Holy tendentious comics, Batman!



I know it´s fiction and that as an outsider I just peek at the intricacies of the US political out of morbid curiosity, but geeeeeez, that´s some deranged fiction right there!.

Bio-machanically enhanced conservatives, that´s a good one. HA!

I’m wondering exactly what their bio-mechanically enhanced powers are. At any rate, it’s funnier than Mallard Filmore. Best laugh I’ve had all day.

Can this beat Miller’s “Batman beats up Bin Laden”? I submit that, no matter how crazy it may be, it cannot.

Incidentally, isn’t it funny that many (most?) comics creators are left-leaning, but that the very concept of costumed vigilante (plus lashings of elitism, nationalism, absolute morality and summary justice) is very right-wing, even bordering on fascistic?

Coming to its obvious apex/conclusion in Judge Dredd.

It is a strange contradiction, isn’t it? I guess the explanation is that the alternative wouldn’t make for very exciting comic books. :slight_smile:

Interesting . . . in this graphic novel, Batman seemed to have rather the opposite bias.

I see you haven’t read a comic book since the 1940’s.

Tractor beams that target poor people’s wallets ? Missles that target and destroy gays and atheists, and any woman who’s not in a kitchen ? Burkha bombs ? Anti-tax force fields ? Skin bleaching grenades ?

The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen and, to a lesser extent, Kingdom Come all dealt with this theme. Interesting reading if you’ve got the time and a few extra bucks.

On the contrary, I think that this movement in comics has become even more prominent in recent years, because writers have acknowledged it and allowed elements of moral ambiguity to creep into their work: consider, for example, Ellis’s and Hitch’s The Authority- a series I never really got into due to the glacial storytelling and what I thought was poor execution of great concept- where we see the superheroes, moral and physical superiors, start running the world, bit-by-bit. The idea of literal ubermenschen actually protecting all of humanity from a series of increasingly terrifying external threats is an interesting one, but the fascist overtones cannot be denied, and it is to the creators’s credit that they were willing to explore them rather than sweep them under the carpet, as is the norm in superhero comics.

Comics (superhero comics, for that matter) can be used to explore socio-political issues from a left-wing perspective, like the Green Arrow-Green Lantern team up in the 70’s, where the two effectively abandoned crime fighting as only addressing the consequences of social unrest, not the causes, going on a cross-country tour of the US, visiting ghettos and the urban wastelands of America; more generally, the X-Men have always been about the persecution of minority groups, being interpreted in successive generations as being “about” race, class, or sexuality (there were elements of all three, plus abortion, in X3 for example). However, the legacy of the square-jawed uncomplicated hero cheerfully disposing of caricatured gangsters with a sock on the jaw is stronger than I think anyone in the comics industry is willing to admit.

They explored the issue of heroes being fundametally screwed up in the head- something that reached its nadir in Watchmen, where every superhero was, at the least, emotionally conflicted, and at worst a complete fruitcake- done with skill by Alan Moore, but carried to ridiculous extremes with a whole decade of “grim ‘n’ gritty” comics that saw Batman more likely to be confined to Arkham than dropping off the latest escapes. At the end, however, superhero comics are about the good guys hitting the bad guys, and with that comes all the subtext of moral absolutism, violation of rights and elitism that implies. These are not exclusively right-wing issues, but they are more commonly associated with the right- look at where the support for vigilante groups like the Minutemen, or whoever those whackos who guard the Mexican border are, is coming from. Add in the fact that most comics creators have a left-wing bias (I think that is true), and you have a very interesting little conflict.

Creators can explain this gulf (as with, for example, Steve Dikto’s cheerfully objectivist superhero The Question, leaving evildoers to drown and feeling no remorse- although I realise that Dikto does not fit the “left-wing” label) or explore it (too many examples to mention), but it does remain- and although it might be a legacy of the simple reactionary superheroes of the 30’s and 40’s (Captain America, anyone? Yes, I know he now stays true to the “spirit” of America, not its government- how very constructionalist of him) it still pervades the modern (superhero) comics industry.

I’ve read them all, and I think they’re interesting; in particular, DKR explicitly explores this issue through the talking heads who accuse Batman (quite rightly) as ignoring due process, violating the Bill of Rights and committing a whole variety of crimes (including reckless child endangerment), and through a Batman who joyfully uses intimidation and far more force than is necessary to bring down criminals, even fantasizing about killing them- in fact, there is an argument that he does end up killing the Joker, justifying it with a hallucination of the Joker’s final speech (note two things: firstly, the Joker is supposedly able to speak and kill himself after he’s been paralysed; also the Joker’s last speech is in Batman’s trademark grey speech balloons, not the green ones he used before). The way in which both the left and right wing authority figures are presented (as officious and incompetent) go some way towards addressing this depiction of the pyscho-vigilante Batman, but they still leave an interesting moral ambiguity (IMO).

To return (belatedly) to the OP, however- I may buy this just for shits and giggles.

My LCS owner, with whom I share a good laughing relationship, ordered the first couple of issues of this one. He saw the hype of the far right superheroes thing and looked at our very conservative county and thought there might be something there. No one has bought one. He showed it to me as a lark.

Lord God, how some people thrive on feeling persecuted.

What are they like? Any good? (I mean artistically speaking, not concept-speaking; is the dialogue, art, pacing etc. interesting/well done?)

I just checked out the ACC site where they have several examples & the art is fantastic. As for the content…
I want them!


Saw a page from this and I have to say I’m a little insulted. What’s with the scene in page 9 set the UN where France, Canada, Spain and Germany are applauding Ambassador Bin Ladden.


What a load of Crap, is it a parody of ignorant attitudes that I’m missing or is this writer lumping Iraq with 9/11 and ignoring the fact that the above countries are active in Afghanistan hunting terrorists? If the former then it’s too clever for me. If the latter the it’s a waste of ink and paper.

I wouldn’t bother getting irritated about it. After all, the faces of the ambassadors are little more than caricatures, and the idea that either Bin Laden or Chirac will still be alive in 20 years seems a little unlikely to me.

Is it just me, or is the idea of someone naming their kid “Reagan” unintentionally hilarious?

I think what bugs me is that the comic completely balls up the poitics into a stupid one panel shot. Who would cave in and give a murderer amnesty why its those foreigners who didn’t fight in Iraq. Completely ignoring the fact that many of them have and are serving in Afghanistan to avenge the wrong done in 2001.

I hate that mindless blurring and the petty swipe.

Guess I’m just touchy.

Almost as funny as a buff, cyborg Sean Hannity. The man’s a buttery tub of hate.

Honestly, there were two girls named ‘Reagan’ in my girls Kindergarten class last school year. No foolin’.

I couldn’t speak to the artwork as I just flipped through it in the store. I wonder if Coulter is in there somewhere.

Intereting that they seem to be obliquely admitting that yes, Ann Coulter’s schtick is pretty hateful.

Hmpf. I wouldn’t say it’s common, but it’s a certainly not unheard of name. I knew at least 5 from school. I spell my name differently from that, but pronounce it the same.

I think the artwork is terrible. Take that linked page for example. What the fuck is wrong with the Canadian dude’s eyes? That’s nothing compared to the Spanish guy’s left hand*.

How about the fact that when it shows someone talking on the podium from the front, they’re right in front of the green wall/curtain, but in the first panel the viewpoint is from farther back than the wall would be. Take a look at the picture of Hannity on page 12. The face is ridiculous. Never mind the fact that in 20 years he actually looks younger and in better shape than he does today.
The best I can say about the art is that it’s better than Rob Liefeld.

No offense, Friarted. I’m guessing you don’t read many comics.

*Okay, I see now that there’s a shadow of a thumb on it. Still.