The Rundown: Weighing in on Hobo Piss-Gate, Sixth Gun/Game of Thrones Cross Over, and more

Welcome back to The Rundown, our daily breakdown on news stories we missed from the previous day. Have a link to share? Email me at

– Proving once again you can interpret anything any way you want, some people are raging over a speech Havok gave in Uncanny Avengers #5, to the point that Rick Remender made a rather…imaginative response to the negativity coming his way.

I’m going to focus on this for most of the Rundown, as it’s something that’s been bothering me. Confession: I am a white male. That hardly defines me as a person, but it is a fact. When I say this, you could easily say that I don’t know oppression or anything, and that’s fine. But I am sick to death of people creating issues when there aren’t any. Do comic fans really think that by getting Havok to say “the M-word” instead of mutant, that Remender is uncovering a secret racist agenda he’s been harboring for years? That’s what it seems like when I read articles and tweets about it. It seems every day people are upset for some reason when there hardly is one, simply because they clearly choose to be upset. Choosing to imbue words with intent when there may or may not have been any is a fools activity, and a complete waste of time. Why spend all of your time being upset over something that you read in a comic? Do you not like how Remender phrased it? Don’t read the damn comic. Don’t assail the man for writing something that offends you – get thicker skin, pick up a comic more to your taste and move on. That goes for TV shows and movies and music and god only knows how many other things.

If anything, be upset with Remender because you found the scene to be poorly written. But don’t put your agenda onto his writing as you see fit.

Granted, Remender certainly could have handled things better on Twitter – he was being a wee bit confrontational – but sometimes people forget these people who we (the royal, crazy we, not the Multiversity we) sling death threats at and call names and disparage are simply people like you or me. Sure, they write books with Avengers in their name, but when you rip on them on Twitter and their phone is blowing up with messages calling them racist, I’d imagine they get pretty angry. I know I would. I can’t say I would tell everyone to drown in hobo piss, but I’m not that creative. That’s why Rick is the writer, and I’m not.

I’ve interviewed Rick before, and he was nothing but a good guy. I’m not saying that interview defined him, but I can say he doesn’t seem the type who would be writing comics to infect the world with some sort of villainous agenda. He’s writing comics he wants to read, and comics that are fun for him to write. If you have a problem with that and you can’t get over it, that’s your fault for not just moving on.

– In significantly happier news, The Mary Sue links to some pieces artist Vicky Trochez created that reimagines Parks and Recreation characters as DC superheroes. The results are sublime, as someone who loves Parks and Rec. Also, can someone explain to me why everyone reimagines Parks and Rec characters as other characters? I love it, but it seems to be a thing.

– Is The Sixth Gun TV show crossing over with Game of Thrones?! No. But Oni Press Publisher Joe Nozemack did share an awesome photo of him hanging out with George R. R. Martin on the set of the now filming Sixth Gun pilot. Totally badass, I say.

About The AuthorDavid HarperDavid Harper mainly focuses on original content, interviews, co-hosting our 4 Color News and Brews video podcast, and being half of the Mignolaversity and Valiant (Re)visions team. He runs Multiversity's Twitter and Facebook pages, and personally tweets (rarely) @slicedfriedgold. By day, he works in an ad agency in Anchorage, Alaska, and he loves his wife, traveling and biscuits & gravy (ordered most to least, which is still a lot).

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User's Comments
  • Matthew Meylikhov

    Rick Remender and Havok looked up and shouted, “Can’t we all just be people together?” and the Internet looked down and whispered, “…no.”

    • David Harper

      You’ve been waiting to say that one.

  • Chris_Hunter

    David’s right. Too many people making a big deal over things that aren’t a big deal at all.

    • David Harper

      Thanks. It is really frustrating to see all the time, and I’m glad there are more sensible people on the internet.

  • Osvaldo Oyola

    I think it is important to leave the fallacy of author intention out of this. It doesn’t matter if Remender is a Klan member or owns all of Tim Wise’s books. The fact is that Havok’s speech resonates with a naive point of view that a lot of minorities (and others) find counter productive. It certainly does not make a big deal out of “nothing,” because it is clearly a something that a lot of people (esp. people in the dominant culture) have a hard time seeing – thus is all the more important to call out.

    The very ability to call it nothing and to seek to dismiss the people who want to discuss this is a sign of privilege, and I think an unconscious desire to silence threats to the privilege through the guise of being annoyed by it. Here’s the thing: These kinds of discussions have long been happening in different kinds of minority communities, it is just that now the internet provides a platform for them to occur more widely. Straight white men (or whoever) can’t ignore them anymore. Or, they may be able to ignore them, but they it is a lot more difficult.

    Aside from that, it was also a scene that depends on the cheapest cliche of racial/ethnic/etc. . . harmony. Perhaps it will end up being that Alex Summers is a boring unimaginative apologist for anti-mutant sentiment – and that would be a cool thing to explore in the comic, but it certainly doesn’t seem that way.

    • David Harper

      I appreciate your point of view, but I respectfully disagree with what you have to say. You’re effectively stating that unbeknownst to be, I’m trying to squash troubles that, admittedly by you, were likely not intended by the writer. So effectively you’re saying “no one did or say anything intentionally, but they’re still wrong and bad.” Thus, creating a problem when there isn’t one there.

      Then, my problem with the entire endeavor.

      I think there are much bigger examples of overt and negative gender/sexuality/race handlings in media out there than some one-page speech in a comic book. I simply don’t understand going after the author of that book simply because it’s the issue du jour.

      • Vince Ostrowski

        I agree the article and all your points, David, but…

        “I simply don’t understand going after the author of that book simply because it’s the issue du jour.”

        I do, given that it’s Rick Remender we’re talking about.

        Now, would people have complained and gotten argumentative anyway? Yes. But telling people to “drown (in) hobo piss” is throwing gasoline on a fire.

        I like Remender’s work, but yesterday brought up two issues that I have had for the longest time with his public persona:

        1. He claims writers should ignore trolls and criticism, yet he throws fire like “hobo piss” and RTs comments specifically designed to only make it worse and doing so continually undermines his claim that he doesn’t care what other people think about his work.

        2. He oscillates between his work being “serious business” and “hey it’s just a fucking comic book, you nerd” whenever it’s convenient for him.

        So while I think people are making mountains out of molehills here – if Remender didn’t like it, then he wouldn’t act the way he’s acting. It only makes it worse.

        See Jason Aaron’s twitter take on all of this for the sensible way of handling it.

        • David Harper

          You’re absolutely right. Remender handled it very poorly, and I think that’s where the whole thing was ignited. I don’t think it should have gotten to that point, but honestly, that is the point where I would just bury my phone and say “time to be off the internet for a while.” I haven’t seen Jason’s response, but he’s a pretty sensible guy so I would have to imagine he’d handle it pretty well. I think Remender is fairly passionate about…everything, and that leads to things like this.

      • Osvaldo Oyola

        Again, intentionality is of little import – all it means is whether I can like Remender as a person or not (though the hobo piss comment makes it difficult). If I make a joke about your mom and and it turns out, unbeknownst to me, that your mom recently passed away, while you may understand that I didn’t mean it and you may forgive me, that wouldn’t mean my comment didn’t hurt your feelings, right? But if you said, “Hey dude, that’s not cool, my mom just died” and I replied with “You’re making a big deal out of nothing because I didn’t mean to pick at you where you’re sensitive,” rather than a sincere, “Oh, I’m sorry. . ” that’d be self-centered right? My desire to not feel guilty about an unintentional slip outweighs your feelings about your mom. . . I don’t want to deal with the annoyance or bummer of having to put myself in your shoes for a second. Get what I’m saying?

        And that’s just a personal example, now imagine everywhere you looked the culture was inundated with various references to your mom’s death that ranged from overtly hurtful to wrong-headedly obtuse. . .?

        But here’s the thing, I find the overt stuff easier to dismiss. I’m not worried about the Klan. I can hear the Klan coming – they conveniently wear white robes for easy identification – I am worried about my neighbor who doesn’t think he holds any racist attitudes and certainly doesn’t MEAN any, but whose actions and perspectives can reinforce them none-the-less. He’d be a lot harder to convince that something may be problematic with what he said or did, or how he said or did it.

        There is no example that is too small. We care about comics, so when we see it in comics we mention it. We ask questions. Sometimes those questions make authors feel like they are being attacked – and that is unfortunate, because I rather have a discussion than a fight (most of the time), but that doesn’t change the content of what is being originally discussed.

        • David Harper

          You know, that “mom” comment actually makes a lot of sense. I get what you’re saying there, and it actually provides an interesting alternative perspective to it. While I do think that intent definitely should matter a bit – after all, I should know that someone’s comment about my mom was not intended, and it would likely impact me but I could separate intent from the damage – I do think there are two main problems in the whole equation.

          1. Remender handled his response incredibly badly.
          2. People went after him in an overtly negative way, instead of having a discussion.

          I think that the thrust of the conversation spun it into something it shouldn’t have ended up being, and I absolutely understand why hurt feelings would come out of it. Granted, I do not understand those hurt feelings in the same way, but I understand the why.

          Thanks for being civil in you response. I really appreciate it. I think it’s a very interesting subject – intent vs. actual impact – and this is one hell of a microcosm.

        • Matthew Meylikhov

          I like this explanation a lot, so maybe you can clear something up for me that I never understand by vehemently negative reactions to things from comic books (or, really, almost any media) — the scene here from Remender, while potentially naive in execution and the impact it would have, sure, was done from a place that ostensibly was little more than “hey, lets all love each other, guys.” That is what Alex is trying to say, after all, with his “one tribe” remarks; it may not have been handled as well as Remender assumed he had done (clearly, based on reaction), but I think it’s fairly easy to see Remender was at least trying to say something positive, no? We should not be judged by exteriors, etc.

          So with that in mind, what is the “point” of an overtly negative response to a scene that for better or for worse has good intentions? Because to follow your analogy, Remender wasn’t making fun of anyone’s moms, he was saying how everyone’s mom is cool. This is where the disconnect happens for me. And, no, Remender didn’t handle people calling him out well which made things worse, but I don’t understand why he had to be called out, because from what I’ve seen, I don’t think I necessarily agree that he was marginalizing anyone or anything with this.

          • Osvaldo Oyola

            Well, I can’t be a spokesman for everyone’s negative reaction to this scene, but I can say that sometimes people (much like Remender seemed to do) react emotionally to these topics, and i can understand the frustration because it feels like a discussion that never gets anywhere _because_ it is dismissed. So it feels like: “Hey Rick! Don’t you know by now that pretending there are no differences actually reinforces an assimilationist ideology that still benefits the dominant culture?! Haven’t we gone over this before? Or at least, haven’t you been around when this discussion was had before?”

            As for my analogy, clearly it only works up to a point, though I’d say instead of Havok saying “Everyone’s mom is cool,” he was saying “Everyone’s mom dies sometime, so you should ignore it if someone’s mom dies. . ” Or something (any analogy gets ridiculous if followed to absurd ends. . )

            Is this scene actually doing anything directly to marginalize folks? No. I don’t think so. Is it reflecting an attitude as admirable that may actually be counter-productive in society. Yes, I think so. As such, it alienates those comic fans who identify with the X-Men because of their own difference (whatever that may be) and feel like they are being told, it is just best for everyone to just pretend you are not different, even if your being different leads to being treated differently whether people claim to be doing it intentionally or not.

            It doesn’t help that the attitude Alex espouses is easy for the blond blue-eyed “normal-looking” mutant, but is a lot harder for someone like the Beast, Nightcrawler, or the chicken dude from New X-Men whose name I can’t remember.

            [Whew. I have written a lot more on this topic here than if I had blogged on it as I originally intended].

          • Matthew Meylikhov

            I can understand that, sure. I may not always agree with the way people react, but I can certainly understand that logic.

            And after reading your responses, I’ll say that if you were to write a blog post on it, I’d be interested in reading it and/or sharing it on this site for sure.

          • Osvaldo Oyola

            Cool. I have already tried to point people here via Twitter, so I kind of feel like I have already said what I have to say on the topic. Any blog post would basically be me taking these comments and cleaning them up into sensible paragraphs. . . maybe, but I am supposed to be writing a dissertation. 😉

            I do write about comics (and issues of race and gender in particular) on my blog quite often, so feel free to swing by and take a look. . .

          • David Harper

            Here’s an honest question for you: do you really read X-Men as a metaphor for other races/genders/sexualities at this point? I think at one point, definitely during Lee/Kirby and Claremont’s stuff, this was true, but honestly it seems like it’s not even a real focus on a consistent basis. That may be me approaching it in a different way than others, but it’s not something that enters my mind while reading.

          • Osvaldo Oyola


            I, and dare I say, many(?) readers read it that way. It never was consistent in how it handled its penchant to be an allegory, but did so (and still does so) opportunistically, which I think is also why it lends itself to so many different kinds of people identifying it with it, from angsty goth teens (who may be white, black, latino, whatever) to middle-aged queer men to b-boys and b-girls of various races and ethnicities (and all possible combinations thereof).

            It certainly seems weird when someone like Wolverine can be an Avenger, but the X-Men remain outsiders at least within the province of their own books.

            I think one interesting thing going on right now (and this is totally anecdotal) is that despite Scott Summers being written like an extremist dick, his “I’m pissed off and I’m not gonna take it anymore attitude” is a lot more attractive to folks I know who still read X-Men than what any of the other X-leaders have to offer.

            Another potentially interesting thing: I was on the verge of dropping Uncanny X-Men, but this latest dust-up will probably lead me to getting at least a few more issues b/c I am interested in how this issue acceptance/assimilationism/difference is represented in its pages (then again, I have an academic interest in these things – I also just picked up the 5 original issues of Black Goliath on eBay 😉

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