No, Not Like That: A Scavenger Hunt for Marvel’s New Create Your Own Program

Marvel Logo

Have you, dear reader, ever wished you could play with the official toys in the Marvel Universe toybox? Well, now you can! Kind of. If you tilt your head and squint a little. Marvel has announced Create Your Own, a service wherein you can create fan comics using Marvel’s licensed properties. There are some caveats; first, Marvel owns anything you create using the service, which means if you happen to create a particularly striking example of fanwork, they’re free to use it however they like. This is dangerously close to unpaid labor on the part of you, the fan, but fortunately, Marvel thought of that, and is protecting you! How? Well, they’ve done their absolute best to prevent you from being able to do anything fun or interesting with their resources.  

We enterprising folks here at WWAC have decided to help them out, and had ourselves a little scavenger hunt for comics containing the forbidden materials. We present them below, line by line, for your edification:

  • Ads for “R” or “NC-17” rated movies, “TV14” or “TVMA” TV programming, or “M”, “AO”, or “RP” video games  

Gwen Stacy wants to see the infamous “adult” movie I am Curious (Yellow), Amazing Spider-Man #101 Kayleigh Hearn

  • Content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children  

Is “Every issue of Marvel Zombies ever published, man that was a gross fucking idea” too broad? —Kayleigh Hearn

  • Prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements  

Harry Osborn’s infamous pill addiction (ASM #97) —Kayleigh Hearn

  • Contraceptives 

The thing is, he doesn’t have a condom. (Peter Parker Annual 2000) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Depictions of alcohol (hard liquor, beer, wine, etc.), tobacco (cigars, cigarettes, etc.), or drugs (marijuana, etc.)  

Wolverine, amid several already-discarded cans, asks Hisako if she’s a beer, Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 —Nola Pfau

  • Sexually explicit images (pornography, etc.)  

A post-coital She-Hulk and Juggernaut, Uncanny X-Men #435 —Nola Pfau

  • Nudity  

Spidey has a clothing malfunction. (ASM #1) —Nola Pfau

  • Suggestive or revealing images (bare midriffs, legs, etc.)  

Bare midriffs? Guess every comic Emma Frost’s ever appeared in fails. (UXM #494) —Kayleigh Hearn

So I’m guessing like, everything in the Marvel Swimsuit Specials is out. (Marvel Swimsuit Special #3) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Sensationalism (killer bees, gossip, aliens, scandal, etc.)  

Killer bees: the very existence of Swarm, the Nazi made of Killer Bees —Kayleigh Hearn

And….Aliens? Really? —Kayleigh Hearn

Speaking of scandal, I guess you’re not allowed to involve the Daily Bugle at all. (Fantastic Four Volume 3 #27) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Potentially slanderous or libelous content  

Mark Millar licks goats! (Nextwave #10) —Kayleigh Hearn

  • Obscenity, bad or offensive language, proxies for bad or offensive language (X@#%!), body parts, or noises related to bodily functions  

Tell it to Jessica Jones, Marvel. (Alias #16) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Politics (lobbyists, PAC sites, political campaigns, alternative lifestyle advocacies)  

Not like this comic was a big deal or anything. —Kayleigh Hearn

  • Gambling (excluding state lotteries, sweepstakes and fantasy leagues)

Deadpool loves this game! (Deadpool #23) —Kayleigh Hearn

Ben Grimm’s a gambling man. (The Thing Volume 2 #8) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Graphic violence (including certain types of game sites) unless approved by Tap Tap on a case-by-case basis  

Hulk rips Wolverine in half (he got better), Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #1 —Nola Pfau

  • Death  

Death, the personification of death, in a book entitled The Death of Captain Marvel, wherein Captain Marvel dies. —Nola Pfau

Johnny Storm contemplates suicide after one of his fans burns himself to death. (Fantastic Four #342) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age

Iceman’s father is against his interracial relationship with Opal Tanaka (Uncanny X-Men #289) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Illegal activities or any materials that infringe or assist others to infringe upon any copyright, trademark, or any other intellectual property rights  

Any illegal activities? Because I feel like in order to show superheroes fighting crime, you have to occasionally show those crimes. (Ultimate Spider-Man #42) —Nola Pfau

  • Misleading language  

Uncanny X-Men #42, Marvel Comics, Writers Roy Thomas Information-silkPencilers Don Heck Information-silkInkers George Tuska Information-silkLetterers Sam Rosen Information-silkEditors Stan Lee No, he doesn’t die. (Uncanny X-Men #42) —Claire Napier

  • Images or content that is in any way unlawful, harmful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, or harassing  

Pretty sure sexist jokes about your own staff members count as harmful, Jim. Nola Pfau

  • Unauthorized or unapproved use of Marvel creative assets (such as talent, logos, characters, movie logos, theme park imagery, color scheme, font[s])  

Universe X: Spidey, written by Krueger and penciled by Butch Guice, with inks by Al Milgrom, Marvel Comics

(Universe X: Spidey) An editor is a creative asset, right? Milgrom lost a staff position for this invocation —Claire Napier

  • A copy or parody of current or past Marvel advertising creative (from any media form)  

Tom Taylor, Juann Cabal, and Nolan Woodard’s All-New Wolverine #28, Marvel Comics 2017

(All-New Wolverine #28) Exactly what it says on the tin. —Claire Napier

  • Other controversial topics (social issues, etc.)  

Social issues, huh? Good old Nick Spencer. (Captain America #17) —Nola Pfau

  • Implied affiliation or favored status with Marvel

He wins. —Claire Napier

  • Unreasonable or highly unlikely product or service claims 

I think there were a few more issues of Spider-Man after this one. —Nola Pfau

  • Double entendres  

Peter Parker does love Mary Jane’s peaches! (Spectacular Spider-Man #162) —Rachel Nagengast

  • Amusement parks (other than Disney amusement parks)  

Marvel Heroes take a trip to the Universal Studios theme park. This one was honestly too easy, given that the Marvel attraction at Universal is still open. —Nola Pfau

  • Movie studios (other than studios affiliated with Marvel)

Paragon Productions wanted Spider-Man and the Human Torch for a film. (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4)Rachel Nagengast  

  • Animated movies (other than Marvel or Disney movies)  

Bobby Drake with Battle Cruiser Yamato Poster, Information-silkWriters Chris Claremont Information-silkPencilers Dave Cockrum Information-silkInkers Josef Rubinstein Information-silkColourists Glynis Wein Information-silkLetterers Joe Rosen, Uncanny X-Men #145, Marvel Comics

(Uncanny #145) Kids go to college, kids watch the animes, Just the way it is. —Claire Napier

  • Guns (firearms, bullets, etc.)  

Every single Punisher cover, I’m serious. Even the logo got frigging shot! —Kayleigh Hearn

  • Any content that is otherwise inappropriate for children  

Marvel’s adult Max line featured mature content, including Purple Man’s sexual assault of Jessica Jones. (Alias #25) —Kayleigh Hearn

  • Any content that is otherwise fraudulent, deceptive, infringing, racially offensive, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, harassing, disparaging, libelous (including trade libel), slanderous, or defamatory

I’m not even sure where this panel of a villain forcefully kissing a naked Johnny Storm while saying he’d make “the most lovely pet” should go, but I DO know it would not be allowed. (Fantastic Four Volume 3 #20) —Rachel Nagengast

Note: We didn’t even have to step outside of Marvel as a publishing house to find an instance that violates every single one of the limitations in this list. This was a fun game, but it’s time to be serious: In addition to the horrendous list of rules above, whatever you make with the new Create Your Own program belongs to Marvel. This is, of course, understandable–you’re using their assets after allbut they retain the rights to use the material that you create however they wish, without paying you.

So, it’s not even really Create Your Own, is it?

Nola Pfau

Nola Pfau

Nola is a bad influence. She can be found on twitter at <a href="">@nolapfau</a>, where she's usually making bad (really, absolutely terrible) jokes and occasionally sharing adorable pictures of her dog.

One thought on “No, Not Like That: A Scavenger Hunt for Marvel’s New Create Your Own Program

  1. Ever seen the classic pinup image that deliberately violates 10 different no-nos of the 1930 Hays Code? (Law Defeated, Inside of Thigh, Lace Lingerie, Dead Man, Narcotics, Drinking, Exposed Bosom, Gambling, Pointing Gun, and Tommy Gun.) It’s at if you’re curious…

    I am dismayed by their thoroughness (in sucking the fun out of this whole idea) – but I certainly applaud yours!

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