By Jude Terror
It's a reasonable question. After all, Red Wolf does look a little bit... outdated:
Shirtless, wearing war paint, wearing buckskin pants, wearing, inexplicably, a loincloth over the buckskin pants, wearing a necklace made out of animal teeth, and holding a bow and arrow, Red Wolf looks a little bit stereotypical. Maybe there's a good reason for this. Maybe it totally makes sense in the story and Red Wolf will be the most inoffensive character ever created.
But looking at that image, which Marvel produced and released for the purpose of getting readers excited about All-New All-Different Marvel NOW!, it's a perfectly valid response to ask a question, right? It's something that's been discussed recently in the national media in response to sports teams using stereotypical images of Native Americans as mascots, so it's clearly relevant. We can all agree that asking questions is okay, especially when raised in the respectful and non-confrontational manner as Anonymous did?
Well, not according to Tom Brevoort:
This kind of attitude is indicative of the smarm that permeates the industry and parts of fandom. If the marketing pumped out daily by Marvel gets you excited and in the mood to buy their comics, that's a perfectly accepted response. But if you criticize it? Well, mister, you should wait until the book comes out before passing "wild" judgement! That promotional art is only for people to fawn over and place their preorders. Criticism isn't allowed around here. How dare people "wildly" judge Marvel by the promotional art Marvel itself creates and publishes?! Who do you think you are, comic book reader, to question the House of Ideas?
But Brevoort is still wrong. You certainly can judge visual stereotypes by the visuals. That's all you can judge them by. No amount of nonvisual information can wipe a visual stereotype from your eyes.
Brevoort's answer about understanding the character is a dodge. Red Wolf may be an extremely well-developed character, worthy of our respect, but we're talking about his appearance. You could dress Hamlet or Willy Loman as Red Wolf and the costume would be stereotypical. Any of them in that costume, with those weapons, would be a half-naked savage by definition.
Let us know when you have a real answer, Tom. So far you haven't addressed the issue of Red Wolf's stereotypical appearance.
For more on the subject, see All-New, All-Different Red Wolf? and Same-Old, Same-Old Red Wolf.