Friday, 18 April 2014
The Ultimates And Political Ambiguity
Despite its fantastic content, The Ultimates accurately reflects real world politics:
we see Italian police attack anti-war demonstrators;
Thor, who is watching, intervenes on behalf of the demonstrators;
TV reports "...Thor's shocking attack on city police...;"
someone who has merely seen the TV says, "It's Thor. He finally flipped. He just took out a hundred Italian cops...;"
Loki, inspiring people against Thor, refers to his "...encouraging violence against democratically elected governments."
Neat. I learned as a student that the only way for me to learn what happened on demonstrations was to attend them myself. The mainstream media and the left-wing press simply gave me opposite accounts. My philosophical approach at the time was empiricist...
Earlier, in The Ultimates, Vol 1 (New York, 2005) -
Thor: "I hope you are not here to arrest us for our recent involvement in the World Trade protests, General. As always, your lackeys in the media completely misreported what was merely a peaceful demonstration."
Thor: "...the son of Odin is not interested in working for a military industrial complex who engineers wars..." (The Norse gods used to be keen on wars so their politics have changed!)
And, in The Ultimates 2, Vol 1 (New York, 2005) -
TV Interviewer: "Urging anti-war protestors to do whatever it takes? Sounds to me like Thor's trying to stir things up..."
Maybe, in time of war, things need to be stirred up? It is clear that (this version of) Thor is against killing whereas war is mass killing.
Tony Stark insists that persons of mass destruction will not be sent to the Middle East, then justifies them being sent there on the ground that they dismantled nuclear weapons whereas, of course, the Great Powers keep their nuclear stockpiles. And he now insists that it is ridiculous to suggest that they will be sent to China...
Fury sees the similarity between Cap and one of his terrorist opponents: two boys who became super soldiers to fight invaders. The Ultimates realize that their actions have increased terrorism and that they must become politically independent. Whether that it is possible is another matter. But these comics address those issues.