EDITORIAL: Where is the hero for the 99%

Cape-less Crusader asks why the heroes aren't helping out

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By Josh Epstein - 1/30/2012
EDITORIAL: Where is the hero for the 99%?
January 30th by Josh
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Its almost February which, to most people, means to that their thoughts are turning to chocolates, hearts, and the arrows of Cupid.

For some, though, this month has taken on a different meaning. Last year, the Valentines season was marked by upheaval. Around the world, protestors took to the streets to decry the inequality in a system that they felt protected the rights of the privileged an ultra-wealthy while often denying the average person even the most basic of needs.

In Tahrir Square, the youth of Egypt faced off against saber-wielding cavalry. They stood their ground as the supporters of the now-ousted Hosni Mubarak tried to ride them down.

In Madison, Wisconsin, those who refused to be silenced by onerous new restrictions on speech were dragged away by police and private security as those legislators who sought to defend them were hounded across state lines.

And, in Oakland, protestors clashed with police and withstood an onslaught of "non-lethal" attacks.



As we approach the first anniversary of the "Spring" and "Occupy" movements, it is somewhat surprising to see that our comic books have no yet caught up with the changes in our society.

At DC, Batman remains the best-selling character in the company's library. The third installment of Chris Nolan's trilogy is due out this summer, and the supporting cast of the comics are being fleshed out in their own books, from "Nightwing", to "Batwoman", to the upcoming "The Robins".

Over at Marvel's "House of Ideas", Iron Man reigns supreme. Having emerged victorious from "Civil War" and riding the wave of two successful films and the upcoming "Avengers", the character's stock has never been higher.

The case could be made that both of these characters represent the ultimate "One-Percent-er". They are both fabulously wealthy men who have access to technology far beyond that of mere mortals.

"Batman, INC" is a global brand within the DCU, incorporating characters on every continent in pursuit of furthering Bruce Wayne's quest for vengeance/justice.

Tony Stark's role as leader of SHIELD, position within the White House, and controlling interest in a multinational corporation places him very clearly within the top economic and social echelons.



So where is the hero for the rest of us?
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10 Comments
headlopper - 1/30/2012, 11:43 AM
I wrote a similar editorial not long ago titled, "What do Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne have in common? They're both Republicans".

Wealthy people will publicly feign a liberal slant out of 'rich man's guilt' , but privately they're conservative.

But to answer your question, the answer IMO would be Peter Parker! The poor guy's been broke most all of his life , but never allowed that to interfere with his crime-fighting.
How many times have us Spidey fans read in ASM where Pete is hard up for cash to buy ingredients for new webbing fluid?
ALOT!
BigK1337 - 1/30/2012, 12:29 PM
. . . Rorschach? Than again, any hero created by Alan Moore can be concidered the hero for the 99% but Rorschach comes the closest with his knight templar ideas of giving evil what they deserve and his commentary of the lifestyle of humans in general.

Also, like headlopper said, Spider-Man can be concidered this for how he was writter.

Though the best representation of the 99% (and its movement) is definately Green Arrow. Seriously, he is practically the 99% personified with him making frequent criticism of the social standings of the people and wanting to piss off the government through any means.

Captain America. Nuff said really.

Any C-list heroes might qualify as a hero for the 99%; especially Luke Cage, he just fits that idea.
TheCapelessCrusader - 1/30/2012, 12:43 PM
@headlopper: I'll agree that Spidey is definitely a member of the 99%. Sadly, we haven't seen Marvel using the ultimate New Yorker to deal with Occupy Wall Street AT ALL.

@BgK1337: As much as I wish we could count Rorshach as a 99%-er, his ultra-conservative bent would probably have him denouncing the Occupiers as "godless communists"

Green Arrow is actually the first hero that comes to mind who SHOULD be dealing with these issues. As DC's social crusader, he should be front and center in any story that deals with this. Unfortunately, like Marvel, DC has yet to show the courage to take on this extremely contentious issue.
headlopper - 1/30/2012, 12:59 PM
@TheCapelessCrusader- Spidey's got bigger fish to fry. :)
Darthkostis - 1/30/2012, 1:01 PM
spidey as he is one of the few if the only one whose comics deal with everyday problems such as bills,economy.....luke cage maybe rorschach
BigK1337 - 1/30/2012, 1:15 PM
@TheCapelessCrusader

I don't know if I am right or wrong, but it seems like you wanted more stories revolving around super heroes upholding the basic ideas of the 99% (which, in terms of my views of comics, is pretty much any story dealing with going up against a tyranical super villain).

Speaking of stories dealing with 99%, it is kind of funny when you mentioned Iron Man and Batman as heroes of the 1% when some TV episodes they were in have traits dealing with the themes of the 99% movement.

For Batman, well, there were some episodes in Batman TAS that deal with that very theme of 99% (Appointment in Crime Alley, The Forgotten, Old Wounds, etc).

For Iron Man, that episode of Avengers EMH, "Everything Is Wonderful", seems like the best metaphor for it.
headlopper - 1/30/2012, 3:43 PM
BTW, I'm the 1%, so I don't give a sh** about you poor mutha fu****'s!
Supes17 - 1/30/2012, 5:51 PM
:P
marvelguy - 1/31/2012, 12:39 PM
I think it's difficult to be topical in comics. They are usually written a year in advance. Part of the difficulty is that we read them for the fantasy elements. If not done properly, you may disenfranchise your audience.
The last thing I want to read is a superhero taking a political position. The typical hero is selfless, seeking acceptance, and trying to help the helpless. I don't want to know what my local cops and firemen believe politically. I appreciate that they are willing to put their lives on the line everyday that they wake up.
golden123 - 1/31/2012, 5:57 PM
Actually, those Occupy Protesters are part of the 9% that are unemployed. They need to quit complaining and sitting around, and instead, they should start looking for jobs.

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