In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
What kind of rally would you like to see in a comic book universe?
On one hand this sounds like a really bad idea. There are so many ways it could go badly: the comic could be all politics and no story; the company could not support the comic and it ends up doing more harm than help; the comic could try so hard to avoid being offensive it ends up being impotent; and no matter what there will be an outcry amongst the fans.
On the other hand, I’ve been watching a lot of Macross. And whenever I hear the opening strains of Ai Oboete Imasuka (Do You Remember Love?) I tear up. In that moment it seems possible that one girl singing can end a war. I believe. So maybe it doesn’t matter that it could end badly and some fans would whine, maybe trying is the point.
And my answer is a rally for service — serving others. For the silly idea that “you” are just as important as “me”. And if it includes a girl on a Sentinel saying “I don’t know you and you are trying to destroy me but I love you anyway.” all the better.
IDW has been making my life better, over the past year or so, by issuing very nice-looking Library Editions of Berkeley Breathed’s comic strip, Bloom County.
In honor of which, I’d love to see a resurgence of the Meadow Party, whose platform, at its best, calls for the appreciation of sunshine and flowers. Because now more than ever, America needs a Dandelion Break.
Rally to be held in the south meadow. Remember to leave the place looking better than you found it.
X-Factor has always been one of the more political X-books. It was the only mutant group to take an actual stand on the topic of registration during the Civil War storyline, and it has continued to deal with the politics of mutant, ex-mutant, and human interrelations in the Marvel Universe long after all of the other books moved to an all-mutant colony off the coast of San Francisco. The writer, Peter David, doesn’t shy away from involving real-world political issues, either, and lately he’s made comments about future topical storylines the will touch on Monet’s Muslim religion and the group’s encounter with a bullying suicide case.
Given all this, I would love to see what would happen were these characters to run into a conservative political rally. (Peter David, unlike some others at Marvel, probably wouldn’t hesitate to make the real-world allegories explicit.) The members of X-Factor not only represent fictional groups feared in the Marvel U (mutants, ex-mutants, aliens) but groups feared by the far right in the real world, including a Muslim and a queer Mexican (illegal?) immigrant. If the two groups ran into each other, the fireworks of highly contentious politics would be sure to follow, and I’d be fascinated to read that story.
All I can think of, in answering this question, is the protesters outside Magneto’s trial in Uncanny X-Men #200. You know, the scene in which Kitty realizes she needs glasses because she can’t read the signs to figure out which groups are anti-mutant and which are pro.
That said, I have to say I’m not much of a rally person. I think I’d like to see people protesting in comics for the same things I want to see protested in this universe. The E.R.A., protection for gay rights, a woman’s right to choose, and end to illegal and immoral acts of torture on the part of my government.
Yet, the more I think about this — If people in my fictional universes are holding a rally to protect Roe v. Wade, that means it’s still under attack. And as long as I’m imagining this, how about I make comics a world in which the causes I support are secure? Yeah, let’s say that the Equal Rights Amendment has passed. Let’s say that only the political and social causes I oppose feel a need to rally, because they don’t have the power to pass the legislation they want.
Yep. That sounds good.
PSA: If you’re in the U.S., and eligible to vote, please do so today. Thank you.
So What about you? What kind of rally would you like to see in a comic book universe?