I’m becoming slowly convinced that Tom Brevoort tries to put at least one WTF moment into every “Talk To The Hat” column he does over at CBR. This week, it’s this:
[M]ake no mistake, one of the fundamental appeals of comics, and Marvel comics in particular, is the fact that they’re dangerous. They’re edgy. There’s an aura of the illicit to what we do that’s extremely attractive to our audience, and a necessary part of our appeal. Marvel Comics have always been dangerous and on the far edge of popular culture — those Frank Miller “Daredevil” and “Wolverine” comics, for example, while they might seem a bit quaint by today’s standards, pushed the envelope when they first came out. We try not to do violence simply for the sake of violence and sexual material simply for the sake of sexual material, but in that same spirit, we’re likely going to be more permissive than some.
I can buy that Marvel Comics – and comics in general – have always been on the far edge of popular culture, but “Marvel Comics have always been dangerous”? Has Marvel actually been dangerous to anyone since, like, the drug issues of Amazing Spider-Man all the way back? These days, we’re more likely to get the publisher trying not to offend the British Royal Family or editing Captain America reprints so as to not upset Tea Partiers, neither of which suggest any kind of danger whatsoever. Putting comically large “Parental Advisory” labels on books or replacing a superhero aren’t dangerous at all – controversial, potentially, if Marvel are lucky – but I wonder if Brevoort is being entirely genuine with his idea that Marvel is actually doing anything “illicit” in its books these days… and, if he does, whether that means he’s fallen for all the hype himself.