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View Diary: Man of Steel and why cons can't be superheroes (warning, SPOILERS!) (145 comments)

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  •  Batman seems conservative to me (13+ / 0-)

    I've always seen Batman as a conservative. The Batman films have an almost crypto-fascist Nietzschean adoration for the concept of the "superman."  He's an uber-rich vigilante who feels that he doesn't need society; that to me sound conservative.

    •  He's also a filthy rich kid, whose family is (14+ / 0-)

      responsible for all that is good. He is a conservative wet dream. Remember the bullshit in the second movie of this current series? It's a total conservative message. The joker is inexplicably evil and Batman must use completely unorthodox methods to catch him or we're all dead. But don't worry, Batman will only use those means for good.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:03:24 PM PDT

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      •  But the point is (10+ / 0-)

        He does use his powers only for good. When he's caught the Joker, he destroys his spying machine. A conservative would have claimed there are thousands of Jokers out there, we are at never-ending war with the Jokers, and the spying machine needs to exist permanently to protect us from the Jokers. Then he would use the information he gathers to make himself richer and more powerful.

        Yes, super heroes are inevitably liberal. Liberals don't say no one should be rich, they say if you have the capacity to become rich, or are born rich (as Bruce Wayne was) you have obligations to the rest of us as well. No one becomes rich alone and the conservative exploitation of government to enrich themselves at the expense of others is morally corrupt. In fact, that's a sub-plot of all the movies: Bruce Wayne is the liberal rich guy, always fighting evil, conservative rich guys who want to steal all his money and who use what they have to commit evil acts. Sure he's a playboy, but he also risks his life on a daily basis to save millions of other people. He is the liberal version of governance. Iron Man/Tony Stark (the Marvel universe version of Batman/Bruce Wayne) claims to have privatized peace. He uses his technology and riches to help others and stops manufacturing arms (how his father and he originally became rich enough to create Iron Man and save the world) because it's morally wrong. He is another liberal rich guy. Colonel Rhodes, the token black guy (Lucius Fox's role in the Dark Knight films) is continually in conflict with his conservative military/government bosses because he wants to be a liberal good guy like Tony, but is compelled to steal and use Tony's inventions for conservative ends. Again, the "conservatives are evil exploiters of good" trope in liberal super hero stories.

        Bane, in the third Dark Knight movie, is the tool of a terrorist mastermind. He exploits liberalisitc/Unionistic rhetoric to enslave Gotham and hold it in a state of constant terror (created by him. Basically he's just Dick Cheney). He's Robespierre, using the rhetoric of the revolution to enrich himself and achieve his own ends -- in Bane's case, the destruction of Gotham. He just wants to be able to blame it on someone else (you made me kill you, a classic conservative trope). It's the same terror deal that Zod uses in Man of Steel, "give me what I want or I will destroy you," all the while planning to destroy Metropolis/Gotham anyway.

        They are both movie takes on the conservative method: Use the morals of liberalism to achieve non-liberal, evil ends. We know racism is wrong, so claim rich, white, Xtian people are the real victims of racism. We know bullying is wrong, so use anti-bullying rhetoric to claim conservatives are the real victims of bullying. We know pollution is wrong, so claim that it doesn't exist (fracking is pure as the driven snow!) and that global warming due to it is a lie. Liberals have won the moral debate. Liberal values are and have always been American values. Conservatives now use the fear of terrorism and outright lies to exploit liberal morality to their own ends, something Batman and Bruce Wayne (and Superman and Iron Man) would not do.

        Of course Batman is a fantasy. But he's a liberal fantasy.

    •  Um ... (11+ / 0-)

      ... a super-rich person who uses his wealth and risks his own life repeatedly to help people?

      Doesn't sound like any conservative I know.

    •  Green Arrow Is His Opposite (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, Ellid, FutureNow, TheOpinionGuy

      The counterpart to Batman in the DC universe is Green Arrow. They even make a point of it with Bruce Wayne and Oliver Queen getting into a fight over the fact that Queen is a liberal. They don't like each other precisely because of their politics.

      Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by seventh graders for balance. They found your paper "bogus," describing the lab work as "boring." We will be unable to publish your work at this time.

      by Rrhain on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 12:32:24 AM PDT

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      •  Same thing with Iron Man (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK, mikejay611

        Tony Stark goes to Afghanistan, is captured by terrorists, and gives up making weapons in favor of high technology and clean energy.

        •  And Captain America (6+ / 0-)

          is the Marvel version of a conservative, often at odds with Tony Stark's liberal/libertarian views.

          Interestingly, Cap is a Mom, apple pie, Christian conservative who lays his own life on the line for others. He's a boy scout who never tells a lie and so on. He is the conservative conservatives only pretend to be. The fact that actual real-life conservatives utterly fail to live up to the standards set by their fantasy rhetoric is one of the major failures of conservatism. They all want credit for being Captain America while actually being, or wanting to be, the Koch brothers (the real world's closest thing to evil super villains).

          •  Not necessarily (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ellid

            I'm no expert, but Cap was historically a New Deal kind of guy.  He hates bullies.  In Marvel Civil War, he was the leader of the anti-supers registration forces (in opposition to Iron Man.)  He protected other heroes who desperately wanted to keep their identities secret, despite the fact that Captain America's name was known by everyone.

          •  Uhm. Conservatives actually don't like Cap much (4+ / 0-)

            He's not Tea Party Friendly.

            And he's a "Statist".

            Hell, there's lists of the Liberal things Cap does.

            I think Cap's only conservative if you consider the New Deal and the best things about America to be "Conservative."

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:31:58 AM PDT

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            •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

              Or, why I'm only half joking when I keep threatening to write a diary called "Captain America - Socialist Scum!"  Because, seriously - we are talking a guy who grew up during the Depression, worked as an artist for the WPA, was so in favor of intervention against Nazi Germany that he started trying to enlist in the Army soon after the invasion of Poland, then willingly submitted to a horribly dangerous government experiment solely so he could fight for democracy and freedom.  

              Add in that he was buddies with Franklin Roosevelt (who gave him his shield), that one of his closest modern friends is African-American, that his closest friend growing up was gay, and that he was portrayed as supporting all sorts of socially liberal causes as far back as the early 1970s, and the odds that Captain America thinks much of the modern conservative movement beyond the occasional "for this I spent ____ years in an iceberg?" are pretty slim.

              YMMV, of course. :)

          •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

            Cap in the Ultimates line is very much a neocon, but Cap in the main comics is an old-style New Dealer in many ways.  He's not particularly devout, he believes in justice and equality, has no problem with people of other races (or genders, or sexual orientations), and leads an underground movement against the Marvel version of the PATRIOT Act.  I know a lot of neocons and Tea Partiers think he's one of them, but if you go back and read the books, not so much.

        •  Yeah, But... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cardboardurinal, Ellid

          Don't forget that when the government installed the superhero registry, Stark was the one leading it. I wouldn't really call him "liberal." He's not Cheney-level of conservative, but he's a centrist.

          Cap Ap is opposed to the SHRA and ends up dying for it.

          Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by seventh graders for balance. They found your paper "bogus," describing the lab work as "boring." We will be unable to publish your work at this time.

          by Rrhain on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:00:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think it's any coincidence at all that the Civil War ends with the living embodiment of the American ideal splattered on the courthouse steps.  It was an incredibly disturbing image, and I was not surprised in the slightest to learn that Joe Simon, Cap's original writer, actually sat shivah when that particular issue came out.

    •  I've never seen him necessarily as conservative... (0+ / 0-)

      If he is, he'd be a more law and order type, not necessarily the whole package. He certainly isn't what one would consider a social conservative. In the current comics, Batwoman is a lesbian and he seems fine with it. I suppose he'd be more a libertarian then anything else though he's awfully generous with his money. Not fitting the pattern of either conservative or libertarian to me. He's sees the damage the bad policies have on society as Batman so it's not like he's hiding from them.

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