I love comic books. I have ever since I was 11, when Marvel sent all of their heroes off on a secret war that, as I remember, involved them beating each other up for 12 issues. And I’m the dude you see on the train reading a comic, when you stifle the urge to tell me to grow up. I think comics can and should be about anything and for everyone, regardless of age, creed, or gender. But seeing Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn on the cover of a Marvel comic, posing with Iron Man…I don’t know.
Part of me thinks it’s cool that Marvel is aggressively seeing to woo female readers with a book like August’s Models Inc., which’ll team up some female supporting characters, like Spidey’s gal pal Mary Jane Watson, to solve a murder committed during New York Fashion Week. And in that sense, Tim Gunn is a perfectly valid choice for the cover. (I reserve the right to judge what it’ll be like when Gunn uses Iron Man’s suit to actually fight crime.) And given that President Obama’s appearance in a Spider-Man book resulted in record sales, it’s somewhat of a no-brainer to try.
But this is all starting to remind me of the gimmick comics of the ’70s, when Superman would fight Muhammad Ali or meet the Beatles. Too much of this sort of thing eventually cheapens the characters, especially when they start going on adventures with the Harlem Globetrotters. If the Tim Gunn appearance works, and new readers start picking up comics, then huzzah. But if not, it’s a slippery slope.
What about you? Is Tim Gunn and comics like chocolate and peanut butter or arsenic and old lace?
addCredit(“Phil Jimenez/Marvel Entertainment”)