Marvel’s Ugly American


Here we are again. With the New Avengers. Again. Seriously, what makes spider-women such objects of intense fascination in the Quimbyverse? Must every team have one?

Of course I’m speaking of Omega Flight, which thanks to Shane I just found some things out about. And it really does make you think the Q Continuum is a bit of a one-trick pony, doesn’t it? A second-rate Cap, a second-rate Iron Man, someone whose name means “Sentry” (although I assume they’re going with “Vindicator” this time around), the aforementioned sexy ex-SHIELD agent with the spider-motif going on, one (count ’em, one) Canadian…I give it a week before they’re fighting ninjas, I really do. It is simply the most unimaginative shit possible under the circumstances. Thank God for Beta Ray Bill, but…you know, even Horse-Face Thor isn’t cool enough to save this.

Oh, and the Collective was a dumb idea too. Really dumb. And boring. And dumb. Really. But, none of that is the subject, today. The subject today is…

Quimby, are you really gonna dress up an American in my flag as a superhero? Wow. And I suppose you think that’s a great idea.


Remember the movie “Independence Day”? Sure you do. But now, did you know that in Canadian theatres, the destruction of the White House in that movie was greeted by laughter and applause, and even a little high-fiving? Not just in one or two theatres. At every screening.

Do you ever think about why that is?

No…no, you really don’t, do you?

Okay, well then, let’s see what you do know.

Who are Dave and Morley?

Were you sad when Mike Baldwin died on Coronation Street?

Belinda or Condoleeza?

Do you know the words to “Gens Du Pays”?

What is “Screech”?

What’s pictured on the back of the dime?

What, according to Canada Post, does the word “Canada” mean?

And, finally…

Ever been to Summerside? It’s beautiful, right?

Oh my goodness, Quimby, that really wasn’t very good at all. But how can you claim to represent our country to us, if you don’t even know what it is? Hmm?

You just don’t get it. Worse, you don’t even try.

So why should I read your stupid comic, again?

Jackasses. You’re really doing a bang-up job of making me hate you.  Hope that was your plan.


14 responses to “Marvel’s Ugly American

  1. If you want to know the whole horrible story then check out Civil War: The Initiative (last week I think?) not to be confused with Avengers: The Initiative.

    Or you can read below (spoilers):

    In it Reed Richards goes and meets with the mutant who sucked up all those powers and was possessed by Xorn. He then lets in a certain doctor who starts questioning him about Xorn before getting angry and transforming into a Sasquatch. Yep, it’s Walter Langowski, he apparently survived. Anyway, the guy gets chewed out by Sasquatch and is told that he’s going to where the Vindicator costume to control his powers and serve Canada in Omega Flight as “punishment” for killing Alpha Flight. Get it? Vindication? Clever Quimby.

  2. Huh. My count of 2 Canadians was actually off. How sad. Also, even in American theaters we clapped at the White House blowing up. ‘Cause it was the only cool thing to happen in that stupid movie…

  3. Okay, I support pretty much everything you’re saying here but.. since when is it okay to badmouth superheroes fighting ninjas?

  4. Hmm, seems you folks’re right, it’s two Canadians after all.

    Whoops! However like Dan Quayle and George W. Bush, I stand by my misstatements.

    As far as the superheroes and the ninjas go, I’m not badmouthing the idea, I’m badmouthing the influence of Bendis on Marvel storytelling…I swear he would have Odin fight ninjas if he could, Frank Miller did far too much damage to his brain at an impressionable age, I think…

    I mean we always talk about the Q and the M, but the B’s in there too, and he can be pretty bad. Of course he can also be pretty good, but I’m not totally sure he knows the difference between those settings. Hmm, I wonder if I should waste a little time talking about this…possibly there is a bit too much to cover in a comment, but to start out with, Bendis’ forte is clearly not raw imagination, and neither is it dramatic punch, or even that debased thing we call shocking twist. The plain truth is, he can’t throw the fastball, and he can’t throw the curve ball. Which is totally okay: I don’t read Bendis to see those things. But he will have the Silver Surfer taking on the Kingpin or something, it’s ridiculous.

    Hope that was coherent: I’ve got a bad flu. May amend this later.

  5. Actually, Odin taking on Ninjas would be pretty awesome.

    In that same story, Marvel could also reposition the In-Betweener as a cosmic ninja and the Living Tribunal as the ultimate Kingpin.

    Oh, and Luke Cage would be there too. This is Bendis we’re talking about.

  6. Okay, but only if Odin can give people psychic nosebleeds while talking some badass shit at them.

    Wait…that may be Millar…or Ellis…tell you what, how about Odin as Ronin? That would be okay, wouldn’t it?

    At least, no one would see it coming. Oh, and I’ve heard of Odin, which is always a plus in these coy little situations.

    Oddly enough, I forgot Sasquatch was Canadian — just because at a certain point in the Eighties I had to cut that character loose, it was flickering like a strobelight, and making me dizzy.

  7. Again, you prove why I won’t pick up a Marvel book that isn’t written by Jeff Parker.

    I do think there are some great stories to be had about Canada being a haven for American Superheroes much like the draftees during the Vietnam era, only somehow the Q Continuum, as you put it, cocked it all up.

    I just hope they didn’t go to Tim Horton’s for double doubles or whatever. I’m kind of sickened by the corporate shill version of Canadiana.

  8. I’m embarrassed–well, a little bit–that I only had answers for most of your questions (never been to Summerside, don’t know ‘Gens du Pays’, don’t know Canada Post’s definition of Canada), but are you really offering up Coronation Street as Canadiana?

    Anyway. Obviously, Marvel isn’t representing our country to us. It’s representing our country to other Americans, and they won’t know the difference. Who cares what we think?

  9. I always thought that the White House scene in Independence Day existed to make up for the scene later on where President Pullman makes his awful speech about how now America’s Independence Day is everybody’s Independence Day, and isn’t that just great…

    I mean, something had to happen to cushion such a ridiculous blow.

  10. Matthew: It’s true, the joke suffers from me not being able to do clever things with Sally Floyd and Photoshop — of course knowing the words to Gens Du Pays is not a prerequisite for Canadian-ness…although it’s just barely possible that knowing Summerside is a beautiful place is

    According to the “Canada Post Bicentennial Minute” or whatever, “Canada” means “village”. I do tend to believe this is true, but I’ve got no corroboration…

    Coronation Street is the second most popular TV program in Canada (after The National — third most popular when the playoffs are on), with a daily audience of 300,000 people. Surprised, huh?

    Jon: You and me both, man! Of course what are the odds that they’ll even get the corporate-shill-nationalism junk right…ooooh, almost started to rant about that damn “I Am Canadian” ad, how I despised that thing…you do have to wonder about how they’re using Canada here, though, is it really about draft-dodgers? Doesn’t the Collective guy get sent to Canada by the U.S. authorities? It’s all very muddled…

    Dan: Oh yeah, that’s right, I’d blocked that part out! Ha.

  11. Ooooooh, and now tonight I’ve seen a Molson’s commercial about twenty times tonight…you know, I don’t know what pisses me off more, when Canadian companies sell American stereotypes of Canadians back to us, or when they sell us back our own irritation at the stereotypes. It’s a problem, because both things are really pitched to the ego: wow, look, we’re dumb, we kick ass! Or, “wow, look, you’re dumb, we kick ass.” Embarrassing to be a nation of such easy marks, especially when it’s just us conning us.

    The thing is, if we were honest, we’d have to admit there’s the odd bit of truth to the stereotypes we’re happy to dismiss, and almost none to those we’re happy to accept. Large, sparsely-populated country with lots of snow and ice? That’s true, of course. Self-effacing people who prefer not to flaunt their moral superiority? Wrong on both counts, sadly. Although it’s true that the further you get from the stereotypes, the less boasting about them you find, and that’s not nothing.

    But I swear, that old Molson Canadian commercial of a couple years back (it’s terrible beer, by the way, though admittedly better than Budweiser) with the guy boasting about how we’re “a nation of peacekeepers”…that made me shudder, because the last thing in the world that Canada needs is to abandon its ability to be self-critical. Peacekeeping? Great. Self-congratulation on being the better man? Jesus. I mean is that not to drink the very same kool-aid that we’re all brought up mocking you guys for serving at every picnic? Every time someone says “Hockey: it’s Canada’s game” or something like that, it’s like being passed a plastic cup full of cheap nationalism that tastes like…

    Well, obviously. And it’s usually warm, to boot. And mostly foam.

    Jon, when you left this comment the other day, I just wasn’t very annoyed about this! But the annoyance comes and goes, and today it’s back. At least we still vote for ugly people, eh? At least there’s that. If we ever lose that, that’s how we’ll know we’re in real trouble.

    That, and if the attack ads ever start to work. But really, it’s the same difference, right?

    Okay end of rant.

  12. Ha! I liked that Molsen ad, back in the day, even going so far as to proclaim it art. I liked something in it about sticking it to Americans. (And there was a nice Shatner parody, I recall.) Of course, when Fosters appropriated the format for Australia (during the Sydney Olympics) I hated that. Not art. So maybe you’d like it?

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