A shocking number of writers look at a medium full of colorful superbeings flying about and shooting lasers out of every conceivable body part and think: "Yes, this would be the perfect platform to talk about my political ideas." Here are a few of their most ill-advised attempts ...
#5. Superman Ignores Pollution for the Economy
In Superman: Grounded, the Man of Steel decides to walk across the entire U.S. on foot to deal with the real issues, like brain-damaged drug dealers and literal alien immigrants. Real hard-hitting stuff. Eventually he makes his way to Iowa, where his "backpack across the continent to find himself" trip takes a detour as he helps Big Industry ruin the environment. No, seriously. It all starts when Superman is contacted by Lois Lane, who for this story arc has apparently taken a part time job as a stripper and started smuggling cantaloupes in a Lara Croft shirt.
"Hey! You look me in my uncharacteristically exposed breasts when I'm talking to you!"
Lois reveals that the factory where Superman just put out a giant chemical fire -- shocker -- isn't as safe as it looks. Turns out they haven't updated their security measures since the Eisenhower administration, and they generally don't give a flying fuck about the environment.
"The executives also pee into the town's water supply."
Superman uses his X-ray vision to confirm that, yep, the place is a shithole. However, the workers at the plant beg him not to expose the conditions of the factory, since it's the only major job provider for the town.
"Look, it's this or going back to stripping, and I left that life behind."
After carefully thinking about it for, like, half a panel, Superman decides that it's a fair trade if the surrounding area becomes a chemical wasteland in a decade, as long as the factory will still be able to employ and murder its workers at some later, unspecified date. Because again, this is the same factory he just saved the workers from burning to death inside of about 10 minutes ago.
"Yeah, I could ask the JLA to bring this place up to code in like five minutes, but then I'd have to help Flash move. Fuck that guy."
But Lois still plans to publish her expose of the factory, and Superman, being the self-proclaimed champion of the American way, would never stand in the way of a journalist trying to print the truth, as is her constitutionally guaranteed righ-
Truth, justice, and strong-arming your wife to get your way.
#4. Marvel's Dictators and Mass Murderers Cry Over 9/11
Even the most well-meaning tributes can backfire. Spider-Man did a 9/11 tribute, which is understandable -- NYC is a big part of the comic, after all.
"I- I can't even fly. Yell at Thor."
However, part of the issue inserted various Marvel Comics characters among the cops and firefighters helping out in the cleanup of Ground Zero -- you know, beloved superheroes like Thor, and Captain America, and ... um, Dr. Doom?
Yep, there's Marvel's biggest mass murderers standing distraught in the wreckage. Kingpin, Juggernaut, Magneto -- they've all put aside their agendas and gathered to help the city recover from a terrorist attack. Never mind that at least one of them is a self-proclaimed terrorist whose entire motivation is to kill normal, innocent humans in order to preserve mutantkind.
*All these guys are mass murderers, true believer! -Cracklin' Cracked
The artist defended this scene, explaining that it was supposed to be symbolic, but the thing is, there were plenty of sympathetic Marvel villains who could have realistically set aside their petty motives to help out there (we're pretty sure we saw Fing Fang Foom tear up a little during the Concert for New York). But they went with three guys who have a bigger body count individually than all of al-Qaida combined. And they're crying over what to them would normally be considered the acceptable collateral damage from breakfast.
He's crying because he was planning to do that to the Baxter Building next week.
#3. Anarky, the Anarchist Batman Villain
In the tradition of the wacky-themed Bat-villains of the '60s comes Anarky, the character whose superpower is giving pedantic stoner monologues.
Ugh, wait until he gets really into Ayn Rand freshman year.
Anarky was a mysterious criminal who targeted Gotham City's upper class while spouting pseudo-philosophical catchphrases and calling the oppressed to rise up. Eventually, Batman finds out the true identity of this modern-day Robin Hood: a naive pre-teen named Lonnie Machlin, who uses a fake neck and a mask to look taller. Batman grabs his ass and dumps him in juvie.
"I'm not Anarky! This is just how I masturbate. Honest."
Haha, what brilliant satire! The character who thinks this base-level philosophy is so cool is literally a snotty 12-year-old. Suck it, teenagers with Che posters and overdue copies of Nausea. But nope: Anarky's creator, Batman writer Alan Grant, admits that the character was meant to be a mouthpiece for his own thoughts. More alarmingly, Grant has Batman admit to both Alfred and Commissioner Gordon that he is intrigued by those half-baked ideas.
"Yes, yes, I am thinking that whoever spouts such brilliant philosophy surely has a huge dong,
no matter what Jenny Walker said in home ec."