Archive | September, 2012

Comic book political statements

19 Sep

This morning I read the news.  Captain America is getting elected president in the Ultimate Marvel Universe (read: Marvel’s Earth 2, true believers.).  Now, I must confess, as a comic book nerd, my first thought was: this reminds me of when Lex was elected president in DC!  I loved it! Parts of the story didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to but parts did.  Cap as president could be fun.  But then I read a line by the author, talking about how Captain America wouldn’t be supporting Democrat or Republican ideas.  That he transcends them.  In theory, I suppose I could agree with that idea, but it got me thinking about how other comic book characters might vote.  Mostly, I base my opinions on how the real world works and who votes for which party.  Occasionally, specific authors’ works on characters may influence my thoughts.  But what follows is who I think specific characters would vote for.

1)      Superman is the easiest to choose I think.  Now, several years ago, DC published an embarrassing story about the election in 2008.  Each issue of the miniseries explored how different heroes voted.  Superman, however, didn’t vote apparently.  I personally don’t buy this.  Much like Cap, I assume the authors were trying to show that he was above the party idea.  But when you understand he was raised by kindly elderly farmers, from the American Midwest, it only makes sense that he would be a republican.  Look at the election maps from the last forty years.  Kansas is a steady red state.  Now, I am sure that in the big cities, the issue may be questionable, but Smallville is the classic small town.  Superman has to be republican.  Lois, on the other hand, is definitely the typical democrat reporter.  Not that there’s anything with that!

2)      Batman is a WASP.  Raised (to the age of 8) as a blue blood, he also would be most likely a Rockefeller republican.  Now, admittedly, Thomas Wayne definitely seems to be a bleeding heart, when you look at Bruce, he seems to be the “old money republican.”  To go a step further, with his rather harsh view on crime, he would lean more to a republican view on justice.

3)      Wonder Woman and Aquaman are monarchists.  They don’t care at all.

4)      Hal Jordan is a little more difficult.  And honestly, he is a rare character that I really feel like you need to look at who is writing him to guess.  When written as the typical fun in the sun Californian, I wholeheartedly believe he would be a democrat.  As the down on his luck, changing from job to job guy, I would buy him as a democrat.  But Geoff’s rebooted Hal is so tied to his sense of duty, and his military background, that I have to say he too would probably vote republican.  Look at the issue where his plane crashed in Russia and you see him as almost a modern McCain.  And with the Sinestro Corps War, he was quick to come out and support the notion of Green Lanterns being able to kill their enemies in combat, an unlikely characteristic for a democrat leaning character.

5)      Quick note on the other Earth born Green Lanterns: Guy is obviously a Rambo republican and I love it! Kyle would probably be a democrat.  Read any of his 90s stories to see his struggling with his own “personal fears.”  John, too, would probably be a democrat.  Created by Denny during the height of the transitioning Americas, he probably bleeds blue!  And yes, I am ignoring walking PC lantern Baz.  Pre 52 Alan would be a republican.  Post: Democrat.

6)      Barry Allen would be even more of a republican than Clark.  Not only is he a typical, salt of the earth Midwesterner, he is also a cop.  He has no choice but to have an “r” beside his name.

7)      Wally is a more interesting choice I believe.  He too would be a republican but more out of respect to Barry than for any serious political leanings of his own.  I am pretty sure a writer said that once, but whether it was Waid, Johns, or the author of the aforementioned DCU Decisions, I can’t recall.

8)      One of my favorite, new 52 mistreated characters Amanda Waller.   She is a great, classic character.  She is a natural democrat too.  Read her early appearances.  An aid to an African American congressman in the 80s, she loved to fight with Reagan, all the while calling for harsh treatment of criminals, which made her too much fun.

9)      Jonn Jonzz, another all-time favorite characters, is a rare man who truly transcends American politics.  In the 90s, they continually pointed out he was one of the only characters who truly saw the Earth as a whole.  With that being said, I don’t see him getting involved in the political process.

On the Marvel side, I only feel the need to comment on three characters.

10)  Captain America, I believe, would be a republican.  Now, I understand where the writer currently would try and claim he would transcend politics.  I really do.  But as a character so steeped in the military culture, I believe he would certainly vote for the party that promotes a stronger national defense.  Also, he would buy into that classic American ideal that hard work leads to prosperity.  This is not to say democrats don’t accept this notion but I don’t believe he would support all of the social programs to help get people a leg up.  I believe he would support private charity more than government hand-outs.

11)  Spiderman though would definitely be a democrat.  As a life-long New Yorker, he is almost a card carrying democrat by birth.  Also, younger people tend to vote democrat, and I have always thought Spidey works best as a younger guy.

12)  Finally, Professor X would almost certainly be a democrat.  As a proponent for minority rights (mutants count!), he would fit very well into the base of the democrat party.

That’s my thoughts on the political leanings on some of the most famous characters in comics.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Things will never be the same again! Until it happens again next year!

13 Sep

Few words should bother the modern comic book fan as much as the line, “Things will never be the same!” The line gets thrown around a lot and more often than not, you know a few things right off the bat.  First, you know that things will be the same sooner than later.  You also know you will probably be reading a story full of “emotional moments” that really don’t pan out. Unfortunately, even with this being fairly common knowledge, both of the big two have made this announcement in the last month. 

For example, DC announced that Superman and Wonder Woman were going to start dating.  In the most recent issue of Justice League, Clark and Diana kissed.  In the Justice League International Annual, it was revealed this would change the future in a horrible way and Booster Gold vanished.  Right afterwards, they announced that Clark and Lois may never date again!  Oh the horrors!  Clark and his former wife might not ever even date. I never would have guessed this.  But the point is, Superman and Wonder Woman have dated before in every main reality DC has published and even in some of the alternate realities they published.  And Alan Moore even made a brilliant statement about it 20 years ago when he had Wonder Woman point out that it was too obvious.  Meanwhile, Clark and Lois always end up dating.  Sometimes more successfully, sometimes less.  But the characters were literally made for each other.  Even if Geoff and Co. chose to not have the couple restored during their tenure over DC, the next group will. 

Over at Marvel, Professor X died again.  Bendis went on the comics’ blogs today and made the fabled announcement that things would never be the same. He also explained that Professor X would be more important dead than alive.  Now, as someone who doesn’t read Marvel regularly, this sounded familiar so I quickly wiki checked.  Sure enough, this has happened at least four times already.  Now, many characters have died and returned but this seems to happen to X more frequently than other characters.  Then, the writer talks of how groundbreaking the storyline would be.  The next writers come in, bring Charles back, and then kill him all over again.  My personal favorite version of the storyline would be when Legion, his son killed him.  And so what did Bendis claim today?  He claimed that all of the emotion would be generated when the man who is like a son to Charles becomes Charles’s killer.  Sounded incredibly familiar. 

Personally, I don’t mind killing Charles again.  I don’t mind Wonder Woman and Superman dating again.  I just wish the companies, authors, and everyone would stop pretending they are telling such original stories and that “things would never be the same again.”  It just doesn’t work.  Honestly, the nature of the business is that the storylines are cyclical. Some of these characters have been published weekly for eighty years almost.  It is difficult to come up with completely new stories.  Tell your stories and let us enjoy them.  Maybe I will enjoy Charles’s 43 death.  But please don’t try and sell me on it being a brilliant new direction that has never happened before.

Amazing Spiderman

3 Sep

As most boys my age, I grew up watching Spiderman cartoons. My brother introduced me to comic books at an early age, letting me read his hand me down Spiderman books. Over time, I transitioned over to DC comics but I must confess that I have had always had a soft spot for the old webhead. Unlike everybody else, though, I was disappointed with Rami’s version of Spiderman movies. And though I wasn’t really looking forward to a reboot, I knew my youngest son would want to see the Amazing Spiderman. Plus, I must confess as an early 80s Spidey fan, I have always had a soft spot for Gwen Stacey, who was Spiderman’s girlfriend in the cartoons I grew up watching.

Now, I must confess, there were things I thought made no sense and other things I thought could have been approved upon. Frankly, Peter Parker should have been more of a nerd. I never really cared for the idea that Peter’s parents being spies, or in this movie, brilliant scientists murdered for hidden knowledge. Ben fills that role. Also, having Kurt Conners possibly being involved in their mysterious deaths makes him less of a tragic character and more of mustache twirling psycho.
But the biggest problem was having Kurt transform several policemen into lizard juniors and then have them not do a thing. The entire concept of having him try and make the city of New York into lizardville is a little much anyway. It could possibly have worked in a sequel movie episode but not a first appearance.

That said, I did believe this was the best Spiderman movie ever. Peter and Gwen were perfect together. It was also really nice having Spiderman use his sense of humor while beating on street thugs. It would have been nice for this to carry over more. I was glad to see Captain Stacey have an active role but I would have preferred if he would have died in a later movie also. Spiderman works best when he is in over his element and that was obvious in the movie while the Lizard threw him left and right.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. The characters really seemed to be overly smart high school kids. At times, the director tried a little too hard to be sweet and sentimental, like when all the construction crews all stayed in town to move their cranes into position for Spiderman. Or the overly quick why he dealt with Captain Stacey’s last request. Still, I personally thought this was else the best Spiderman movie ever. I even find myself looking forward to a sequel. This was a rare movie the entire family could agree on!