Ike Perlmutter, Marvel Comics & The Muslim Ban

imageA little over a year ago, then Presidential candidate Donald Trump shouted out Marvel Comics C.E.O Ike (short for Issac) Perlmutter during what was basically a paid infomercial for his presidential candidacy disguised as a fundraiser for war veterans. It was, at best, disconcerting. It was later revealed that Perlmutter had donated over $2 million dollars to a super PAC supporting Marco Rubio and $1 million to Donald Trump. At the time, I was like many who wrestled with the idea of continuing to support Marvel comics in the wake of the revelations. Ultimately, I decided that based on the quality of the comics and their adherence to progressive causes I aligned with, it was worth continuing my support of the publisher. Since then, Donald Trump has won the election to become President of the United States by the electoral college, while losing the popular vote by over two million ballots. Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter has now been incorporated into the Trump Administration as part of the Veteran’s Benefits administration while his wife, Laura Perlmutter, was part of the Trump inauguration committee. On Friday of last week (1/27/2016) Donald Trump signed an executive order banning admittance for American visa holders from seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days and banned all refugees from entering or receiving asylum in the United States for 120 days and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely while planning to give preference to Christian Syrians over Muslims when the ban would ultimately be lifted. With the action that the current administration has taken with the executive order, I can no longer use my platform here at Nothing But Comics to support Marvel Comics in good conscious because of CEO Perlmutter’s association with Donald Trump’s presidency.

As someone who’s chosen to write about comic books, I’ve always felt the decision to not cover Marvel Comics by some of my peers was a huge oversight in that I find it hard to write about comics in and of themselves without including the medium’s biggest producer. That’s further complicated by the fact that over the last five years, Marvel’s comics have not only been very good but moreover, very politically progressive. Though most self evident in the platform afforded to writer Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black Panther and G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel, down the line Marvel made a commitment to diversifying its characters in culture and gender. This initiative led to switching the race and gender of what were traditionally white male protagonist in Captain America, Thor and Spider-man combined with a dedication to launching ongoing series for more diverse characters like Powerman & Iron Fist, Black Widow or Mosaic.

They’ve certainly stumbled at points; however, the publisher has done and continues to make a sustained effort in diversifying its line of comics and the talent creating them. Furthermore, the talent creating Marvel comics has been mostly steadfast in their own support of progressive causes and in opposition to Donald Trump’s platform. Beyond the aforementioned Coates & Wilson, creators such as Mark Waid, Sana Amanat, Dan Slott, Greg Pak, Kelly Thomson, Nick Spencer, David Walker, Kate Leth and countless others have come out in support of equality and in defiance to Trump’s presidency. In a world where Donald Trump was just running for President, that felt like enough. In a world where he was the President elect, it felt acceptable. In a world where he is the President of the United States Of America signing executive orders banning a group of people because of their religious faith, my support for Marvel comics has become untenable because of their C.E.O.’s association with the current presidential administration.
I don’t begrudge you, the reader, for not joining me in this–even if you agree with my position on the ban. I don’t begrudge the creative talent or anybody that works for Marvel in doing so either. They’re trying to make a living and tell their stories to the widest audience possible within the medium, and Marvel is the best platform to do so. But as long as the Trump administration has this ban in place and Marvel’s C.E.O. Ike Perlmutter is a part of that administration, I cannot personally support the company either in my own purchasing habits or through my platform here at Nothing But Comics.

While I realize that I’m lessening my scope in coverage of the comics medium in doing so, what has currently happened has gone beyond my passion for the medium to impede upon my personal principles and I can no longer support an organization whose highest level of leadership is taking part in an administration that has created active political policy discriminating against a minority group. As a lifelong Marvel comics reader, and one who has been an enthusiastic supporter of their recent material, I’m crestfallen. But I know that I can’t keep pretending the material I’m consuming has no relation to the actions of its C.E.O. I’ll be happy to begin covering and consuming Marvel comics again if either, Perlmutter leaves the Trump Administration and publicly condemns the current ban, steps down as C.E.O. of Marvel Comics, or the administration reverses the ban. But as it currently stands, I refuse to support the presidential administration in any way possible if they enact or pursue policy of discrimination based on race, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. This encompasses all of their business ventures, including Ike Perlmutter’s Marvel comics as he currently stands as an adviser on the Veteran Benefits Administration.

Most nights I’d go home after work and read a Marvel comic; however, tonight I went to a protest instead. Whether we like it or not, we live in a new world and our actions have consequences. This is where I stand and I will continue to do so in support of all visa holders and Syrian refugees feeling the brunt of persecution from the current administration. Clearly comics are important to me, but they are by no means more important than human rights and equality or the Muslim Americans and immigrants I’ve had the privilege of knowing throughout my lifetime. The first Marvel comic I owned was X-Men #1 by Chris Claremont & Jim Lee. I’ve always identified with outsiders, even though I’ve never really been one by any meaningful measure, and the X-Men represented that to the utmost in superhero fiction. I’ve learned a lot about equality from comics, both in terms of the work itself in addition to the community around it. We are at a critical point in our history for those very principles. Thankfully, I’ve learned enough from the X-Men, Captain America, Daredevil and so many more Marvel comics to know not only where I stand but to do so, I can’t support Marvel Comics for the foreseeable future. Steve Rogers taught me to oppose fascism, this is the application of those lessons.

32 thoughts on “Ike Perlmutter, Marvel Comics & The Muslim Ban”

  1. My friend (sarcasm) Chuck Dixon (Bane creator) recently commented on Donald Trump. He voted for him of course. When asked about the clips comparing Bane’s speech and Trump’s speech Dixon said “ya… Trump does act like a Batman villain”…………. and yet he voted for him.

  2. Not one single person from any of the banned countries has EVER commited an act of terror inside the United States. This ban was about fooling his low information base into believing that he is doing as promised. If he was doing as promised then Saudi Arabia would be at the top of the list. They only chose poor Muslim nations. Shit, why do we have US troops fighting in Yemen on behalf of Saudi Arabia? Kurds and Iranians are the only people who are directly fighting ISIS. Bannan has admitted that his mission is to destroy the US government establishment…both democrates and republicans. His website is propogating fake news in Europe for the purpose of destroying the European Union. This administration is an enemy of Europe and the stability of the United States. Just saying. Keep up the saintly work Pat.

    1. I don’t revel in ignorance, exageration and lies like my opponents do so I’ll revise/ correct my last statement.. We weren’t in Yemen on behalf of Saudi Arabia it would seem. It was a US intelligence gathering mission that turned violent and involved possible terrorists and not rebels. I wasn’t aware of that. Regardless the result was a firefight and the deaths of women and children as well as a special forces soldier which of course Trump was late to acknowledge. I seem to remember The Donald specifically mentioning killing women and children as a strategy. The most dangerous people on earth are those with nothing to loose… good plan Donald.

    2. Correction. One attack from a person that originated in one of the 7 countries was commited a few months ago. College stabbing, with no fatalities. One attack out of 200000 Visa holders and more than a million American citizens living here from these 7 … not to mention green card holders. The attacker cited Trump as one of his reasons by the way. So we can’t say zero attacks. We can however say zero deaths though.

        1. Yeah, I’ve chilled a lot on retweeting in the NBC feed (mostly because I’ve chilled on social media in general) but I went on their to tweet out Alex’s article and felt like it was appropriate.

  3. AP reporting that Trump threatened to invade Mexico during talk with Mexican President. “Your soldiers are scared but our soldiers are not”, he said. So much for being anti war. When are we going to Invade Iran you think?

    1. Publically putting Iran “on notice” yesterday instead of speaking with them privately, coming to a conclusion, and providing us with what they discussed (as much as we can/should know) seemed incredibly reckless. You can’t help but wonder if it was the administration’s way of setting the foundation for an invasion.

      1. Ya, they want to invade. Bannon said 9 months ago that the United States will get in another Middle East war and a war with China in the next 5-10 years. China… 300 million soldiers CHINA. Speaking of which I just spent an hour listening to a sob story at a Chinese restaurant. This is the same lady that normally delivers to our house. She claims that her Chinese friend went back to China to visit family and now is barred from returning. This woman who is barred has a husband and two children in the United States right now. The husband has a green card and the wife had a valid visa. Her friend was terrified for her.

      2. Oh and as far as putting Iran on notice. M Flynn was actually fired from US intelligence services a few years ago because he kept asking if Iran was involved every time something happened. His colleagues kept on telling him no and he kept on asking (like a child asking his mom and then his dad .. hoping for a different answer). The sane one Mattis is on record of saying that we should use disproportional tactics against Iran. Like if Iranian sailors give us the finger in the PERSIAN gulf we should possibly engage with weapons. He is the sane one who says torture doesn’t work and banning people is dangerous… you know, the sane one with the nick name “Mad Dog”.

      3. The former head of the CIA was on PBS (Charlie rose) this week and he was speaking about all of Trumps cabinet and their “qualifications” and skills. He called Flyn tactical but not strategic and he didn’t like that Mattis wanted to use disproportional responses when dealing with Iran. He worked with both of those guys personally.

      4. Former prime minister of Norway held for an hour in detention at airport because of a visit to Iran 3 years ago( for a humanitarian talk). On his passport is information about him being a PM. Brilliant. The boogy man is coming… from the most progressive place on earth.

  4. One of my colleagues was just told by our director of nursing (who just gave in her notice a few days ago) that we should “ban every muslim nation including the Philippines because there are muslims there too”. She said this right to the face of a company owning partner who is Filipino (A woman who has generated thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for the American people and America).

    And for the person that gave me a thumbs down earlier. Debate me… this is on you scum. I blame you and the people like you.

      1. Ya. This is good. There are a few possibilities here. One possibility is that this “country ban” wasn’t well thought out. I don’t agree with a ban of any kind for the most part but if I were to do what they attempted to do I would do it differently. They should have just stopped issuing Visas and stopped agreeing to let refugees in but instead they made things very difficult for people by surprising them mid flight. What if there is a more sinister possibility here. What if they wanted it to be fucked up and see what the reaction was and who reacted. I’m sure when another attack happens these Federal judges will be blamed or even pressurized in one way or another. Bannon is on video saying for years that there is a JudeoChristian war starting with Islamofascism. Maybe this is part of his plan. By the way, Isis at one point was a collection of 50 thousand evil racist fascists but comparing all muslims to them is precisely what they do in regards to the West. They say all Americans and all Christians are an enemy; ISIS are evil and stupid and I really hope we don’t try to emulate their evil and stupidity in any way shape or form. Meanwhile while we are distracted by this… Heir Trump tried to sell 3 million acres of Fed land, and has allowed dumping of coal waste into rivers and financial advisors to invest their clients money in investments that don’t benefit them (intentionally). What does this have to do with his promises? Special interest all the way.

  5. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/putins-way/

    Everyone should check this out if they are bored over the weekend. 23:00 where Putin is caught blowing up his own people. Multiple Russian investigators dead. Early in the documentary it talks about how he claimed to sell resources to feed needy people in St Petersburg and how millions upon millions of dollars in resources disappeared and how food never arrived. An investigation was ended after he became President.

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