1. Rumors are circulating that the new Ultimate Spider-Man* will be black. According to Bleeding Cool, the New England comic book store chain Larry's Comics started posting racist Spider-Man jokes on Twitter in response to the news:


In the comments to Bleeding Cool's post, someone claiming to be Larry from Larry's Comics says he posted the jokes because "Marvel making Ultimate Spider-Man African American is simply a cheap publicity play to bolster sinking sales. I think it's a desperation move, and I took some good natured jabs at it." He continues: "Rich and others take offense when I occasionally use the Word Gay to mean lame. My new England panties do not get bunched up when the english use fag for ciggarette...Anyhoo...I'm not homophobic and I'm not a racist."

Well! That settles that!

2. Last week, a federal judge ruled that Jack Kirby's estate** has no claim to characters Kirby created for Marvel Comics. Cartoonist Steve Bissette is now calling for a Marvel boycott:

I’m done with Marvel and all Marvel Kirby-derived product, period. No movies (I was planning to see Captain America this weekend; that’s forever off the table), no more comics from their Kirby legacy, nothing.

Bringing greater public shame/pressure to bear may or may not yield results, but removing further investment in their exploitation of the Kirby legacy—which is, undeniably, 85%+ of Marvel’s pantheon—will send a message.

No matter where you fall on this issue, you have to agree with Bissette's point that Marvel Comics is the House that Jack (and Steve, and, yes, Stan) built. Their post-Kirby output (Wolverine, Punisher, Ghost Rider, and maybe Deadpool are the only post-60s-created characters I can think of who even approach that early Marvel level of stickiness) isn't anything to be proud of.

* If you don't know what Ultimate Spider-Man is, you probably don't need to read the rest of this post.

** If you don't know who Jack Kirby is, I have no use for you.