Conservative Comic Book Pundit

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Red Menace #1 from Wildstorm Press

The guy behind the counter, knowing I am a fan of old school, JSA type comics, recommended this comic to me. It takes place during the McCarthy hearings and the Red Scare era.

The basic run-down in issue 1 is that a superhero agrees to cooperate with the McCarthy commission by revealing his identity, but he stops short of naming names. Of course, McCarthy paints the hero as a commie sympathizer because during WWII he fought beside a Russian hero (never mind that the Russians were our allies then).

There's nothing here, though. There is a subplot about a new, upcoming superhero but the story left me cold. The main hero is, of course, getting screwed over, but I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for him, as the characterizations in this tale are either non-existent or too standard.

I am, however, glad that someone has finally decided to speak truth to power about how evil McCarthy was. It's good someone really has the guts to take on such a controversial issue.


  • Wow, it took a writer 50 years to finally stand up to McCarthy...BRAVO! Odd, McCarthy was correct in his assessment of several communists, just look back at the HUAC files and the Soviet KGB files after the collapse of the USSR. But I guess little things like "facts" scar a great story. McCarthy was a an @$$ to be sure but people forget what was actually going on at the time. No one wants to take the context of the era and the events as they happened. Its like poeple second guessing Truman for dropping the atomic bombs, they see it from a skewed point of view and make a judgement call. But I guess in a reality where people can fly you can make whatever you want up, because its ok. I personally stay away from screed such as this, but thats my personal choice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 AM  

  • I looked at it for about 10 seconds and realized it was just another America is the bad guy, McCarthy. I mean Sen. McCarthy wasn't even on HUAC though he's always linked with them. There's no reason for the powers that be to do a story like this except to take swipes at political foes--like setting punisher the end after a nuclear attack. At least, Superman: Red Son was fueled by the character's personal, as well as political, conflicts. Phelan wrote, "I am, however, glad that someone has finally decided to speak truth to power about how evil McCarthy was. It's good someone really has the guts to take on such a controversial issue." I take that as sarcasm, though there are probably a hundred comic book writers that would read that and get all misty eyed.

    By Blogger genie junkie, at 8:47 AM  

  • I have to confess to being a little ignorant about the comic in question because I've made it a rule of thumb not to read most superhero comics, period. Exceptions come when a creator of known quantity is starting a new story arc and it happens to be different enough from the run-of-the-mill "dark 'n gritty" which has been going on (for, like, twentysomething years) to actually be a fresh take on the character. So it goes that Wildstorm, an Image Comics splinter picked up by the DC franchise in recent years, is part of that generation of comicbook "fan-artists" whose take on the genre turned me off in spite of some of their early promise. I really haven't touched a Wildstorm comic since Adam Warren was doing those Gen 13 Bootleg Grunge spoofs and the abortive WildCATS spinoff co-plotted by Scott Lobdell (which I never finished because... well, the confounded book wasn't coming out on a regular schedule as advertised).

    Now... about McCarthy and whatever boogiemen the Left try to link him to. "McCarthy was right" has been a clarion call of my father's ever since he saw communist agitators in action as an Army sergeant at the Panama Canal some 10 years after the fact. Hope you're being facitious with those comments because, depsite the man's overriding megalomania and dodgy tactics, he was right about some of the things he suspected. I often wonder how different things would've been had he been able to preservere. Maybe a certain political philosophy wouldn't be so dominant in the comics media, perhaps.

    Personally, I haven't bothered picking up most comics because of the prevalence of said political philosophy. And the bulk of available "alternatives" are something else again...

    By Anonymous Yusaku Jon III, at 3:17 PM  

  • Yeah, that was sarcasm.

    Mainly because taking on McCarthy is a pointless, cynical exercise. It's easy to do, but it really does nothing.

    Even those who say "McCarthy was right" usually agree he went about it the totally wrong way. There's no there there.

    By Blogger John Phelan, at 4:52 PM  

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