Stack Clean: The Divided States of Hysteria #2

I internally debated whether I would even mention this comic, because it was profoundly bad in a number of ways.

First, it’s transphobic (deadnaming a character repeatedly) and filled with slurs of every type (racist, sexist, etc.). I couldn’t read a page without cringing at the choices the author had made time after time. For a take on the awfulness of the series, I’d recommend “The Divided States of Hysteria controversy, and what it means for trans characters in comics” by Tara Marie.

The story was also riddled with tired story elements and was visually underwhelming. The author, Howard Chaykin, is apparently an industry veteran who had worked on many popular characters in the past but whatever skill was demonstrated there seems to have been left behind. Aside from being a hurtful story, it was boring and disappointingly bland.

In the after matter the author spews a kind of malignant centrism and poorly tries to defend the choices he made. How this was published by a big comics publisher is baffling to me. An editor should have known better, even if the author didn’t. The Divided States of Hysteria was a wholly irredeemable book.

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