Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Grand Old JLA

Yesterday, I posted some observations about the Man of Steel that indicated he might be a Republican, however fond he might have been of Jack Kennedy. A few years ago, DC Comics released unsatisfying mini-series called "Decisions" openly exploring the same themes with their characters, which I understand was sort of crap. I wanted to pin the heroes down a but better, and since I'm a liberal myself, I started with the Republicans, since I like to think I can detect "otherness" in these characters...

Green Lantern Hal Jordan
Ollie Queens's counterpoint, but since he was being written by Denny O'Neil, that only went so far as moderate Republicanism. He's a space-cop who works for a legion of blue-skinned David Ben-Gurions. Sure he has issues with authority, self-doubt and is a bit flighty, but when it comes right to it, Hal knows what side his bread is buttered on. He helped pull the original Angry Black Superman, John Stewart, from the militant left to a more moderate position, and his return to form included reconciliation with Reagan-loving Guy Gardner. Still, Hal's moderate enough to get along with artboy Kyle Rayner.

Hawkman & Hawkgirl (Carter & Shayera Hall)
Hawk, man. Sure the Ostrander take dabbled with liberalism in the early 90's, and Kendra Saunders hung out with Roy Harper, but we're talking about brief bouts with juvenile rebellion here. They say everyone becomes more conservative as they get older, and you don't get much older than the reincarnation of Egyptian royalty.

The Atom (Ray Palmer)
I know what you're thinking... a college professor created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane, who's arch-enemy was the spitting image of Richard Nixon? Well, let's not be too hasty. This guy spent the 1960's fighting other scientists-- sure notable nutjobs like Jason Woodrue and Dr. Light, but still. Ever see Atom in a lefty PSA? Didn't he spend a lot of time with Hawkman without the slightest squawk of dispute? When he found out his wife was cheating on him, what did he do? Fly off to the Amazon to live out his fantasy as a sword and sorcery hero. It's not like Ray tried to lift the yellow-skinned natives out of barbarism. He just wanted to poke their men and women with one sort of sword or another. Didn't Bill O'Reilly write a book like that? Maybe not, but Ray sure did, outing his secret identity and leaving his trifling ex vulnerable to reprisal while he returned to the jungle! What does he do when he returns? Start using his body like a living bullet through the flesh of alien invaders. Lend out his powers to clandestine government operations like Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad. Work with the C.I.A. And when he commits his now crazy, murderous ex to, of all the hellholes on Earth, Arkham Asylum? He disappears to another, simpler Earth while assigning a Chinese national his abdicated role. I'm telling you, Ray Palmer is one of those quiet, objectivist Libertarian types you do not want to serve jury duty with. He was after Tricky Dick for being too soft.

The Flash (Barry Allen and Wally West)
Barry strikes me as one of those salt of the earth Midwestern types who can't understand the objection to prayer in the school, or even Intelligent Design when adequately buoyed by harder science. West, meanwhile, has a long history of Red-baiting self-righteousness. That kid blew through a fortune, and happily traded on his celebrity for perks and his share of (occasionally adulterous) bed-hopping. None of that would separate him from a democrat, except that he decided to put that all in the past and lord over other heroes with his moral superiority, a decidedly Republican inclination.

Elongated Man and Sue Dibney
Comfortably rich globe-trotting amateur super-sleuths with public identities who host loads of uncontroversial charity balls for the little people? Moderate Republicans, I'd guess. Sue was probably apolitical, while Ralph was more decidedly middle-right. You know, he would work with Vibe, but he preferred not to socialize with the lower classes. Sue was more of an aisle-crosser, but at the end of the day she seemed pretty comfortable with compassionate conservatism.

Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein)
A nuclear scientist and a jock who only protested a nuke plant in a bid to get laid? Yeah, Red Staters.

Blue Beetle II (Ted Kord)
A genius inventor, athlete, and industrialist vigilante created by Steve Ditko? Also able to hang with Ditko's Question and Captain Atom? Even his latter-day mismanagement of Kord Industries and pursuing super-heroics with a heart condition point to this guy being a friend of the Bushes. Finally, while "embezzlement" is definitely in the liberal vocabulary, to walk away from a debacle like the Kooey Kooey Kooey island resort without serving time and having Maxwell Lord still like you (cold-blooded execution excepted) takes right-wing huevos.

Booster Gold (Michael Carter)
An unapologetic capitalist and best friend of Blue Beetle.

Captain Atom (Allen/Nathaniel Adam)
The Silver Age Captain Atom was an enlisted man who constantly clashed with communist powers and was a personal friend to Ike Eisenhower. Nate Adam leaned democrat immediately Post-Crisis, but this is another Ditko creation, so he inevitably swung back far right. The dude became Monarch and got away with it. Again, that takes military-industrial complex clout to walk clear from.

Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)
Can't you just picture Helena at a Young Republicans rally with Shannon Doherty circa 1993? Maybe kind of a Michelle Malkin thing going on? Batman pretty much hated her on sight, Dick still feels guilty for sleeping with her, and Chuck Dixon claimed her for himself for most of the 90's. All signs point to Neo-conservative.

Metamorpho (Rex Mason)
I'm mostly going with my gut here, although his famed adventurer shtick and association with the Staggs play into that. I don't know about the comics, but in the cartoon he was also ex-Marine, as far as that goes.

Power Girl (Kara Zor-L)
I'll be the first to admit this one seems a stretch, with PG being such a vocal feminist. On the other hand, association with the JSA always bestows an air of conservatism, and she always seemed more out of place among the Left Coast Infinitors and even the JLE. She's pro-interventionist, happily uses her sex appeal to her advantage, and is even an industrialist. She feels right here, sort of like a Meghan McCain type.


Big Barda: Born and raised on Apocalypse. 'Nuff said.

Faith: Ex-Military Black Ops. Do the math.

See also: Steel II (Hank Heywood the Third) Dr. Light II (Kimiyo Hoshi,) Orion, Maxima, Agent Liberty, Triumph (Log Cabin flavor,) Antaeus, and Jason Blood.


Luke said...

I understand what you are getting at, but doesn't the fact that you are an admitted liberal (a rare breed amongst your kind) kind of make you biased?

Case in point, Wally West. Sorry, but the fact "that he decided to put that all in the past and lord over other heroes with his moral superiority" is a very liberal trait. "*sneer* I did not have sex with that woman." I've always tallied Wally as a bed-wetting liberal, if only to prove how different he was from his GOPified uncle.

Also, the Atom is the wussy educational elitist liberal who wants to show how enlightened he is by hanging out with a conservative. You think he would have let his wife run all over him otherwise?

Power Girl, I can see it. Sort of the Mama Grizzly type who terrifies the left so much.

Regarding Captain Atom, him turning into Monarch and getting away with it has little to do with his political stance. It has everything to do with the editors at DC not being able to keep a secret. Furthermore, considering that it was Hawk's place he took, it would seem that one Republican is as good as another in the eyes of the lefty creative staff.

The entire Heywood clan is Republican, thank God.

Diabolu Frank said...

Luke, I get to be snidely biased on this blog-- at least more broadly than on my other blogs. ;)

I can totally understand not wanting to claim Wallace West for your side, as he is an utter tool. However, I took Geo-Force in with the libs, so I figure the republicans still owe me good karma for that hit. Besides, Bill Clinton's womanizing was an open secret, and he only really got stupid about it when Ken Starr used his penis to make up for not getting anything out of the Whitewater investigation. If you'd used Spitzer as your example, then I'd have had to choke a bit. :)

I completely disagree on the Atom. Ray is such a quiet conservative. Instead of hanging out with the other eggheads, he was an athlete who punched thieves in his spare time. He wanted nothing to do with either the "urban" nor the U.N. lackey versions of the Justice League. He got himself a trophy wife in Jean, then proceeded to ignore her in hopes she'd stay out of his way through pills and/or discreet affairs. Remember, Jean divorced him to marry Paul, so his values remained intact. He's pro-military, pro-black-ops, pro-death penalty, and has done his fare share of all three.

Good point on Hawk, but I meant when Captain Atom became Monarch all the other times (Extreme Justice, Battle for Bludhaven.)

I haven't read enough about Citizen Steel to know his alignment, but it's good to know he takes after his grand-pappy. I like continuity, and may do the JSA's politics someday. Come to think of it, you're welcome to...

Luke said...

Re: The Atom, I can see your point. I haven't read much of him, but I always pegged him for being an Intelligentsia university-type. Your assessment is probably closer to the truth.

Oh, don't get me wrong about Captain Atom, he's a GOPer for life. As well he should be, dammit! Same with Hawk. In a recent issue of Brightest Day, he "fixed" a jukebox because it was playing the Dixie Chicks. I actually cheered that, out loud, much to my wife's chagrin. Why isn't there a Showcase Hawk & Dove, dammitall?!

For Geo-Force, see the Lefty post. :)