Ed Driscoll

Comic Books to Chronicle Iraq War?

John Hinderaker of Power Line writes that Marvel has hired a conservative author to write a series of comic books on the war in Iraq.

Hinderaker adds:

I like it–this is a medium in which the liberals will have a hard time competing.

Don’t be too sure–I haven’t bought a comic book in 25 years, but since around the 1980s I’d guess, it seems like the left has increasingly been ensconced there, making changes subtle (thanks to Harlan Ellison, oddly enough, you don’t see BB guns advertised in the back of comic books anymore) and sometimes not-so-subtle.

Update: John at Conservative English Major confirms my take, adding, “But liberals haven’t just made ‘inroads’ into comics. For the most part, they control the creative side of the industry”:

There are a few conservatives working in comics (John Byrne, for example) but the “hot” writers right now are Mark Millar (an anti-American Scotsman), Alan Moore (great writer, but so left wing he’s off the charts), Frank Miller (who makes fun of Ronald Reagan in his “The Dark Night Returns”), Peter David (go see his blog and scroll on down – he hates Bush with a passion) – etc. etc. I could go on and on, but comics are, by and large, written by liberals.

The examples that John gave don’t sound very liberal to me–although as Dennis Prager wrote, liberalism and the far left have become essentially synonymous, especially as “punitive liberalism” became the law of the left.

Another Update: J.W. Hastings of The Forager has also entered into the fray with his thoughts:

I don’t think I’d say they “control” any part of the industry. But I think it’s pretty safe to say that most mainstream comics, even if they aren’t explicitly liberal or political, are at least built upon generally liberal assumptions about politics and society, and that this has been the case at least since the early 1970s. And most mainstream comics are pretty solidly anti-Bush, just as Mark Gruenwald’s 1980s Captain America comics were solidly (and blatantly) anti-Reagan. (In Superman, for example, Lex Luthor has been elected President of the United States, a riff on the liberal fantasy that President Bush is some kind of criminal mastermind). However, there’s very little of what I’d characterize as full-fledged leftism in mainstream comics.

Geez, if that’s typical liberalism in comics, I’d hate to see what they’d do with “full-fledged leftism”.

Comics used to be a way to teach kids about responsibility (cue Stan Lee’s “With great power comes…”–heck, you can finish the rest of the sentence yourself) and patriotism. But just as in modern Hollywood, they’ve become a way to try to pump leftwing ideas into impressionable brains.

Imagine a WWII-era Captain America being anti-FDR? And for the record, I wouldn’t have wanted to see a 1990s version of Batman or Superman being anti-Clinton, either: I think comic books should be a no-politics zone, focusing on basic ideas of right, wrong, and fighting bad guys, whether they’re criminals, Nazis, or Islamofascist terrorists.

Of course, since so much of post-McGovern liberalism is “seeing beyond black and white concepts of good and evil and morality”, it becomes (a) increasingly more difficult to write simple stories where superheroes battle bad guys and (b) increasingly easier to make bad guys more sympathetic. It’s also easier to experiment with stuff that Saturday Night Live used to parody: back in 1979, they did “What if Superman was a Nazi” as a gag; last year, we saw Superman defending Saddam Hussein and fighting for Josef Stalin.