The evil inside me is on the rise…Posted: September 13, 2008
I am going to do something bad, something I know that I should not do. I am going to get all upset and snarky about a comic book I have not read. I am going to review something from a review.
I know that I should go out and read the comic for myself; get all the context and all that good “reviewerly” shit. I’ve done that before after a review worked me up like this. But today, today I’m in an unforgiving mood and unwilling to go out to the comic store and do some actual research.
All that said; this panel (included in Abhay’s review of Secret Invasion) pissed me off to no end:
Abhay explains its context thusly:
Page after page, not of the first or second or even third issue, page after page of the SIXTH ISSUE– it wasn’t spent escalating the stakes of the comic, it wasn’t spent dealing with characters we care about, it wasn’t spent paying off earlier scenes. The fucking SIXTH ISSUE was spent introducing an entirely new cast of straw-men liberal characters, and then attacking them for being naive about the nature of evil.
He then preceeds to give Bendis and crew the benefit of the doubt, more or less:
First, let me just say, on a political level, this comic can go fuck itself. You know– one pretty easy way a person could read this comic if they were so inclined is that it equates protesting wars with supporting terrorism. I don’t think the people who made the comic think that. I don’t think they were thinking at all. I don’t think they made a big priority of thinking.
I am not so generous; Bendis was certainly thinking when he wrote this scene. He thought it wold be funny in the same way ‘An American Carol‘ is supposed to be funny.
Essentially what we have the Marvel Universe equivalent of Obama supporters (Change!) kneeling over to the painfully obviously villainous Skrulls, the shape changing fundamentalist terrorists of the MU. Now that’s change you can believe in! These knee-jerk “liberal” stereotypes, which are the bane of every action movie (more or less) are just fucking exhausting. The fact that Bendis, who supposes himself a cutting edge writer, is peddling them is just disappointing. Much like the rest Secret Invasion itself – which from the first few issues I read – was too overwrought when it wasn’t being too predictable.
What’s especially disappointing is just whole dated and stupid the above scene is. It seems to be out of John McCain’s nightmares with a stereotypical liberal feminist of the 60s & 70s (long hair, big glasses, turtle necks) leading the charge. Bendis could have at least taken the time to update the scene with so modern stereotypes – Michael Moore anyone? – and really given his audience their money’s worth.
In his review Abhay asks this:
[W]hat does that liberal moment accomplish? Nothing in the issue, not a goddamn thing, whatsoever. But does it accomplish anything conceivably? Anything? Oh, it could be argued that it portrays SECRET INVASION from the street-level perspective. Uh, Except: fans already spend time and money on that. They spend money on SECRET INVASION FRONT LINE. They spend time on the SECRET INVASION web-comic. What does this scene accomplish??
What the scene does accomplish is to show the reader the creative laziness that Brian Michael Bendis has decedended into in recent years.