2017 was the year of Superheroes. Both in the comic book stores and in the theaters, the capes, and the masks were all the rage among the people. While they certainly managed to grab the spotlight, the superheroes also encountered their fair share of troubles and controversies last year. Here are some.
Bobby Drake is one of the most lovable mutants in the X-men roster. Last year, Bobby gave us another reason to like him even more. Iceman’s sexuality was always questioned. In the Avengers vs. X-Men event, Iceman came out of the closet and declared that he had always been gay. Sooner than later, Iceman’s standalone comic book issues were canceled along with America and Luke Cage which also featured minority superheroes.
Falcon was always doomed to stay under Captain America’s shadow. As a sidekick, Sam Wilson played a major role in all of Cap’s adventures but never got the recognition he deserved. When Captain America died, he passed on the torch to Falcon who became the new Captain America. But after the events of Secret Empire, Falcon ended up giving back the shield to Cap and reassuming the mantle of the Falcon as fans staged an uproar.
Thor has always been the God of Thunder. But in 2014, Jane Foster lifted the Mjolnir and became Thor – the Goddess of Thunder. This sudden change in gender of an iconic superhero for the sake of political correctness was met with almost universal outcry. But the writer managed to turn that around somehow with a pretty good storyline involving space adventures and gender politics.
Superman may be the Man of tomorrow but he is not human. He is Kryptonian and by definition, an illegal alien. So when the Superman Rebirth issues saw Superman saving a bunch of illegal immigrants from a flurry of bullets, people thought the Man of Steel had endorsed the good cause. With the American Congress being divided on a controversial immigration bill, Superman’s acts were the final straw.
When we say Batman, we necessarily mean a broken guy with a strong sense of Justice that wears a costume and works alone in his Batcave. But Batman is not always alone. He has had romantic encounters in the past. Catwoman aka Selina Kyle is his primary love interest and he shares an on-again-off-again relationship with the burglar. But in Batman Rebirth, Bruce finally proposes to marry Selina Kyle and soon all hell breaks loose.
Jor-El was Superman’s father who realized the error of his people’s ways and tried to warn them before it was too late. But Krypton still exploded and Jor-El only managed to save his son Kal-El from death. Jor-El was presumed dead until Dr. Manhattan was revealed to have picked Jor-El out of time and sent him to a war zone on Earth. Jor-El then became Superman’s arch nemesis as the elusive Mr. Oz.
4. Captain America
Hail Hydra Y’all. The guy that fought his entire life against an organization that was vile, evil and sinister to the core ends up joining them and revealing that he was a part of Hydra all along. Captain America’s ‘Hail Hydra’ moment not only set the internet aflame but also reduced Marvel Comics’ already diminished reader’s base.
3. Iron Fist
The reason Iron Fist flopped is pretty simple. You don’t profess something you yourself cannot do. For years, Marvel Comics tried to preach to the fans about the merits of racial equality and the demerits of stereotypes. But when push came to shove, Marvel’s Netflix series Iron Fist did the exact opposite. A white guy doing Kung Fu and claiming to be the protector of a centuries-old Asian temple could have been cool during the 70s. But if done in the 21st Century, it is just blatant cultural appropriation.
Magneto’s backstory is one hell of a page-turner. Magneto used to be a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi Concentration Camp. So it is natural for him to scorn at everything that’s connected with them. Hydra was born out of the Nazis. But in Secret Empire, Magneto was seen standing alongside Hydra operatives and looked as if he is a hydra member. The fans were upset to see a Jew siding alongside Nazis. It’s like Marvel was saying Oil mixes with water.
1. Wonder Woman
2017 was supposed to be Wonder Woman’s golden year. After the DCEU movie managed to completely seduce the moviegoers with its exceptional plotline, the comics should have tried to bank on that popularity to give her as much spotlight as they could. But in 2016, Diana’s Twin Brother was introduced to the DC universe. Jason hogged much of the spotlight on the Wonder Woman issues. And moreover, Diana was pushed aside to allow Jason to grace the stage and show off his cool superpowers. Not cool DC. Not cool.