Superheroes take sides in US political wars
It was Comic Con week in San Diego, which means our town thronged with superheroes and supervillians and it was impossible to park anywhere, but as a political analyst it gave me the chance to check which way the superhero vote was leaning in this election year.
I picked a random costumed man and asked him. I couldn't quite identify the comic book character he was dressed as; it was a reddish, clawed one. Later I found out he was just advertising a local seafood restaurant. He was nonetheless eager to share his opinions.
"I'm glad you asked," he said. "A lot of people think superheroes are apolitical. But that's far from the truth, especially with the November vote coming up. The two biggest names in the industry are supporting opposite sides this year. That would be Batman and Spiderman."
Batman and Spiderman? Who's on which side?
The Lobster gave me a condescending look. "Think for a minute, man! Millionaire Bruce Wayne? He even has a butler, for God's sake. Batman's Republican to the bone, even down to the serial philandering with Cat Woman and Poison Ivy. Spiderman, on the other hand, comes from a blue-collar home, and is always soul-searching about his responsibilities like some costumed Jimmy Carter. Democrat for sure.
"Even their main enemies line up on opposite sides of the political fence. The Green Goblin, Spiderman's nemesis, is a fat cat multinational criminal, so obviously a Republican, and everybody knows the Joker is really Al Franken."
I should have realized it was so easy to figure out.
"Piece of cake. Wonder Woman, princess of the Amazons? A fem lib if there ever was one. One hundred percent Democrat. Iron Man's a self-made guy, so naturally he's a Republican. The Green Lantern got his ring of power from the Guardians of the Universe, who are like the United Nations, only a quadrillion times worse. Democrat. The Thing belongs to the ultimate minority group. There's only one of him, so naturally he's a Democrat.
Have all of the superheroes lined up on one side or another?
"Of course not. The superhero political landscape is as tortured as the regular helpless citizen one. Take Underdog. His natural place is with the Democrats, but he's bound to the right wing because of his love for Sweet Polly Purebred, a Young Republican pooch if there ever was one. Rocky and Bullwinkle are Blue Dog Democrats. Nobody questions their anti-socialist credentials because of their decades-long struggle with Boris and Natasha. Bruce Banner's an independent, but get him mad and he turns into the Hulk, a raging Tea Partier. The same for Wolverine. Ordinarily a nice guy, but mention Obamacare and watch the claws come out. Captain America refuses to cast his ballot for anybody but Gary Johnson."
What about the elder statesman of the group? Superman?
"Superman's a moderate Republican."
Oh, wow. I didn't know there were any…I mean, that's so…I don't know what to say.
"I'm feeling you, buddy. Sad story, really. People avoid him like Kryptonite. Nowadays, Superman spends most of his time in the Fortress of Solitude."
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