Superstar writer Nick Spencer rarely takes a break from tweeting about politics, which he does roughly 25 hours a day, every day, relentlessly, in a freakish display of superhuman Twitter stamina. But when he does, it’s usually in order to blame fans for not “grasping the scope” of his Marvel stories, or to lecture them on why it’s wrong to punch Nazis (because “freedom of speech”). In fact, whenever Spencer isn’t tweeting about politics, as rare and brief as those moments are, he’s almost always arguing with fans who criticize his work or Marvel.
But if you thought that Spencer’s apparent distaste criticism would carry over into his behavior toward things he doesn’t like, well, then you thought wrong. Spencer took to Twitter earlier this week to lash out at the performance of last year’s DC Comics reboot event, DC Rebirth.
It was unclear whether Spencer was taunting DC fans, DC itself, or the very idea of Rebirth itself, but he was definitely taunting somebody:
He continued to debate fans:
Even Bleeding Cool Rumormonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston got in on the action:
We hate to say this — we really hate to say it — but Spencer actually has a point.
When he sarcastically wishes the “wonderful” management of DC Comics well, we can’t help but agree. It’s hard to feel bad for a company that still employs Eddie Berganza, after all. But then, Marvel is run by Ike Perlmutter, a Donald Trump campaign donor who flies around on Air Force One with the president while serving as an advisor to the Trump administration. We would “never wish anything bad on the wonderful management” of either company, to be perfectly fair.
And we’re totally on board with creator’s rights, and it’s true that DC has driven creators off books in very embarrassing public displays quite often over the past few years. Then again, Marvel has been reported to attempt to make at least one creator sign a contract agreeing to never badmouth Marvel on social media, so perhaps their spats simply aren’t so public. Jim Starlin was recently reported to have made more money from the appearance of a minor character in one DC Movie than he has for the use of Thanos as the big bad of the entire Marvel Universe. In fact, when the Avengers movie first came out, featuring the first cinematic universe appearance of Thanos, Starlin had trouble getting Marvel to give him a free movie ticket. And a guy you might have heard of named Jack Kirby might have something to say about Marvel’s record with creator’s rights.
But Spencer is right about another thing. If the comics are being returned and the sales numbers are back to pre-Rebirth numbers already, that doesn’t bode well for the long-term success of DC’s Rebirth. Whether that says something about DC Rebirth itself, or about the overall event and reboot/relaunch cycle that Spencer’s own employer, Marvel, is an even worse offender at than DC, is up for debate though. And if DC’s meat-and-potato-focused Rebirth event is such a poor example to follow, why is Marvel copying it later this year with a “meat and potatoes” relaunch of their own?
There’s something rotten in the state of comics — we agree — but the smell is coming from both Marvel and DC, as far as we can tell.
Or, as we said at the beginning:
Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme “Graham” McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous and most inappropriate comic book back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of The Hollywood Reporter and Wired but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation.