Previously On Comics: ¿Quien Cuida?

Marvel really had A Week, didn’t they? First there was the New Warriors announcement, in which the new creative team brought with it a whole new roster, featuring some truly unfortunate character designs, such as siblings Safespace and Snowflake, the latter of whom is a nonbinary person of color on top of that name, as well as what appears to be an indigenous character who grew up in group homes named…Trailblazer. “Nola,” you may be wondering, “Who is the team behind these decisions?” Well.

Photos of New Warriors creative team Luciano Vecchio (left) and Daniel Kibblesmith (right).

Look, I’m sure that their hearts were in the right places; they generally seem to both be rather positive individuals. But we can’t really overlook the fact that two cis white (or white-passing) men made these choices on behalf of characters who sit at an intersection of marginalizations. Author Daniel Kibblesmith has said that his intent, for Safespace and Snowflake, at least, is that they wear those names as badges of honor, a reclamation of the terms from their consistent derogatory usage. Here’s the thing, though: he doesn’t get to do that. A man with his level of privilege and influence doesn’t get to reclaim terms on behalf of nonbinary people, on behalf of Black people, on behalf of anyone who sits at an axis of marginalization that is not his own.

Additionally, while I would certainly like to commend him on introducing an explicitly nonbinary character (Fauna, who was referred to by neutral pronouns in New Mutants #1, was later addressed with male pronouns in Cable #1, so there’s those hopes dashed), why not…put a nonbinary creator on the task instead? Or better yet, two! It remains as frustrating as ever that Marvel continues to use the most privileged of voices to speak to the most disadvantaged of the population.

On the further subject of indigenous representation, here’s Fantastic Four’s Dan Slott stating that Native Americans are actually colonizers:

Wyatt Wingfoot speaks on behalf of a group of moloids. Fantastic Four (2019) #20, by Dan Slott and Paco Medina.

The man speaking on behalf of those moloids? Well, you wouldn’t know it thanks to the coloring, but that’s Wyatt Wingfoot. Given that this is something Marvel just came under fire with over in the X-Men line, for it to happen again is…deeply upsetting.

Cover reveal for America Chavez: Made In The USA, by Kalinda Vazquez and Carlos Gomez.

Seemingly aware of the issues with this past week’s goings on so far, Marvel decided to follow these events up with the announcement of a new America Chavez miniseries (quick, deploy distraction protocols)! It’s great that they’re giving her another shot, but looking at that cover, does something seem off?

America Chavez with a caption box that says "I'm missing something." By Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones.
You sure are, America. Specifically, body mass.

Like I said. Marvel had A Week.

Not to be outdone, America Chavez’s creators revealed that the series they announced four years ago, All-America Comix, starring the completely original character America Vasquez, will instead be a one-shot. It’s unclear what prompted the change, but it’s worth noting that while they did create America Chavez, they only handled her in the absolutely abysmal 2011 miniseries Vengeance. Vasquez appears to hew to that version of the character, mistranslations of Spanish phrases and all.

A comparison of panels featuring America Chavez and America Vasquez. From Vengeance (2011) #4 and All American Comix #1, both by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta.
Above: America Chavez saying ‘poppy’ instead of ‘papi.’
Below: America Vasquez using ‘¿Quien cuida?’ instead of ‘¿A quién le importa?’

Oh boy. Can’t wait for more of this.

A GoFundMe exists for Comic Book Retailers, because apparently those retailers can’t count on the multi-billion-dollar companies whose books they sell. Meanwhile, Image, Dynamite, Aftershock, and Vault comics are all stepping up to help.

SPX has announced contingency plans for this year, in light of the pandemic.

Feeling creative while stuck indoors? You can always participate in the Quaranzine Fest!

Okay, that’s all the news. Enjoy your monarchy while it lasts. ¿Quien cuida? Not me. I’m out.

Nola Pfau

Nola Pfau

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

One thought on “Previously On Comics: ¿Quien Cuida?

  1. Yeah, just keep shooting yourself in the foot to the point it resembles a fine paste, Marvel. Really makes me want to keep reading your books.

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