How the left-wing changed comics post-war on terror
Captain America and Superman fight for truth and justice as they have for decades, but they've questioned the U.S. government more often since the start of the War on Terror in 2001.It's just like them to worry more about supposed breach of civil liberties than about violent ogres lurking around our neighborhoods, making them less safe.
Superheroes since the 2000s have increasingly held up a mirror to controversies like mass surveillance, remote killings using drones and the “with us or against us” mentality espoused by former President George W. Bush. Misuse of military technology also played a key role in recent movie adaptations featuring Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man, showing how fighting dirty to defeat evil can make America its own worst enemy.
Before the terrorist attacks of 2001, great comics – such as Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” and Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” – reflected a grittier side of American power. But the War on Terror “prompted comic books to take a more global view of the world,” says Axel Alonso, editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics.Some view alright! The man doesn't have the guts to admit he's a leftist, and acknowledge the leftists now running Marvel seem intent on pushing the Truther view - that 9-11 was supposedly an inside job.
“It provoked comics that used metaphor to comment on the United States’ uncertain place in the world,” Alonso says. “The best comics take a look at the issues outside your window. We don’t take sides and we avoid raw politics. We focus more on ethics.”A big fat lie. They've been taking leftist leanings for longer than we think. Since the turn of the century - and especially since 9-11 - they've taken a leftist bent that's become progressively worse as time went by.
The premiere of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on Friday is a prime example of Captain America’s unique role taking on current events after being created in the 1940s to rally support against the Nazis. Captain America fought jihadist terrorists in the early 2000s, but at the same time fought anti-Islamic racism fanned by the World Trade Center attacks, Alonso says.More dishonesty from the same editor who's kept up the anti-Spider-marriage position. It may have looked as though Cap was fighting jihadists at first, but then, as that 2002 story drew to a close, it turned out those jihadists who took the small town hostage were working for the government. And that's when the book became extremely unreadable. Sure, they may have tried to disguise their intentions with allegedly pro-US standings, but the moral equivalence fell flat on its face. Besides, despite what they say, under that Marvel Knights imprint, Cap was simply not pro-Republican.
“'Cap' is not pro-government, he is pro-U.S.,” Alonso says. “He is about doing what he thinks is right for the people.”
And once again, some of the most incompetent reporters call "anti-Islamic" sentiments "racism" instead of anti-religious sentiment. Nothing's changed with these clowns.
Marvel brought its entire comic universe into that commentary in 2006 with its “Civil War” series, inspired by the inescapable destruction of the World Trade Center near its New York City office and the perpetual security in the city that followed, Alonso says.This article doesn't make clear the most embarrassing part of Civil War: the New Warriors were scapegoats, depicted leading to the situation while hoping for publicity.
“Much of the public debate around that time was, ‘How much of your civil liberties are you willing to give up for your security?’” Alonso says. “Many of us were riding on trains having our bags inspected by soldiers. We were in constant ‘orange alert’ in New York. That discussion was the seed for what became ‘Civil War.’”
Sacrificing liberty for security is the “with us or against us” challenge given to the superheroes of the Marvel universe in the "Civil War" series, as the destruction of a school by supervillains leads the government to pass a law requiring superpowered people to unmask themselves to the government as lethal weapons. This tore the superhero world apart, with Captain America leading resistance and claiming infringement on civil liberties, and Iron Man supporting the government by helping them to imprison rebel heroes in a parallel dimension in the name of public safety. That story does not have a happy ending, and neither does political feuding.
Rather than take one side, Alonso says he and the Marvel team represented both sides of the security and civil liberties debate equally.It's just like Alonso not to admit neither he nor any of the contributors to Civil War were showing any true love for the cast in their care. And equally? I don't think so at all. What is clear is that they wasted everyone's time over a pointless clash between superheroes, far more than hero-vs-villain, if at all.
“Iron Man’s methods may not have been ethical … [but] Iron Man might see a long-term game to be played, political or otherwise,” Alonso says.
Also in 2006, “Superman Returns” raised eyebrows when a character in the film asked if Superman stood for “truth, justice – all that stuff” instead of the rest of his motto, "the American Way.”I assume they consider that fine, since they've already made clear they see nothing wrong with the angle used in the Marvel Knights take on Captain America, the senseless slaughter of a school building in Civil War for the sake of it, or the sheer disregard for many great heroes and co-stars.
The ethical challenges of mass surveillance additionally were a major feature of “The Dark Knight,” and privacy advocate Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., even made a cameo in the Batman film. Batman movies starring Christian Bale also showed a healthy distrust of the military-industrial complex, as he battled executives that made Wayne Enterprises into a weapons company.Now that I think of it, that may have been one thing overlooked by everyone who saw that movie, IIRC.
A major dose of realism the War on Terror brought to comics is that superheroes can’t save everybody – but they’re heroes because they try. The first comic about New York native Spider-Man published after the World Trade Center attacks showed Spidey walking through the destruction of the towers and helping rescuers find survivors in the debris.This is another example of their inability to recognize why there's cases where fact and fiction simply don't mix. They leave out that there's many other superheroes in the MCU - quite a few who also appear in the issue from that time by J. Michael Strayncynski (36, Vol. 2) like Thor, who have the strength to hold up a large building long enough for civilians to escape. Another irritating problem overlooked is that during the story, Spidey's seen replying to a guy running from the debris that they couldn't have known or imagined this would happen. Excuse me? The very same heroes who had to contend with the menace of Dr. Doom, Kang and Thanos couldn't forsee something horrible like this as possible? US News doesn't even mention how several supervillains showed up at the wreckage, allegedly to pay their respects even as they went right back to their old ways within the following year. Why would anyone - superhero or civilian - welcome Doom to the site after all the chaos he caused in past decades, including his attacks on the original Baxter Building? How does the tragedy suddenly give scum like him immunity from anger for his own crimes? And if he were really sorry this happened, why didn't he go after al Qaeda, who wouldn't stand a chance against his technology? Stracynski even injected left-wing propaganda about this supposedly being the fault of America for not listening to foreign sources, by which he probably meant Afghanistan and the Islamic world.
“One of the things that modern comics have come to terms with is the fact that there are some problems that heroes can beat, but some that they can’t,” Alonso says. “Not all problems can be beaten, kicked or force-bolted into submission. Sometimes the best thing a superhero can do is to save as many people as possible.”
In the end, what turned that issue of Spider-Man into one of the worst exploitations of real life was that it trivialized the tragedy in a way no Golden Age WW2 comic ever could. And US News is making things worse with their lip service to people who don't deserve the platform on which to spew their propaganda, foisting it on unsuspecting audiences who shouldn't have to be fooled into buying their awful tommyrot.