This post was updated to reflect that the partnership between Marvel Entertainment and Northrop Grumman has been completely dissolved
A second update was added to reflect Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada’s comments at his “Cup O’ Joe” panel later this afternoon.
Marvel and defense contractor Northrop Grumman announced an ongoing partnership yesterday. They are releasing an all-ages comic book which would see N.G.E.N. (Northrop Grumman Elite Nexus) meet the Avengers. It is to be written by Fabian Nicieza with art from Sean Chen. Marvel has been known to publish all-age material with other companies such as ESPN, Visa, the NBA, and even the Florida Department of Citrus. The two companies were set to discuss the partnership at a panel Saturday at 3 PM at NYCC, but that event has now been cancelled due to fan outcry claiming this goes against what Marvel stands for as a progressive company, with many comparing Northrop Grumman to Stark Industries.
The description for the comic series is below,
When RED RONIN emerges from the Hudson, the Avengers assemble to stop his destructive march toward New York City. But when the mechanical behemoth proves to be a match with seriously upgraded technology, a call for assistance goes out to a new super group. Northrop Grumman’s Elite Nexus is a team of scientists who specialize in cutting edge, hi-tech adventures. The new squad of heavy hitters, known as N.G.E.N. rushes in to assist the Avengers. But who could be behind Red Ronin’s mysterious attack?
Northrop Grumman is a leading United States military contractor that manufactures weapons technology, aerospace equipment, and cybersecurity systems for commercial and governmental use. The company also has a history of bribery and fraud among other issues, which Graphic Policy has compiled here. But honestly the real question is, why did Marvel think a partnership with a weapons company would be a good one to produce all-ages material, considering the lack of truly all-ages material at the company already?
This event has been canceled.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 7, 2017
This also seems a truly bizarre move, as Marvel and Netflix before NYCC began, cancelled their The Punisher panel in respect of the victims of the most recent worst mass-shooting in American history. It seems logical then, to expect them to have withdrawn this panel before being prompted to do so by fan outcry.
Marvel Entertainment released the following statement after the cancellation of the panel, confirming that the partnership has been completely eliminated:
“The activation with Northrop Grumman at New York Comic Con was meant to focus on aerospace technology and exploration in a positive way. However, as the spirit of that intent has not come across, we will not be proceeding with this partnership including this weekend’s event programming. Marvel and Northrop Grumman continue to be committed to elevating, and introducing, STEM to a broad audience.”
CCO Joe Quesada also commented later on Saturday saying, “I’ll be honest with you, I saw it for the first time as you guys,” he said. “I think there were some messaging issues. It was really about science and education.”
With the partnership completely dissolved this comic will not move forward. What is clear however is that this partnership should never have existed in the first place, and that all-ages, gun-toting indoctrination is definitely bullshit. Sound off in the comments below, and continue following our coverage of NYCC at Multiversity Comics.