DC announced two new series based on economic issues which drove the 2012 election. The Movement by Gail Simone (Batgirl, The Secret Six) and Freddie Williams (The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics) focuses on a citizen’s army pushing against the rich and powerful. The Green Team by Art Baltazar (Billy Baston and the Magic of Shazam), Franco (Tiny Titans) and Ig Guara (Blue Beetle, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers) is a 21st Century version of a quickly cancelled 1970s Joe Simon series about incredibly wealthy young adventurers.
Right now. I’m reading Marvel: The Untold Story by Sean Howe. The new titles seems like the type of stuff Marvel and DC were doing in the early 70s, when Steve Englehart’s Captain America watched a disgraced president (who was essentially supposed to be a stand-in for Nixon) kill himself. Around the same time, Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams sent Green Lantern, a conservative cosmic lawman, and Green Arrow, reimagined as a McGovern loving Robin Hood, to travel across the United States.
As a Republican, I’m slightly wary of depictions of politics in popular culture, due to the left-leaning slant of most writers and editors. Some writers seem unaware that those on the other side truly believe that their solutions will do more good than the alternative. It’s easy to demonize the people you disagree with because the stakes are high, and mistakes in policy will mean that some people will die and that others will never be achieve their true potential. But functioning in a pluralistic society requires civil interactions with people who honestly believe that if people who think as you do would only come to their side, the world would be a much better place.
I follow Gail Simone’s blog. She clearly gives these matters a lot of thought. So I don’t know how fair she’s going to be in depicting political disagreements. That may not be very important.
While I’m interested in nuanced and complex political discussions, comic books may not be the proper format for that. These are 20-22 page stories that take about seven minutes to read. Partisan outrage may simply be more effective. And if it can bring eyeballs to comics, that’s a good thing, too. Due to the sales figures, this isn’t an industry in which being inoffensive is a viable strategy. Its worth pissing off millions of Fox News viewers if it can get 70,000 people to pick up the comic. This has great potential to draw new readers to the hobby.
A concern with an Occupy Wall Street-inspired series is that it could quickly be out of date. It’s a movement that’s lost much of its urgency with President Obama’s reelection. But DC doesn’t need many activists to pony over their hard-earned money for the book to be a hit.