Saturday, February 18, 2012

To Boycott, Or Not Boycott, The "Avengers" Movie

This article from got my attention recently.  I confess to being a huge fan of Marvel Comics, going back to my childhood, and "The Avengers" in particular.  As a consequence, I've been looking forward to the release this spring of "The Avengers" film.  However, I have to admit that the author, who is likewise a huge Marvel and "Avengers" fan, makes a good case for boycotting the film, based on the undeniably shoddy treatment of artist Jack Kirby by Marvel and Stan Lee.  If your a comics fan, and a Marvel fan in particular, you're already familiar with the story of how Kirby was forced to sign over the rights to his work without any meaningful compensation.  The article itself contains links to articles that describe this treatment in greater detail; I've decided to share some of them here, and here.

Kirby's cause (at this point, sadly, the cause of his children) is certainly worthy of some form of public pushback against Marvel, as well as Disney, which now owns Marvel and its roster of characters.  I'm kind of skeptical, however, as to whether an "Avengers" boycott would be the best way of doing so.  All that would do is deprive everyone--including, potentially, Kirby's heirs--of profits from Kirby's work.  After all, Disney doesn't have to make Marvel-based movies; Disney has its own roster of characters.

My recommendation?  Occupy the "Avengers" theaters.  Go see the movie, preferably dressed as your favorite Avenger (Giant-Man, in my case, even though he isn't in the film;-().  And after the show, stage a protest in the lobby, demanding that Disney/Marvel treat the King the way he deserves.  Negative publicity is much more effective than the disengaged silence of a boycott.  And, in this case, it could be a lot more fun.  Thoughts?

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