‘Stereotypical’ new Welsh Marvel superhero fighting in ‘Union’ angers fans
Some Marvel fans have reacted with anger after the superhero franchise revealed a new Welsh character who will fight as part of a ‘Union’ team representing different nations in the UK against an alien ‘Empyre’.
Wales is represented in the group by Choir, an elf-like superhero who uses her voice to destroy her enemies, a power described as “stereotypical” by some fans.
The ‘Union’ team also comprises Britannia, the leader, Union Jack, an ‘unflappable’ Englishman, while ‘sulky’ Kelpie represents Scotland and ‘forbidding’ Snake is from Northern Ireland.
The hills of Wales echoes with song. Beware of The Choir when “The Union” #1 hits comic shelves in May! #MarvelComics pic.twitter.com/wpG74kO0cb
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) February 19, 2020
Writer Paul Grist said that “not everybody likes Union Jack” and that “much of the conflict in the story would come from “a team that’s falling apart before it’s even begun!”
Describing the design process on the Marvel website, writer Paul Grist said: “[For] the Choir, more of a light visual, something that can enable quick movements.
“On her knife, I put three dragon’s heads. I know on Wales’ flag they have a dragon with only one head but I thought, why not three?”
Some fans, however, thought that the superhero series had ventured into dangerous political waters.
“Really can’t wait for Union Jack to hang a Welsh Not around The Choir’s neck for speaking Gymraeg,” Aaron Lewis commented on Twitter.
Stephen Rŵl said: “Loved your nod to Wales in Black Panther but leave your propaganda at the door, please.”
John Arnold said: “God I hope this is all some very involved joke because if it’s not then it’s utterly humiliating.”
Glyn Mottershead said: “Can I suggest another member Pit Pony. This small but mighty centaur is half human half horse. Taking the heavy load on behalf of The Union. Probably Welsh but could have a Lancashire/Yorkshire back story.”
Writer Paul Grist has also written adventures for Judge Dredd and Jack Staff. The writer from Sheffield said he was aware that his storylines could prove contentious, particularly among those Scots who might want to quit the union with England.
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Maybe wait and read the comic before slagging it off? A radical concept in this day and age I know….
And considering Marvel’s previous Welsh heroes are Red Dragon – who literally wears the flag for a costume
– and the X-Men member Pixie, who has pink hair and fairy wings, this is not really much different.
I see no issue in criticising stereotypical portrayals in art and media? They’re lazy and generalising regardless of the overall narrative. You could argue the comic *is* out now; as soon as promotional material, a title, or a synopsis arrives, we as media consumers begin to read into it.
I suppose Swperted would have been too much for the Marvel people to bear.
I’ll get my coat.
“me coat”, Hugh?
I’ve already written to The Times on behalf of my husband, who pointed out that it is ironic to have a character called Snake from an island from which St. Patrick expelled all snakes centuries ago (or where there have never been any reptiles, if you prefer a different explanation).
“Oh glorious St Patrick, dear Saint of our isle……………” ah the shamrock, and the lovely girls!
Honestly who cares? I think it’s fun to have our nation be recognised for its features, stereotypical or not you can’t deny the importance of song to Welsh culture or the use of dragons in Welsh folk law, the recognition of some of the intricacies of Welsh culture from a multi million dollar corporation is something that doesn’t happen often, stop complaining about the good stuff and focus on something important.