Yesterday, Marvel announced a partnership with defense contractor Northrop Grumman to produce a custom comic book series. The announcement quickly led to backlash online from both fans and talent who found the partnership to be insensitive, especially in light of the Las Vegas shootings, which itself led to Marvel and Netflix canceling their New York Comic Con Punisher panel.
Less than 24 hours later, Marvel revealed that it had pulled out of the partnership with the corporation. Now Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has offered his own comments on the matter.
During his "Cup O’ Joe" panel at New York Comic Con, Quesada was asked by a fan to comment on the controversial partnership between Marvel and Northrop Grumman. According to Quesada, he was made aware of the partnership when everyone else was and he feels the proper steps have since been taken to rectify the issue. “I’ll be honest with you, I saw it for the first time [same] as you guys,” he said. “I think there were some messaging issues. It was really about science and education.”
Marvel Comics is known for teaming up with various companies for custom comics, including the likes of ESPN, Visa, the NBA, and even the Florida Department of Citrus. However, none have been met by a reaction as negative as the Northrop Grumman collaboration. While these types of custom comic projects have traditionally be handled by a department separate from Marvel's day to day comic book creation, the reaction to this one has most certainly had an impact on public perception of Marvel Comics and will most likely lead to adjusted guidelines when it comes to accepting future partnerships.