A white-hot inferno of a comics flame war is blazing on social media right now and everyone has to take a side to preserve life as we know it.
In one corner: Gail Simone, currently of Red Sonja but previously of every comic you ever read.
In the other: Fabian Nicieza, famed co-creator of Deadpool and long time Marvel editor and writer.
What sparked the blaze is a shocker: Simone’s claim that Cyclop’s eyebeams are heat vision.
Cyclops is one of the most problematic of X-men. To some a whiny, privileged brat, to others a tormented, disabled survivor. While the conversation over whether to just kick him to the curb while Wolverine and (adult) Jean Grey make out or just bury him in a tomb of adamantium has long been seen on social media, the new controversy has ignited a new war the likes of which the comics world has never seen.
The stunning claim started out on Facebook, and many immediately raised arms against this fake news:
Some observers suggested that Simone was really testing to see whether it would be easier for male comics readers to think
a) Simone–a near 20 year industry veteran who has written every major character there is to write–didn’t know what she was talking about
b) Simone was just trolling them
…but such conspiracy theories were quickly dismissed as farcical.
Nicieza, summoning the vast powers of former X-men writer soon emerged to counter Simone’s earth shattering pronouncement.
And then it got cray. Simone defended her views while revealing dark secrets about Nicieza.
And Fabian shot back!
The feud has only escalated as the hours pass. Many have friended Nicieza to show support.
But in perhaps the biggest reveal of all, Simone, who fights to win, has enlisted Porgs to her side.
OR as good ol JR might put it, “THE PORGS! THE PORGS! THE PORGS!”
Porgs, if you don’t know, are the cutesy wootsy new aliens from Star Wars The Last Jedi that are expected to either be the new Ewoks or a sharp repudiation of all that is cute– while still selling a billion toys.
That’s how things stand at this moment. Cyclop’s eye beams have long been a source of controversy, but never has the fundamental debate over their nature ripped the comics industry asunder like this. Sides are being taken, Words are being exchanged. Blog posts are being written.
And nothing will ever be the same again.
Courage. We’ll survive this. We have to.
Writer C. W. Cooke summed it all up in this meme.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.