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Marvel Partners With Komen for the Cure to Bring Breast Cancer Awareness to Comics; We Feel Super Conflicted

Oh Really?

This February, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation created new grant regulations that seemed to only count when Planned Parenthood was concerned, maintained against all evidence that their defunding of the low-cost health care provider that performs abortion services only 3% of the time and keeps its funds completely separate and transparent was not politically motivated, and then, when it got too hot in the kitchen, backpedaled and refunded the organization while maintaining absolutely no political connection to their actions. And from that point on, we knew it would be a while before we could give Komen the time of day again, and until then they’d need to make some serious no downside, no catch efforts of charity and good work to get there. See, we thought they’d appeal to the mainstream adult in us, the one that does taxes, watches the news, and tries to make ethical purchases.

What we didn’t expect was for them to appeal to the lady geek in us, with a comprehensive and non-superficial campaign of variant covers and inside advertisements in Marvel comics, as if they were basically coming out and saying: we think comic books are a good marketing space for lady issues. We’re not saying they’ve succeeded. We’re just saying: we don’t how to feel about it.

For a more detailed recap of what went down between Komen and Planned Parenthood earlier this year, check this post. Komen did eventually restore funding to Planned Parenthood, and shortly after that its publicly anti-abortion VP of public policy and at least five other high-ranking executives left their posts. You read that, and I’ll try to stop thinking about how Cap’s pink-branded shield looks like it’s made out of ice cream.

It’s a part of Komen and Marvel’s partnership to create variant covers for eight comics coming out in October. Above is Captain America. Here’s the Wolverine cover, featuring gender-swapped Wolverine clone X-23, and the cover for October’s issue of The Mighty Thor.

The other titles in the campaign are AvengersFantastic FourInvincible Iron ManUncanny X-Men, and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel, the last being the only title with a female lead character. The campaign will also include a one page ad in every Marvel comic published in October, full of educational material about breast cancer, with “more content available on and through social media.” That’s considerable coverage.

All in all, Komen, I think we’re going to have to settle for calling this a good effort… that still neither proves nor disproves the kind of commitment to breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs without political bias we’d like to see out of you. After all, cancer certainly isn’t politically biased. How do you guys feel about it?

(via Comics Alliance.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.