Many political bloggers are also nerds, so the controversy between comic-book icon Captain America and the Tea Party movement is a big deal in the blogosphere. In the latest issue, the Marvel superhero investigates
an unnamed political protest for clues about a fictitious
survivalist/white supremacist group. But that protest bears striking
resemblance to photos of a real Tea Party protest that took place in
Washington last February. Here's the comic in question
, and here's the real thing
, photographed by The Washington Independent's David Weigel. Marvel has apologized
for the comic following pressure
from conservative bloggers. All of which raises the question: are comic books political?
- The Proud Liberal Tradition of Comics Conservative blogger James Joyner explains.
"Both Marvel and DC were vaguely liberal during the days I read them
and had been since at least the 1960s, as I eventually obtained and
read thousands of back issues of the books I collected." From Vietnam
on, "The books contained all manner of mainstream Left thoughts on
dealing with poverty, race relations, the war on drugs, and other
issues of the day. They were never hard core radicals — the publishers
were New Deal liberals, not Counterculture types — but there was no
doubt that they had a particular vision of what 'justice' meant and
what America stood for."
- Why Captain America Is Liberal The American Prospect's Adam Serwer wrote in 2008,
"if you see Captain America as an avatar of American freedom and
ideology, the fact that he takes what could be described as the
liberal/left/Democratic position on one of the defining issues of our
time suggests Captain America has actually been quite partisan of late.
[...] If you see Captain America's death as a metaphor for the death of
civil liberties in the wake of the Bush administration's support of
torture and warrantless wiretapping, then his demise is infused with
- Marvel Clearly Partisan Conservative blogger Allahpundit denounces
the politicization of comics. "I'm surprised the archvillian isn’t a
female superhero from Alaska with glasses and 'big breasts,' the way
the right-wing rabble likes ‘em. Something to shoot for in the next
issue, I guess. If you’re surprised by any of this, you haven’t been
paying attention: We’ve written sporadically about Marvel’s turn to the
left for years now."
- Captain America's Politics Liberal blogger Spencer Ackerman evaluates the superhero's stance. "[T]his strikes me as entirely commensurate with the stories [Marvel
writer] Brubaker tells portraying Cap as a redeeming figure for an
increasingly hysterical country," he writes. "Captain America would
tell the teabaggers that they ought to consider that freedom is
something rather more than the top marginal tax rate."
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