The political leanings of superhero comics ... revealed!
By Greg Burgas
My response to Burgas's posting:
I think we could identify a few mainstream superhero comics with liberal leanings: WONDER WOMAN under George Perez and Phil Jimenez, DAREDEVIL's emphasis on social justice, the X-Men's occasional call for a human/mutant partnership. Other than that, you're basically right.
I could go on and on about this subject, and already have:
Why doesn't Superman end world hunger rather than trying once and giving up?
Giving Up PEACE ON EARTH
Why doesn't Green Lantern use his power ring to eliminate poverty, crime, and oppression?
Why doesn't Green Lantern eliminate evil?
Why is Batman patrolling alleyways for muggers when he could be a world-changing philanthropist a la Bill Gates or Warren Buffett?
Bruce Wayne vs. Bill Gates: Who's the hero?
How superheroes would really operate
If comics were actually liberal, superheroes would be changing the world a la the excellent SQUADRON SUPREME maxi-series or BIG TOWN mini-series. The fact that these remain "alternate universes" with no effect on the "real" universe proves the point.
Then we could get into the racial issues: specifically, the lack of minority superheroes who are leading teams or headlining their own titles. Not to mention the racial stereotypes that continue to afflict groups such as Native Americans.
The US population is 30% nonwhite, so why isn't that reflected in comics? Why don't we see minority heroes like the Falcon dealing with minority issues 30% of the time? When a comic like CAPTAIN AMERICA dares to take an explicitly liberal stance, why does it get shouted down by the conservative blogosphere?
Answer: Because comics are all about preserving the (white) American status quo, as you said.
The Native connection
I'm sure you can see the connection to Native-themed comics, but I'll spell it out. Publishing comics about Indians, featuring Native superheroes, would mean acknowledging America's injustices. A typical Indian wouldn't mimic the white man's ways. He'd think of his people and their problems: poverty, crime, healthcare, alcoholism, suicide. He'd take steps to to champion their cause, to overturn the status quo. As hundreds of thousands of Natives are doing now.
That wouldn't sit well with plain-vanilla readers who see the world in black and white. Who want a little sex and violence before the inevitable happy ending. So DC and Marvel give us white-bread heroes for white-bread readers who live in a white-bread world.
You can see my comments on Burgas's posting by following the link. For more on the subject, see Comic Books Featuring Indians.