October 11, 2007

Another Open Letter to Joe Quesada

Dear Joe,

Yes, it's me again - the really annoying comics blogger. It's been awhile since I wrote you, but in the wake of Captain America's redesign...I needed to speak up again.

Last time, I know I criticized you heavily, and I kind of understand where you're coming from - rather than cater to the older, more continuity obsessed fan (like your Distinguished Competition), you're going for the 18 - 30 male FHM/Maxim demographic. They don't believe that a "corny" character like Captain America can work unless you make him...extreme. He's got a knife, and a gun, and knows which bozos need trashing. In short, he's an indestructible tough guy...and that's part of the problem with your recent handling of the character.

In short, all your "new" Captain America needs is this not-safe-for-work-at-all song playing in the background. And I'm not being sarcastic or ironic. It's kind of the way we Americans behave, and why a lot of our fellow nations dislike us - the whole "might makes right" philosophy. Plus, as I stated in my previous letter, I take this seriously. Cap is not what I would consider a "favorite character"...but he's one that nearest and dearest to the the hearts of many people, and you're willing to ignore that just to appeal to a demographic that doesn't know better.

(And trust me, I was once an 18-to-30-year old male. I can speak from experience).

I'm also rather surprised that Alex Ross agreed to the redesign, because most of his work seems to focus on themes that are the exact opposite of what your new Cap stands for. In addition, he also did the art on Vertigo's Uncle Sam series, which...well, doesn't quite fit the idea for Captain America that you have. But even Mr. Ross can sometimes do things just for the paycheck.

In fact, it seems like you're making some creative decisions that don't make sense - the whole "Spider-Man works best single" idea; the whole post-Civil War Skrull invasion concept, and now this. It would be especially cynical to suggest that you are willfully alienating a huge chunk of the comic fanbase....but I do suggest that it might be good to listen to people who actually read Marvel comics, and who are not on your payroll.

Just one final thing, if you do ever read this letter - you are more than welcome to provide the "other side". As you know, I'm doing my semi-regular q & a podcast next week; you are more than welcome to submit a statement, or just call and tell me how wrong you think I am.

But in all honesty, Joe, this is a big mistake. Your name will be used with "Captain America" the same way Michael Cimino's is with Heaven's Gate.

Thanks for reading.

Your pal,

1 comment:

Dave Carter said...

I'm reserving judgment for now. If Brubaker is writing it, I think that this new Cap can work. I'm figuring that the new Captain America is Bucky/Winter Soldier, and if that's the case then the gun & knife wielding makes sense.