Rosa Parks and Doctor Octopus split screen image

Sellars Publishing has been publishing its Comic Book Trivia Day-to-Day Boxed Calendar for a couple of years now.  Every day, fans can learn a little fact about comics, their creators, and characters that they might not have known before, or enjoy a quote from a comic or comic-based movie, or match wits with a quiz.  For instance, the page for January 2 of this year was info about 1987’s ‘Wonder Woman’ #1:

“In Crisis on Infinite Earths, writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez destroyed the DC multiverse.  In Wonder Woman, Perez helped reinvent DC’s oldest heroine for their new cosmos.  With an emphasis on mythology and clean, complex, gorgeous art, Perez began an all-time classic run.”

The page from January 4/5 (weekends  get one page) featured quotes from ‘Avengers: Infinity War’:

Spider-Man: “What is this guy’s problem, Mr. Stark?”

Iron Man: “He’s from space.  He came here to steal a necklace from a wizard.”

On Wednesday, January 8, calendar-owners were challenged to a quiz question:

“Which series included the cover blurb ‘A good commander can beat the odds, a great commander can beat the gods!!!'”

  1. Captain America
  2. Captain Victory
  3. Captain Britain
  4. Captain Marvel

(The answer is 2. Captain Victory created by Jack Kirby in 1981.)

But on Tuesday, February 4, the birthday of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, this was the message:


I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone that went to school ever, but Rosa Parks was a black woman, who, on December 1, 1955, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white male and move to the back of the bus.  Parks was arrested for civil disobedience and the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) positioned her as a rallying point for the civil rights movement.  She remains one of the best-known civil rights leaders in US history, and she was later awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

Doctor Octopus is a white comic book supervillain.

I literally read this over and over.

It finally dawned on me what the writer meant, although it’s badly worded and in incredibly poor taste.  The way it’s printed doesn’t help.  The statement isn’t that Doc Ock is “The Rosa Park of super-people,” it’s he’s “The Rosa Parks of super-people with robo-arms’.

Rosa Parks was a woman that was jailed and persecuted for the color of her skin, making her a pioneer in the civil rights movement.  Doctor Octopus was a pioneer… because he was the first comic book character with bionic appendages.

Bad, BAD idea.  Even though I get what they meant, this should not have been printed.  Not only was Feb. 4 Rosa Parks’ birthday, but February is Black History Month.  You really can’t marginalize the civil rights movement by drawing a parallel to fictional supervillains.

I can’t with some people…