The Twitter account of Stan Lee has been used to promote a superhero-themed NFT collection, drawing strong condemnation from thousands of unhappy fans.
The upcoming NFT collection produced by Orange Comet features one of Lee’s lesser-known creations, an Indian superhero known as ‘Chakra the Invincible’. While Orange Comet says the collection will honor the Marvel legend, some fans have taken a more cynical view of the promotional tweet.
“From championing diversity to embracing new tech, Stan was 1 step ahead of the curve,” said the message from Stan Lee’s Twitter account on Tuesday. “To honor his innovative spirit, Stan’s 1st Indian hero, Chakra The Invincible, debuts in his own NFT (digital art) collection.”
In particular, the posthumous use of Stan Lee’s personal account seems to have particularly aggrieved Marvel fans. One user simply responded, “This is so awful,” while another added, “NFTs shouldn’t be done this way. This is terrible.”
Such was the outcry even Dictionary.com got in on the criticism, providing a definition in the process: “The verb ‘defile’ was first recorded in 1275–1325, and comes from the Old French word ‘defouler,’ meaning ‘to trample on, violate,’” it said.
While the initial tweet on Stan Lee’s account holds 10,800 likes, the response from Dictionary.com has 140,300 likes, indicating which tweet more favorably captured Twitter sentiment.
Familiar lines of attack
While some of the backlash toward the Chakra the Invincible collection has criticized the use of Stan Lee’s personal account to sell NFTs, yet more of the condemnation has focused on well-worn anti-NFT talking points.
Critics have argued that NFTs have little or no utility, that the projects take advantage of artists, that the collectibles place profit ahead of genuine artistic quality, or that they’re damaging to the environment. While those in the cryptosphere may counter that many of these arguments lack substance or merit, or that any problems can be overcome with time, it proves that the NFT sector still has some way to go before winning over the general public.
For now, it seems that Orange Comet’s marketing strategy has played into many of these existing prejudices, as a litany of complaints bubble to the surface.
The Chakra the Invincible Collection will be on sale from Dec 27 at 7:30pm PT, to Dec 29 12pm PT to coincide with ‘what would have been Stan Lee’s 99th birthday on December 28th’.
Following the publication of this article, Orange Comet responded to our request for comment.
“Stan Lee was the founder of POW! Entertainment who manages his accounts and worked closely with him while he was alive,” Dave Broome, CEO of Orange Comet told BeInCrypto. “They wanted to bring attention to Stan’s audience around this project which was based on a character Stan co-created and cared about. While there is a focus on some Twitter reactions, the Chakraverse image also received over 420,000 likes from Stan Lee’s Instagram account, and a very positive response in markets like India, which should be mentioned as well in this context as there seems to have also been fans who really reacted positively to the creative we are doing to reinvent Chakra like this. To focus on just the Twitter reaction is not a complete way to understand his fans’ reactions.”
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