The SentryTrue believers or true deceivers? These days, it’s hard to tell the difference at Marvel Comics or Wizard–a magazine that covers the mainstream comics industry.

The May issue of Wizard includes a story about how Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, concocted a fake history for a new character called “The Sentry.” Quesada and his minions passed off the Sentry as a long-forgotten superhero created by Stan Lee before the premier of the Fantastic Four in 1961. In fact, the Sentry first appeared in 2000.

Basically Quesada used retconning as a marketing ploy. OK, that sucks. But the bigger stinkwads, in my opinion, are the Wizard magazine staffers who helped Marvel perpetuate the scam. As they admit in their May issue, they knew last year that the Sentry was a new character, but they helped Marvel spread the lie that he had a forty-year history.

Hey, fellow editors: whatever happened to putting your readers first? Since when is it more important to pander to those who function as your advertisers and sources? Read some Noam Chomsky whydontcha.

And don’t bother to make the argument that it’s just comics, nobody was hurt, etc. Wizard is conspicuously aimed at not only readers but collectors–that is to say, it covers comic books not only as entertainment but as investments. When you start publishing information that you know to be false for the purpose of deceiving people, you screw with the investing market. Coming clean later on doesn’t change that.

Last of all, let’s not forget Stan “with great power comes great responsibility” Lee, who provided a series of interviews full of misinformation to shore up Quesada’s story. Excelsior my ass.

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