September 25, 2012

Such "brave" comics writers

Nate Winchester at Hunting Muses strikes again -- and perfectly so, I might add. This time he addresses the silly PC surrounding DC's new Green Lantern -- an American Muslim who supposedly suffered in post-9/11 America. Nate begins by shredding the entire "woe is me" premise surrounding the new GL, Simon Baz (emphases mine):

Then, we get the “crime” scene. Main character “Simon Baz” steals a van that just happens to have a bomb in it. He gets arrested, questioned, then interrogated. Here’s everything wrong with pages 3-15:

1) Again, he steals a van that “just happens” to have a bomb in it. Seriously, how do you do that? Shouldn’t car thieves like… check their targets just to be sure they’re not accidentally kidnapping someone or something?

20 The investigating officers (who are both white, isn’t that racist?) don’t believe Mr Baz’s alibi. Except… it’s not really an alibi, it’s more of a claim that he didn’t intend to blow up his former employer. We, the readers, sort of know he’s being honest (well, no more context than we’re given) but c’mon, if ANYONE told you that they were just stealing a van, and it just happened to have a bomb in it, so they drove it to a place they knew was empty and it just happened to be a former employer, NOBODY would believe it (regardless of the suspect’s “profile”). Well, you might give it a slight benefit of a doubt as it’s almost too stupid to be a lie…

Nate goes on to (rightly) wonder why Earth has to have five Green Lanterns out of a whole freakin' universe, not to mention another American. (And, as I noted, aren't GLs supposed to be essentially "pure of heart?" How does a part-time criminal so qualify?) Nate also correctly calls out DC for being just like MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell -- they're "real brave" in taking the PC stand that Arab-Americans were so badly "mistreated" in post-9/11 America; however, how about

... a little event happened called the Arab Spring? You’re telling me that a person from one of those countries, fighting to overcome the reigning government at that time has less fear to overcome than a Muslim in America who had to wash off some graffiti? A woman who wanted to be able to drive and stood up to demand her right to do so can’t overcome great fear as well as Simon Baz? No, I call bullshit. Let’s be honest here people, bravery in America is cheap. There are thousands, millions of Arabic Muslims out there who truly overcome great fear every day that are far more deserving of the Green Lantern ring. Or maybe an Arabic Christian or Hindu. If DC is really looking to show more of Islam, they could have one of the GLs convert which would then at least allow the story to organically explain Islam instead of the hamfisted preaching we’re probably going to get in coming issues. (if anything, I extend my sympathies to Muslims because when these people try and write religion… it’s never pretty).

The fans will call bullsh** too, Nate. This stuff is becoming nothing but self-righteous sanctimonious unintentional parody. Contemporary comics writers think of themselves as "relevant" and "valiant" for "taking on" such "hot" topics. Except that when one of their own actually was brave -- Frank Miller wanting to do a Batman story where he takes on al Qaeda -- these egotistical bozos threw a hissy fit.

Screw 'em all.

Posted by Hube at September 25, 2012 05:17 PM | TrackBack

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Plus from what I've read, the whole story reeks of borderline 9-11 Trutherism. Apparently DC Comics' superspy Amanda Waller (played by Angela Bassett in last year's Green Lantern film) was somehow involved in planting the bomb.

Posted by: Carl at September 25, 2012 05:43 PM

Hey, thanks for the linkage and overly kind words. :)

@Carl - I've seen some people making reference to the "trutherism" in the comic but at least that issue alone and what's in print shows nothing one way or the other. We'll see what happens but I'm wondering if Simon will survive the third army.

Posted by: Nate Winchester at September 25, 2012 07:28 PM

I read the exact same things, Nate... perhaps it's just premature speculation. I don't know what the third army is since I don't follow contemporary comics, so I can't comment on that. Anyway, good post!

Posted by: Carl at September 25, 2012 09:56 PM