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Sunday, April 05, 2009 

Nashua Telegraph insults patriotism

The Nashua Telegraph writes about a short-lived comic published in the mid-60s called Blazing Combat, and inserts some subtle lines that attack patriotism:
For those of you who have never heard of it, "Blazing Combat" was a black-and-white, Time-size comics magazine by Warren Publishing in 1965 and 1966. It lasted only four issues, which wasn't because of lack of quality. Its run was truncated because it focused on the human costs and emotional ramifications of war instead of the simplistic jingoism found in regular comics at the time.
Whoops, I think that's going a bit far there to use a word that's a negative translation of patriotism. And why do I get the idea there could be more to this comic than meets the eye, and that it might be an anti-war diatribe of the times?

There is another thing here that raises my eyebrows though:
That ticked off the U.S. military (which denied Warren access to military newsstands) and the American Legion (which pressured distributors to deny access to regular newsstands). Starved of distribution, sitting on loading docks with no destination, "Blazing Combat" died a quick death.
If they suppressed distribution, that was wrong, mainly because it only plays into the hands of apologists and the lefties today. This is a surprising case, I admit, but I suspect there's still a lot more here that's not being told about the story itself. And spinning it as an alternative to "jingoism" is really tasteless.

This same column also brings up a bit more about Mark Waid's Irredeemable, that tells a little bit more and explains why I find the premise so uncomfortable:
"In superhero comics, pretty much everyone who's called upon to put on a cape is, at heart, emotionally equipped for the job," Waid said. "I reject that premise.

" 'Irredeemable' is, in a way, my third and most complex chapter on the cost of superheroics – a pulp adventure tale of horror exploring how the lessons we learn about right and wrong as children can become warped and twisted when challenged by the realities of the adult world."
Why does that highlighted text sound so reminiscent of "the cost of war"? Is this some kind of an anti-war message shrouded in the disguise of a "superhero" tale? If anything, it just sounds like another postmodern teardown of superhero escapism, and almost similar to Warren Ellis' Black Summer.

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