No, Wall Street Journal, Comic Books Are Not Descending Into A Liberal Chamber Of Horrors

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal makes the complaint that comic books are currently descending into liberalism, while conservative themes and ideas are being stamped out. As always when conservatives play the victim, this is not accurate.

The editorial is co-written by former Batman writer Chuck Dixon, who makes the complaint that “Batman became dark and ambiguous, a kind of brooding monster.” Dixon notes in the biography under the editorial that he “helped create” Bane, the Batman villain.

Bane is probably the high water mark for 1990s comic book nihilism. He was, like Doomsday who killed Superman, created at the height of the speculative boom in comics as a plot device to push product. He broke Batman’s back and sent the Caped Crusader into temporary retirement in a cynical ploy to sell comic books. Batman was replaced by Azrael, who unlike Batman had little moral restraint and actually killed people.

It was you all along, Chuck Dixon.

The complaint that comic books are disavowing patriotism is also false. The authors cite a Superman storyline that earned a lot of attention a few years ago for depicting Superman “renouncing” is citizenship. But as was pointed out at the time, the story appeared in an annual anthology, with stories that had no effect on the “official” canon. Superman is still as American as apple pie, and as he explained in the recent movie depicted by Henry Cavill, “I hail from Kansas.”

I also submit the cover of the recently published Adventures of Superman #16, featuring a giant American flag – because as surveys have often shown, one of the most closely aligned figures with the idea of Americanism has been Superman, and that hasn’t changed.

AOS16-Cover_5310ccadd3d1d2.22102152-610x939

This assertion is further destroyed by the idea that we are just months out of a blockbuster movie featuring Captain America, in which Cap stood up against the idea of a surveillance state and in favor of an individual right to privacy. Captain America is also one of Marvel’s hottest characters right now. The patriotic superhero is featured as a lead character in several titles: The Avengers, The Uncanny Avengers, The Invaders, Captain America, and more. If Marvel was doing the dirty work of liberalism by acting ashamed of arguably the most patriotic character in fiction, they’re doing a poor job of it.

So what is the real point of this unfortunate editorial? Dixon and co-writer Paul Rivoche are hawking a graphic novel adaptation of Amity Shlae’s re-writing of historical fact, The Forgotten Man, which is something of a novel of alternate reality where Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal hurt America. Think of it as Depression on Earth-2.

The merits of the graphic novel aside, Dixon and Rivoche found a major publisher – Harper Perennial – for their book, so the conservative blacklist isn’t working that well either.

Dixon claims he was booted from comics for his conservatism, but a guy who made a lot of his mark during the 1990s, widely considered the bottom of the barrel for comic book creativity over the last half-century, probably just has a hard time finding work because “the guy who broke Batman’s back” is worse for comics than any left or right wing ideologue.

Comic books have not purged conservatives. If a conservative-themed storyline is interesting and engaging, comic book fans will buy it. But complaining about comic books being used as a liberal tool is just a deception, something unworthy of true villains like The Joker or Green Goblin.

  • Stephen

    Hey now, Bane is one of my favorite characters.

    He may have been introduced for shock value, but there’s a lot of untapped potential there.

  • CL Nicholson

    To be fair – Captain America has always been kind of a hardcore FDR style lefty character. Steve Rogers quits being Cap in the 70′s out of protest to Richard Nixon.

  • Rob Clifford

    Hey, it sure would be nice if you did the right thing & gave credit to the artist who did the Captain America piece that you yoinked off the internet for use at the top of your story. His name is Jason Metcalf, and you can find a link to his artwork here: http://www.jasonmetcalf-art.com/

  • Lady Willpower

    God, why are conservatives always whining? Why are they always acting like they’re the ones being marginalized all the time?

  • CL Nicholson

    As a life long fan of comics and Chuck Dixon in general, allow me to say….STFU grandpa and have several seats.

    Why is Chuck Dixon complaining – he’s a 60 year old man who had a run in comics spanning close to 30 years. Don’t take it personal homey, you’re old and you’re not bringing anything new. A far left whacko like Alan Moore can’t get a steady gig at DC or Marvel either, does it mean that its anti-Occupy Wall Street too? Or beards?

    No, its because the parent companies of these comic books frankly see dollars signs with crossover media (movies, TV, video games, mugs) and don’t need some writer’s or artist’s personal drama dropping a character’s stock value. You can’t launch “Man of Steel” and make profit if your head writer for Superman is a Mormon homophobe. Why do you think Ender’s Game drop like lead at the box office?

    The overall view of comic books is that they’re a business and they don’t want to risk their cash cow properties because some writer wants to use a cartoon as a syllabus for their personal beliefs. If anything, a lot of these older cats become primadonnas who simply keep rehashing their old stuff Other than 300, when was the last time Frank Miller didn’t write something that wasn’t a rehash of his DKR work or his run on Daredevil? Chuck probably wanted more money without any new takes on the characters.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Actually, Alan Moore refuses to work for DC or Marvel any more because he’s still in a snit over stuff that happened 30 years ago. Both companies would probably hire him in a minute if he just got over himself.

      • CL Nicholson

        You’re right, thanks for that small caveat. And yes, Moore likes ‘smell himself’ as my mother would since his days working at DC.

        Yes, he’s a brilliant fantasy writer – his stuff blows almost anything sci-fi related out the water – GoT included. He never liked DC or Marvel because he doesn’t like being an employee. He’s the Glenn Greenwald/Ralph Nader of the funny papers.

    • nevilleross

      Ender’s Game dropped like lead because the plot’s about a child solider, IMHO, and it’s also a tired alien invasion storyline, in addition to Card being a homophobic dick.

      • TheSotSays

        As if Card would ever give a hoot what you think of him. His wife though thinks you’re probably just one more heterophobic twat who never grew up.

  • tickticktick

    Superman was always a liberal.

    “The young creators cast their superhero as a ‘champion of the oppressed…devoted to helping those in need!’ In his initial episode, Superman saves a falsely accused prisoner from a lynch mob, produces evidence that frees an innocent woman on death row, and defends a woman about to be beaten by her husband. In the second issue of Action Comics, Superman crushes a conspiracy involving a U.S. senator, a lobbyist, and a munitions manufacturer who wish to embroil the United States in a foreign war. He then ends the fraudulent Latin American war by informing them that they have been manipulated by greedy American industrialists. Echoing the Nye Committee’s conclusion that ‘merchants of death’ had conspired to involve the United States in the Great War, Superman warns that moneyed self-interest remained a menace to the national welfare.” – Bradford W. Wright, Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America

  • aaronbbrown

    Modern conservatism stands in representation of ignorant amoral backwards superstitious racist homophobic Sexually repressed Dysfunctional Slaves to corporate interests. The kind Of men who Beat their wives and rape their own children, and the kind of women who stand by silently watching their children being raped, And then blame that child for the rape, And stealing their man.

    That’s the kind of thing we want to protect our children from, not put in there Comic books

  • KCMOfan

    The Right wingers won’t be satisfied until Superman has a little tiny upper lip stash, with a cross on his cape,

    • dbtheonly

      A broken cross?

  • shelleybear

    “But complaining about comic books being used as a liberal tool is just a deception, something unworthy of true villains like The Joker or Green Goblin.”
    Hail Hydra!

  • RustbeltRick

    Conservatives need to believe they are under seige, so the WSJ article is just another block of wood to keep the fire going. The idea that “comics are hopelessly liberal” is simply ammo for people who never read comics, and who also don’t read rebuttals, like this one. The writer of this Daily Banter article is correct to point out the flaws in the argument, but its not like the other side cares about coherent arguments; they simply want articles that reinforce their world view, so they can nod along excitedly when yet another writer tells them they’re victims.

  • CLBM

    FYI- Superman is not an American. He immigrated here illegally from another planet. Just sayin’…

  • Guest

    FYI — Superman is not an American. He immigrated here from another planet…

  • Pithy Eponym Here

    The same butthurt that claims Hollywood won’t give Conservative actors work for their views. Maybe if they had talent and box office cachet they’d get more gigs. Remember all those macho bluster cowboy films like Rambo and Terminator…oh wait you mean they’re all in the Expendables now? yeah. No, guys it’s not them, it’s you. Being a whiny butthurt biotch nobody wants to work with is the reason.

    • tickticktick

      Yeah. The problem is conservatives can’t keep themselves from preaching and their beliefs make for shitty, unsatisfying stories. Who wants to the see the story of the plucky, underdog bakery fighting a giant chain store’s takeover only to have the chain store easily crush them because a wild, regulation-free market allowed them to pay their workers extremely low wages while working in dangerous conditions in order to lower production costs, streamline their distribution and maximize profit and value for shareholders?

  • SoDisqusted

    Anyone remember when they came out and asked how America could survive after Superman renounced his American citizenship? No, really. The Right is full of nothing by full-blown Fascists. Symbols and slogans keep them going. They vote based on fear and emotion. They’re dangerous and demented beyond belief.

  • Tony Zito

    I have enjoyed all the details presented here, but there is a larger point: contemporary conservatism is a manifestation of extremism. Ergo, any medium which is not 100% conservative is totally liberal. This is why we routinely find hot heads labeling CNN, for example, “a liberal mouthpiece”. If 365 days go by and 60 seconds in a cable program lean left, that outlet is a bastion of liberalism. If a cable network like FOX harbors one token liberal at a time (Alan Colmes then Juan Williams) and one guy like Shep Smith who occasionally fails to lie, that’s Fair and Balanced. So all the examples of right-leaning sentiment in comics sighted here don’t matter, until we are sure that there is no page favoring liberalism in comics, anywhere. Contemporary conservatism is totalitarian in spirit.

    • Pithy Eponym Here

      I grew up in a Goldwater conservative household. After college I shifted to the left after I learned about all the malfeasance and chicanery and Apartheid-loving Reagan hi jinx. Pretty much a milquetoast centrist now with socially liberal leanings.

    • LasloPratt

      There ya go. I was gonnna ask, “what’s a conservative storyline?” Currently, the answer would seem to be “nonsensical propaganda”, but maybe I’m just being cranky.

      I can’t claim to speak to the state of comics (the 90s where when they stopped being interesting), and I haven’t read Dixon’s editorial. But if some of these comments are a fair assessment of Dixon’s career, then we’re seeing what seems to be a pattern among conservatives: For all that they extol “market forces”, when they wind up on the receiving end of them they start whining about liberals.

  • Rick McCallister

    This is what Conservative ex-comic workers do. Every person who’s still successful is part of some massive Liberal conspiracy against them. Ditko, Miller, Dixon, Byrne, MacFarlane…

    All of them were egomaniacs who thought they didn’t have to follow the deals they signed, burned enough bridges to tank multiple careers, and get self-righteous if anyone suggests that maybe the problem was *them,* and not every single other person working in comics.

  • Rickster Rickster

    like there isn’t a conservative saying hail hydra every chance he gets

  • r€nato

    well considering that modern conservatism consistently appeals to the worst aspects of human nature – shameless celebration of greed, promotion of a society where everybody goes around armed all the time, apologizing for rapists and blaming rape victims – what kind of comic book hero would that be? Only a sociopath would find such literature appealing.

    I can see it now: a woman is raped, Superman comes along and says, “sorry lady, I’m not helping you. If you hadn’t dressed like a slut, maybe this wouldn’t have happened to you.”

    Maybe they can come up with their own comic book heroes, like “Objectivism Man”. His super power is to deliver 3 hour long monologues about makers and takers, and he doesn’t actually do anything to help anybody because that would be helping the undeserving.

    • Randy Govostis

      Supreme by Image comics shows what a conservative Superman would be like, it gets pretty ugly but I liked the series.

    • PadThai2

      Have you heard of Mr. A by Steve Ditko?

      http://www.vicsage.com/misc/mistera.php

      • Aaron Litz

        Like The Question gone full-blown Randian insane (even moreso than he already was.)

        • PadThai2

          Huh. I thought Miller’s Batman (at least in Dark Knight Returns) was supposed to be quasi-fascist. Or do you mean the All-Star Batman? Because he wasn’t like that in Year One from what I remember.

  • Raf

    Superman is an illegal alien.

    • ellid

      We also don’t know if Captain America’s parents were here legally or not. HE was born in New York, but his parents were Irish immigrants so who knows?

      Either way he’s definitely one of the 47% Mitt Romney hated so much – beneficiary of a government medical experiment, has worked for the Army or the government all his life, eligible for Social Security and Medicare and Tricare and the VA, defends gay marriage and civil rights –

      No, not a conservative. Not even close.

  • trgahan

    How formulaically conservative of Mr. Dixon:

    Preside over the worst period in comic’s history and due to his actual performance he get pushed aside when the industry goes another way and resurrects itself; so he then uses his friends and current book publisher’s influence to get onto the Wall Street Journal to rant about how it’s all liberals fault (never his says a member of the party of personal responsibility) and he presents his argument to an audience largely ignorant of comics or the history of the art/literary form (ie. they don’t know he was a talentless hack, but they EAT up fan fiction about conservatives suffering for their conservatism).

    The only thing MORE cliché is that his current book is a revisionist history of liberal propaganda (aka. historic fact) depicting what might had happened if FDR had been George W. Bush.

    • r€nato

      you know, that makes me wonder… if he had to write a book about the ‘alternate history’ where the New Deal was an abject failure, doesn’t that mean that the New Deal worked in the real world where most of us live (those of us not inhabiting the right-wing reality distortion sphere)? Which of course is completely contrary to right-wing dogma…

      • trgahan

        Yeah, the funny thing is the Great Depression ran for 4 years (1929-1933) under Hoover’s conservative, “free market”-style federal government that current Republicans have wet-dreams about and the economic downturn only grew worse…..I’m sure this fact is accurately portrayed in Dixon’s adaptation of Shlaes’ book.

        • Pithy Eponym Here

          A sin of omission isn’t a sin of no one catches it. Too bad there’s the Google, Wikipedia and even the Library of Congress readily at hand on line.

    • Rick McCallister

      He’s one of many comic writers and artists who went off into a world of paranoid delusion.

  • Saren Arterius

    Not long ago a pretty far-right dude I know claimed most Americans would probably side with Lex Luthor against Superman if they were real because of the way Superman refused to share his technology. I found that pretty funny. Lex Luthor is really the closest thing to any real-world modern conservative in comics too. Wealthy megalomaniac of questionable morals with a carefully crafted public persona, actively chooses not to help other people if it interferes with his own personal goals of obtaining more wealth and power (or killing Superman, at any cost).

    Iron Man is also a smirking right-wing asshole (except Tony Stark is a *likable* asshole, that’s his character). He was actually created to represent everything young readers would hate at the height of the Vietnam War. Stark is the head of a major defense contractor who does major weapons deals with the government in support of various wars. He eventually renounces this of course when he realizes the damage it’s causing, but he still openly mocks government officials who try to control him or oversee him with lines like “I have successfully privatized world peace.”

    • dbtheonly

      If I remember correctly, wasn’t Tony Stark originally injured in Viet Nam?

      • Saren Arterius

        In the original comics yes. The movies updated his back story to make it more contemporary.

        • Pithy Eponym Here

          yeah he was assisted by an old Viet Cong scientist instead of an Afghani one in the movie.

  • Guest

    Gee whiz, I guess Dixon was thinking of these horribly conservative Superman PSAs of the past. Y’know, the ones where he supports the U.N., public education and the Special Olympics — all part of the ultra conservative platform.

    • Matthew J

      Not sure why I got posted as guest … But I take credit for my above post.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        Yeah Disqus can be kinda weird about keeping track of your logging in. I usually have to double check mine before I post a comment.

      • dbtheonly

        And rightly so.

  • Aaron Litz

    Great article Oliver. Dead on about ’90s comics and Dixon’s place in them. That period actually drove me away from reading comics for a good ten years because they got so bloody awful.

    • David L.

      Worst decade ever in comics, totally agreed. Two words: chromium covers. Plus, horrible artwork (i.e. all the female characters having what seem like two-inch wide waists and 40-pound breasts); lazy and incredibly stupid writing (everyone would die and then resurrect what, like at least twice a year?) and very bad corporate management from both Marvel and DC. Ugh. Good thing that most comics I own are 60s, 70s & 80s, so I don’t have too many Azrael-&-co. shitstains taking up valuable bookshelf space.

      • dbtheonly

        Staged for collectors’ “events”.

        But I enjoyed the Azrael books as his inner conflict, knowing he’s doing evil things, in what he “knows” is his calling to do good, was & still is interesting reading & questions we still need to ask of ourselves.

        • David L.

          It wouldn’t be that bad if he weren’t a shameless Punisher rip-off, methinks.

          • dbtheonly

            Never that heavy into Punisher.

            Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, Dr. Fate, & (from the 60′s) The Inferior Five.

      • jmhall2369

        I dropped out of comics in the ’90s because of all the gimmicky crap. As for Dixon, after his Batman run he left DC and did nothing of any relevance, returned to DC, did more irrelevant stuff and was let go.

  • Jason E

    Revenge of the Nerds, was a fantastic movie! I saw it at a drive in movie theatre about a month before it was demolished and a multiplex was built in its place. If one were to believe in the butterfly effect, then you could see that this type of article was inevitable some 30 years later. No offense!

  • Richard_thunderbay

    I’m 50, and I’ve been a comics fan since the 1960′s. The idea that comics are now “descending into liberalism” is a complete crock of shit.

    Most of Marvel’s stable of characters were imbued with a liberal mindset by Stan Lee from the beginning in the early ’60′s. There was a famous 1974 Captain America storyline were it strongly implied that the master villain was Richard Nixon. Jack Kirby also based the personality of his classic villain Darkseid largely on Nixon.

    Chuck Dixon here is obviously whoring for his book.

    • Aaron Litz

      The Secret Empire, yeah. Great storyline.

      As you said, Marvel has always Liberal. Hell, as I’ve said before, Cap has always been an FDR New Deal Liberal, and has been consistently portrayed as such (except for the aberrant period in the ’50s where he was written by new people and portrayed as a “Commie Smasher” which was retconned in Earth-616 as being a jingoistic ultra Right-Wing nutjob fake Cap.

      Chuck Dixon is a dick and a horrible writer. That’s why he doesn’t get comics work anymore.

      • Pithy Eponym Here

        He and Ethan van Sciver can write the Classics Illustrated version of Atlas Shrugged. lol. EVS wasn’t a bad artist till he got pissy and took to Twitter as a self-styled pundit for the Conservative cause.

        • Aaron Litz

          HA!

        • RussBurlingame

          Pretty sure Papercutz or somebody already has an Atlas Shrugged comic that was circulated largely outside the direct market, believe it or not. I could be wrong.

  • leemoder

    Urgh…can’t view the editorial so I really can’t speak to its specifics. I think I can touch on a broader theme…Super-heroes…or the American Parthenon, as I like to think of them…concerns those with extraordinary power/skills using them to protect those who can’t defend against a greater threat. It’s all about “punching up”. Seems to me that modern conservatism is all about “punching down”, whether through physical force or chicanery, at those the cons perceive to be weak. It’s an attitude that’s anathema to “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”
    I prefer my super-heroes to afflict the powerful. My Superman will always be a social avenger and not a 40 year old linebacker working for the man. Captain America will always be that skinny kid from Brooklyn who hates bullies. All bullies.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Captain America will always be that skinny kid from Brooklyn who hates bullies. All bullies.

      Best line in the first movie spoke to that. Loved it.

      • Aaron Litz

        Hell Yes, it is!

      • Peter O’Leary

        Yeah too bad there isn’t one in reality.

      • philgreen

        I thought Cap was from Bowery or LES?

        • Christopher Foxx

          One of the poorer neighborhoods in NYC, not sure which. I probably changed in various retellings of his origin as to which (Bowery? Lower east side? Brooklyn?) specifically.

          • philgreen

            Yeah I wasn’t trying to be too pedantic, it just came up lately in a conversation with a friend. We were trying to figure out if Cap would have been a Giants, Dodgers or Yankees fan.

          • Pithy Eponym Here

            Yeah depends on who had final edit on script. I believe in the comics it was originally Brooklyn.

  • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

    They kinda ignore that Superman started out as a pretty liberal defender of the working class fighting business tycoons and looking out for the poor and needy. Hell, one of the more infamous examples from Sueprdickery, where he destroyed a bunch of low-income housing, was shown to be his (pretty short sighted) attempt to get the government to build better housing for folks. Hell, he was created as the ultimate immigrant story, by the children of immigrants.

    Oh, and not only does Dixon gloss over his own contribution to the grim ‘n’ gritty 90s, but he ignores that Frank “WhoresWhoresWhores” Miller, the guy who defined grim ‘n’ gritty and reinvented Batman, is also a pretty notorious conservative who still gets tons of work.

    And that’s not even getting into how Captain America was constantly written as more-or-less a New Deal Democrat (the only notable exceptions I can think of are Mark Millar and Warren Ellis, both British writers).

    • Peter James

      >>>>”…..Hell, he was created as the ultimate immigrant story, by the children of immigrants.”

      Let’s not forget,….

      ….an “illegal” immigrant.

      And we all know how much Conservatives love those.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        Superman actually qualifies as a DREAMer. He has calves the size of cantaloupes, and they are BULLETPROOF.

        Get Secret Border Agent Steve King on the phone stat!

    • Aaron Litz

      HA! I love that Shortpacked comic where they have a gun to Miller’s head to write any story with women who aren’t whores, and the only thing he can write is still “whoreswhoreswhores!”

      Millar and Ellis are WAY over-rated. That fascistic Cap in The Ultimates is horrendous, because Millar has no idea what Cap is about and wrote him as a stupid Neocon stereotype (his lame supposed “taking the characters back to their cores” idea. He took one incident where Hank Pym hit his wife, something that was meant to illustrate how much mental anguish he was in because he was under tremendous stress and his entire life was falling apart and he hit his wife one single time in a fit of hysteria, and Millar turned wife-beating into Pym’s single defining characteristic. What a shitty writer.)

      I remember the Godawful line “Do you think this A stands for France?!” causing a fair such stir in the comics community because most comics fans understood that Cap would know better about the situation of France in WWII (since he had been there) and wouldn’t be party to the modern “cheese eating surrender monkey” stereotype.

      • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

        While Ellis does have his better moments (Planetary and Nextwave!), and tends to be more…optimistic than his brethren, his Secret Avengers Cap showed that he totally did not get the character. Steve Rogers, the man who fought the Nazis, the man who mot too long ago (at the time of the issue) died fighting the SRA in Civil War, now condones torture. What. The Fuck.

        Millar. Oh man, don’t get me started. He has interesting, almost brilliant ideas that start well, but he goes right off the deep end as he wraps them up. Almost like he gets bored halfway through, and decides to just tank the whole damn thing as quickly as possible. Plus, if you thought the Ultimate Pym thing was stupid, he canonizes the Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch incest joke, and tried to make Cap look like he was a backwards asshole because he didn’t think two SIBLINGS should be flaunting their clearly sexual relationship in public. Wasp laughs at him for this.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Millar turned wife-beating into Pym’s single defining characteristic.

          Steve Rogers … now condones torture.

          [Millar] canonizes the Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch incest joke

          Thank gods I missed all that.

          • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

            The really sucky thing about the Cap torture scene is that he states how he doesn’t like torture, and then walks out of the room, saying he was leaving it up to those who were more wiling to use it. So it isn’t even him treating torture as good. He knew full well it was a horrible thing, which is why he didn’t want to do it himself. he just got somebody else to do it. That was what pissed me off right there. Say what you will about Cap, but he doesn’t have people do anything he isn’t willing to do himself if he could.Having him pull that was low, real damn low.

          • Aaron Litz

            The Ultmates was just horrendous.

        • Aaron Litz

          Oh yeah, Nextwave was just extraordinarily hilarious (like your old icon of Machine Man Aaron Stack buzzsawing his way out of Fin Fang Foom. :) ). But I haven’t read anything else by him that I like. It’s like Grant Morrison; yeah, Animal Man was awesome, but put him in charge of something like the X-Men and what’s he do? Ignores every bit of character development Chris Claremont ever gave Magneto and reverts him to a cackling ’60s cliche. Who takes over New York all by himself, because apparently the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Punisher, and the entire half of the damn Marvel Universe who all live in New York, not to mention friggin’ DOCTOR STRANGE, must have all been on vacation or taking a nap.

          If Magneto (or anyone) had tried something like that when Claremont was writing X-Men, there would have been a large group of NY supers that gathered to oppose him. Like the time Kulan Gath transformed New York into a facsimile of the Hyborian Age and Spidey, Cap, and Doc Strange all joined the X-Men in stopping it. THAT’S how you write a story about New York in the Marvel Universe… an eighth of the city’s population must be metahuman heroes or villains.

          As for all that stuff that happened in the Ultimates… I unfortunately read that series for a while. Until I just couldn’t take it anymore.

          I don’t know why these writers get praised. I don’t know how they get work.

          • Christopher Foxx

            I don’t know how they get work.”

            Editors give them the work. So I don’t hold just the writers to blame.

          • Aaron Litz

            True.

          • Sean Richardson

            “reverts him to a cackling ’60s cliche”

            I haven’t read that many ’60′s comics, but I don’t remember Magneto being evil solely because of a mutant drug taking over his mind, boosting his power, and draining his life. Let alone that it was common enough to become a cliche. Can you point to a few issues where I can see Stan writing that character? It sounds hilarious.

      • David L.

        From time to time, I’ll jump into Frank Miller’s blog just to marvel at how such a talented artist (yeah, his Daredevil was a beaut) can at the same time be a philofascistic sexist racist scumbag (300 is just… wow). You get a few laughs off his crazy rants, but man… what the hell happened to you, Frank? Did your parents get killed when you were a child by a pair of stalinist Muslim lesbians or something?

        http://frankmillerink.com/

        Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.

        Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.

        And this enemy of mine — not of yours, apparently – must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh – out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle.

        In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft.

        Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape.

        They might not let you babies keep your iPhones, though. Try to soldier on.

        Schmucks.

        • Pillar

          Frank’s wife is also one hell of a cuntrag. Did lil Frank even enlist himself? And don’t get me started in Holy Terror.

          • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

            Oh God, Holy Terror.

            Thank whatever deity you wish that DC had the sanity to not let him use Batman in it.

          • leemoder

            That book was weapons-grade stupid and nearly incomprehensible from a strict “readability” point of view. It’s a real pity ’cause Miller used to be so sharp at storytelling. Nowadays he comes across like a jabbering street-corner preacher toting his “The End Is Nigh” placard.

          • Aaron Litz

            “Weapons-grade stupid”

            I love that line.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Or better yet, enlist for the real thing.

          Just looking to follow your example, Frank…

    • Sean Richardson

      To be fair, Frank Miller doesn’t really do comics much at all anymore. I would agree that if he were willing, he could get as much work as he wanted, but he’s a pretty lousy counter-example in this case. He’s done, I believe, one work since Obama took office.

    • Pithy Eponym Here

      I did enjoy seeing Miller get whacked in Robocop 2 in the 90s. Miller is kind of a self-important dick. Love his art though. He is what Brian Michael Bendis will become if he doesn’t watch out. A hack.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Sheesh. They even defend the Comics Code Authority as a good thing!

    • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

      Because freedom.

    • leemoder

      The CCA was the successful attempt by the large publishers to push out the smaller publishers (especially EC) that were eating their lunch by producing edgier & more creative books while paying a higher page rate to their writers & artists. This is not to say that avoiding the real threat of government interference in the industry wasn’t a primary motivator…but getting rid of the cool kids was a happy outcome for the biggies.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The title of the editorial is How Liberalism Became Kryptonite for Superman, and it “makes the complaint that comic books are currently descending into liberalism, while conservative themes and ideas are being stamped out.” ?

    I don’t think Dixon and Rivoche understand how much Superman avoids Kryptonite. I wonder what else they don’t understand…

    [Editorial at the WSJ is behind their subscriber wall. Read it for free in the Google cache.]