Sunday, May 25, 2008

DCU Decisions: A Looming Trainwreck?


I haven't seen much written about DCU Decisions since it was announced. Maybe because it sounds like an epic train wreck in the making? Apparently, when a fictional DCU politician survives an assassination attempt, various DC superheroes will mobilize on the red or blue side of things. In other words, in this series written by Bill Willingham and Judd Winick, DC plans to make clear the political affiliation of many of their characters.

They won't be using the actual candidates, by the way, but fictional stand-ins. I wonder if they're allowed to use the terms Democrat and Republican?

I'm mostly worried that the Doom Patrol's Robotman is apparently going to be part of this. Winick doesn't inspire confidence, and I can take or leave Bill Willingham's writing, so I'm concerned they'll put Cliff Steele in the Republican camp, old fashioned, American-made tough-guy that he is. Winick tends to characterize with a broad, sloppy brush, so I'm not sure how aware he is of the twists and turns Vertigo and Grant Morrison put him through. Cliff Steele has lived an ongoing "alternate lifestyle" since his brain's installation into a robot body, and his main story arc has been his transformation from a handsome but cruel, shallow jerk of a man to a wiser, kinder better person after his loss of humanity. His last two romantic interests have been a multiple personality and a transsexual all while his best pal was turning into a radioactive hermaphrodite for cryin' out loud, so Cliff oughtta be moderate, at least.

I'm equally unsold on these writer's abilities to sell me on Batman's politics, or, God help us, Superman's. There are a number of reasons Superman may be a Democrat and several other reasons he could be a Republican, but I think I'd rather not have it spelled out explicitly. On the other hand, morbid curiosity may win out. Whadda You think?

12 comments:

Kevin Street said...

I don't like the sound of this miniseries at all. Giving DC heroes political affiliations only makes the characters less iconic - and therefore, less interesting.

As you imply with Superman, the characters work best when everybody can see a little bit of themselves reflected within them. Right now, both liberals and conservatives can see Superman as a fellow traveller, and that's the way it should be.

Blockade Boy said...

GUH. I'm no fan of either the Dems or the Repubs (even less so with the GOP since I came out, since they've been actively legislating against my rights) but my impression of comic writers is that they're almost overwhelmingly Democrats. So I'm guessing all the Democratic characters will be saints, and all the Republican characters will be selfish jerk-offs or good-hearted yet "misinformed" dupes who "come to their senses" and align themselves with the Democratic Party. YAWN. Dare I hope any other political parties get represented? And fairly? (Me? I'm a Whig.) (Kidding.)

But yeah, I'm not holding my breath for any kind of in-depth examination of American politics.

Stephen said...

this could work if they don't try and lock down batman and superman to political camps. i think that there beliefs do not fall in line with a party they have their own agenda and won't just vote liberal or conservative

Robby Reed said...

Why shouldn't DC do this series? They are on a campaign to destroy their own characters! If they're not raping them, they're torturing them! This series will sell poorly and be canceled soon, but meantime it will make everyone HATE the characters forever! Perfect way to destroy your own company! Way to go, DC!!

Cully said...

Great...a civil war knock-off with lines drawn between political parties. No Thanks. I'm still voting Green Party backing Swamp Thing.

Tim said...

This looks like DC is trying to come up with a perfect example to illustrate the old creative writing chestnut "show don't tell."

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Oh my, such a bad idea. The only way this could not be a train wreck is if the characters who take political sides are those already known for their political stances. Which would limit it to what, Green Arrow and Hawkman?

Oh yeah, this has Bad Idea stamped right across the front. As "Civil War" proved again, "men in brightly-colored tights punching each other out" is not a genre that meshes well with real-world politics. Oh, the pain.

Brian Hughes said...

I think Flash (Wally) has been established as Republican, too.

googum said...

The only saving grace of this series is that Batman might slip and blurt out that democracy is as stupid as the general electorate; or Superman might give an extended oratory about how communism could work...

Yeah, I have to get to work. Now.

Captain Nice Guy said...

Admitedly, I prefer that they leave major characters' political affiliations unspoken. I think it detracts from the universality of their appeal to nail them down to a real world political party.

But, this does seem like a natural evolution after having Luthor as President and Green Arrow as mayor. Actually, playboy or not, I'm surprised that no one has suggested to Bruce Wayne that he run for political office.

My burning question, though, is whether will we find out if Red Tornado is really a blue-stater and Blue Beetle is really a Red?

Niall Mor said...

I'm a relative newcomer to comics, but this is quite possibly the dumbest idea I've ever heard for a comics series. I don't care too much about the political affiliations of REAL people I know. Why should I care about the political preferences of comic book characters?

metalmisfit said...

Pass.