The Culture Wars’ New Front: Comics

It’s a sad and fragile ideology so narrow that it has to take offense at every cultural change in every cultural document, nation- and indeed world-wide. But that’s where we are with conservatism today, when Superman’s decision to renounce U.S. citizenship, apparently, can provoke serious concern about Those Liberals. Why do they hate America so much?!?!

This is especially odd because it’s not clear that Superman “did” anything typically objectionable, by conservative standards. By the offending panel, he gave up his American citizenship so his actions, in defending freedom in Arab nations, couldn’t be imputed to the U.S. government, and used against them in a diplomatic forum. Isn’t this the neocon dream — like the rogue cop throwing his badge on the lieutenant’s desk, saying “I don’t need your f***ing rules,” and going out to fight drug crime as a vigilante? But writ large?

All that acknowledges about America and its role among the nations is that, as a part of a larger, civilized world, America sometimes can’t do what it would prefer, without facing consequences. This used to be a cornerstone of Republican diplomacy, and a typical underpinning of the elegant stewardship we expected from the Republican statesman of the past. Those days are gone.


  1. New front? This fight’s as old as grandma.

  2. Probably true :)

  3. Good point from Kris – comics have been an important reflection of our culture since they started. Watch the old Max Fleicher Superman cartoons and he had no problem killing Nazis. Read comics from the 1960s and there is a lot of social upheaval stuff. The Cold War was well-represented in comics of the 1970s and 1980s. The first openly gay Archie comics character was introduced last year.

    As for your references – I saw no real animosity towards the Left other than a wink, wink mention of the WH. To the contrary the tone in both posts seem to be mild amusement, which is the same attitude I have been reading in non-political comic book blogs. The first citation got it right though…who cares?

  4. NRO got pretty pissed off. But that’s, like, what they do. Also call things Nazis.

  5. You must be referencing something other than the linked piece above.

  6. Yup. There were a few apopleptic follow-ups, and the comments, but I just linked the first story.

    1. My experience with political writing on the internet is that you get exactly what you are looking for.

  7. Glenn Beck’s site remains appalled: see?

    1. I don’t read Beck’s site.

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