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Sunday, July 08, 2018 

Brian Bendis thinks the world's looking awful from a political perspective

Bendis was interviewed by leftist Comics Beat, and his liberal politics still turn up in his visions given here:
You bring up the world we live in. Superman is Truth, Justice, and the American Way. In The Man of Steel, you had Rogol Zaar concerned about Krypton’s trade policies and the expansion of their footprint into space. And then in the upcoming Action issue (#1,001) there’s a great conversation between Superman and Martian Manhunter about being leaders in the galactic community. So is it fair to say you’ll be exploring themes of America and its place in the global community? Maybe a little talk of nationalism in there?

Yes and no. Not nationalism in the way that people consider it as far as “us”, you know what I mean? But in the sense that, what’s going to be best for the earth in general twenty years from now? And some of these things I was hitting on in Guardians of the Galaxy as well, that we live in a world of such deep science fiction becoming science fact. And I’m talking about the world we live in, the real world, that the DC and Marvel universes are a reflection of. That we do live in a science fiction world that we imagine that has become science fact. And if that continues along the line we have to be prepared. I love futurists and futurist thinking, looking at a problem that doesn’t exist yet and solving it before it even becomes a problem. I like proactive heroism. The heroes so often are putting out fires or solving crimes that have already happened. I like the idea of creating a world where crime might not be such a great idea. Being proactive in it is something I like. Having the heroes take a minute and ask are we doing enough? Because doing what we do takes a lot of time, sometimes you don’t even get a moment in a day to think: did I do enough today? So having Martian Manhunter have this idea — and saying as a friend — are you doing enough? But not knowing that his father had already said “you’re not doing enough”. So now you’ve got this Superman who has these voices in his head propelling him into this story we’re going to tell in Superman the series. Is he doing enough? And by the way, this storyline is a year long storyline. It’s very epic in scope and landscape and big stuff’s going to happen. This is the book where the big stuff happens. And by the end of the year we’re gonna have some new stuff in the DC universe because of the choices that Superman and his family have made. And one of the things, even Geoff Johns said “Oh yeah we haven’t done that” and oh that’s so great that I could get Geoff Johns to say that!” That was probably the highlight of my year so far.
Hmm, something tells me he's dropping a negative hint as to his views on nationalism. So, why should I buy the notion he backs proactivity, let alone futurist thinking? Because his approach is anything but. Also, I don't think it's a good sign when somebody like Bendis signals his backing for Johns either.

From what they say about nationalism and the USA's place in the world, you have to wonder if Krypton's being turned into an unpleasant metaphor for a negative view of America's belief in exceptionalism and leaving their mark in other countries, no matter how positive the ideas might be. If that's Bendis' little game, it's not amusing, and if he injected his politics into GotG, that's just as bad.
I guess that having the Daily Planet as such a big part of the story gives you a chance to tell some related stories about the role of media…the slow death of print media and what it’s transforming into. Is that something that you’re really sinking your teeth into?

Oh yeah, I used to work at the Cleveland Plain Dealer in my younger days. I have a deep passion and love for journalism and for newspaper journalism in particular. And people who have been reading my work know that. There’s not a book I do that I haven’t found some way to express my love for what would have clearly been my job if I had never grown up. So this opportunity, particularly this year, when people have more of a vested interest in the truth that journalism comes up with than they ever have before. Not since the days of Watergate have people been so tuned into the machinery of journalism and what it means and how delicate it is. On every level. And it doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum or what you believe in, you damn well can tell this is a very important time for the idea of free press and journalism, right? So then it got me thinking about Clark Kent. And it got me thinking about how he is a character that has had greatness thrust upon him. Like he was sent here to be great and told “You’re going to do this”. I mean it’s one of those…like King Arthur, you get a predestination story. But in those stories, characters still make choices. And the biggest choice Clark made for himself was to be a journalist. And he could have done nothing. He doesn’t need money, doesn’t need a place to live, he doesn’t need a gig. But he chose this of all the things he could do and you start to unpack why. Because you’ve got the Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Clark can get to truth in ways that Superman can’t. Because you can’t always punch or x-ray vision your way to the truth. And even if Superman can find the truth, Clark Kent’s the one who can tell the truth. Who can tell people, this is how it happened. So there’s a lot of truth that Clark can get to that Superman just can’t and that excites me to no end. It makes the character of Clark more interesting in a lot of ways. More really him in a lot of ways. So this is all stuff that I got very very excited about writing, right away.
Superman may be able to tell the truth, but what about Bendis? All he seems capable of telling is the opposite. Nothing new, of course. That he'd work for a left-leaning paper and was surely influenced by their positions is telling.
Time for just one last question. Why is this an exciting time to jump back onto the Superman titles or to check them out for the first time?

Quite a few things. Number one you see right away these books are gorgeous. These are the best artists working in comics today. Of all the things that have happened to me in my life, the fact that I have been able to receive the same amount of collaboration and beauty at DC that I had at Marvel, is amazing to me. I’m working with all these new people, all of whom have really dedicated themselves to making these books the best things they’ve ever made and the best things they can put on the market. I think people have seen Ivan [Reis]’s work on Superman already and what Pat Gleason has done in Action. It’s the best work they’ve ever done. I couldn’t be happier. I’m trying to write for them scripts that are as truthful to the character of Superman, which is as truthful to the idea of hope, as you can get. What Superman offers the world is hope. That’s what he’s selling, that’s what he’s trying to fight for, that’s all he cares about. Hope for the future, hope for love, hope for friendship. When he’s at his best, it is the most inspiring thing. And it’s been going on for decades. Every culture, every society has been inspired by Superman. And when we find ourselves, and again no matter where you are on the political spectrum, I think things are pretty shitty right now. It’s really hard sometimes to look at the news and just see everyone struggling; struggling for their identity, struggling to be heard. And there’s Superman who is going to remind us that there is hope and that if we just stop and listen to each other we can get stuff done. So writing a character like that, I can tell you personally, I woke up this morning and I saw the news and I was like jittery and then I was like “Oh good I get to write Superman today”. I really felt that, I really felt “Oh good I get to spend time with a person who’s really trying to be the best version of himself for us” and that just makes me personally want to then spend my day trying to be the best version of myself. Because how can I sit and write Superman all day if I was a lying little weasel all day? Now I have to be the best version of myself, for my kids, for my wife. And now for the character in my hands. So that’s how I feel writing it and I know that’s how some people feel reading it because I hear from them all day long. It’s the most beautiful thing. You can go to my Twitter right now. People have deep love for these characters. Like the deepest of any franchise I’ve ever worked on. And it’s because what they’re talking about, what they’re emoting, it’s this pure beauty, love and hope. And how can you argue with that? So when people ask why I’m excited to be writing Superman right now? Because it feels good. It is a good person trying to do good in a world that needs it. And I’ll just tell you — in Superman, the good guy will win.
Not every society's been inspired by the Man of Steel, I'm afraid. The Iranian regime, for example, is not exactly one I would think was inspired by Superman. Not per se, anyway. Predictably, he remains ambiguous as to what he means by the political atmosphere looking awful right now, but it won't be a shock if he thinks it's all Trump's fault. And if what I found in this video review is correct, not all the artists Bendis' working with are very talented.

And while there's plenty who love Superman, let's not think that includes Bendis. If he didn't love Scarlet Witch, why should we believe he truly loves the Man of Steel?

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donald trump actually has a negative view of America's belief in exceptionalism and leaving their mark in other countries. He is an isolationist who wants to stop being a leader of the world order, saying that when we do so other countries are taking advantage of us. America First means taking care of our own problems and forgetting about trying to leave a mark in other countries. That is at the core of his politics and world view: it s why he is letting Russia have free reign in Syria, why he is turning away from NATO, and why he is setting aside international trade agreements. Anyone who doesn't see that dent see the man.

Yeah, he's right, but it also impacts conservatives as well. When two of your major constituent groups - gays who want to marry and people who want abortion on demand - are supported not by law, but by a decision of the SCOTUS in reference to a creative interpretation of the Constitution instead of an actual voted up or down law, then they are subject to the whims of the court. It's looking sooner rather than later that both of those "rights" may disappear at least in the states that haven't passed such laws allowing them.

I predict that the violent activism we're seeing now will be tripled if abortion "rights" are passed to the individual states. It would be the GOP's version of Obamacare - something that will cost a large fraction of the GOP to lose office and possibly kill Trump's chances in 2020. If I were Trump, I'd make a deal - a pro gun - pro free speech - anti Kelo conservative who still supports the present state of abortion rights to be appointed in exchange for Trump's immigration platform in it's entirety. Personally I'd be very happy with that.

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