It may sound like a joke, but some of the latest superheroes to arrive on the scene are about as progressive as you can get.
“Safe Space” is just one of the leftist superheros launched recently by Marvel, and they’re about what you would expect. The comic book giant recently released news about its newest lineup of super heros — they’re woke, non-binary, and here to make sure you are too.
This release comes as part of Marvel’s one-off New Warriors franchise. This team first appeared in the 1990s, but Snowflake and Safe Space are new to the lineup this year. Marvel’s recent announcement shared the new duo. They are “psychic twins” and Snowflake is described as “non-binary” to please the many gendered audience they hope to reach.
“Safespace is a big, burly, sort of stereotypical jock,” Marvel explained in a statement. “He can create forcefields, but he can only trigger them if he’s protecting somebody else. Snowflake is non-binary and goes by they/them, and has the power to generate individual crystalized snowflake-shaped shurikens. The connotations of the word ‘snowflake’ in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.”
The psychic twins are designed to complement each other and to appeal to the “social justice warriors” out there who also like comic books.
“Snowflake is the person who has the more offensive power, and Safespace is the person who has the more defensive power. The idea is that they would mirror each other and complement each other,” Marvel added.
Despite the intention, the new superheros have not been met with outlandish praise. In fact, according to Comic Book Review, they have been soundly rejected by many of the very people they hope to reach. CBR outlines the trouble with the new characters:
“The ‘New’ New Warriors approach internet culture in a way that’s too much on the nose,” CBR wrote. “Terms like ‘safe space’ and ‘snowflake’ are often thrown around as insults online, yet here we have two characters who embrace the names ironically. This isn’t uncommon — slurs and insults are reclaimed by minorities frequently — but it seems aggressively forced here.”
While Safe Space and Snowflake are the most highly publicized and visible new heroes, but B-Negative (a vampire and a reference to negativity on the Internet) has joined the team as well. You can also meet “Screentime”, who has the lamest superpower to date: the ability to Google things without a smartphone.
According to CBR, Marvel has had gender fluid characters in the past, but Snowflake is particularly “problematic.”
“Snowflake seems exceedingly ill-advised here,” CBR added. “While the intention may be to reclaim an insult, the effort comes across as an overly-patronizing attempt to reclaim something that some have no interest in reclaiming.”
Readers have been vocally rejecting the characters since they were introduced, and a response from Marvel has not yet been issued.