Retrocausality at Marvel Comics

A reader with the novel yet binary name of New Number Two looks over the nausea-inducing inkblots drawn by one Mr. Luciano Vecchio for Marvel Comic’s latest desecration of a long stranding comic franchise, and asks a plaintive question:

One thing I don’t understand, why would the original “artist” sign his art? It is so bad and simplistic that it looks like a kid drew it, and a not very talented kid at that. Sign that “art” and your career is over. I mean, it is so bad that I figured Mr Kibblesmith drew it, not a real artist.

My comment:

I do not understand it, either, but I have a theory.

This is their religion. They do not call it a religion, but it is. In their religion, effect precedes cause. Theirs is a faith of retrocausality.

I do not believe this is an articulate article of faith, because in the post-rational world, nothing is articulated. It is, at best, an unspoken and unexamined metaphysical assumption. At worst it is merely a mood, or moral atmosphere, never acknowledged, never given a name, but always present in their assumptions, hence always observable in their conduct.

In our world, Marvel Comics grew from a ten cent a mag trashpaper product for kids into the blockbuster MCU movie empire because, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and Gene Colan, Gil Kane, John Romita, Jim Steranko worked 60 hour work weeks for starvation wages for decades, and slowly won the love and loyalty of one generation after another … and the Marvel Stories stories became memorable, iconic and great because of the love and talent lavished on them.

Hard work plus talent plus good luck plus longsuffering effort equals consumer loyalty and a place in the pop culture pantheon. Cause causes effect. That is our world, the real world.

In their world, the unreal world, Marvel is iconic and great because it is Marvel, just for no reason, because nothing happens for any reason. The fame and fortune won by the Marvel staff and leadership over the decades is merely a given, merely a resource, like a tree, a rock, or a mud puddle, thrown into existence by the random flux of the universe, created without a creator.

In their universe, despite their endless, boring talk of creativity, they really do not believe in creators. They do not believe in hard work nor divine inspiration nor honed talents. Perhaps they believe in clever marketing.

For them, life is a roulette wheel. Some people are just lucky. If one lucky streak goes on too long, or he wins too much, such as, say Europeans in the Christian Era, obviously the wheel is rigged, and their winnings need to be taken and distributed to the less lucky.

So, here, where Marvel has won fame and fortune by tireless storytelling in a rigorous monthly and bimonthly schedule, decade after decade, it is merely the roulette wheel of life. The goodwill and fan loyalty now can be taken and distributed into social useful channels, such as by cramming progressive messages into the space where story telling once was.

So any pervertarian trash starring sexually disfunctional hermaphrodites, endomorphs, also-rans and bland nonentities can be Marvel heroes and heroines equal to Spider-Man and Thor and Captain America merely by legal ownership of the Marvel trademark and copyright.

Mr Vecchio is from the “participation trophy” universe. His sub-kindergarten level scribbles are not meant to earn glory to his name. Nothing earns anything in the retrocausality universe.

In his universe, his name lends glory to his scribbles, merely because it is his.

He is an unique snowflake, special and precious. His drawing are good not because they are good but because they are his. So of course he signs his name.

What he does not expect to happen is that, instead of his name winning the luster of Jack Kirby or even of Gene Colin or Rudy Nebres, he gains notoriety instead of fame.

And then when this hope is not only cheated, but actually blows up in his face — because in reality effect does not come before cause, but after — he can blame the fans.

In their universe, men are not men. We are beasts or are machines, merely a natural resource, like a tree, a rock, or a mud puddle. Freud and Marx and Skinner taught our progressive friends that we humans merely have brain actions of molecules interacting with molecules, nerve with nerve, like an elaborate clockwork, or electronic adding machine.

So Mr Vecchio punched in the input he thought would get the result — he signed his name to a Marvel product — but the result — Jack Kirby levels of fame and admiration — did not come out as the output. Instead he got the Bronx Cheer.

Well, in a causal universe like ours, if your output is bad and the machine is not broken, you had better check your input. Check your premises. Examine your tactics, or even, if things are going really bad, examine your strategy. Maybe it is time to examine your whole life and its unspoken assumptions.

In their universe, the universe of participation trophies where sex and sexual perversion are equal, where fat chicks built like blimps and hot babes with hourglass figures are equal, the idea of double checking your input never comes up. Mr Vecchio put in the same input as Jack Kirby. Jack Kirby signed his work. Luciano Vecchio signed his work. Jack gets cheers; Luciano gets the raspberry.

It cannot be that Jack’s drawings are genius and Luciano draws trash. Ergo the machinery between input and output must be in error. The fans are wrong.

But, unfortunately, in reality, cause comes before effect, not after. What you sow, you reap.

The sad thing for us fans is that they sowed, over a decade of effort and with relentless singlemindedness, the seeds of the destruction of their industry. Comic books will go the way of the radio play or the silent motion picture.

Because the season of harvest is upon us.