If your feminist superhero movie is losing in the court of public opinion and millions of dollars are on the line, how far would you go to save face? Well if you’re Marvel, I guess you might drag up the ghost of Stan Lee to do some last minute PR. An effective tactic? Er, maybe … ? Creepy and ghoulishly opportunistic? You betcha.



One of the most popular franchises for Marvel Comics over the past few decades has been the X-Men, an ever-changing group of “mutants” born with an extra gene granting them super powers when they reach puberty. However, the launch on Wednesdary, April 5, of the latest series for the characters -- entitled X-Men Gold -- quickly spawned an outcry when the artwork portrayed numbers and letters that refer to a verse from the Quran cited in support of intolerance toward other religions, as well as political unrest taking place in Indonesia.



Like most newspaper readers, I like a good break from news coverage -- and the usual liberal biases therein -- by escaping to the comics pages. Yesterday reading through the Washington Post's comics section, I was struck by how many of the syndicated artists ran appropriate, even touching tributes to the victims and heroes of September 11 from strips like "Blondie," "Beetle Bailey" and "Hagar the Horrible."

Stan Lee's "The Amazing Spider-Man" strip was among the best tributes, with Spidey praising the "real heroes" who "gave their own lives" on 9/11 who make his "little problems seem like nothing."

"Dennis the Menace" even managed to melt the stony heart of old Mr. Wilson with his tribute to the heroes of 9/11.

And then, unfortunately, there was Darrin Bell's  "Candorville."