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855Topic Heroes

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  • Richard J.
    Jan 1, 2007
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      I'm in about a half dozen comic book groups, and this seems to be the
      only one that gets posts defending Saddam Hussein and looking for
      other gay comic book readers and looking for other swinging comic
      book readers (wow, that's a thought) and for Supergirl and Wonder
      Woman to fight to the death.

      Interesting, I must say, so let's try a different approach.

      Now we get the bulk of our heroes, considerably pampered, so young
      readers can imagine their own lives thru the hero, or we get those
      ridiculous "I'm from the wrong side of the streets, I've had hard
      knocks all my life" heroes, who likewise turn around and get taken in
      by a mysterious financial benefactor.

      Heroes (even thirty years ago and before that) have always been free
      to ascend their soapbox and spout their doctrine.

      "Freedom for all! Treat Everyone the same! Say 'no' to
      discrimination! Everybody has the same right!"

      Basically stuff as light and fluffy as Ward and June Cleaver's world.

      Yes, its nice to say let's treat everyone the same, but we know we
      don't do it!

      We disliked classmates in school, we dislike our bosses on the job,
      we really dislike that person in the car who just cut us off.

      We harbor resentment and disdain for other person's behavior and
      attitudes.

      Before I ask this, I want everyone to bear in mind that the bulk of
      my 'ground-breaking characters' were nothing more than tokens in my
      mind.

      For every black character, there were a 1000 whites.

      For every female, there were a 1000 males.

      Every female spouting feminism would be swept off her feet by a
      bulking male hero, who would make her titter, or she would bitch at
      him in an incredible manner that suggested it was her time of the
      month.

      I was going to propose political heroes or religious heroes, but
      unfortunately, 100% of these characters are written by non-religious
      writers who go online to get information about the religion or they
      offer a self-parody of politics.

      But then we wouldn't want Jerry Falwell to offer up his own comic
      book super team, would we?

      If it was well written, wouldn't we be in a quandry?

      Back in the 1970s, both Archie comics and Dennis the Menace would
      offer religious comic books. Neither caused any harm.

      I wouldn't have minded comic books with fleshed out characters,
      explaining Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism, or even Judaism.

      I wouldn't have minded comic books offering characters who are
      Catholic as well as Lutheran or Baptist.

      Before someone starts spouting off characters who did fit this bill,
      they were flashes in the pan, the shock mentality didn't last, and
      the convictions proved ineffective to the stories.

      When I was in school, I drew two storybooks, like comic books,
      ridiculing church going, in a light-hearted way. Growing up
      fundamentalist (Envision Aunt Esther on 'Sanford & Son') I thought
      nothing about drawing characters worshiping with arms uplifted, but
      it didn't dawn on me others didnt share this faith.

      Ironically, the first book I drew didn't focus on how the characters
      worshipped, and the second one did, and I was puzzled when several
      persons told me they liked the first one more (the universal language
      came thru better with no depictions of how the characters
      worshipped).

      I wouldnt have minded religion in comic books, of any kind, actually,
      but I understand the need to promote freedom to choose (how many
      years since I last darkened the doorway to a church) and I know there
      are those who feel religion is best left out of comic books, but
      again, the Archie books and the Dennis the Menace books did no harm.

      I'm more dismayed by sudden decisions to make characters Jewish like
      Ben Grimm in the Fantastic Four, whether his creators were Jewish or
      not, it seems ridiculous to me to suddenly alter this character as
      such.

      Any chances Bruce Wayne will suddenly be revealed to be Buddhist?

      If Diana Prince converted to another religion aside from the greek
      Mythology, would she lose her powers?

      I could go on about how Marv Wolfman seemed to write every goddess in
      the New Teen Titans as a living goddess, and then we learned that
      they all actually were at one time or another a living person. I used
      to think, well, that doesn't make them much of a goddess, now does it?
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