the internet after becoming exposed to his grandfather's "experimental internet gas." Now he can see augmented reality and real-time maps, and can instantly Google any fact. Does this make him effectively a genius? He sure acts like it does.
Screentime looks a bit like a Hispanic version of LaVar Burton's Geordi la Forge, the visor-wearing blind man from the old Star Trek, The Next Generation.
There are "Snowflake" (a black woman with blue eyes and hair) and "Safespace" (a black man with pink eyes and hair). And no, I'm not making up those names:
"Snowflake and Safespace are the twins," the writer says, "and their names are very similar to Screentime; it's this idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don't see as derogatory. [They] take those words and kind of wear them as badges of honor.
"Safespace is a big, burly, sort of stereotypical jock. He can create forcefields, but he can only trigger them if he's protecting somebody else. Snowflake is non-binary and goes by they/them, and has the power to generate individual crystalized snowflake-shaped shurikens. The connotations of the word 'snowflake' in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.
Next up is "B-Negative," a goth vampire. He is there to remind normal people how old they are:
He's also obsessed with all the music and attitude of a "classic" long-past decades [sic] like the '90s, and the '00s. "The world is a vampire...and so am I."
And last is "Trailblazer," an obese woman with an Aztec profile, who has a magic backpack. She's also an antidote to traditional religion because "[s]he claims to get her power from god, but 'not the god you're thinking of.'"
You can learn more about these literal "social justice warriors" in this promotional video:
Presumably, Marvel has already researched a potential audience for this latest comic book outing, but, sitting here, we're having a hard time envisioning a readership large enough to keep this series afloat.