Justice League: The conservatism of comic books

When the left finally completes its revolution in America, one of the final things to go will be comic books. The art form is just too conservative to survive once everything else has been banned. In fact, a Marxist did attempt to suppress comics once before, in the 1950s. (I know, I know liberals, I’m overreacting — the next thing you know I’ll claim they would ban a rodeo clown.)

I was thinking of comics because I recently purchased what may be one of the largest books ever published, 75 Years of DC Comics. I grew up on Marvel and DC comics in the 1970s, and I still keep a toe in that world to keep up with the latest movies and story lines. Over the last year I started hearing about a new book about comics books that was roughly the size of small car. There were stories of UPS people getting hospitalized trying to deliver the thing, and of dogs (and not even small ones) getting crushed when it tipped over.

I had to check it out. It arrived and yes, indeed, 75 Years of DC Comics, written by Paul Levitz, is massive. Forget about reading it on your lap. It’s about six inches thick and the length and width of a bathroom counter. Lifting it takes effort.

But the inside! Author Paul Levitz has written a comprehensive history of DC, the home of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Flash and Wonder Woman, among others. The book is loaded with glorious images from DC comics through the decades, from it’s founding in 1934 up to 2010. In our age of oppressive political correctness, superheroes retain a purity that even academics find difficult to co-opt or dismantle. The male heroes are turbo jocks, muscular and graceful as they leap between buildings. The female heroes are are pure adolescent id sex fantasy, from the classic Wonder Woman’s curves to Power Girl’s massive chest. Liberals in academia and the culture at large love to claim that there is ambiguity in some superheroes — Superman is an illegal immigrant! Batman hates guns! — but these are usually just weak attempts to claim ownership of something whose primal appeal cannot be denied.

For most superheroes, the driving motivation is a hatred for crime. They don’t want to hear excuses, they don’t care how rich or poor you are — if you are caught robbing a bank or assaulting a woman, or running a crime syndicate, you are going to get an ass whipping. The most arresting examples, of course, are Batman and Superman, DC’s iconic and most popular heroes. Liberals love to claim that Batman is a dark and ambiguous anti-hero, but this is just talk to avoid being tainted with anything that might be right-wing. 75 Years of DC Comics celebrates the work of Batman Creator Bob Kane, hardly an anarchist, as well as “The Dark Knight Returns,” the stunning 1980s graphic novel by Frank Miller, who also created “300,” probably the most conservative film ever made. A couple years ago Miller blasted Occupy Wall Street, and his law and order version of Batman was once called a “fascistic Reagan-era hero” by New Yorker cartoonist Art Spiegelman. And in the recent Batman movies, Bruce Wayne tries to save Gotham City from the League of Shadows, an anarchist group that’s like a better trained Occupy Wall Street.