Bleats

Marvel Shut Down A Comic Artist's Trump Joke For Being Too Edgy

The forward that's been withdrawn.

To celebrate the franchise’s 80th birthday, Marvel are releasing a history of the golden age of comics alongside some classic reproductions. However, there’s been a slight hitch – the writer of the book’s introduction has upset the Marvel chair’s Trump-loving sensibilities by correlating Nazi-brand fascism with the US president’s rhetoric.

Plenty of people would rather their entertainment be apolitical, and sanitised enough for everyone to enjoy it. Take Thanos for example – the villain of the MCU’s Infinity Saga is a big purple giant with a magic glove, so it’s pretty hard to find any real world parallels. Mind you, he apparently does have some allies IRL..?

But Art Spiegelman doesn’t stand for that nonsense. His father, Vladek, was a survivor of the Holocaust, and the inspiration for his prize-winning 80s serial MAUS. I’d say he’s pretty qualified to speak on the themes of the early Marvel comics, which were basically all about America fighting Nazi Germany, even when that was a controversial concept.

There were no subtleties in Captain America‘s original narrative – Hitler was one of his first enemies, and he’s been up against HYDRA (who are basically a rebranded Nazi organisation) ever since. And as Spiegelman points out in his essay, which has since been published in the Guardian, many of the pioneers of the form were Jews and other ethnic minorities, whose real world experiences contributed to the works thematically.

Image: Marvel Comics

However, out of all the discussion of fascist imagery and the immigrants who brought Marvel into existence, there was one line that the publishers just couldn’t abide by:

“In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America.”

The resemblance is uncanny.

Even without mentioning Trump by name, it was enough for the Marvel compilation’s publishers to request an edit, leaving Spiegelman to withdraw the introduction rather than be censored.

Seeing as how Ike Perlmutter, the chair of Marvel Entertainment and once CEO, has links to the Trump administration as a donor and advisor at Mar-A-Lago, it’s no wonder that they don’t want to rock the boat too much. Guess we’ll just have to be satisfied with slightly more abstract social commentary in our comics and movies from now on.

Mazikeen From 'Lucifer' Might Actually Be More Of An Angel Than A Demon IRL

She defies expectations.

She may have just inked her allegiance to the dark side, but Lesley-Ann Brandt is a far more wholesome individual than her role as Mazikeen on Lucifer would suggest. The South African actress, mum, and buff lady extraordinaire has dedicated her social media presence and a merch line to criticising the Trump administration’s policies on gun control and border protection.

‘Care Like A Demon’ is the only (semi) official Lucifer merchandise available, making it the perfect opportunity for Brandt to raise money for the causes she’s most passionate about. 100% of her profits are going to Everytown, a gun safety advocacy group, and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

‘Won’t somebody please think of the children’ is pretty much her political platform. In an Instagram post she wrote, “My son starts preschool next month. He is two. I have to ask what their shooter policy is because we live in America. That. Is. Not. Normal. That. Is. Not. Ok.”

Like many celebs, she also sees the detention of asylum-seeking kids to be a totally ridiculous way of dealing with a fraught political problem, provoking her into taking action in whatever way she can.

This isn’t the first time she’s tackled big social justice issues either. Lesley-Ann Brandt has long been an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, speaking at a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign about the importance of representation and her role in reinforcing Mazikeen’s pansexuality.

For a show about literal hell on Earth, it’s kind of surprising that the cast is full of absolute softies. The ‘Lucifamily’ all seem pretty close, and Lesley has even inspired her co-stars to get matching tattoos to honour the show. They also rallied the troops to get the show saved from cancellation, which is an increasingly common way to rescue your faves in the streaming era.

Even as Mazikeen on Lucifer, she’s a complex character. The last season of the show saw the demon learn to appreciate her friends more, and become besties with a ten-year-old. Maybe humanity is a good influence on her, or maybe it’s the awesomeness of the actress who portrays her breaking the fourth wall. Either way, can we say that Lesley-Ann Brandt is a godsend?

Somebody Tell Brazil's President That Pooping Is Not An Opt-In Activity

There goes 90% of my screen time.

Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right president of Brazil, is infamous for railing against political correctness – and attacking as many people as possible in the process. He’s been called the ‘Trump of the Tropics’, and not without reason. But surely, no matter what your political beliefs, we can all draw the line at state intervention in our bathroom habits.

Bolsonaro is enduring (justified) criticism over his handling of deforestation in the Amazon, which is to say that he is not handling it at all, and is instead covering up the total lack of handling by sacking the scientists. Perfecting the art of political theatre, he responded to questions about it by suggesting: “It’s enough to poop every other day.”

Instead of doing his job and protecting the environment through legislation and enforcement, the Brazilian president chose to shift the blame completely, putting the onus on citizens to “eat a little less” – because less Number Twos will somehow “be better for the whole world,” apparently. Good lord, it’s the plastic straw debate all over again.

Jair Bolsonaro @ his constituents, I guess.

Mad respect for any Brazilians who are going to work constipated to fulfil their duty to the planet, but holding it is not going to solve global warming. Sorry. Yes, there is methane in human excrement, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to the carbon storage capability of the Amazon rainforest.

That’s not to mention how bad for your health it is to hold it. If you’re going every second day and that’s normal for you, then doctors say you’re in the clear. But if you’ve stopped going for eco-cred then you could end up with constipation and distended bowels. It can even have an impact on your sex life. And if you wait too long, you might need a, erm… manual extraction.

Besides, if Jair Bolsonaro was just a tad more proactive, he could actually be harvesting Brazilian poop for the greater good! Environmental scientists have been suggesting for years that we start using our gross toilet water for fertiliser, and RMIT researchers have investigated the possibility of using biowaste to make bricks.

Poop away, pals.

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