You won’t believe PC ‘villain’ Batman confronts in latest DC Comics adventure

Or maybe you will if you’re been following DC Comics’s gradual descent into PC hell along with that of its arch rival, Marvel. You want a comic book that features a gay superhero? Been there, done that. Do your tastes run instead to a champion of justice who is both feminist and a Muslim? Your wish is their command. Why there is even a Purim superhero for Jews, who — as an added bonus — has same-sex parents.

But don’t suspect for a minute that DC covered the last of its bases when it published “Occupy: The Comic.” One directionless movement deserves another, and while the latest opus does not focus squarely on Black Lives Matter, it does so indirectly. In installment #44 of Batman, the caped crusader confronts America’s most notorious scourge. No, not ISIS: racist cops!

There is even a frame in this edition showing a dying black teenager clad in a hoodie lying in a pool of his own blood. (The shadows make it hard to tell whether he’s clutching a bag of Skittles, but one can take that on faith.):

dead black teen hoodie

“Comics critics say they are hard pressed to remember Batman ever addressing institutional racism and its socio-economic dimensions as bluntly as this in the character’s 75-year history,” writes Spencer Ackerman at The Guardian. “While police corruption has long been a feature of Gotham – even showing up on the eponymous Fox TV adaptation about to enter its second season – it it is rarely shown to disproportionately impact black people.”

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Lead writer Scott Snyder is quoted:

We’ve tried to be pretty relentlessly on-point about him [Batman] being a symbol of inspiration in the face of tremendous fear, as opposed to a symbol of punishment, or a symbol of revenge, taking the city away from criminals. Here is where he begins to learn [the limits of] the methods that he thought would work: finding a criminal, making an example of the criminal, throwing the criminal in jail … Instead, what he has to learn is that the problems that he’s facing in today’s city are much more humbling, are much more complicated.”

Some might add “much more imaginary,” but that would reveal them to be non-believers (aka a grownups), and that is not who comic books are written for.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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