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Thursday, September 11, 2008 

DC's own Civil War clone, which is possibly worse

DC's "Decisions" miniseries, which may even be the hub of another crossover, timed to coincide with the upcoming elections, has come out, and Scripps-Howard News Service has made sure to fawn over the news about it, by coating it all in the usual fluff. And we read here that:
According to Dan DiDio, grand pooh-bah of the DC Comics superhero books, this four-issue, bi-weekly miniseries will reveal the political affiliations of most of DC's major spandex characters in September and October.

"(It's) a story where the American election process is threatened by terrorist activities," DiDio said, "and in the process of trying to maintain the election process, our heroes are forced to discuss their own choices on how they would vote -- and more importantly, what they feel are important factors in determining the direction of the country."

Also, he said, the characters must discuss whether "coming out" politically serves a good purpose, or the terrorist's purpose. After all, if a superhero endorses a candidate, doesn't that change things?
Is that supposed to be some kind of moral equivalency? It can certainly change things though: the public in the DCU can lose respect for the heroes for getting involved in things that are far too much out of their league. Where the superhero community should be is in the business of fighting crime, not endorsing political candidates and viewpoints.
"Once (our heroes) find out what the ultimate goal is of the assassin, the heroes then gravitate to the candidates who most closely match their own personal affiliations," DiDio said. "Ultimately, that creates problems along the way, and creates conflict not only in regards to where they stand politically, but also whether or not what they're doing in making a stand, or (if) expressing who they stand for, is the right thing (to do), and how that disrupts the political process as well."
Uh oh. That signals that this is the kind of story that just shouldn't be done. Just more absurd moral equations, and the worst part of this is that, just like Civil War, they could even end up promoting this in ways similar to Civil War by asking readers, "who are you rooting for/against?" A better question would be, "WHY are you rooting for/against specific heroes?" Or even, "why are you making my favorite hero(es) stand for what I disagree with?" Will we even see some heroes being made out to look as bad as Iron Man was during Civil War, and turned into someone whom leftists would like to see getting his/her head handed to, which would then beg the question of if they're really Iron Man fans to begin with? I wouldn't be surprised if at least one DC hero/supporting cast member ends up in an embarrassing situation like that, where they turned into the leading villain of the story.
"Bruce Wayne (and) Wonder Woman play key roles in the storytelling," DiDio admitted. "You really get a good cross-section of the DC Universe with the number of characters. A lot of fun cameos through the series."
That sounds like what some people have used to describe the work of Geoff Johns: "continuity porn". In that case, nothing to see here.
So we're talking about half of the Justice League, and most of the Big Guns. But what about the biggest gun of all? What is Superman's political affiliation?

"One of the key players in the whole story is Lois Lane," DiDio said. "And you find out that Lois, in her role as a reporter, is set off on a story to basically get the heroes to reveal who they stand for and who they are, and, naturally, the biggest catch would be Superman. So we have an interesting dynamic between Lois and Superman throughout the story."
Yeah, I'll bet. In that case, I don't think it's a question of where and what Superman stands for so much as it is a question of where/what Lois Lane will be made to stand for in this ill-advised balderdash.

This is just something that shouldn't have been done. The heroes' political leanings, whether liberal or conservative, should be kept vague and in the background, and not dragged into the forefront, where they could possibly alienate readers. And they certainly shouldn't be trying to take steps with their heroes that could make people root against certain ones, though of course, it's the writers and editors fault for any of the characters actions.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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