Friday, February 12, 2010

O Captain My Captain

This sorta story reminds me again why I rarely even bother looking at mainstream comics anymore: an incidental and accidental depiction of protesting teabaggers in an issue of Captain America  - appropriately titled "Two Americas" by Ed Brubaker - has aroused the righteous indignation of some truly patriotic people who are hollering over the supposed slander. If there ever was any doubt at the intelligence of this movement, this statement alone from Judson Phillips, Uber-Bagger founder of Tea Party Nation, should confirm all suspicions:
"When I was a child in the '60s Captain America was my favorite superhero," he said. "It's really sad to see what has traditionally been a pro-America figure being used to advance a political agenda."
 Too bad self-awareness isn't a superpower that can defend against such irony.

To make matters worse, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada actually apologized, which is truly sad. But wait: it looks like they even, uh, white-washed any reference to the offending words in said article...

Image from Comic Book Resources and Marvel Comics

"Art isn't there to support anyone's self-conception, and a lot of the better art out there challenges that kind of thing every chance it gets. Everyone should learn to live with it."
The last Marvel book I bought was an anthology from their "Civil War" series, mainly for the nostalgia factor, that and I loved the irony of whose side Captain America came down on. Before that was 2003's "Unstable Molecules" on The Fantastic Four, by one of my favorite writers James Sturm. Aside from a few random Vertigo imprints and the occasional DC title, alternative and independent comics are where it's at.
But really, one doesn't even need to actually read any mainstream comics to know how much today's superheros are sell-outs: we'll suffer through watching them get embarrassingly flogged to death on the big-screen for the next couple decades as they're milked for all they're worth. Which would be, oh, approximately four billion dollars.

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