#FireWilliamShakespeare

So there’s been a little social media storm over recent issues of Captain America written by Rick Remender.

The problem? It goes like this.

Jet Black is the daughter of big bad Zola. The argument goes that we first meet her as a young girl, she spends time in  Dimension Z for twelve years and, in this week’s issue, she has sex with Sam Wilson, the Falcon.

The argument goes that she must be only 14 or 15 at that time. And even though she says she’s 23, she can’t be, and this makes the Falcon a statutory rapist.

And even if she was 23, she’s mentally immature and a sufferer of emotional trauma. Oh, and they’re drinking.

Throw in the recent death of Sharon Carter as a motivating force for Captain America and there’s only one conclusion. #FireRickRemender, tweet @Marvel and write to mheroes@marvel.com to complain.

Basically, to act like OneMillion Moms over a comic book you don’t like.

Well, I’ve done some extra research and have confirmed that the script for issue of the current Captain America series, where Jet Black made her first appearance, says that she was ten years old.

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John Romita Jr. may have drawn her with dimensions that we may associate with someone younger, but it’s certainly not inconsistent with the scripted age.

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Then we knew there was at least twelve years spent in Dimension Z, with Steve Rogers.

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And now she says that she celebrated her twenty-third birthday. And if there is some flustering on Sam Wilson’s behalf over his subsequent actions…

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And clearly alcohol played its part…

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Wilson’s issues are more about the complications of interoffice relationships rather than anything to do with age.  No one was insensible, no one was paralytic, no one was slurring their words or being taken advantage of.

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And this is the Marvel universe, a place that regularly encounters alien invasion, massive property and life damage and all manner of trauma. Marvel characters are not like real life characters in that they find a way through, they find a way not to be constantly mentally scarred by the madness around them, because if that were allowed to affect people’s social lives in they way it actually would, we’d have a very different line of comic books. It is something the audience accepts.

I can’t help but wonder if this is more of a problem that this is a black man in his late twenties having sex with a white woman in her early twenties, but again that would probably be just as unfair.

But when it comes down to it, buy the comics you want to read, don’t buy the comics you don’t want to. Argue the toss online all you want, call out the work that you like and don’t like and explain why in depth. That’s all great. I’m certainly a part of that.

However when you start calling for someone to be fired for writing a comic book in a way you don’t like, given the influence that social media can have when it snowballs, that’s a very dangerous route to go down. Worth asking how you would feel if a customer of the company you work for started targeting you with a social media campaign for your bosses to fire you for some imagined slight.

And even if everything that has been claimed against Rick Remender’s work on Captain America were true (as opposed to all of it not being true) then I’d argue that it is still fiction. Rick Remender is a considered enough writer to have understood the consequences of such actions and would have written such a scene in a very different context.

I also need you to check out this new stage play called Romeo And Juliet. Do you know how young Juliet is in that, as actually stated in the text? There’s only logical action in response.

#FireWilliamShakespeare.

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