Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Superheroes and Politics Don't Mix

John August, "Aquaman is a Pescepublican":
Recent articles about the political leanings of popular comic book characters got me thinking about the uncanny valley between fictional and real-world ideologies. We’re happy to have characters speak in broad terms — “With great power comes great responsibility” — but the minute they start referring to specific issues, we become very uncomfortable.

How does The Flash feel about immigration? Is Wolverine pro-choice? Does Black Canary support the First Amendment rights of hate groups? We don’t know, and really don’t want to know....

I’d argue that the thematic success of comic book characters, and comic book storylines, comes from how closely they can approach the line separating Real from Too Real, without crossing it.

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