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Sunday, August 12, 2012 

Satire and parody are not a defense for attacking conservatism

I looked over various reviews for Fred Van Lente's new take on Archer and Armstrong, and just as expected, it looks pretty tasteless. Here's one review at ScienceFiction.com that, though tilted in favor of the story, is still willing to admit there's a problem with Van Lente's bashing Christianity:
If I must find fault, it’s the stereotypical depiction of Christians as a) fat, ignorant and naive and b) secretly sinister and both of those appear here. I wonder how it must feel to be a devout Christian who happens to enjoy action comic books (or pretty much any other medium of entertainment) and to constantly see your faith either bashed or used in a sinister manner. Or maybe it’s just the Chik-Fil-A fatigue talking.

Archer, obviously a devoted Christian, seems to be a potentially intriguing hero and already proves likeable in this single issue, so maybe things will balance out as the story unfolds. Perhaps he will actually prove to be the antidote to the negative portrayals in this issue.
Unfortunately, I doubt it. If my estimations are correct, Archer will only turn out to be a liberal's ideas of what a conservative should be, including misguided.

One of the writers for Comics Beat isn't helping matters either by insulting conservatives and basically legitimizing the story structure at all costs. He says:
When the teasers for Archer and Armstrong #1 came out, there was a little bit of noise from the political parts of the web about what an awful liberal smear job the book was because of some villains billing themselves as the 1%. I’d gotten a good laugh out of villains calling themselves the 1% and wearing golden masks of bulls and bears (an obvious stock market joke) and I figured the usual noisy political types might be over-reacting. Come to find out, Archer and Armstrong is a much more political book than I was expecting. It’s also utterly hilarious. Unless you’re a dogmatic Republican with limited-to-no sense of humor. If you’re one of those, stay FAR away from this comic. It will set you off. [...]

Highly recommended for those who like to watch Comedy Central’s news-ish offerings. Highly not recommended for people of a far right wing bent who take dogma too seriously.
That's a bit rich to say when some liberals don't have a sense of humor themselves, and if the story were even a comedic attack on leftists, something tells me they wouldn't take kindly to it at all. That aside, if they're claiming satire, parody or just plain comedy makes this legitimate, I must disagree. These stereotypes of Christians as one dimensional cultists have become far too many of late, and using parody is no excuse. Besides, if they're being portrayed as the villains and their viewpoints depicted with utter negativity, then clearly, it's not like the writer has any respect for the religion and is obviously against them. And Ven Lente's sure being cheap if all he can think of attacking is Christianity but not Islam, and doesn't have the courage to do what South Park's creators wanted to, but which Comedy Central didn't have the courage to go through with.

The panel where Archer says his parents taught him that NYC is a marxist/nazist/athiest enclave is actually insulting to the citizenry of NYC: as sad as it is that they elected a socialist like Michael Bloomberg with his nanny-state policies that even borderline on hostility to free trade, I don't think they're all the monsters Van Lente's bizarrely taking the risk of callingthem (and if he's suggesting marxism is fine, that's another grave error), and I think they are turning around now and recognizing that Bloomberg's as bad as can be. Van Lente may not think so, but ironically, he's taken the risk of insulting many New Yorkers, and come to think of it, even plenty of leftists too. It's also unacceptable that Van Lente imply that Christians are literally calling New Yorkers those kind of names.

I looked at the sales charts for last July and the books the new Valiant's been publishing so far are selling very low. I don't expect many to care by the end of the year, and they may have even made a mistake of getting back into the business through the pamphlet format too; that 4 dollar price tag is another mistake.

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Not that I know a lot about Valiant, but it seems to me that it's being revived for political propaganda purposes.

Tired of people peeing on the pillars of Western civilization, jokingly or otherwise. Just write a comic book, please.

Wasn't Archer a Buddhist in the original?

As I recall, his parents were Christian ministers who molested children and tried to kill him to cover it up. Sad to say, Van Lente's take might be a moderating of the original.

I remember him being some kinda new-agey Eastern martial artist deal. Don't recall the stuff about his parents; probably after I bailed out.

Heck, I don't even know how much I care about this anyhow. It's silly, but hopefully they won't go further and push feature the parents as villains or just actinglike morons.

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