Marvel Entertainment has nixed a planned partnership with the military defense contractor Northrop Grumman just one day after its initial announcement following an intense backlash online. The deal was to be for a promotional comic book and marketing campaign, and was first teased Friday morning, October 6, then cancelled 13 hours later.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 6, 2017
This event has been canceled.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 7, 2017
The negative response generally focused on Northrop Grumman’s work as a military weapons developer.
“The activation with Northrop Grumman at New York Comic Con was meant to focus on aerospace technology and exploration in a positive way,” Marvel said in a statement. “However, as the spirit of that intent has not come across, we will not be proceeding with this partnership including this weekend’s event programming. Marvel and Northrop Grumman continue to be committed to elevating, and introducing, STEM to a broad audience.”
Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada was asked about it at his “Cup O’ Joe” panel Saturday morning, to which he responded, “I’ll be honest with you, I saw it for the first time as you guys. I think there were some messaging issues. It was really about science and education.”
This partnership was with Marvel’s ‘Custom Comics’ division, in which companies hire Marvel to produce comic books advertising its products alongside Marvel characters.
According to Deadline, Marvel has the issues on-hand to give out during New York Comic Con but has cancelled plans to release them.