Politics in Comic Books

There are things that are political but do not fall on either side of the aisle.

I found the weaponization element of social media in YJ S3 to certainly be a topic they used. An “issue” that both heroes and villains were equally guilty of.

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There seems to be verying definitions of politics here. It seems like most people just don’t want to hear the current news cycle reflected in the stories, which I can understand. I think Lex quoting You-Know-Who in YJ undermines Lex’s intelligence, personally. But to the larger point, crime is a political issue so crime-fighting in fiction is absolutely a political stance. But that is a wider definition of politics than I think some are using.

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Well, as people have said before, post-Crisis Lex Luthor has always been a jab at Donald Trump. I mean, if David Letterman were to become President, could you really blame the Batman writers for making use of Frank Miller’s character David Endocrine in response to his election?

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I’ve never read a story where Lex sounded or acted anything like Trump, so I’m not sure how his post-Crisis incarnation was ever a jab at him.
At best, I can think of him acting a bit nuttier than usual in Batman/Superman when it first started, but even then, I see the comparison kind of stretching things.

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I think that jab at YJ is in poor taste. It’s been what, 3 years? And people still don’t seem to have gotten over it. This reminds of the president in RotS who without a doubt resembles Hilary.
It is kind of annoying that DC would pick a political side and subtly say that their readers and viewers should just except it. I think that any good business, especially entertainment, should stay out of that kind of thing. But fighting for awareness and rights in comics isn’t wrong. It is just really bad when they decide to alienate other groups.

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@Mr_Morbach: It’s been that way since the 1980s, and they haven’t exactly been subtle about it. I mean, they even spoofed the cover of The Art of the Deal back in 1989!

https://www.cbr.com/superman-lex-luthor-donald-trump/

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As long as the story is good, I don’t care if there’s political undertones in the story. Even if I don’t agree with them.

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@AlexanderKnox: I guess that was before I started collecting. Any comic incarnation of Lex I saw didn’t exactly resemble the guy.

@Behemoth.Ravenlord

I suppose it’s a manner of perception. The female president in RotS didn’t particularly resemble Hillary, IMO. Beyond words it was a white female who was 50+. The facial structure and voice actress didn’t strike me as Hillary-esque at all.

CW Supergirl has a female president, and Lynda Carter looks NOTHING like Hillary. I can see where some alternate Earths could have elected a female president. And I can see where DC would put that difference in certain non-earth Prime continuities.

As is the case with art, people see what they want to see. Interpretation of art is very personal and subjective. As an artist you put your creations out into the real world and you lose a certain amount of control of what that creation means. Is “We are the champions” by Queen about being victors or about be defenders. When I dissect those lyrics, I find it clear to be clearly the latter. However, its clearly evident that the meaning has been taken by others and repurposed.

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I see your point Desade.

I agree with rhcoop on changing characters. Batman should always be Bruce Wayne unless it works for the story ie. Knight fall or Batman Beyond for instance Robin became Nightwing but he was still Dick Grayson. I think the whole “Rick” thing was a publicity grab more than anything though I may be wrong as I’m a bit cynical but back to the point I really think as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

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@Behemoth.Ravenlord
You make a good point. I made a thread discussing political points I found, like in Powerless, the episode “Win, Luthor, Draw”, a banner had the news section show GOP still supports Luthor even after he confessed to crimes. It was never my intention to make a left vs right in that thread, I was just curious of the political message. And instead of an explanation, the thread was removed. That shows alienation and, at least to me, intolerance for me asking an inquiry.

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Fatty, I think you mean :notes:”If it ain’t broke don’t fiddle with it.”:notes:

I just read the Prelude to the Wedding: Red Hood vs. Anarchy, and they have a moment where people are being attacked by groups of pro-lifers, and other people. That is really ironic. Someone who is pro-life would attack and hurt people for their cause. I know plenty of pro-life people and they are the nicest people I know. That just seems like a slight jab at those people.

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What O’Neil and Adams did with Green Lantern/Green Arrow was classic pop-art. It had meaning, it was informative and–best of all–it was entertaining. What King, Bendis, DeConnick and other contemporaries are doing in comics today borders on blatant propaganda. And whether it be “left” (which most of it is) or “right” I find it pedantic and boring, and sometimes insulting. And I would like to challenge the assumption that comics have always been political. But rather, I think they have always been topical. No one uses the word “commie” today, but Stan Lee used it in all his books in the early sixties when EVERYONE was caught up in the Cold War. In the eighties, there were comics dedicated to ending world hunger, a cause that only a moron would be against. Issues of the day should always be furtile ground for comic book narratives, but they need to be presented in an entertaining manner or the audience will go elsewhere. As comic book sales continue to shrink, and editors and creators continue to double down on finger-pointing and lecturing, one has to wonder if these companies have any semblance of a working business model.

@Behemoth.Ravelord

Pro-life protests have become more civil one the 20 ft “no fly zone string abortion clinics” was passed.

I must confess, I have never seen a pro-choice person grab a pregnant woman off the sidewalk and drag her into the clinic.

I have seen (late 70s-early 80s) more than one pro-life supports grab a pregnant woman off the sidewalk and try, and sometimes succeed, in preventing her from getting into a clinic and missing her appt. Randall Terry’s original Operation Rescue squads got a bit “rambunctious” so much so, that at least I. My SoCal are we got pro-life muscle, including myself back then) there to stop their physical assaults, for there is no other word to describe it.

These actions occurred with enough frequency that the “no fly zone” was established and behavior on behalf th sides has been forced to get more civil. Although, the random terrorist bombings of abortion clinics have continued.

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That jab is warranted. There is a historically political (as one can break down “pro-life” and pro-choice into political ideologies.

@badeballmaniac1

The truth is that comic sales have increased year over year, starting post-9/11. In 2002.

Comics have faired better in the print media over the last decade than newspapers and magazines.

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I don’t think comics should be political. Comics tend to be made by leftist authors. Which tend to isolate the conservative fan base.

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@baseballmaniac: You said, “And I would like to challenge the assumption that comics have always been political. But rather, I think they have always been topical.” Is it merely topical to have your superheroes encouraging readers to buy war bonds, stamps, and loans? The Golden Age was full of unabashed political propaganda, and not every American was in favor of the U.S.'s involvement in the war.

Then you said that Stan Lee used the word “commie” at a time “when EVERYONE was caught up in the Cold War.” There were American communists at that time. They typically weren’t too fond of the Soviet Union, but they were still being classified as the enemy whenever writers would conflate communism with the USSR.

At best, you could argue that these examples reflect cases where a sufficient majority of Americans agreed with the political stances of these writers that the dissenters could be easily ignored, which is problematic in its own right. Even then, the politics of the pre-Pearl Harbor comics were not so uncontroversial, and Stan the Man used his Spider-Man comics to take shots at the Vietnam War protesters.

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