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  1. #1
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    Default Dixon on "Alien Legion: Uncivil War," Politics in Superhero Comics

    Chuck Dixon discusses his return to "Alien Legion" after 15 years, and clarifies the stance he took in his Wall Street Journal piece on conservatism in comics.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuch Dixon
    But to put it in mainstream superhero comics and use them as a platform for your own political views is something we object to. And we object to it from both ends. We don't think these characters should be used for anyone's point of views even if they agree with us.
    The problem with this statement is two-fold.

    Problem 1: A lot of what conservatives call "liberal viewpoints" are just acknowledgements of reality. I believe in Dixon's case, it was acknowledging that HIV was something that exists that he considered to be "too liberal."

    Problem 2: This is the same guy that wrote a heavy-handed pro-life story.


    Don't get me wrong, I love Chuck Dixon's work. He's easily one of my writers of the Batman universe.
    I'm also not saying that there isn't a liberal slant in comics. There is, but there always has been. Spider-Man had stories about right-wing fanatics way back in the 70s. It's not something that just popped up in the 90s nor does it have anything to do with the "moral ambiguity" of super heroes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teek View Post
    The problem with this statement is two-fold.

    Problem 1: A lot of what conservatives call "liberal viewpoints" are just acknowledgements of reality. I believe in Dixon's case, it was acknowledging that HIV was something that exists that he considered to be "too liberal."

    Problem 2: This is the same guy that wrote a heavy-handed pro-life story.


    Don't get me wrong, I love Chuck Dixon's work. He's easily one of my writers of the Batman universe.
    I'm also not saying that there isn't a liberal slant in comics. There is, but there always has been. Spider-Man had stories about right-wing fanatics way back in the 70s. It's not something that just popped up in the 90s nor does it have anything to do with the "moral ambiguity" of super heroes.
    I agree. Like Colbert once said, maybe Reality has a liberal bias.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teek View Post
    The problem with this statement is two-fold.

    Problem 1: A lot of what conservatives call "liberal viewpoints" are just acknowledgements of reality. I believe in Dixon's case, it was acknowledging that HIV was something that exists that he considered to be "too liberal."

    Problem 2: This is the same guy that wrote a heavy-handed pro-life story.
    Regarding problem 1, I think Dixon has pointed out that it was not the "liberal viewpoint" of a story about HIV what made him uncomfortable; but rather that they wanted a realistic and harsh story about HIV, in what Dixon belives was a "book for kids". In other words, he felt it was heavy stuff for that book. I might be wrong, though.

    As for problem 2, I can't comment because I have not read many books by Dixon.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    Regarding problem 1, I think Dixon has pointed out that it was not the "liberal viewpoint" of a story about HIV what made him uncomfortable; but rather that they wanted a realistic and harsh story about HIV, in what Dixon belives was a "book for kids". In other words, he felt it was heavy stuff for that book. I might be wrong, though.

    As for problem 2, I can't comment because I have not read many books by Dixon.
    I should have added context. That should read, "Problem 2: This is the same guy that wrote a heavy-handed pro-life story and put it in a Batman book."
    Last edited by Teek; 07-01-2014 at 01:31 PM.
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    I wonder if this is the same Alien Legion series that Dark Horse announced at SDCC a few years ago? That never panned out and their AL omnibuses stopped coming out around the same time. I hope the old series gets its just do in a full collection one day. Either way, I'm glad its back.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Diamond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teek View Post
    I should have added context. That should read, "Problem 2: This is the same guy that wrote a heavy-handed pro-life story and put it in a Batman book."
    Ahh ok. Out of curiosity, do you know which issue it was?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobbdeep View Post
    I wonder if this is the same Alien Legion series that Dark Horse announced at SDCC a few years ago? That never panned out and their AL omnibuses stopped coming out around the same time. I hope the old series gets its just do in a full collection one day. Either way, I'm glad its back.
    Granted it's not a full collection, but Alien Legion Omnibus vol 1 and 2 are both available. I picked them both up during a nick and dent sale at Things From Another World.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    Ahh ok. Out of curiosity, do you know which issue it was?
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    Defender of the North Brian from Canada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teek View Post
    I'm also not saying that there isn't a liberal slant in comics. There is, but there always has been. Spider-Man had stories about right-wing fanatics way back in the 70s. It's not something that just popped up in the 90s nor does it have anything to do with the "moral ambiguity" of super heroes.
    And I don't think that's the type of situation Chuck Dixon is talking about here.

    Dixon is really objecting to the "Civil War"-type stories where one character embodies one viewpoint and one another, creating a conflict between characters that (a) doesn't fit them all that well and (b) becomes more about the message than the heroes and their adventure. You can still have political points of view, but it needs to be done carefully: keep it in character and don't let it overwhelm the story of the character.

    Dixon is really championing the escapism the characters embodied in his youth and there's a lot to be said about that — particularly now as the characters become mainstream and tacked on to concepts that aren't part of them. The Dark Knight became a meditation on post-recession America; The Dark Knight Rises is really political commentary of the Occupy movement; and both are disguised as a Batman movie that take away some of the awe and joy of Batman. One critic I read treated Winter Soldier as an indictment of the NSA.

    Marvel has definitely done political pandering and DC is stuck focused on political correctness, not creating enjoyable stories for the sake of escapism.

    Political discourses can be better suited for other books — and that's a great point from a professional who's been in the industry for so long. Alien Legion was created to explore themes that the superheroes do not. Let's celebrate that difference instead of trying to make the superheroes too dark that they stop being about fun.
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  11. #11
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    Chuck Dixon along with Mike Baron and Garth Ennis makes for the top three Punisher writers of all time.

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    A excellent example of what Dixon is talking about was when Jamie Delano took over Animal Man, and forced the Baker clan into a story. It was a decent story, but Buddy and other family members did things completely out of character to propel the idea of the story forward. Overall I like Delano, but it made the book awkward for a while.

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    Blah Blah Blah Blah
    Last edited by Ilovecomics; 07-07-2014 at 12:26 PM.

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    I think that the problem with this kind of position is that it makes the mistake of believing that, in the past, superhero comics were simply "escapist fantasies" and "apolitical." That is not really true. Superhero comics traditionally have taught conformity and acquiescence to authority and the status quo. They have often been used for propaganda purposes.

    I agree that things like "Civil War" were badly done, though a lot of that was because it was an incredibly poorly conceptualized series. I can understand and agree with the argument that characters should not be pushed into boxes in order to fit political arguments.

  15. #15

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    Laughable argument coming from Dixon. He's full of ignorance. He's writes great "John Wayne-style" comics (I'm sure they are wonderfully appreciated by fans), which is all he does. His comics are about kicking ass and "manning up", He can't write a romance, mystery, or even a comedy without using his overly macho characterizations. Politics in comics have always been there, the mere fact that he acknowledges that Batman is anti-gun destroys his argument. He's just grumpy because conservatives are not having their way like they used to. Poor Chuck Dixon.

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