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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #188

This is the one-hundred and eighty-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and eighty-seven.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: D.G. Chichester was going to make Matt Murdock the Mayor of New York City.

STATUS: True…well, close enough!

John Chidley-Hill asked me about this legend almost a year ago, and I had meant to get to it many times since then, as recently as last month, if I recall, but things kept coming up that bumped it back until I luckily remembered this week that I had been putting it off for too long, so this week, I will finally address it!

John asked:

I heard that he [D.G. Chichester] was going to make Matt Murdock the mayor of New York City, but it was ixnayed by Marvel’s editors because it would make it too tough on continuity (y’know, back when that mattered)

The answer to this one is basically yes, although the writer in question was Karl Kesel, not D.G. Chichester. Kesel took over the title with #353 in early 1996…

The reason the idea was nixed was less continuity, though, and more the fact that it would change Marvel’s “reality” way too much. Marvel at the time, under Bob Harras, wanted the books to be as much like the real world as possible, in the sense that if Bill Clinton was the President of the United States in real life, he’d be the President in the Marvel Universe, as well (as seen in this neat bit from Mark Waid’s run on Captain America, which was shortly before Kesel’s Daredevil run)

Marvel is slowly returning to this view, with Barack Obama scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of Thunderbolts.

So the belief at the time was that Murdock as Mayor of New York City would be too big of a break with reality, so the idea was turned down. Apparently, Kesel had a lot of trouble with editorial during his run (note that he left the book pretty soon after he got there, and the book was a critically acclaimed comic at the time).

Thanks to John for the question and thanks to former Daredevil Editor James Felder and the great Kuljit Mithra, of Daredevil:The Man Without Fear fame – the greatest web resource for Daredevil by FAR, for the information!

COMIC LEGEND: There is no explanation for the S that Jughead wears on his shirt.

STATUS: Seemingly False (so long as we count explanations outside the actual comic books).

Just the other week, in this very column, I proclaimed that there has never been an explanation for the S that Jughead wears on his shirt.

And as far as the comics themselves go, that is accurate.

However, astute reader John Morgan ‘Bat’ Neal (check out his comic book work at his site here) linked to an old article from Entertainment Weekly from the early 1990s when Archie Comics was celebrating their 50th anniversary, and it quoted Bob Montana’s widow, Peg Bertholet, on the topic of Jughead’s S.

Bertholet proclaimed that the S was based on a hill in the area where Montana grew up (Haverhill, Massachusetts) called Squirrel Hill.

Well, there is, in fact, a Squirrel Hill nearby Haverhill, and it is well established that Bob Montana based a great deal of the original Archie characters on the residents of Haverhill, MA (if you did not know that, well, now you do – Haverhill, specifically Haverhill High during the years Montana attended it, was the inspiration for Riverdale and most of the various characters, like Mr. Weatherbee and Pop Tate).

Here is the clear basis for Riverdale High – Haverhill High (well, now it is Haverhill City Hall – but back during Montana’s day, it was the High School)…

The only problem with this story is do we believe Bertholet’s recollections on the matter?

I’m inclined to do so, mostly for the following three reasons:

1. It’s not exactly a far-fetched explanation

2. Montana famously DID base a lot of his Archie characters on Haverhill stuff

and

3. Bertholet’s other recollections match up with previously established facts (like who Weatherbee was based on, etc.)

For these reasons, I’m willing to say Bertholet is correct, and that was the actual origin for the S on Jughead’s shirt.

Thanks to John Morgan ‘Bat’ Neal for the heads up and thanks to Pat Bertholet for the information (and Tim Appelo for doing the original article)!

COMIC LEGEND: Roger Stern left a book that he created for Marvel before the first issue!

STATUS: True

Changes in creative teams are a normal occurrence in the comic book industry. It is not even all that uncommon for a creative team to be swapped out right before a book comes out due to creative differences or changed schedules. Recently, the first THREE issues of Batman and the Outsiders were solicited by one creative team before all the issues were canceled then re-solicited with a brand-new creative team.

However, Roger Stern’s late 1990s team book for Marvel was particularly odd as Stern left the comic before the first issue came out, and it was Stern who came up with the idea for the comic!!

After the majority of the Marvel heroes left the Marvel Universe after Onslaught, sent to their own universe and their own line of comics (the Heroes Reborn era), the staff at Marvel decided to “fill the void,” as it were, with some superhero titles that could step up in place of the missing Avengers and Fantastic Four.

They even had a one-shot in early 1997 to introduce a couple of the titles.

The most famous “fill-in” book was Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley’s Thunderbolts…

Although Mark Waid and Andy Kubert’s Ka-Zar was also a notable book launched that same time…

Like Busiek, Roger Stern was trying to think of a new team book to step in for the missing heroes, and he came up with an idea for a Defenders-like team centered on Iron Fist, Black Knight, a new White Tiger and Power Man called The Power Corps.

The problem was that, after coming up with the book, Marvel began to push Stern towards making the book a new Heroes for Hire title (presumably due to the involvement of the two original Heroes for Hire in the book).

While Stern had no problem with the general idea, it was also specifically NOT the comic that he had come up with, specifically the part about the heroes being, well, for hire.

So, rather than continue working on a project that was getting away from his initial idea, Stern decided to walk away from the book and instead recommend the talented John Ostrander in his stead.

Marvel took him up on the recommendation, and soon Ostrander was writing the brand-new Heroes for Hire book…

And it was a good series, although it, too, didn’t seem to be all that much in the way of being heroes, you know, for hire (Ostrander more or less went with Stern’s idea, and it was basically a Defenders book, as well, using mostly the same characters Stern was planning on using).

But yeah, credit to Roger Stern for being willing to walk away when the project did not feel right, rather than work on a book that he didn’t feel comfortable writing.

Thanks to Roger Stern (from an old interview he did when the book came out, although I saw he re-iterated all the same info on his message board back in ’07) for the information!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

123 Comments

I believe that Kesel ending up working a small part about Matt Murdock being the mayor of New York into the 1998 Fantastic Four Annual, which featured an alternate universe where the heroes of the Marvel Universe had been aging in real time since the 1960s.

I remember Kesel’s run. At the time, DD was a great book in a sea of crap. Cary Nord was the artist of the book at the time, and did some great work.

I was a big fan of the Heroes for Hire book as well. It was a fun book, and I was sorry to see it cancelled.

I have always believed that it’s silly to use real-life celebrities in comics where time doesn’t pass at the same speed as in the real world (which is the case with both DC and Marvel) because it eventually makes their appearances topical- they will have to replace the character with another celebrity in any reference, or just plain ignore the story. Besides, allowing the comics to come up with their own celebrities allows for more storytelling freedom, the way DC did when they had Luthor become President.

The Marvel Universe must have an insane presidential turn-over rate.

Marvel’s sliding time-scale posits that the Fantastic Four debuted — what — ten, twelve, fifteen years ago? JFK was president when the Fantastic Four #1 hit the stands, which means Obama will be the tenth president in a little over a decade in Marvel time.

Christ…

Ah, yes, the Kesel Run!
The Falcon made the Kesel run in less than 12 parsecs…

I guess now that the Donkeys are president again it’s safe to reference a president in the Marvel Universe.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 2, 2009 at 9:55 am

I guess now that the Donkeys are president again it’s safe to reference a president in the Marvel Universe.

Two problems with that:

1) Bush has tuned up in some Marvel books here and there; surely a conservative reader should still be outraged, for instance, by Garth Ennis using him as a bellicose drunk in Punisher (Marvel Knights second series) #6.

2) Considering what the U.S. government’s doing in Dark Reign, Barack Obama’s going to look bad in Thunderbolts if he does anything other than denounce and depose Norman Osborn.

In a HULK annual not too long ago, they poked a little fun at the rapid-changing Presidential tenures of the MU, when Hercules mistakenly called the President “Carter”.
Someone corrected him and he said something like “Carter… Clinton… I can’t keep track of your rapidly changing leaders. The names all sound the same to me.”

I think he also tossed in a “to an Immortal, your fast fading lives are a blur” or something along those lines.

Still, I have to agree that having specific dates and names of people in comics only hurts the timeline.
Sure, topical NOW, but something that stands out like a sore thumb in a TPB a few years down the line.

~P~

You mean to say you missed GWB’s appearances in Black Panther, Avengers: The Initiative, Iron Man, etc.?

Matt as the Mayor of NYC would’ve been an interesting story line. Maybe some day we’ll see something like it occur (he runs for DA of the city, perhaps?)

You mean to say you missed GWB’s appearances in Black Panther, Avengers: The Initiative, Iron Man, etc.?

Dubya was president in the first series of The Ultimates as well. Not 616 continuity, but Marvel Multiverse nonetheless.

I guess now that the Donkeys are president again it’s safe to reference a president in the Marvel Universe.

Oh woe is you, the poor, put upon conservative. Obviously a company which has based its entire premise around vigilantes beating up the the mentally ill MUST have a liberal bias!

Poop. Could’ve sworn I attached my name to that post.

The Kesel/Nord run of Daredevil and the 1st Waid run of Captain America was just good comics. Shame editoral screwed it up and dropped the ball EPIC style on both . And there was Thor too that was getting a new creative jolt and well…you cry at why Marvel felt they needed Heroes Reborn.

“I have always believed that it’s silly to use real-life celebrities in comics where time doesn’t pass at the same speed as in the real world (which is the case with both DC and Marvel) because it eventually makes their appearances topical- they will have to replace the character with another celebrity in any reference, or just plain ignore the story.”

Or fans could try not being so obsessively literal-minded about everything and just roll with it. (It’s worth a shot; it certainly hasn’t been tried so far.

“Apparently, Kesel had a lot of trouble with editorial during his run (note that he left the book pretty soon after he got there, and the book was a critically acclaimed comic at the time).”

… sigh… that was SUCH a great little run before it went all to hell. Kessel got closer to my ideal Daredevil (superhero Law & Order) than anyone had for a long, long time. Brubaker’s back there now, but there were some barren years in the middle there.

(Speaking of which, Bendis had Matt decalare himself Kingpin! That’s practically the mayor, right?)

As for the real-life-leaders thing… it’s not bad, but it’s a bit odd. And it likely makes it harder to use the President as a plot device. Then again, Bad Dudes had you rescuing President Ronny from ninjas in the arcades of the 80s….

“The Marvel Universe must have an insane presidential turn-over rate.

Marvel’s sliding time-scale posits that the Fantastic Four debuted — what — ten, twelve, fifteen years ago? JFK was president when the Fantastic Four #1 hit the stands, which means Obama will be the tenth president in a little over a decade in Marvel time”

It doesn’t work that way. Sliding time means that GW Bush was President when the FF got their powers. Currently he’s the only President the the modern Marvel heroes have lived under.

I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who enjoyed Kesel’s Daredevil run…

I always thought it was silly for the President in comics to reflect the real one. Its an imaginary world, make the politicians the same way too!

“Oh woe is you, the poor, put upon conservative. Obviously a company which has based its entire premise around vigilantes beating up the the mentally ill MUST have a liberal bias!”

I am a liberal, and I have to admit that yes, Marvel sorta has a liberal bias. So does DC. Comes with the territory when 90% of creative people in the comic book business are liberals or centrist. And thank God that they are too, I say.

All the vigilante violence has a lot more to do with the little fact that it is not easy to come up with viable adventure stories that involve non-violent solutions and villains (villains! what an un-PC term!) getting psychological treatment that really works.

Best use of real-life presidential imagery ever – Elektra: Assassin.

I think it’s a little late in the game to criticize Marvel for using real world political figures, since the first prominent comic by the company which eventually became Marvel featured its hero punching out Adolf Hitler on the cover. I think that using fake-presidents would do a good job creating their own fictional reality, but I think Marvel has always been interested in feeling like “These stories take place in The Real World, more or less” and that’s one of the ways they do that.

“I am a liberal, and I have to admit that yes, Marvel sorta has a liberal bias. So does DC. Comes with the territory when 90% of creative people in the comic book business are liberals or centrist.”

If you’re going to make a statement like this and not offer a single example of how the liberal bias is manifested, I’m going to have to laugh at you and call you an idiot.

The Waid issues of Cap RocK! The Man without a Country storyline is great. Cap interacting with Clinton was really great in that it showed that no matter what anyone thinks of Cap, he will always be loyal to the dream of America. It also showed what class Cap has by not smaking Clinton as he questions Cap’s loyalty.

I’ve always found Marvel’s back-pack-a-thons to themselves hilarious in regards to the Marvel U being like “the real world”. I remember being particularly annoyed with Joe Q when he was on The Colbert Report and made some crack about how their America is real (George W. Bush as president) unlike the DCU who had Lex Luther as Commander-In-Chief.
Because, in the real world, the Green Goblin runs the entire American Military Industrial Complex.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

If you’re going to make a statement like this and not offer a single example of how the liberal bias is manifested, I’m going to have to laugh at you and call you an idiot.

Almost any creative industry looks “liberal” when you recall that a great many self-proclaimed conservatives in America — I’m not including guys like T. — seem to consider the following positions “liberal” or even “far-left extremism:”

— Tolerance for the existence of GLBT people
— Acknowledging that American foreign policy is not always good, or that it can have lousy consequences
— Believing that moral ambivalence is a realistic way of viewing many issues
— Believing that criminals, dictators, or terrorists can have motivations beyond a love of evil for evil’s sake
— Portraying bad people as the heroes of their versions of the story
— Presenting any but the most standardized 19h century visions of gender roles
— Noting that corporations can do and often have done bad things with far-reaching consequences
— Believing that large-scale human-directed production of chemical compounds and other industrial byproducts might have correspondingly large-scale environmental effects
— Presenting any of the above without some sort of sop to alternative positions, even when such would be made ludicrous by context (i.e., “Sure corporations pollute in the absence of regulation, but they employ millions of people and allow them a middle-class standard of living, which is better than saving a few trees or worrying about the lives of asthmatics.”).

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Because, in the real world, the Green Goblin runs the entire American Military Industrial Complex.

That’s true. In the real world, it’s Dick Cheney :)

I adored the Kesel run, it was smart, fun superheroics. Someone collect it. Then get him back.

All the vigilante violence has a lot more to do with the little fact that it is not easy to come up with viable adventure stories that involve non-violent solutions and villains (villains! what an un-PC term!) getting psychological treatment that really works.

That’s kind of my point. Superheroes as a concept are reactionary, because the entire genre relies upon the idea that violence is a realistic solution to most problems and that certain classes of people are above the law. Keep in mind that I say this as a bleeding heart who loves superhero comics, so this isn’t an indictment of the medium.

I always liked the pop culture refrences in Stan’s ’60s Spider-Man stories. Peter Parker had a comeback for Flash about making time with Kruschev that really cracked me up when I was reading that first Essential volume. While I don’t think you need to be like Brian Vaughan or Mark Millar about it, I would like to see more references to the real world in Marvel Comics, since that used to be a hook for me, the whole superheroes in the real world thing (as facile as it is given how fantastic the universe is).

Unless their doing something about real politics that has to specifically involve a specific president, and I don’t see why because you can make the same point by changing names anyway, you can just refer to the president as ‘president’. Given they don’t all look alike, but it simplifies things.

It doesn’t matter who is president at the time… as long as he’s a man.:)

If you want to talk the political nature of comic books and how Marvel books don’t have continuity anymore, you have to talk about the X-Men. A great book that they gave some ridiculous concept in ‘No More Mutants’. That’s absurd. That’s the concept of the book: ‘there are Mutants and either they are the many of ‘em.’
Then they move to Frisco, how politically in-line can you be. I heard they did some ‘go green’ comment in them. You may agree with ‘going green’ b ut you have to agree ‘it can be boring after the five hundreth mention. Like in T.V., movies, internet web sites… etc.

Doesn’t Daredevil live in Frisco now? Oy.

As far as continuity, Marvel should probably just dump it. Secret Invasions where ‘it was always that way’ doesn’t make sense. I loved all the continuity and history of Marvel characters, but that’s gone. SPider-man has absolutely no history anymore and it’s… terrible beyond words.

My two cents of non-biodegradable opinions.

Frisco is the name of towns in Texas and Colorado.

Are you talking abut San Francisco?

And, no, Daredevil hasn’t lived in San Francisco for, what, thirty years now?

I am just finishing reading Twomorrows’s Modern Mastern book on John Romita jr. and JRJR comes out as a pretty laid-back and tolerant fellow. He never complains about anything, nor say anything bad about people he encountered in his career… Except for one person. JRJR doesn’t go into details (Marvel’s current best artist has too much class for that), but it is obvious that Bob Harras left a very bad impression on him. He hints at backstabbing, broken trust, and stupid decisions while Harras was editor. So I’m not surprised that Karl Kesel had problems with Harras as well. Was Harras Marvel ‘s Didio?

HEROES FOR HIRE was my favorite title at Marvel while it was published. Ostrander sure knew how to write good team stories (SUICIDE SQUAD still his one of my favorite DC run of all time). I happy to learn that Roger Stern (another good reliable storyteller) had a hand in creating this cool series.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 2, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Interestingly, since we’re talking politics, JRJR is apparently a political conservative.

Also, Doug Ramsey — what on Earth was “there are Mutants and either they are the many of ‘em.” supposed to mean? Seriously, I’m interested in hearing what you think the premise of the X-books is, but I honestly can’t reconstruct the original phrasing you intended from what you ended up typing.

ParanoidObsessive

January 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I have to say, when I read the “Daredevil as mayor” idea was nixed, I was half-expecting the justification to be something like “No one would believe a blind man could be mayor of New York!”, which would have been awesome for the irony value when you consider who the current Governor of New York is.

“Best use of real-life presidential imagery ever – Elektra: Assassin.”

Nope.

That’d be Ultimate X-Men number 6 (Bush thrown around naked on the White House lawn on national tv by Magneto).

:)

Marvel isn’t completely liberally biased…ever read those New Avengers issues specifically made to be sent to the armed forces? There’s quite a bit of them…and for 2 years Iron Man was written as a …um, kind hearted and intelligent version of the Bush Administration.

“Marvel is slowly returning to this view, with Barack Obama scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of Thunderbolts.”

If that’s the case, I suppose Norman Osborn appearing as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. means Dick Cheney will have a prominent role in the new administration.

Drat. Omar beat me to it. I suppose I should read the comments before getting excited about my lame attempts at humor.

Brian from Canada

January 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I don’t doubt that Romita Jr. is referencing the Harras reign at Marvel because of that “decisions” remark. Decisions were made at ownership level, and editorial added their own control on books in ways that affected storylines, title direction and creators — including the decision to pare Spider-Man down dramatically under Mackie & Byrne at the cost of the titles just to boost sales. It cost Marvel a lot of respectability with some creators, especially after promises of new direction were given.

I got this crazy idea, probably no one will agree with me, but maybe, ust maybe, can we come here and enjoy comics and talking about comics without getting into the bipartisan sniping at each other of real-world politics? Hmm? All talk about real-life politicians and celebs in comics aside, the last thing I feel like dealing with in a comics forum is the whole liberals vs. conservatives and foaming at the mouth over each others political leanings. Go to a political forum to berate each other over that, mmkay? Please?

*steps off his soapbox and waits to be flamed for daring to be snarky.*

Unlike some of the other comments here, I like the idea of topical references in comics. It doesn’t necessarily make the stories better but it does give them a unique flavour that can be all the more interesting the further away we get from it time-wise. Henry Kissinger signing a non-aggression pact with Latveria is something that gives versimilitude when you’re reading it as a kid and fascinating as an adult to reread as a window into time and what the writers were thinking at that point in history.

Besides, ignoring the whole “eight years” thing for a moment, The Marvel U has turned Richard Nixon into a Skrull Spy who later leads the Secret Empire from the Oval Office before blowing his brains out there in front of a stunned Captain America…tell me that would be anywhere as awesome if it was just some fictional character.

“The Kesel/Nord run of Daredevil and the 1st Waid run of Captain America was just good comics. Shame editoral screwed it up and dropped the ball EPIC style on both . And there was Thor too that was getting a new creative jolt and well…you cry at why Marvel felt they needed Heroes Reborn.”

Agreed. Only got a couple of the Waid/Garney Caps but the Kesel Daredevil run was great. Finally stopped trying to be the Frank Miller grim and gritty and went back to a more light hearted version. But in 95-96 Marvel had some creative juices flowing there and add in Kurt Busiek’s Untold Tales of Spider Man. Or I guess just creators who cared about the characters…
And Mark Waid took over Avengers for the last 3 issues or so, it would have been fun to see what he would done there with what he was doing on Cap..!

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 2, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Can we at least all make fun of Ron Paul and Lyndon Larouche together?

I loved the 1st Waid/Garney run of Captain America. The only issue of it I didn’t manage to pick up was the last one. Its too bad that Marvel decided to go the way they did. All that momentum just hit the brick wall of stupidity.

Topic for discussion:

Is Karl Kesel’s stint on ‘Daredevil’ the third best run in that title’s history, behind Miller and Bendis?

No disrespect to any of the other talented writers who’ve handled the series. I’m just interested to hear some opinions.

Surely you mean Miller and Nocenti?

“I guess now that the Donkeys are president again it’s safe to reference a president in the Marvel Universe.”

I’m sure it’s already been said, but Bush recently appeared in Avengers: The Initiative, where he was portrayed in a pretty positive light (though this may have been sardonic).

For the record, I don’t know or care what Dan Slott’s politics are, but that’s been a pretty great book for a while now.

cool carlos pacheco cover

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 3, 2009 at 7:32 am

I’d say Kesel’s is the third-and-a-half best run after Miller, Brubaker, and the first half of Bendis’s run. The post #50 issues by Bendis are, frankly, not terribly good and venture deep into plothole and diabolus ex machina territory.

Anyone wishing to know what those are need only respond to this post demanding evidence.

“The Marvel U has turned Richard Nixon into a Skrull Spy who later leads the Secret Empire from the Oval Office before blowing his brains out there in front of a stunned Captain America…tell me that would be anywhere as awesome if it was just some fictional character.”

Considering it was NEVER actually revealed that the “highly positioned American Government figure” who lead The Empire and committed suicide in front of Cap WAS Nixon, I’d say that yes, it IS just as awesome with a fictional character.

That’s another thing to consider (regarding using real-life celebrities): They have an habit of falling from grace pretty hard. Which makes their appearances kind of awkward years later. Presidential examples:

-Superman meeting President Kennedy… just weeks before he was assassinated.

-Would Cap have shaked hands with Clinton if he’d known what he was doing IN THAT VERY OFFICE with a certain intern?

-And I don’t think I need to give any GWB examples, do I?

You know what would be cool? If DC used an (adult) version of PREZ as their new Commander In Chief. It would solve the “real world” figures issue AND bring a nice continuity nod. (Yes, I know the original series was never in continuity. Just call him the New Earth version of Prez.) :P

Can we at least all make fun of Ron Paul and Lyndon Larouche together?

Dude, do you have any idea how the internet works? Pretty soon the comments section will be flooded with posts about the gold standard and dissertations on why white people are smarter than the Inuit or something.

Doug Ramsey, what’s up with dissing books you haven’t read? “I heard there was something about ‘going green’ in them.”

I agree that Decimation was a stupid idea. But even stupid ideas can be redeemed and turned into good ideas by good writers, and Fraction and the other present X-writers are building a whole new mythos for the X-Men, grounded in this present “no more mutants” continuity that somehow manages to ring true to the original ehtos as well. I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me this two years ago, but dude Uncanny’s the best book it’s been in 16 years. You should at least check it out.

On a completely different topic… Heroes For Hire was all right, but I’d have liked to see Stern’s take on it. I completely forgot there was a White Tiger attached to that book. (How long was he around for?) Glad to see most of the other team members are all in good standing now (Fraction and Brubaker rocked Iron Fist, Black Knight is better than he’s ever been in MI:13, Cage is probably Bendid’s strongest characterization, and the Hercules book is awesome), ’cause at the time they’d al fallen of hard times, and Ostrander’s team book didn’t give any of them the room they needed to develop and to truly shine.

Brian from Canada

January 3, 2009 at 11:56 am

Regarding Ostrander’s run on Heroes For Hire, I think that he might have had the opportunity to develop them had the book not been cancelled so harshly. If I recall correctly, it was just one of the books given the axe under Marvel’s 22k rule (22k copies = $35k = profit) that, really, didn’t deserve to get cut off at the knees.

If you’re going to make a statement like this and not offer a single example of how the liberal bias is manifested, I’m going to have to laugh at you and call you an idiot.

Doesn’t change the fact he’s right though. I can only recall two overtly pro-conservative comics in my lifetime since the 70s. An American Eagle backup story written by Scott Lobdell in Marvel Comics Presents and the Hulk story based on Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic that mocked limousine liberals. I’m sure if we competed to come up with examples of conservative-leaning comic issues since the 70s vs. examples of liberal-leaning comic issues since the 70s, the liberal ones would vastly outnumber the conservative ones. I don’t understand why many liberals seem so invested in pretending it’s not true. It’s not like admitting the bias exists somehow invalidates your political stances. It just is what it is.

I’ve asked Mr. Ostrander for some elaboration on his role in taking over the Heroes for Hire series, and he’s posted his comments here: http://www.comicscommunity.com/boards/ostrander/?read=8223

I don’t understand why many liberals seem so invested in pretending it’s not true.

Get ready for this, because it’s only going to get explained one more time… the reason it’s treated as a falsehood is because it’s false. Every story in which the good, clean, white, American patriot beats the crap out of some guy who’s kuh-razy, absent any overt political commentary, is incredibly right wing. Aside from a few names like Winick, Vaughan and (Terry) Moore going out of their way to include progressive messages in some of their works, most writers who introduce liberal messages to their stories seem to be trying to return to the mean from the default, borderline fascist position inherent in superhero comics.

I am assuming that by “pro-conservative comics” you mean something other than twenty-odd pages of Cyborg Ronald Reagan firing his hand cannon at arch nemesis The French Flag Burner. Correct me if I’m giving you too much credit here.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm

T.: I’m pretty sure that, the precancellation of American Power notwithstanding, Chuck Dixon’s managed to get plenty of conservative stuff into his comics. And there’s also Michael Fleisher’s Spectre stuff. And Bill Willingham’s Arabian folktales stuff in Fables.

Oh, and I’m not sure it’s possible to write an internally coherent AND liberal Punisher story (though there are some internally incoherent liberal Punisher stories).

Dunno if that matters for a number argument, but there you are if you’re looking for conservative-leaning comics that aren’t the steaming crapgasm that was Liberality for All.

But yes, the arts — especially popular arts — don’t tend to have many prominent conservative practitioners. Some conservative pundits chalk this up to some kind of extensive, decades-long conspiracy by critics, artists, and academics to exclude or destroy conservatives. I tend to consider it a logical consequence of the unattractiveness of entirely aesthetics pursuits to people who self-identify as pro-market self-sufficient pragmatists. Art depends on audiences; an artwork made entirely for oneself rarely works all that well. (See most fanfic for examples.)

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm

And yeah, now that Clatyton’s pointed it out: how are vigilantes pummeling criminals in the streets or Captain America beating up Flag-Smasher and his one-world government ULTIMATUM troopers not essentially conservative ideas.

That’d be Ultimate X-Men number 6 (Bush thrown around naked on the White House lawn on national tv by Magneto).

Dang! I was thinking of that one too!

I’m glad you said that was Clinton, Brian! I thought it was Quicksilver! :-)

So, Marvel’s supposed to introduce Obama as the President in the Marvel Universe in an upcoming issue of Thunderbolts as “evidence” that Marvel’s “slowly returning” to the view of being a part of the “real world”?
Okay.
Yeah.
Sure.
I’m a bit confused. Didn’t the main X-books recently present the X-Men being welcomed to Marvel’s San Francisco by a female mayor while the real-world’s San Francisco has a MALE mayor (Mayor Gavin Newsom)?
Maybe Marvel will now explain where, in the real world, Wakanda and Latveria exist.
I’m sorry, but Marvel’s full of it. In a world where a guy can be bitten by a radioactive spider and gain superpowers and a blind guy gains superpowers from exposure to hazardous chemicals and cosmic radiation imbues people with superpowers and you’ve got a veritable sub-species of humans with innate powers that (largely) manifest at puberty, there’s this conceit that it’s supposed to reflect the “world outside your window”, so we HAVE to have the “real world” politicians and entertainers displayed in the comics to “keep it real”. (I’m not really sure how long a spider that’s been hit by a massive dose of radiation would survive, and changing the spider to be genetically altered doesn’t alter the fact that Peter’s being envenomated would give him powers of any sort; the sole purpose for a spider’s venom is to kill its prey, and begin softening the prey’s tissue for digestion–a genetic modification which would enable a human to become superpowered as a result of a spider bite should make the venom unusable for its primary function.)

To bruce: Thanks for the link to Ostrander’s comment. I didn’t even knew he had his own message board. Cool of him to answer.

I agree with fourthworlder, After Miller’s, Ann Nocenti’s (with JRJR) was the best take on DD. Althought I remember liking the Kesel-Nord run (but don’t remember much about it), I don’t think it would get third place for best run on old horned-head. I would place current DD writer Ed Brubaker’s run (with Michael Lark) as third IMHO.

Going back to the ’60’s and Stan Lee, you can see a progressive agenda being pushed, in particular with regards to racial tolerance. While conservatives were opposing desegregation and burning crosses in people’s yards, Stan was introducing the Black Panther.

Then in the ’70’s, there definitely was a reaction to Richard Nixon’s shenanigans. He even turned up as a villain (though only implied) in Steve Englehart’s Captain America run.

Around the same time, you had the portrayal of evil corporations, like Roxxon oil. Greed was not good in the Marvel universe.

And yeah, now that Clatyton’s pointed it out: how are vigilantes pummeling criminals in the streets or Captain America beating up Flag-Smasher and his one-world government ULTIMATUM troopers not essentially conservative ideas.

I’d like to think that, in this comments section, we’ve made a major breakthrough today. This is the first time I’ve come across as an utter raving douchebag and still had someone agree with what I was saying. Take THAT, common courtesy!

I’d be interested in knowing what inspiration Bob Montana drew from his Central High School days, in Manchester NH, as he graduated from there. That’s where I had attended high school and knew Bob Montana had as well. He may have used Central as the basis for the rival school and Pembroke Academy is the name of another school from around this area. Will have to dig around some.

Re: Stefan — I know the answer to your question about the White Tiger because it’s from one of the three (or so) issues of H4H I have. At the end of the arc with the High Evolutionary the White Tiger was devolved. I can’t remember the whole of it off hand, but it had something to do with her unrequited attraction toward Iron Fist and finding human emotions too difficult to handle, so High Evolutionary did it out of mercy (or something).

Re: JosephW — For more information on Latveria and Wakanda’s geographical locations, I heartily recommend the Marvel Atlas handbooks. Not sure if you were being snarky with your questions or genuinely interested, but there you go.

Have a good day.
John Cage

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Courtesy is common? What Internets have you been using?

“While conservatives were opposing desegregation and burning crosses in people’s yards”

Er, might want to check your history there, hoss.

It would be nice to live in a world where right and wrong are as nicely delineated as the 1950s comics, but it doesn’t work that way. The only Klansman to serve in the US Congress in decades is left-of-center Bob Byrd, for example. FDR and his progressives were eugenicists. Heck, Lincoln was a white supremacist, if you ever read his writings on race. So on. When it comes to race, there’s not many positions that have a history of holding the moral high ground.

“And yeah, now that Clatyton’s pointed it out: how are vigilantes pummeling criminals in the streets or Captain America beating up Flag-Smasher and his one-world government ULTIMATUM troopers not essentially conservative ideas.”

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Gruenwald come up with the idea of ULTIMATUM? Not exactly evidence of conservative ideals, just that Gru wasn’t as extreme as many of our writers today. (Which, of course, he wasn’t.)

Left-of-center Byrd wasn’t left-of-center when he was with the Klan. Meanwhile, when the Democratic party went fully for civil rights, segregationists who didn’t see the light like Byrd joined the Republican party. Richard Nixon’s appeal to those folks was known as the “Southern Strategy”, and they became the base of the GOP.

Again, check your history.

The Klan of Byrd’s day was populist and revolutionary – essentially leftist.

And the Southern strategy/base of the GOP is hogwash. There were just as many who stayed Dem. Heck, Carter got elected governor of Georgia largely through the efforts of the segregationist remnant (though he slyly kept them at arms’ length after his election).

That’s all sort of irrelevant to my point, though. My point is that if you look to history to vindicate whatever group you’re a part of, you’ve already lost the argument. Every group large enough to be noticed has had its share of bad people. Every group that’s been around long enough to be noticed has been on the wrong side of history at one time or another. Trying to assert your group’s perfection will just lead to historical revisionism.

We need Matt Murdock in Illinois to clean up the crooked politicians. He could bring in the Punisher to finish the job after he rounds up the crooks.I would like to see Citizen V return as the leader of the Thunderbolts. Give John Ostander a run writing the book. This run with Bullseye and the dark run sucks.The book has been stuck in neutral for the last 3 years!!!

Wait a minute, Drizzt — you tell Richard that he’s historically inaccurate and “correct” him, then say “if you look to history to vindicate your argument, you’ve already lost the argument”? So history matters when it allows you to make your point, but is irrelevant when someone else uses it to make his/hers? Folderol.

What wasn’t folderol is the Southern Strategy: beginning in the late 1960s/early 1970s the GOP began exploiting racial and class biases in the South. This shifted control of those states away from Democrats who had embraced civil rights in the 1960s and to Republicans who openly spoke of supporting “state’s rights” (which meant a lot to Southern conservatives who felt that the federal government had trammeled individual state sovereignty via court decisions, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the use of National Guard troops to enforce desegregation rulings). Barry Goldwater opposed the CRA of 1964 partially because he had strong support among Southern segregationists. Jesse Helms ran ads in the 1980s that courted white resentment over “racial quotas,” including one ad that showed black hands at work and white hands receiving a pink slip. In 2006, the RNC ran an ad that implied a black candidate in Tennessee went to parties at the Playboy mansion in order to pick up white women. Furthermore, Republican strategist Lee Atwater all but admitted the existence of the Southern Strategy and in 2004 RNC Chairman Ken Melhman officially apologized for it. Can you point to Democrats who were segregationists, racists, etc., and Republicans who supported civil rights? No doubt. But that doesn’t change the fact that since the end of the 1960s the Republican party has more or less officially played on racial tensions in the South to win elections there.

Furthermore, populism is hardly a hallmark of the left. A lot of Southern conservatives — Strom Thurmond and George Wallace spring to mind — ran populist campaigns. For that matter, the Nazis ran a populist campaign in the 1930s and one would have to be a ninny to think of them as leftist.

That said, I tend to think the comic book world has a lot of center or center-left who write in a genre that lends itself to themes that are traditionally associated with the center-right or right. That tension is one of the things that gives the genre so much potential.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm

For that matter, the Nazis ran a populist campaign in the 1930s and one would have to be a ninny to think of them as leftist.

Don’t tell Jonah Goldberg, who finished and published a book called Liberal Fascism last year claiming that fascism is and always has been of the left. Did you know that because the Nazi ideal of the Aryan master race involved good health, “liberal” efforts to regulate the fat content of fast food are therefore de facto fascist? (The subtitle of the book at one draft stage was, I kid you not, “The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods.” Really.)

The Klan of Byrd’s day was populist and revolutionary – essentially leftist.

I know that when I think “leftist,” I immediately think of groups dedicated entirely to the destruction of unionization, racial equality, and other staples of liberal society.

…hey, wait a second, no I don’t!

Get ready for this, because it’s only going to get explained one more time… the reason it’s treated as a falsehood is because it’s false.

No, it’s true.

Actually I’ve thought about it more and more, and i think I realize why liberals are so aghast at the suggestion that they can dominate the perspective of ANY form of media, no matter how blatant the liberal bias is. So much of the liberal’s political identity is identification with the underdog, as being part of the counterculture, as being a voice speaking truth to power and speaking against “the man” or “the establishment.” Look at how often liberals use the term “speaking truth to power.”

So when so much of your identity is tied into this conceit of being the philosophy of the little guy and being anticorporate and antiestablishment, the thought of admitting that liberal viewpoints do dominate Hollywood, the news or mainstream comics or any wing of the media is to admit that liberals ARE now the dominant culture and actually do control things and have a lot of power, including corporate power. And that creates some kind of congnitive dissonance for them. To admit that liberal viewpoints are actually the dominant influence behind two major media corporations like DC and Marvel means that liberalism is not speaking truth to power, it IS power, it’s not anticorporate, it’s actually become corporate, it’s not antiestablishment and counterculture anymore, it now is THE establishment and dominant culture. That would be too jarring a conclusion to accept, so I guess that explains the need to vehemently deny the possibility of the bias no matter how apparent it is.

But yes, the arts — especially popular arts — don’t tend to have many prominent conservative practitioners. Some conservative pundits chalk this up to some kind of extensive, decades-long conspiracy by critics, artists, and academics to exclude or destroy conservatives. I tend to consider it a logical consequence of the unattractiveness of entirely aesthetics pursuits to people who self-identify as pro-market self-sufficient pragmatists. Art depends on audiences; an artwork made entirely for oneself rarely works all that well.

That’s not really what most conservatives chalk it up to. Kind of an oversimplification. it’s more a combination of both viewpoints. Conservatives realize that more liberals appear to be attracted to the arts than conservatives, sure. And that leads to much of the arts world being comprised of liberals. However, once this establishment DOES encounter an open conservative in their ranks, you can bet unless he’s very talented and persistent and fortunate, they will make his life miserable. But I don’t think it’s some huge, decades-long cackling conspiracy of scheming liberals like a secret society or anything. And I don’t think most conservatives think this either. This is that “Colbert” tactic I was talking about, where there is this need to mischaracterize opposing arguments to sound extra stupid and cavemanish in order to shoot it down easier with snarky sarcasm.

…hey, wait a second, no I don’t!

Of course you don’t. Because you’re a liberal. When I think of people out to destroy racial equality, liberals are exactly what I think of.

If “liberalism” was the dominate culture ,California ( that bellweather of “liberalism’) would have rejected Prop 8 with an over whelming majority. The media have alway skewed left. This isn’t new. The country still skews center right in spite of this.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 3, 2009 at 11:57 pm

But I don’t think it’s some huge, decades-long cackling conspiracy of scheming liberals like a secret society or anything. And I don’t think most conservatives think this either. This is that “Colbert” tactic I was talking about, where there is this need to mischaracterize opposing arguments to sound extra stupid and cavemanish in order to shoot it down easier with snarky sarcasm.

And this is why I didn’t say “all conservatives think…” I said “some conservative pundits…” And I think we can both not only agree that some conservative pundits do make such claims, but probably name them if that were terribly important.

Of course, I have tremendous difficulty figuring out what any given person labeling themselves “conservative” actually considers, er, conservative. Ditto self-proclaimed liberals. The two terms are both pretty big tents anymore, and what one liberal thinks is a sensible regulation, another thinks is an intrusive security state; what one self-described conservative calls big government, another calls the enforcement of public morality.

Me? I’m ideologically a leftist, and I don’t much like liberals OR people who can’t tell the difference between liberals and leftists. Pratically speaking, I vote for what I guess are “liberal” candidates, but I’m not really voting for them so much as…well, you get the idea.

Pace my bashing Goldberg’s book above, I also don’t think conservatives are the same thing as fascists any more than I suspect the average conservative seriously confuses the ideological commitments of Barney Frank with those of Fidel Castro.

I was wondering how this got so many posts. Now I see.

Anyway, I think Kesel’s DD is great because not only are his stories great stories and the Nord art is great, it’s all light and hope and it’s the anti-Frank Miller run, which is endlessly refreshing in the sea of gloom and doom which is Miller and post-Miller DD.

Of course you don’t. Because you’re a liberal. When I think of people out to destroy racial equality, liberals are exactly what I think of.

Yes, the Civil Rights Act was but the first step in the enslavement of poor whites. That’s not actually an attitude I was going to attribute to you, because that would make me an asshole, so thanks a lot for doing it yourself.

The “S” on Jughead’s shirt stands for Sweater. Someone asked him during one of those “future Jughead” stories back in the late ’80s. Apparently it’s not that well known of a story, because later writers have tried to make it more of a mystery.

Actually, we’ve already seen both Barack and Michelle Obama in Marvel continuity as President and First Lady! (Hint: They were at a certain Avenger’s funeral.)

es, the Civil Rights Act was but the first step in the enslavement of poor whites. That’s not actually an attitude I was going to attribute to you, because that would make me an asshole, so thanks a lot for doing it yourself.

No, but the modern welfare state liberals introduced which basically incentivized single parenthood among poor blacks, thereby causing the single-parent rate to skyrocket and helping create a culture of illegitimacy sure did a lot to hurt blacks.

ParanoidObsessive

January 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Personally, I find it hilarious how both sides in this argument are using strawman after strawman to make their case – I suppose that’s the clarity gained by thinking BOTH sides of the political equation are a bunch of corrupt SOBs who care more for personal power and individual reputation than they do for the people they’re supposed to be representing. Bread and circuses.

As for COMICS being liberal, it would actually be more accurate to say that the main PREMISES of comics tend to be more conservative-based, but that nearly any time an individual writer or artists goes out of their way to express a personal political opinion, or otherwise have a political figure show up, the result is almost certainly liberal-colored. Does that mean every example matches that description? No, but the overall TREND definitely does.

To deny that the mainstream media in general skews “Left” (except for FOX and talk radio, which definitely skews “Right”) is simply putting on blinders. Then again, as a species, we’ve always been far less likely to see bias that we agree with.

>>> If “liberalism” was the dominate culture ,California ( that bellweather of “liberalism’) would have rejected Prop 8 with an over whelming majority. The media have alway skewed left. This isn’t new. The country still skews center right in spite of this.

Actually, it’s a question of location and demographics. Large portions of urban California are incredibly liberal, but they’re counterbalanced by smaller numbers of extremely conservative older people in the northern and western parts of the state. The lever that actually helped Prop 8 pass was the black vote – as they’ve generally been VERY anti-homosexuality, and who turned out in far greater numbers than usual due to Obama. In a very real sense, in that case, the people who put Prop 8 over the top almost certainly considered themselves liberal (and were almost certainly voting for the “liberal” candidate).

In that sense, California usually DOES show a liberal skew overall, just as nearly every urban region in the US does. And it’s fair to say that yes, the dominant MEDIA culture of the US is almost certainly “liberal”. But that doesn’t mean that every individual section of the US is a liberal paradise.

That being said, general studies done have suggested that the conservative/liberal breakdown of the US is probably something like 60/40 in favor of conservatism, though the younger the person you’re talking about, the far more likely that they’re liberal. Which, incidentally, is why there are times when the Internet makes it seem like 90% of the population are liberal, non-religious, and overly concerned with not being seen as intolerant.

>>> Yes, the Civil Rights Act was but the first step in the enslavement of poor whites. That’s not actually an attitude I was going to attribute to you, because that would make me an asshole, so thanks a lot for doing it yourself.

To be fair, nearly every pro-equality and pro-civil rights action taken for nearly 100 straight years was done by Republican presidents. Then Kennedy came along, showed a little interest in civil rights issues, got shot, and suddenly the Democrats were somehow the party of racial equality while the Republicans were intolerant old white men trying to keep a brother down. And today, it does seem like you’re more often going to see a liberal EXPLOIT race for their own benefit than you are to see them do anything actually productive to further equality or race relations (just like liberals exploit economic and class distinctions for their own ends, and conservatives tend to exploit religion, patriotism, and militarism). So his point, while overstated, wasn’t entirely incorrect. Nor as extremist as you’re painting it.

Oh pleeze, T. Welfare did not incentivize single parenthood; it was an attempt to remedy years of economic disenfranchisement, a disenfranchisement that disproportionately affected African Americans. For some reason, conservatives assume that at some point in the 1960s, everyone just decided to stop being racist and everyone had the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s impossible to overcome centuries of inequality in a few decades. Capital investment in African American communities is and was much lower, property ownership by African Americans is much lower (preventing African Americans from accumulating what might be considered “legacy wealth”), and inner city schools (which have served primarily African American families since the white families fled to the suburbs and then the exurbs beginning in the late 1940s) continue to be woefully underfunded. Racism is more than just personal attitude: It is systemic and embodied in myriad cultural, political and economic traditions.

Which would be an interesting topic to cover in both DD and Archie comics (he said in a pathetic attempt to make this on topic).

Ah, Americans….

Anyway, back to civilized conversation: Miller (when confined to the first run only, and not counting Man Without Fear), Brubaker, then Kessel. Bendis gets knocked off the list because of how horrible the book got after, as noted, #50, while Nocenti was handicapped by having to work within that horrid status quo left over after Miller literally blew everything up. The book’s remarkably good, all things considered, but having Matt not actually being a lawyer kinda takes all the fun out of Daredevil; it’s just another urban crime book if you do that.

Chichester’s early issues on Daredevil are excellent. After #300 he went a little nuts, but prior to that, it’s probably as good as early Bendis issues.

Civil War used government regulation (a liberal political tool used most effectively by Theodore Roosevelt) to curtail the civil rights of a specific group (a conservtive tool used most effectively by Franklin Roosevelt). So, one hopes that readers are intelligent enough to notice things like this.
I grew up in Omaha, lived in DC, now live in NYC. There are crazies of every political persuasion. When stories get pendantic and preachy, that’s when I complain.

Whatever happened to Karl Kessel and Ann Nocenti (I know I didn’t spell her name right) They both had great runs on DD.

Oh pleeze, T. Welfare did not incentivize single parenthood

Dude….welfare was given to you if you were a single parent. If you got married, it was taken away. If you had more kids, it would be increased. But if you got married at any point to any of the kids’ fathers, all your entitlements would be taken away. Case workers routinely would visit the homes of welfare recipients to make sure no men were living with the women. So let’s see…single parent gets government Section 8 housing, food stamps, healthcare, subsidized education and welfare checks. She gets married, POOF! it’s gone. So how exactly is a policy that explicitly rewards you for having kids out of wedlock but punishes you if you get married NOT creating an incentive to be a single parent?

After welfare was instituted, black illegitimacy skyrocketed until it reached today’s current rate of 70%. Come on now.

it was an attempt to remedy years of economic disenfranchisement, a disenfranchisement that disproportionately affected African Americans

Yes, it had great intentions but it failed MISERABLY, incenitvized single parenthood, undermined self-determination, created social pathologies and hurt the black community really badly. If intentions were all that mattered, I guess I could call liberals the party that cares for black people. If I was to go by results, I’d say progressive liberalism has done more to hurt blacks since the late 60s than any other force in America.

Ah, Americans….

I always wonder…why do nonAmericans always say “Ah, Americans” even when describing a universal behavior done by almost everyone on the globe? Are you from some magical country where people never have heated debates on politics?

T., correlation is not causation — other explanations for the statistics you point out provide a more rounded picture. For one thing, illegitimacy is defined as a child born out of wedlock; however, this statistic does not seem to include stable families made up of unmarried partners. Furthermore, the percentage of African American children born out of wedlock is high but that is partially due to a decrease in the number of African American families having children at all. The number of out-of-wedlock births to African Americans has actually been decreasing since the late 1980s and is lower than it was in 1970 but because in-wedlock births have also decreased the percentage that are out of wedlock is higher.

Furthermore, welfare — or aid to dependent children — is hardly enough to cover the cost of raising one child. Although parents do receive more money for more than one child, it isn’t an algebraic equation — that is, you don’t get $500 for one child, $1000 for two, $1500 for three, etc. Parents generally receive small increases per child. This might explain why more than forty percent of families receiving welfare have only one child, about thirty percent have two, about fifteen three. If welfare were an incentive to have a lot of kids, one would expect those numbers to be reversed.

Here’s some links in case you want to read more:
http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/black_illigetimacy_reconsidered.php
http://tiss.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de/webroot/sp/spsba01_W98_1/denver2.htm

Karl Kesel wrote the Marvel Apes miniseries and also has done some inking work for them. Ann Nocenti edited the stoner magazine High Times for awhile but I don’t know what she’s done since then.

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 4, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I’m not saying you’re wrong, T., but my understanding was that welfare was tied to things like income level, not marital status.

ULTIMATE LEFT=SOCIALISM

ULTIMATE RIGHT=FASCISM

KLAN=FASCIST

KLAN=RIGHT

Doesn’t matter what kind of campaign they use or whethere their ideas have become radical, they are still right wing.

Left wing politics essentially boil down to equality for everyone. Just because that’s not radical anymore doesn’t mean that it’s not left wing. That’s really not how it works.

Wefare is attached to income level by the way. It just happens that T. doesn’t realise that a joint income (two earners) or a full time earner make more money than a single parent who can only work part time if they’re going to be able to actually be there for their children can.

I do have to say this though to T.

I’m British. Yes we do have heated debates over politics, but normally it’s in a politically minded setting, not on an article on Comic Legends Revealed.

There’s another addendum to Graeme White’s point… Generally speaking, what is considered “Conservative” politics on this side of the pond, often would be labelled “Liberal” in the States…

Mind you we also have more political choices come election time…

I always wonder…why do nonAmericans always say “Ah, Americans” even when describing a universal behavior done by almost everyone on the globe? Are you from some magical country where people never have heated debates on politics?

I think it might have something to do with the two-party system in the US.

Over here in The Netherlands any political in any level of government is forced to find common ground with at least one other party due to the amount of electable political parties. For a party to gain absolute control in our national government it would have to seize more than 75 of the 150 seats available in parliament. Since even the biggest parties never seem to obtain more than somewhere around 40 seats in the election they are forced to make an alliance with one or more of the other parties to obtain the 76 seats needed to form a government. Parties in opposition oftenly have to create similar alliances, the difference is that these alliances only have to last over a particular issue, they don’t have to be tied together for four years to govern. If a party in government disagrees so strongly that the alliance breaks the government calls it quits and it’s time for a new election.

This, or something similar, is the case in many democracies around the globe. So while we sure do have heated arguments they rarely get as extremely polarized as in the USA.

Eh? the Tories are traditionally the right-wing party.

I’ll concede that Labour isn’t really left-wing (they are in fact more right wing than the Conservatives) anymore but the only truly left of centre party here is the Liberal Democrats.

Saying that Labour and Conservative don’t really stick to tradition anymore, they flip-flop depending on what the other party’s doing in order to steal votes.

I meant the only truly left of centre party out of the major 3

Omar Karindu, back from an Internet Thogal ritual

January 5, 2009 at 8:38 am

New Labur, Old Tory,
[…]
It’s one and the same, one and the same
‘S not supposed to be the same.

Sorry Graeme, what I was trying (and failing) to say was that even the Tories aren’t really right-wing enough to be considered Conservative by American standards… despite being called the “Conservative Party”

Particularly these days when the three main parties are so close to the middle they bleed into each other sometimes…

s’ cool.

I’ve got to say, the American system is slightly appealing to me as, as you say, the partie’s standpoints are a lot more clearcut.

parties’

But my final point on the matter is this:

If a comic’s politics are so different from your own that you have to whinge and gripe about it, save yourself some money and don’t buy the comics.

The same goes for any reason that you complain about comics. If a hobby isn’t fun anymore, don’t keep it up.

Graeme, first off I’ve been on British-based blogs, and I have seen many a non political topic comments section or message board digress into class warfare and politics discussions, so I have no idea what you’re talking about.

If a comic’s politics are so different from your own that you have to whinge and gripe about it, save yourself some money and don’t buy the comics.

No one’s whining, at least I’m not. I’m used to comics being dominated by liberals, as long as it’s not excessively preachy or obnoxious. I just think it’s ridiculous to DENY that liberals dominate comics though. Pointing out a fact is not the same as whining about it.

As for the welfare thing, I understand that it is tried to income level, but it is income level per HOUSEHOLD. The household as a whole must be below the poverty line. Many times when you introduce a live-in husband into the household, the total salary for the household exceeds the poverty line and the family no longer qualifies for welfare. If you ever want to see a fictional movie that is a very realistic commentary on how welfare undermined marriage, see Claudine. Synopsis and description below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudine_(film)

I’ve always had great respect for Karl Kessel’s art and esp his writing.

Didn’t know that about DD. I’ve been meaning to go back and pick up his run.

You just made my poiint for me. It’s not incentivising single parent hood, it’s helping the people who need the help. Yes you’re brought above the poverty line, but twn incomes do actually give a household more money. A husband or live in partner is expected to contribute to the household because he’s, well, part of the household. Therefore they don’t need welfare as much as single parents.

It’s simple maths dude.

And Claudine was made by someone trying to make a point. It has a very clear bias, and you cannot base your entire view of how welfare works in regards to marriage on a work of fiction.

You just made my poiint for me.

No, I didn’t.

It’s not incentivising single parent hood,

Yes it is. You get a finacial incentive to remain a single parent, plain and simple.

it’s helping the people who need the help.

By undermining self-reliance, creating a culture of entitlement and dissuading men to marry the mothers of their children and live in the same household as their children and children’s mothers? Yeah, big help there.

Yes you’re brought above the poverty line, but twn incomes do actually give a household more money. A husband or live in partner is expected to contribute to the household because he’s, well, part of the household. Therefore they don’t need welfare as much as single parents.

Except there will never BE a husband or live-in partner because thanks to welfare the couple won’t feel an incentive to have the man ever move in or marry the woman. In many cases, when you take the cumulative entitlements that were available to a single woman before the welfare reform in the 90s, the total benefits when taking into account Section 8 housing, education scholarships, food stamps, welfare checks and job skills training exceeded the replacement income a man would have brought into a household. Combine this with the feminist movement telling black women that they don’t need men and that there’s nothing a father could provide that a single woman couldn’t and you have a good picture of how great liberalism has been for the black community as far as providing horrible pathologies. But hey, it’s the intentions that count not the results, right? If liberals are so desperate for the US government to make withdrawal plans for failed, expensive wars, I suggest we start with a withdrawal plan for the failed, expensive War on Poverty.

People get encouraged to game the system by trying to have their cake and eat it too. They try to collect welfare as a single parent while not marrying or livng with the fathers of their children so as to keep him “off the grid” so that they can secretly get his money too. This is why you can trace the skyrocketing illegitimacy rate to the implementation of the Great Society.

It’s simple maths dude.

I agree, increased welfare leads to a proportional increase in illegitimacy and social pathology accompanied by zero reduction in actual poverty since its institution. Simple math all right. Simple mathematical formula for failing the black community that is.

Oops, screwed up HTML tags in last comment.

Just for the record, T., I’d like to point out that you never addressed my previous post that demonstrates that welfare doesn’t incentivize illegitmacy or poverty. The math is simple only if you deliberately put on blinders to actual facts. But I’ll repeat it anyway:

The “illegitimacy” rate you posted is percentage of births, not number of births. The rate is skewed because overall fewer African Americans are having children at all. For example, ten is a greater percentage of twenty (50%) than it is of 50 (20%). The actual number of “illegitimate” children in the African American community has been declining for more than 20 years and is actually lower than it was in 1970. Furthermore, the seventy percent figure is gross: It measures only those children born to unmarried mothers. It does not differentiate between stable non-marital relationships, women who are financially secure but chose to have a child out of wedlock and those who are in unstable or financially insecure situations. Your assumption is that unmarried African American woman = welfare queen. That is a far more sexist and racist assumption than anything the “welfare state” could make.

Welfare payments are barely enough — and frequently insufficient — to pay for the cost of raising one child. With the exception of most minimum wage jobs, any job would probably pay more than what someone would get on welfare. The additional money provided to families with additional children is small — if the state provides $500 for one child, it does not follow that they provide $1000 for two children. The increase is a small percentage of the initial stipend. Therefore, parents who have welfare do not have an incentive to have more children. Got it?

Got it. And disagree 100% with your conclusions.

I understand what illegitimacy rate represents, and even though it represents percentage and not raw number, it’s still a very damning statistic. And there have been studies about the stable nonmarital distinction you mention and the findings are still damning. Also, keep in mind I’m talking about pre-reform welfare, and ALL the benefits it entitled a woman from housing to education money to food stamps and other programs, NOT just the raw figure on the welfare check. Taken as a whole, pre-reform welfare was a significant mode of support when you take into account not only the money it put in your pocket but the expenses it saved you in many other areas as well.

And Claudine was made by someone trying to make a point. It has a very clear bias, and you cannot base your entire view of how welfare works in regards to marriage on a work of fiction.

Of course it was done by someone trying to make a point. That doesn’t make said point wrong. What political work ISN’T trying to make a point? Second, I never said my ENTIRE VIEW was based on a work of fiction. You did. MY entire view is based on my life experiences as a black man who has lived in ghettos and known people on welfare (including a former roommate) and on statistics and studies. I only pointed out the work Claudine as an illustration of the facts and anecdotes I already know from life experience and readings, not as my sole basis for my conclusions.

wasn’t prez in continuity? at least silver age? i mean supergirl teamed up with him.

Darn the politics, we want more Jughead! He of the multiple hamburgers and total avoidance of the dames…

Was it here on Comic Book Legends where I saw the rumor/urban legend that way back in the day, DC wanted to buy Archie Comics and have Archie Andrews replace Jimmy Olsen as Superman’s Best Pal?!? I have to find a link to that story again.

Great Comic Book Legends again this week, Brian! :) “I believe in Matt Murdock.”

Are you a politician?

You’re very good at making numbers say what YOU want them to say.

Getting back to the original subjects here, a year or two ago I was flipping through an issue of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, which had a group of fans pitching ideas to Marvel, and the Marvel editors were explaining the difficulties of producing books with real people and as a hypothetical example, said, ‘Suppose you wrote a story in which Matt Murdock becomes Mayor of New York….’ I had no idea that was based on any real story plan.

I’m always startled by assertions of “left wing media,” because it’s hard for me to understand how anyone can believe that an American media completely owned and controlled by four or five multinational corporations (who, by codified law, must maximize benefits to their shareholders without concern for environment, freedom of speech, or numerous other public benefits– who are actively PROHIBITED from doing “the right thing” if that right thing will reduce profit) can be “liberal.” While it is true that a glossy coating of “liberalism” can be applied to some of what passes for news and entertainment these days, fundamentally it’s a sham. It’s the same reason why the question “Is Democratic politician so-and-so TOO liberal,” (as though liberalism itself is a dirty word) can be passed off as “fair and balanced,” and why the media consistently passes along the notion that the country is “center right” (people do describe themselves that way, but when you poll based on individual concerns like health care, taxes, gay rights, and abortion, etc, it consistently is proven that people don’t actually know which of their views are “liberal” or “conservative.”) Believe me, if we had a “liberal media,” we wouldn’t have had essentially centrist (if not center-right) candidates like Clinton and Obama reported as the only viable options for the Democratic nomination, and we would have a hell of a lot more minorities and non-heterosexual characters in our popular entertainment.

Chris, you’ve got a huge fallacy there. A corporation is not required by law to maximize profit. So long as the shareholders are aware of the company’s intentions (so that they can bail out if they want), a corporation is perfectly within its legal rights to sacrifice profit for a “greater good”.

Hell, if this weren’t true, corporations couldn’t engage in “minor” charitable actions — i.e., the sort which don’t generate enough publicity to cause a goodwill increase in revenues. But they do it all the time, most notably in cases where a corporation will engage in purely in-house charitable activity such as matching employee donations while allowing those donations to remain in the employee’s name (which of course acts to limit any public goodwill). That’s not uncommon at all in large corporations.

It’s a huge fallacy only if we’ve shifted into a parallel dimension where “fallacy” is a synonym for “fact.” Yes, corporations can engage in “minor” charity if it doesn’t undermine the bottom line, and there are legal arguments that can be made for it if a shareholder chooses to sue over it (for example, it can result in an increase in worker goodwill and thus, productivity).

The fact remains that a corporation can be held legally liable by its shareholders if it fails to take any (legal) opportunity it can to increase value for its shareholders. It is true that, in practice, things like charitable contributions and other “non-profit” functions of a corporation can be and have been argued at law as fulfilling the corporation’s responsibility to its share holders in various and sundry ways (Delaware courts, for example, have specifically upheld as legal corporate charitable contributions with the caveat that they have top be “reasonable” in scope and purpose.) Still, even though determining what exactly maximizes and diminishes value can be difficult to do, the general aim and legal responsibility of a corporation is to its shareholders, which is almost always legally taken to refer to maximizing profits (of course, by “corporation,” I am referring to a publicly-held, profit-making legal entity, not a non-profit or not-for-profit corporation, which obviously runs according to different guidelines.)

This is a matter of fiduciary responsibility. In theory, the articles of incorporation of a company can redefine said fiduciary responsibility in such a way that maximizing value is not the primary interest of the corporation. In practice, it simply doesn’t happen- no FA would ever recommend such a company to his clients.

The relevant legal decision is “Dodge v. Ford,” though it has been supplanted over the years by other legal decisions (some stronger, some weaker) outlining a corporation’s responsibilities.

I suggest you google the expression “corporations as sociopath” and see what you come up with.

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0119-04.htm

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/108583.The_Corporation_The_Pathological_Pursuit_of_Profit_and_Power

http://books.google.com/books?id=QMUGcpDNakwC&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=is+a+corporation+required+by+law+to+maximize+profits&source=bl&ots=yZjmbKX9zu&sig=ylAqvHbpiOh_hIG01YUsazqTBHo&hl=en&ei=hxrJSq2FC9COlQePp5SSAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#v=onepage&q=&f=false

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:6STAmBY4dLgJ:www.plu.edu/~tyleron/doc/csr.doc+corporate+law+bound+maximize+profit&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FA50FBC214A6CE87&search_query=Corporation

Oooohhh, politics. Well, I’m ready to jump in and get political!

I wonder what those who decided Mayor Murdock wasn’t reality-based enough think of New York’s current Mayor in Marvel continuity…..

(And how can “best real politican comic book usage” be brought up, and no one mentions Dark Knight OR Watchmen….?)

Are there more legends or is this all ?

That’s it.

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