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February 10, 2010 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Captain America takes a swing at the Tea partiers... or does he? Marvel editor Joe Quesada on how teabag-gate went down.
posted by Artw (128 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
"I know I was offended.

The scene in Captain America painted a very serious group of issues with a broad, liberal brush. The Tea Party movement, while it has strayed from its initial core concept, is not a group of lunatics and crazies.

The Tea Party movement derives its name from the Boston Tea Party, an act of rebellion against excessive taxation. The Obama Administration is piling untold billions and trillions of dollars onto our national debt for future generations to pay off. The Tea Partiers are protesting that debt and those taxes."

Spending billions of dollars to jumpstart the economy or create jobs or provide free bus tickets for war widows is wasteful socialism. Spending trillions of dollars to kill Iraqis for some reason no one can quite explain is patriotic and thrifty.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:53 AM on February 10, 2010 [57 favorites]


so... it's certainly marvel's choice if they'd like to remain apolitical as a publisher. but out of curiosity, would it have been a huge problem if the protestors, who seem to have clearly been representing tea party platforms, were identified as tea party protestors? I mean, unless cap busts in there punching tea partiers and spouting propoganda, what's wrong with showing people who protest in real life as protesting in a comic book?
posted by shmegegge at 10:54 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


propAganda. jesus christ, brain.
posted by shmegegge at 10:55 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I am a tough Real American who wears the pants in his family and these colors don't run. Pull yourself up by your bootsraps and get tough like a True, Real American. Oh no someone made fun of me in a comic book so I wet my diapers like a tiny baby.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:55 AM on February 10, 2010 [75 favorites]


Making fun of true freedom-loving Patriots in public should be illegal.
posted by chasing at 10:56 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So is Cap #602 potentially valuable?
posted by Mister_A at 10:59 AM on February 10, 2010


More evidence that there is nothing Tea Parties can't get offended about except for the things that really matter.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:00 AM on February 10, 2010 [7 favorites]


This is actually part of a Marvel Universe-wide attack on the right-wing.

In Uncanny X-Men, Rogue files a trademark infringement lawsuit against Sarah Palin for the title of her book.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:01 AM on February 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


Is it strange to anyone else that TeaBaggers would even notice a lack of minorities, let alone be offended at it?

The Tea Party movement derives its name from the Boston Tea Party, an act of rebellion against excessiveunfair-because-of-non-representation taxation.

When US taxation gets unfair (for the unrepresented rich), let me know.
posted by DU at 11:01 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sigh. Warner Todd Houston is a Zhdanovite hack.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:04 AM on February 10, 2010


Also, I am a tough Real American who wears the pants in his family and these colors don't run. Pull yourself up by your bootsraps and get tough like a True, Real American. Oh no someone made fun of me in a comic book so I wet my diapers like a tiny baby.

How's the new Charger running?
posted by NoMich at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2010 [11 favorites]


Those can't be Tea Party signs. All of the spelling is correct.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2010 [40 favorites]


But there’s also a portion of this story that is being blown out of proportion and taken out of context.

And that's what the Tea Bag movement is all about.
posted by three blind mice at 11:12 AM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Right wingers whine about something? Stop the fucking presses.
posted by brundlefly at 11:12 AM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Kiel Phegley: In this editorial by Warner Todd Houston on PubliusForum.com he says, "Isn’t it wonderful that a decades old American comic book hero is now being used to turn readers against our very political system, being used to slander folks that are standing up for real American principles in real life — and one called 'Captain America' at that?" He goes on to say later, "So, there you have it, America. Tea Party protesters just 'hate the government,' they are racists, they are all white folks, they are angry, and they associate with secretive white supremacist groups that want to over throw the U.S. government."

Sorry, did you need me to add something?
posted by SassHat at 11:13 AM on February 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


Aren't liberals the ones who are supposed to get offended over everything? I mean, in the last week, it's been Palin crying about the r-word and teabaggers crying about how we're not taking their dog and pony show seriously.

We're losing ground, people. All I've seen on our side is us saying Taylor Swift is maybe-kinda counterproductive to feminism.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:13 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So is Cap #602 potentially valuable?

Just the first edition with the "Tea Bag The Libs Before They Tea Bag You" sign, unless folks start buying and burning the subsequent editions.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:16 AM on February 10, 2010


From the third link: There’s a lot that could be discussed over something like this — on the one hand, I could certainly understand that no one wants to see their personal beliefs slammed by their favorite comic, and on the other hand, I could certainly understand the idea of “if you’re not a racist/reactionary/crazy person, don’t take this scene personally, it’s not bashing the Republican party as a whole.” (In fact, that might open up a whole can of worms over whether or not the very practice of being a superhero could be a liberal or conservative act!)

First of all, it's insane to sympathize with someone who gets offended by whether or not their favourite comic book is politically correct. Whatever happened to free speech?

Second, you'd have to admit that superheros are inherently conservative. And Alan Moore opened that particular can of worms thirty years ago.

Third, I'm sure there is a whole subculture of folks who get quite excited by the pairing of the terms "superhero" and "teabagging."
posted by KokuRyu at 11:19 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool– this is a relatively new book right? Maybe I can find a teabag one.
posted by Mister_A at 11:23 AM on February 10, 2010


POW! Completely blind-sided - Its absolutely shocking that a bunch of artists who draw comic books for a living would turn out to lean left politically. Never ever saw this coming in a million years...
posted by LakesideOrion at 11:24 AM on February 10, 2010


Spending billions of dollars to jumpstart the economy or create jobs or provide free bus tickets for war widows is wasteful socialism. Spending trillions of dollars to kill Iraqis for some reason no one can quite explain is patriotic and thrifty

I have only the most peripheral exposure to that group, but from what I've gathered, many of them are pretty pissed about that, too.

It's a shame they weren't active in 2004, when the Bush Medicare drug program was instituted to buy a few votes. This week I heard an interview with the former comptroller of the GAO, who says that's a $38 billion exposure with no corresponding revenue.

Honestly, the Obama stimulus, while just compounding the problems instead of fixing them, is chump change compared to what the Republicans have done.
posted by Malor at 11:25 AM on February 10, 2010


Captain America Is Hurt!

America Still Needs Your Help

Insert Coin(s)
posted by Damn That Television at 11:25 AM on February 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


Second, you'd have to admit that superheros are inherently conservative.

In their current Randian depiction anyway. But a few years ago I had the idea of a more group-oriented superhero. Like maybe one called The Will of the People where it would work something like an ancient Greek "tyrant" meets Tinkerbell: If everyone is on the same page, Will comes into being and makes things happen. You could have villains work the same way, now that I think about it. Something something Evil of Banality.

I'm sure this idea isn't original with me, although I don't know any actual implementations.
posted by DU at 11:26 AM on February 10, 2010


Er, dammit... $38 trillion. I get my orders of magnitude confused sometimes.
posted by Malor at 11:27 AM on February 10, 2010


Actually, I've heard that there's a big split between libertarians who want out of the wars, and conservatives who just hate that there's a Democrat spending money because that's a Republican's job.

It's not really about fiscal accountability. They're a mob. Plain and simple.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:27 AM on February 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'm sure this idea isn't original with me, although I don't know any actual implementations.
come now.
posted by shmegegge at 11:28 AM on February 10, 2010


BY YOUR POWERS COMBINED, I AM CAPTAIN PLANET DOCTOR DEMOCRATES!
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:29 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Admittedly OT, but choice: Nate Silver does his thing analyzing Palin's route to the Republican nomination.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:30 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Captain America as USO Song-and-Dance Man?
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on February 10, 2010


I get so tired--and often bored--in trying to make tea party folks and protesters understand about Big Govt. It was, after all, Big Govt that gave us the internet, without govt "intrusion" and the Internet tea party folks would be totally ignored. And you own a Toyota? Who came down on the company and made them reveal what is going on? a govt agency.And your bank account? protected by Govt Insurance. and on and on.
posted by Postroad at 11:32 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I get so tired--and often bored--in trying to make tea party folks and protesters understand about Big Govt.

There are 3 groups that hate Big Government:

1) Ultra rich people (taxes)
2) Big corporations (taxes and regulation)
3) Idiots who've been brainwashed by #s 1 and 2.
posted by DU at 11:35 AM on February 10, 2010 [26 favorites]


No Socialest
posted by Damn That Television at 11:35 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only non-Tea-Party person who doesn't adore the phrase "teabaggers"? It's noble and just to critique their positions on things, but mocking them with a vulgar name is just juvenile. At least have the dignity to refer to them as Tea Partiers, or something. Sheesh.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:36 AM on February 10, 2010


a few years ago I had the idea of a more group-oriented superhero. Like maybe one called The Will of the People where it would work something like an ancient Greek "tyrant" meets Tinkerbell: If everyone is on the same page, Will comes into being and makes things happen. You could have villains work the same way, now that I think about it. Something something Evil of Banality.

I'm sure this idea isn't original with me, although I don't know any actual implementations.


DU, I think you might enjoy FreedomTM by Daniel Suarez. Make sure you read Daemon first, though.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:37 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm. According to this, Marvel's not making it all up.
posted by warbaby at 11:41 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Winsome Parker Lewis: "Am I the only non-Tea-Party person who doesn't adore the phrase "teabaggers"? It's noble and just to critique their positions on things, but mocking them with a vulgar name is just juvenile. At least have the dignity to refer to them as Tea Partiers, or something. Sheesh."

Well, actually...

The verb to "tea bag", hence "tea bagger", to describe these protesters has been used by several pundits and journalists after it appeared self-referentially on signs at Tea Party rallies, distributed by "FReeRepublic.Com".

So by continuing to call them that, we're critiquing their position of being such idiots that they didn't know they had adopted a vulgar sexual term as their name.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:42 AM on February 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


The Tea Party movement derives its name from the Boston Tea Party, an act of rebellion against excessive taxation.

Actually, taxation wasn't the real reason the Boston Tea Party was organized. By the time of the Tea Party, tea prices had been lowered more than enough to compensate for the tax. The real reason was that John Hancock, a wealthy and influential shipping magnate and smuggler who inherited his fortune, found his smuggled tea undercut by the legitimate East India Company tea. The masses were whipped up by the 'taxation without representation' message, which, while a legitimate complaint, sort of missed the point that the tea tax was not punitive or burdensome.

Basically it was a classic example of established wealth convincing the poor to act in the interests of the wealthy by claiming that it's also in the interest of the poor. Which is in fact what the Tea Party is (perhaps inadvertently) doing, so it's appropriate but for terrible reasons.

For another example of this kind of strategy in early American history, see Washington's use of military force to put down a revolt against regressive whiskey taxation that benefited his own large-scale distilleries.
posted by jedicus at 11:44 AM on February 10, 2010 [58 favorites]


You know who else would probably be a teabagger and is actually Adolf Hitler
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I've stopped calling them teabaggers. Because I want them to stop calling the Democratic Party the Democrat Party, and can't really make that demand when I am mocking their name. I'll be curious to see when they offer the same respect they demand.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:44 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like maybe one called The Will of the People where it would work something like an ancient Greek "tyrant" meets Tinkerbell: If everyone is on the same page, Will comes into being and makes things happen.

I think this was roughly the idea behind "The One", by Rick Veitch and Allan Moore.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:44 AM on February 10, 2010


(Make that Alan Moore, sorry.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2010


Here's my favorite "teabagger" sign. Granted, she might be a hipster and holding the sign ironically.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Second, you'd have to admit that superheros are inherently conservative.

Mr. Queen would like a word with you ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Again, teabagging assmunches. You got a vote. Despite losing you are represented, if you would kindly go vigorously fuck yourselves.

Do teabaggers read this site?
posted by djduckie at 11:47 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


What about the X-men? They're an oppressed minority!

(also frequently protested against by sign waving bigots)
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


TWPL: "Am I the only non-Tea-Party person who doesn't adore the phrase "teabaggers"?"


There's no shame in mocking the teabagging movement. They predicate their party on the idea that the Boston Tea Party was about taxes, when in fact it was about the Tea Act undercutting the local tea smuggling industry and hitting a lot of wealthy colonists in the pocketbook. They also complain about how that socialist Obama is raising their taxes, when in fact the middle class has gotten a big tax cut. Finally, they're demanding that we keep our horribly inefficient and ineffective health care system. They've earned the mockery, they worked hard to deserve it, so I say let them have it.

That being said, I do admire their potential to rip the republican party apart and I look forward to donating funds to their most batshit insane and unelectable candidates in the upcoming election.
posted by mullingitover at 11:47 AM on February 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


Am I the only non-Tea-Party person who doesn't adore the phrase "teabaggers"? It's noble and just to critique their positions on things, but mocking them with a vulgar name is just juvenile. At least have the dignity to refer to them as Tea Partiers, or something. Sheesh.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis


Not to harsh your buzz, but they were the ones who called themselves that, apparently not understanding the connotation. (Or maybe they did.)

Q.v.: Teabag Obama. Super racist, NSFW.
And: Free Republic.

If you don't want to be known as a goat-fucker, don't fuck goats.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:49 AM on February 10, 2010 [18 favorites]


Actually, teabaggers feel underrepresented because of ACORN and widespread voter fraud. And don't explain to them that a tiny anti-poverty group physically cannot afford to stuff that many ballot boxes. They're too mad to hear you.

And did you hear that Obama's from Kenya? And uses a teleprompter?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:49 AM on February 10, 2010


Upon corrections of the etymology: It's still horribly offensive but I guess if that's what they call themselves, who am I to protest?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2010


The FOX poll description of them as being driven by a "Fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories" is pretty accurate, though really it needs to be a ""Fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories and believing FOX news".
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


My thing with the teabaggers is they're such a bunch of stupid pussies. I mean, tea BAGS? You can't figure out how to get some tea that's not in a bag? It's just so dopey and wrong.
posted by Mister_A at 11:54 AM on February 10, 2010


(Note that I wouldn't click through and vote on that poll as Reddit suggests, as it's only there so FOX can be mock offended by people clicking on a description of their pet political movement that they themselves provided. That and advertising.)
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on February 10, 2010


It's probably not even real tea! It's probably some herbal shit made out of twigs! They probably prepare it by warming the water in a fucking microwave!
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on February 10, 2010


from OC's first link:

Michelle Obama looks like a big ass hoochie mama prostitute that should be cruising a White Castle somewhere in Chicago.

Oh, no racism here, no.
posted by angrycat at 12:03 PM on February 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


I love the tea baggers. I really, really hope they break off and run Sarah Palin for president. It'll be such a fuckin' circus and guarantee Obama another four years.
posted by zzazazz at 12:03 PM on February 10, 2010


Second, you'd have to admit that superheros are inherently conservative. And Alan Moore opened that particular can of worms thirty years ago.

Alan Moore used superheroes to examine ideas of fascism, but that's certainly not the only thing he did with the trope. I'd be hard-pressed to call V a symbol of conservatism (though Moore was probably unhappy to see the film adaptation turn him into a left-wing political symbol). Superheroes aren't inherently anything; they're context. You can pour whatever content into them you want. Same as with any other genre.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:05 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mark Waid chips in.
posted by Artw at 12:08 PM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's not right wingers who should be offended, it's comic book readers...and it's pretty old news.
posted by rahnefan at 12:09 PM on February 10, 2010


Old news being that mobsters and their politics guide the MU. FPP isn't old news.
posted by rahnefan at 12:10 PM on February 10, 2010


Old news being that mobsters and their politics guide the MU.

Oh, please do explain, I would be ever so interested, do, pray.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:15 PM on February 10, 2010


Old news being that mobsters and their politics guide the MU.

So Wilson Fisk set the whole thing up? I'd buy that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:24 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, the poor widdle teabaggers are feeling persecuted.
posted by ericb at 12:24 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well it wouldn't be so hard for them to take but you know they think Captain America is real, and they thought he would side with them. So this has come as a big shock.
posted by nola at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2010


This whole debate over the Tea Party would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. I do NOT agree with the politics of the Tea Partiers, but, Dammit, at least they're out there on the streets making noise and trying to further their agenda. What happened to the street marches, sit-ins, and vocal protests from the Left? The Left has been reduced to sitting on the sidelines, insulting and denigrating anyone they disagree with, without putting up any kind of fight. That strategy wont win any converts. For far too long the Progressives in this country have abandoned any attempt to persuade the electorate with rational discourse and street presence and have been reduced to calling anyone that would dare to disagree with them as stupid. You can get away with many things in politics, but constantly referring to people that you differ with as somehow mentally inferior will get you nowhere. We were THIS close to health care reform, but Pelosi, Reid and others did such a wonderful job of alienating the very people it would help that I could see the whole thing going down months ago. If the Left is content to sit on their duffs and continue to refer to the opposition as mindless sheep, they can be sure that the Right will win by default.
posted by TDavis at 12:31 PM on February 10, 2010


I've linked to this before, and I'll do it again:

There weren't any teabags at the Boston Tea Party.
posted by marxchivist at 12:35 PM on February 10, 2010


I have only the most peripheral exposure to that group, but from what I've gathered, many of them are pretty pissed about that, too.

It's a shame they weren't active in 2004, when the Bush Medicare drug program was instituted to buy a few votes.
Something must have changed between then and now to get them so riled up. I wonder what it could be....
posted by deanc at 12:38 PM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Tea Baggers are the stupidest Americans, all rounded up and given signs by the stupidest rich Americans.

For years I have joked about how Republicans were the "stupid" party. But realistically, there are plenty of idiots on the left side, and plenty of smart people on the right.

But also, during those years, the Right so aggressively scraped the bottom of the barrel and so aggressively relied on dirty tactics and insane bullshit that this is what they created: a political movement composed entirely of, quite literally, the stupidest people in America.

Their symbolic head, Sarah Palin, is in many ways a throwback to Monarchy: under no other system of government or rule could someone as stupid as she is have such a position of prominence. Despotism, Socialism, Plutocracy, whatever: in any other way of life, you have to have some qualities, some traits, some talents to be mentioned as a possible leader. JFK was the most charming extemporaneous speaker we've ever had as a leader. Nixon was extremely smart and a clever statesman in international affairs. Carter was immensely empathetic. Reagan was extremely likable and projected an unflappable image of stability. Bush, Sr. was a careful and knowledgeable pragmatist. Clinton was a brilliant politician and a karma magnet. Bush, Jr., for christ's sake, at least had the decency to let smart people run things (to terrible ends, of course) while he acted more as a figurehead. At least Bush was lazy enough so that he didn't fuck things up directly.

Palin is none of these things. She has no redeeming traits to anyone who is half-sane. She is proud of her idiocy, proud of her refusal to learn, and will be a very proactive idiot if she gets elected. While Bush Jr. watched Katrina destroy our gulf coast, Palin would rush there and dump water on it from a helicopter. And her political movement is such a self-parody that they can't stand the weakest possible criticism levied at them from the pages a comic book.

To be fair, the Right and Left both rely on a certain number of idiots voting, and court them in their own ways. Idiots are a useful voting bloc and tantalizing demographic. We are all idiots in some ways. But the Right, the goddamn Right, has created a fucking monster, has empowered idiocy beyond the reach of parody and satire.
posted by Damn That Television at 12:40 PM on February 10, 2010 [32 favorites]


There weren't any teabags at the Boston Tea Party.

A great photo mentioned in that link: Tea leaves in glass bottle collected on the shore of Dorchester Neck the morning of 17 December 1773.
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on February 10, 2010


They probably prepare it by warming the water in a fucking microwave!

I know, right?
posted by Mister_A at 1:05 PM on February 10, 2010


I wish I could muster even the slightest surprise that Marvel's chickening out and covering their ass over all this mess. Steve Rogers would be proud, Joe.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2010


GO CAP!
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on February 10, 2010


The Left has been reduced to sitting on the sidelines, insulting and denigrating anyone they disagree with, without putting up any kind of fight. That strategy wont win any converts. For far too long the Progressives in this country have abandoned any attempt to persuade the electorate with rational discourse and street presence and have been reduced to calling anyone that would dare to disagree with them as stupid.

Don't worry, it'll be the Left's turn to take to the streets when we go Republican again. Honestly, when was the last time that rational discourse was remotely involved in political discourse? Isn't it all about shouting meaningless platitudes at one another and pretend that there's a difference between the corrupt Democratic party hacks and the corrupt party Republican hacks? And also that rich people and corporate interests don't run both parties?
posted by _cave at 1:27 PM on February 10, 2010


Oops. I meant "corrupt Republican Party hacks". Too much caffeine this afternoon.
posted by _cave at 1:28 PM on February 10, 2010


Just remember Marvel thought everyone would side with Tony Stark in the Civil War and were shocked when people said "Yeah he's a fascist." and stopped buying Iron Man comics. Basically Marvel has very little idea of what the people who read their comics actually like. The Tea Party people probably aren't reading Marvel. This retraction is SOP though, Marvel hasn't had the guts to stand by any decision that might offend anyone ever. Cowards.
posted by Peztopiary at 1:43 PM on February 10, 2010


It's noble and just to critique their positions on things, but mocking them with a vulgar name is just juvenile.

They mock themselves just fine.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:55 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


"(In fact, that might open up a whole can of worms over whether or not the very practice of being a superhero could be a liberal or conservative act!)"

Superheroes are inherently conservative: they represent the idea that people need to be protected by a small, elite group; and that the actions of a few powerful people will always prevail over concerted, democratic group action.
posted by eviemath at 1:58 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Above See : Watchmen, The
posted by The Whelk at 1:59 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd imagine that most of the tea bags shown in protests, if they're like those in kirkaracha's links, are Lipton-branded. Lipton's owned by Unilever, which wikipedia calls a "Dutch-British multinational corporation." So they're spending money on international products in order to support their pro-America protest. Unless they stole them from an American store, I guess.
posted by mikeh at 2:01 PM on February 10, 2010


Superheroes are inherently conservative: they represent the idea that people need to be protected by a small, elite group; and that the actions of a few powerful people will always prevail over concerted, democratic group action.

It's true that superheroes are by undemocratic (it's about vigilantism, afterall)... but what does that have to do with conservatism as a principle? It can be just as democratic as liberalism.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:20 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dear Teabaggers:

I have a first printing of Captain America #602. I am willing to sell you this comic, no strings attached, for $5,000. Burn it, archive it, do whatever you like with it. Heck, I'll even cover the postage. Please note that I will use your $5,000 to make a substantial donation to Planned Parenthood and to buy a big bag of weed.

Your friend in Christ,
BOP
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:30 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Superheroes are inherently conservative: they represent the idea that people need to be protected by a small, elite group;

This is not a conservative principle, and it's only one way of looking at superhero stories.

and that the actions of a few powerful people will always prevail over concerted, democratic group action.

Like what, the Legion of Doom? I have no idea what you are talking about here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:34 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


They seem to be forgetting, assuming they ever knew, that back in the 1960's Captain America did a lot of soul searching and felt compelled to join in protests against the Vietnam war.

Astro Zombie wrote I'll be curious to see when they offer the same respect they demand.

No, they won't.

More to the point, they call themselves Teabaggers, the name wasn't forced on them by liberals like you and I, it is the name they chose for themselves. Why shouldn't I use their own chosen term to refer to them?
posted by sotonohito at 2:42 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is not a conservative principle, and it's only one way of looking at superhero stories.

it's a libertarian/objectivist principle, which gets lumped in with conservatism, so there you go. no, it's not the only way of looking at superheros. it's a weird thing that people say "superheroes are always conservative, period." with such finality.
posted by shmegegge at 2:48 PM on February 10, 2010


A thought: Teabaggers are conservative hippies. Discuss.
posted by X-Himy at 2:50 PM on February 10, 2010


I wonder what would happen if you offered your average Tea Party "member" a cup of tea.

I'm betting they'd make some crack about you being English and walk off with their head held high, secure in the knowledge that they sure did make a clever funny about you and your "cup of tea".
posted by Target Practice at 2:53 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Having seen the thing, removing that lettering is going to be no-ones loss - it's kind of small and ugly and not very well matched to the art. This is why i think i;s better for artists to do that sort of thing rather than letterers.

I;m also a big advocate of artist-drawn sound effects, but that's a different kettle of fish.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Superheroes are inherently conservative: they represent the idea that people need to be protected by a small, elite group;

Most conservatives would tell you that's what nanny-state liberals are all about. And in fact, Warren Ellis's The Authority and Alan Moore's Miracleman are both examples of elite superheroes who control the masses in lefty ways.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:11 PM on February 10, 2010


So is Cap #602 potentially valuable?

Long term, probably not. For now though, as you would expect, there appears to be a bit of a frenzy, going rate on ebay is $15.
posted by Chuckles at 3:18 PM on February 10, 2010


I take superheroes to be fundamentally Objectivist. They go around being accountable to nobody and doing their thing which they feel entitled to do, regardless of anti-vigilante laws- it is their ability which they take to be their justification. The Incredibles demonstrates this ably, though it's written from an Objectivist standpoint and we are meant to cheer the heroes for refusing to be bound by social contracts.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:20 PM on February 10, 2010


Er... comic store had a stack of them, teabags intact. I don't think they will be exactly hard to get hold of.
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on February 10, 2010


I;m also a big advocate of artist-drawn sound effects, but that's a different kettle of fish.

someone else puts in the sound effects? i had no idea.
posted by shmegegge at 3:21 PM on February 10, 2010


The Incredibles demonstrates this ably, though it's written from an Objectivist standpoint

oof.
posted by shmegegge at 3:22 PM on February 10, 2010


Wait, are we going to have the stupid Incredibles conversation again?
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on February 10, 2010


Oh, for Christ's sake. Not again.
posted by brundlefly at 3:29 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know who else Captain America would punch right in the face in his first ever appearance
posted by Artw at 3:38 PM on February 10, 2010


And then there was the time that secret supervillain Richard Nixon killed himself in the Oval Office rather than be arrested by Captain America.
posted by Guy Smiley at 3:41 PM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I take superheroes to be fundamentally Objectivist. They go around being accountable to nobody and doing their thing which they feel entitled to do, regardless of anti-vigilante laws- it is their ability which they take to be their justification.

Okay, but I would posit that this is not the subtext of all sorts of superhero stories, including nearly every animated superhero series ever and just about every superhero comic book published before 1970. However, it is the subtext of Robin Hood, "Kung Fu," and the New Testament. Again, what I'm saying is that there is no "it is inherently this" or "it is fundamentally the other." Superheroes can as easily be seen as social justice figures who step in to help when no one else will -- they can be seen as symbols of fascism, or they can stand in for everyday people who went to Haiti or New Orleans to do what they could. (Robin Hood, "Kung Fu," and the New Testament can all fit in here as well, if you like.) Or they can just be fun, goofy characters who do fun, goofy stuff, thereby equating "good" with "fun and goofy," which -- it could be argued -- is downright anarchic (see Doctor Who or Batman: The Brave and the Bold for examples of this variation on the superhero archetype). Saying "oh, it's this dark, bad thing, fundamentally" is just cynicism, and no one's ever lost cool points for being a cynic, but I think you're missing a lot in this case.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:22 PM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


the first Spiderman movie is kinda of about the objectivist nature of super-powers and how to reject that. The Everyday People come to save him in the end.
posted by The Whelk at 4:38 PM on February 10, 2010


Guys, the superhero argument's been done. Let's argue about this: What's so bad about microwaving water in the microwave? Isn't water at 212 degrees the same no matter how it got there?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:29 PM on February 10, 2010


Boiling water is all the same - *if* it's boiling. The microwave is not conducive to that.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on February 10, 2010


you run the risk of superheating the water so it doesn't boil until you put something in it and then it overboils and shoots out, causing burns.

Besides, the kettle is such a nice ritual, but the microwave is fine for quick heating and the like.
posted by The Whelk at 5:35 PM on February 10, 2010


Guys, the superhero argument's been done. Let's argue about this: What's so bad about microwaving water in the microwave? Isn't water at 212 degrees the same no matter how it got there?

You boil water instead of microwaving it because the alternative is you are too lazy to boil water.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:42 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


you run the risk of superheating the water so it doesn't boil until you put something in it and then it overboils and shoots out, causing burns.

Okay, I'm clearly not as informed about physics and chemistry as I thought I was. What is it about a microwave that causes water to reach 212 degrees and not boil?
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:53 PM on February 10, 2010


Actually, if you're interested in some superhero fiction that tries to look at what the real-world implications of superheroes would be, there are quite a few good options. Watchmen, both the comic and the movie, but especially the comic, is of course the canon answer, but there are a lot of other interesting works.

Warren Ellis in particular has been doing this for a while. His run on Stormwatch, and especially its subsequent molding into The Authority, specifically explores the idea of superheroes as accountable to nobody and how they could turn into de-facto benevolent dictators of the world.

Some of his newer stuff is more pessimistic, both Black Summer, which starts with a member of a superhero group assassinating the president of the US over the war in Iraq, No Hero, where a Tim Leary-like drug guru in the sixties created a drug that gives people superpowers, and has been a global force ever since, and Supergod, where various governments create God-like beings that bring about the end of human civilization.

I'm sure there are more, though.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:55 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I totally forget but it has to do with the speed a glass of water gets hot and the lack of surfaces for bubbles to form, so you take the super hot but still water out and then put something in it and then the bubbles act like a shaken soda can and just super rush out. I've seen it happen with cups of water in the microwave for more than 2 minutes and then adding say, sugar. After that it gets so hot that it bubbles anyway, but very forcefulfilly and yeah, super-hot water that's hotter than people think and burns.
posted by The Whelk at 5:56 PM on February 10, 2010


Pope Guilty wrote I take superheroes to be fundamentally Objectivist. They go around being accountable to nobody and doing their thing which they feel entitled to do,

Except, what they do is fundamentally altruistic in the Randian "altruism is evil" sense of the word. They endanger their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and in return they get no reward. Heck, for Marvel's mutants they are ridiculed and held in contempt (at best) by those they save. Doesn't look very Objectivist to me, sorry.

Superheroes and supervillains are avatars of our national/cultural hopes, fears, national mythos, etc. As such they aren't fundamentally Objectivist, liberal, conservative or anything else. Individual supers, whether heroes or villains, can be fundamentally any of the above, or none of the above.
posted by sotonohito at 5:59 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


And again I'm gonna mention the first Spider-Man movie cause it was both a huge hit and one that stressed the "Public Service" aspect of superheroics. Peter has to give up not just a normal life, but give up living a decent life cause he's Spiderman, and the Public ends up saving him cause he's Theirs and he has a bigger responsibility because he has a bigger ability.

Or another way, everyone wonders why wunderkind Peter Parker has turned into such a loser, he can barley make classes, he can't hold a job, he doesn't talk to anyone - he's a loser. ut Spider-Man? Spider-Man is a hero that everyone loves, and unlike say Tony Stark, Peter can't afford for him and Spider-Man to be one and the same.
posted by The Whelk at 6:06 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joakim, I'd recommend Powers, which deals with a police department assigned to cases involving super powers.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:07 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or, in another way, Peter Parker is Buffy Summers, Basically.
posted by The Whelk at 6:07 PM on February 10, 2010


This was bound to happen eventually. While most comics creators tend to be liberal (or at least that has been my understanding), there's a large contingent of comics (and sci-fi) fans that are conservative. Putting aside the weird mental image of a conservative Star Trek fan for a moment, it's not surprising that this got out so fast. No doubt some Tea Party member/comic fan saw this in his pull list, spit out his Mountain Dew, and alerted the Internet within moments.

I'm sure there are interesting discussions to be had over what elements of the superhero genre appeal to conservative readers (the idea of one man/woman triumphing over evil, the relatively binary morality of most superhero comics, etc.) but I don't know if I can really formulate them in this space and they're probably better left to smarter people than I. In a way, I can see how someone would get upset over something like this - I can't imagine I'd be super happy about a comic that argued for the benefits of corporate personhood, for example. On the other hand, it is a comic book, and while I would never dismiss a creative work's ability to inspire thought and discussion, this is so far down on the list of what actually matters in society right now that it shouldn't even be an issue.

All I'll say regarding conservative comics fans is this - I once overheard a discussion in the comic shop I frequent in which one of the individuals, who had made his pro-military leanings very clear, lamented the fact that the military can no longer use flamethrowers and napalm as a grave injustice.

Make of that what you will.
posted by HostBryan at 6:12 PM on February 10, 2010


Or, the best single panel identity reveal ever
posted by The Whelk at 6:12 PM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Buffy is a Nazi... TO VAMPIRES!
posted by Artw at 6:12 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also people should be reading Top Ten a lot more then they do. A world where everyone is a superhero.
posted by The Whelk at 6:16 PM on February 10, 2010


Just remember Marvel thought everyone would side with Tony Stark in the Civil War and were shocked when people said "Yeah he's a fascist." and stopped buying Iron Man comics. Basically Marvel has very little idea of what the people who read their comics actually like. The Tea Party people probably aren't reading Marvel. This retraction is SOP though, Marvel hasn't had the guts to stand by any decision that might offend anyone ever. Cowards.

Yeah, I'm gonna beg to differ on that interpretation. I think Cap being the first guy to rebel in Civil War -- the guy who's always the Marvel Universe's moral compass (and still is, apparently) -- is a pretty good sign Marvel was expecting people to not side with Tony Stark.

The funny thing is, the "oh, Stark's totally a facist" thing is really only true in a world where the reader knows, like, you can just trust Cap and Spidey. In any sort of real world context, though, I'd be pretty concerned about a couple thousand Bernie Getz-wannabies who can blow up buildings, personally.
posted by Amanojaku at 6:34 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The funny thing is, the "oh, Stark's totally a facist" thing is really only true in a world where the reader knows, like, you can just trust Cap and Spidey. In any sort of real world context, though, I'd be pretty concerned about a couple thousand Bernie Getz-wannabies who can blow up buildings, personally.

THIS.

I've always taken issue with people who read the series that way, and seemed personally offended that Tony Stark (a fictional character) would act that way. Personally, I thought the whole thing was mishandled by Marvel - if you stack the anti-registration side with all the popular characters (Wolverine, Cap, Punisher, Spider-Man eventually), then of course everyone's going to go that way, and any pretense of an intellectual exercise goes out the window.

Stark strikes me as a pragmatist, a man who did what he thought was right to protect his friends and allow them to keep working for the greater good without having the people turn against them. That it worked out the way it did was unfortunate and, as a character, he's been paying for it ever since. The entirety of the Invincible Iron Man series has been about his penance, and it's been excellent.

From a "real-world" standpoint, though, there's little doubt in my mind he was right, and for much the same reasons why we have strict controls on nuclear weapons.
posted by HostBryan at 7:02 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, the whole Civil War was a clusterfuck. There were good arguments from both sides and then Tony goes and makes a robot clone of Thor and wtf Marvel you had an interesting political battle going on why I don't even
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:15 PM on February 10, 2010


Civil War was predicated on most of the characters acting against 40+ years of established personality. While Cap certainly was in character by standing against it, Spider-Man totally wasn't... and Tony, frankly, would've known how to derail it while it was still in Congress with a few appropriately-placed lobbyists. (Additionally, Frank would never be DUMB enough to mow down two criminals in front of Cap & Co. when there's a perfectly usable alleyway outside...)

The worst part about Civil War is that it's obvious from Millar (author) and Quesada's own interviews that they didn't even read the crap they were themselves writing. They routinely misstated things that happened -- claiming Cap threw the first punch when SHIELD tried to arrest him before the registration act went into effect.

As for this Tea Party thing? There were, as has been shown above, moments when Marvel had bigger balls than this. Marvel established itself early on as trying to be counter-culture, and often succeeding. It's only been in the last ten years that they've lost touch with this, and that's happened largely at the top.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:19 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


*Spider-Man wasn't in character from the beginning... bah. I'm correcting my own fan-rants on Metafilter...
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:20 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I believe in big government. As Abraham Lincoln said "government of the people, by the people, for the people". The people now number over 300 million. That's a big government and that's the way I like it.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 8:29 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Marvel's done this before with less fanfare.
posted by asperity at 8:59 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Forget about the water -- the tea in America is terrible. We had to start buying the slightly more expensive Tetley's British Blend to brew a decent cuppa.
posted by jb at 7:48 AM on February 11, 2010


Just as long as you put the milk in the cup first before pouring the tea from the teapot.... unless you are some sort of a godless barbarian who makes your tea in the cup.
posted by jokeefe at 8:27 AM on February 11, 2010


If the tea party is so upset, why don't they start their own comics franchise to compete with it on the free market? They could then vote with their dollar and lift themselves up by their bootstraps. It'd help Main Street, and not Wall Street for once. And they could employ people who used to be on welfare and the homeless, giving them a hand-UP, not a handout.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:57 AM on February 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


the real protests of captain america 602
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on February 11, 2010



If the tea party is so upset, why don't they start their own comics franchise to compete with it on the free market? They could then vote with their dollar and lift themselves up by their bootstraps. It'd help Main Street, and not Wall Street for once. And they could employ people who used to be on welfare and the homeless, giving them a hand-UP, not a handout.


They've already done that, sort of.
posted by HostBryan at 7:42 PM on February 11, 2010


Liberals who complain about The Incredibles are like conservatives who complain about Happy Feet.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:09 AM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mark Evanier on Kirby and the Captain America kerfuffle
posted by Artw at 4:57 PM on February 16, 2010


Again, what I'm saying is that there is no "it is inherently this" or "it is fundamentally the other." Superheroes can as easily be seen as social justice figures who step in to help when no one else will -- they can be seen as symbols of fascism, or they can stand in for everyday people who went to Haiti or New Orleans to do what they could.

In the first issues of Superman, he used to fight war profiteers, slum lords, and wife beaters. In the radio show, he took on the KKK. Dude was straight up gangster too. He would totally rough people up to get them to do what he wanted. I would love to see a modern take on the Golden Silver Platinum Bronze Iron Tin Nickel Cadmium Age on the very early characterization of superheroes: Supes, Bats (he used to shoot people), etc.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:26 PM on February 16, 2010


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