Saturday, May 10, 2008

Superman: Red State or Blue State?

I hate to do another comic book related post so close to that last one, but this pisses me off:

Newsarama has reported that DC is doing a book where all the superheroes supposedly declare their political ideology.

No, this is a really stupid idea that has the potential to alienate half their readership. You know there are people that will throw a tantrum because they find out that their childhood hero is of the opposing party of themselves.

Superman Red or Blue?
And what happens when DC's Trinity declares their party? Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are DC's flagship characters and their over-saturated icons. Whatever way they fall will certainly bare scrutiny from the fans that that's the way DC or Dan Didio (Editor of DC Comics) falls.

Dave's Long Box did a pretty good job with guessing superhero political parties last midterm election. For the most part I agree with him on everything, but the people in his comment section bring up quite a few good points that could just as easily go against what Dave Campbell had posted.

Since Superman has had so many different writers over the 70 years he's been in creation, each with their own personal politics and image for the Man of Steel, it's not a surprise that there has been so much evidence to push Superman either way on the spectrum.

The Golden Age version of Superman can be argued to be socialist (for the time), but probably would be regarded as a Moderate Democrat today. In his first issue, Action Comics #1, Superman,
Stops an execution,
Beats up a wife beater,
Dictates what should and shouldn't be in the news,

Tries to clean up Senate corruption,
And scares the shit out of a lobbyist.

And that's only by page 13!

When John Byrne took over Superman after Crisis on Infinite Earths he had Superman execute three criminals from the Phantom Zone (including General Zod). PhotobucketThis is the Superman that Dave Campbell mentions in his blog as a Moderate Republican who supports the Death Penalty. Many thought that was out of character for Superman at the time, and it is refuted by Campbell's commentors (quite a bit actually) that Superman, despite this execution, is actually very against the death penalty. DC Comics eventually gave into the pressure and removed the execution and all previous General Zods from continuity during the events of Infinite Crisis (personally I think it should have stayed because it was quite an important part of Superman's characterization and ethical code).

When Joe Casey took over the book in the early 2000s he made Superman a full on pacifist who hated throwing a punch. This is probably the most liberal leaning Superman has been since the Golden Age.

Currently I'd probably say Superman is that Moderate Republican that Dave Campbell talks about, regardless of the execution. His small town values mixed with his big city styling kind of push him that way. I don't think Superman would declare himself to a political party though. He'd probably give a speech that he's not for only Democrats or Republicans, but that he's for all Americans, in fact, he'd say he's for all humans and creatures of the world. Superman hates partisanship and division, and he doesn't really consider himself to be of one country (despite the fact that he wears Red, White and Blue).

Now that I think about it, can Superman even legally vote? He's an illegal alien. He's from the planet Krypton; an adopted child of earth. Sure Clark Kent could be passed off as an earth native...he could even possibly have a Social Security Card...but with the public knowledge that Superman is an alien, would his endorsement of a candidate or political party have much weight, or even be asked for? And with Superman's personal ethics, knowing that he himself is not of earth, and therefore would not be allowed to vote in an election without proper citizenship authorization, do you think that Clark Kent votes, even though he technically can? Would he not vote on purpose just to be fair to all American citizens? To make him just as equal as the others? Maybe that's the inner socialist in him after all?

I was going to talk about some other heroes and their political ideologies here, but I might hold that over for another post because this one is getting too long. I do want to say one more thing though: Superman is an odd case for his time period. If he was to be this anti-authority socialist hero in the 30s and 40s then that was a direct opposite to all the other heroes at the time who were jingoistic, America-loving, Nazi-bashing, patriots. Superman definitely stood apart from fact, unlike all his contemporaries, he never actually fought in the War! This probably has something to do with Superman's creators: Jerry Shuster and Joe Siegel. Yes, they certainly would have been anti-Hitler and would certainly have wanted Superman to fight the Third Reich (which I'm not saying Superman wasn't anti-Hitler, I'm just saying he didn't stand along side The Flash, Green Lantern, Manhunter, Robotman and the others in the All-Star Squadron on the European Front), but they also were urban liberal Jews from poor families. Photobucket
There was no way Superman was going to represent a WASPy sentiment. He was going to be what his creators wanted: a savior for the poor Jewish people of the time. And at the time, that savior was looking more and more like socialism.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

B-I-N-G-O and Fanboy were their names-Oh

I did find time in my busy schedule to attend New York Comic Con last month. in lieu of a detailed review of the event like I gave last year, I wanted to post something I found on someone else's website:

Greg Hatcher in his awesome column on the Comics Should Be Good blog posted a game called Comic Con Bingo (which he says was created by Young American Comics). I figured it'd be a fun little thing to play to see if I really did encounter all of these stereotypes.

I'll analysis it later.


Well let's see:

Top Row: I can honestly say I didn't see anybody wearing socks and sandals, mostly because I wasn't really looking at anyone's feet. So no-go there.
Furries? Really? Come to think of it, thinking of furries in the cleanest way possible, yes I did see some furries.
Superhero tattoo? Yeah, I remember that, I think. Probably.
Fat Jedi? Absolutely. In fact, the place was filled with Fat Jedis and fat Stormtroopers. Oh comic con, you make me laugh.
"Hopeful with Portfolio" --like every three seconds in Artist Alley. You couldn't move in the place without bumping into one.

Second Row: Bald Guy With pony Tail--Does Peter David count? Heeey-Hooo!
B-List Celebrity not at table-I didn't see any, but I heard that many were there. Ranging from Bill Hader to...Bill Hader. Oh wait, does Stan Lee count? I saw him while on line. He wasn't at a table.
Long Black Trench Coat, Girl in comic shirt and Stripey Tights, yes to all three.

Third Row: Yes to this whole row, with no added commentary!

Fourth Row: "Over-Flowing Comic box/bag". I saw some guy with a luggage carrier.
Got T-shirt and Goth Pony-tails-- Does Peter David count?
Full Body Costume--Um...this should have been the free space. Have the makers of this never gone to a comic con before?
GF taller than BF--I mean, I wouldn't really know if they were dating unless I asked them, but sure I'm pretty sure I saw this.

Fifth Row: Wings--Both people wearing wings, and a poster for the first Oscar winner.
"Someone painted blue"--hmm. This year, I don't recall any blue people. In my head, I'm going through every possible blue character that could be a candidate for someone to dress up as at a con. Nightcrawler, Beast, Mystique, Blue Man group, Smurfs, Guardians of the Universe, post-incident Violet Beauregarde...I don't remember seeing any of them.
White-Boy Afro--No.
Porn Star--Does Peter David count?

yes, there was a porn star there, just like last year, and she had a booth. Again.

Well, I would have won on the second column. Yay.

Are we that predictable?


I woke up today to a phone call from a friend of mine asking me why I hadn't updated my blog since February. Possibly due to sleep deprivation, or to the fact that it was SIX THIRTY ON A SATURDAY MORNING and I had to get up for work very soon after that, I sarcastically (and unamusingly) inquired "Blog? What blog? I have a blog?"

Like I said, it was 6:30 in the morning and I wasn't trying to be funny.

Ridiculous phone calls aside, the reports that I haven't updated my blog here are true.

Yeah, sorry about that.

My fake online Reverend school has taken a lot out of me, what with term papers and "online blackboard discussion groups" and what not. I haven't really had time for anything fun outside of kicking ass in Super Smash Brothers occasionally.

(ok, and yes, going to Comic Con. Which was awesome by the way).

If it means anything, I also haven't done any stand-up since March, so this little-read blog is not the only thing that is suffering from my need to further my education.

My education, ruining my dreams since college.

After my final paper for this semester is in though, you better believe I'll be back to posting every week or so (you know, cause I'll find something better to do then as reading the second volume of Geoff John's Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.). SO, look forward to that!

Thanks for your patience guys.