New York -- After recent announcements that by 2015 Thor will be a woman, Captain America will be an African American, and Iron Man will move to San Francisco and redesign his armor to look like an Apple device, Marvel Comics issued a stunning new announcement about its most popular character this week.
"Beginning next year, Wolverine will -- once he comes back to life -- be a transgender Samoan atheist whose bones are made out of 100 percent recycled metal," said Marvel's Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. "S/he will dedicate ze's awesome mutant powers to the fight against microaggression."
This, Marvel Editor Will Moss said, "isn't a gimmick. This isn't a temporary twist or a replacement 'trans-Asian-athiest' Wolverine. This is the real Wolverine, just the way fans have always loved zhim: a complex anti-hero who won't rest until all of America composts."
The move has been controversial. Outraged fans flooded Marvel's Facebook page after the announcement, declaring that it just didn't make any sense for the immortal mutant samurai/berserker with unbreakable metal bonded to his skeleton to be a Pacific Islander.
"How is that rational?" asked comic blogger Sam Duggins. "To take a tightly conceived character like that, with no plot holes, and just change his ethnicity, makes the whole thing seem highly improbable."
"Stop making all these continuity changes!" agreed fan Bob Brusk, on Facebook. "Only Dr. Strange, should have that kind of awesome power."
Marvel comics fan Eliot Smith "liked" that comment, and added that while Dr. Strange would have the ability to alter Wolverine's gender identity, he never would. "That's what a moral code means," Smith said. "With great power comes great responsibility.
For Marvel to just change its characters like that as part of some misguided 'diversity' agenda -- it make me think they never learned the moral lesson of being bitten by a radioactive spider."
But not all comic lovers agreed. According to San Francisco comic store owner Todd Baily, Marvel recently revealed that Dr. Strange received his doctorate from an unaccredited university, and therefore isn't able to perform gender re-assignment magic.
That's right, said Joe Quesada, Marvel's chief Creative Officer. "We felt there was a need to reach out to people who didn't attend accredited collages," Quesada explained. "There are millions of Americans attending shitty for-profit colleges, and they're completely unrepresented in comic books. We hope Dr. Strange can represent them as he struggles to get a job with the Fantastic Four but can't even get them to look at his resume because he went to an online school."
That's good enough for Baily. "I don't understand why we're even arguing," Baily said. "What's important is that a whole new generation of young people are being introduced to beloved comic book characters who have withstood the test of time: like Autistic Daredevil, Professor STEM, and Samuel L. Jackson."
Quesada agreed that this is a lot of fuss about nothing. "Jesus Christ, people. It's just a gimmick. It's not like we're hiring minority writers."
Benjamin Wachs is a literary chameleon