Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Grand Old JLA

Not so long ago, I gave my opinions on the political affiliations of The Avengers and The Man of Steel. With DC Comics now releasing a mini-series called "Decisions" openly exploring the same themes with their characters, I thought it would be a good time to handicap the positions. I'm a Liberal myself, so 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 & Hawkwoman(Carter & Shayera Hall): Hawk, man. Sure the Ostrander take dabbled with liberalism in the early 90's, and the current Hawkgirl has been hanging out with Roy Harper lately, 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 this reincarnation of an Egyptian prince.

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 bodies 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. 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 amateur super-sleuths with public identities? Moderate Republicans, I assure you.

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.

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

Captain Atom (Nathaniel Adam): Leaned Democrat immediately Post-Crisis, but this is another Ditko creation with a military background, so he inevitably swung back far right. If nothing else, his recent power and war mongering as Monarch seals the deal.

Huntress (Helena Bertinelli): Can't you just picture Helena at a Young Republicans rally with Shannon Doherty circa 1993? Is it just me, or does Helena share much of Ann Coulter's demeanor? 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 Conservativism, 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 was even an industrialist at one point. She feels right here.

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, Antaeus, and Jason Blood.

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