Saturday, June 19, 2004

Judd Winnick, comic books and Abu Ghraib

I first became a fan of Judd Winnick upon seeing him on MTV's Real World. He was a struggling comic book artist then, and recently he's become a writer for such titles as Green Lantern and Green Arrow.

I just bought the series of #36-#39 of Green Arrow. In issue #37, G.A. "has" to get some information out of The Riddler in order to save the town while the Riddler is in prison. The Riddler balks at disclosing the information without some conditions so G.A. keeps physically harassing him until eventually he breaks some bones. G.A. goes on to save the town, naturally.

In a previous set of writings in Green Lantern, the administrative assistant of G.L.'s secret identity is a gay man who nearly dies of a beating by homophobes. G.L., full of righteous anger, enters a prison to harass someone associated with the crime. G.L. enages in physical abuse and threatens much worse of this prisoner until he discloses the identities of the gang who beat up his friend. Naturally, G.L. goes on to apprehend (and physically abuse) those involved in the beating.

Perhaps I shouldn't pick on Judd. I remember seeing in reprints of the original Superman newspaper strips from ca. 1938, Superman does some of the same things-- carrying a criminal to a dizzying height and threatening to drop him unless he fesses up with informaiton needed to save the day. But it does seem a surprise that someone so inovlved in other causes related to human dignity would be advocate such brutality.

I think the roots of Abu Ghraib go deep in American culture.

If I have time, I'll write on how conservatives are to blame, too. ;-)

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