The Politics of 'Savage Dragon' (updated)
| The Chicago supercop's political cheers & jeers. |
On September 23, 2020 Bleeding Cool announced that Savage Dragon #253 was endorsing the Biden-Harris presidential ticket.
Commenters on social media were not pleased. Some felt that it was wrong for a character who is a "cop" to weigh in in the midst of #BlackLivesMatter demands to #DefundThePolice. Most dissension, however, complained that it was a stunt to appeal to SJWs (social justice warriors) through the facade of diversity. Some were angry that it alienated conservative fans.
The endorsement, though, was on brand and on message for Savage Dragon, which had previously endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008 and supported Obama's presidency.
It was also consistent with Savage Dragon's anti-ICE story arc during the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration, [update:] and with Savage Dragon's condemnation of the alt-right's co-option of the logo of Marvel's violent vigilante assassine The Punisher, especially the logo's use by and for law enforcement.
Despite critics' belief that comics should be escapist and apolitical, comics have never been either. They tackled World War II, criticizing Hitler and contributing to anti-Japanese propaganda, as well as selling war bonds and instigating paper drives. They participated in anti-Communist sentiment through a focus on family and Americana. They weighed in on the ravages of Vietnam. They promoted anti-drug and alcohol messages.
What is viewed as "apolitical" is more likely just politically aligned with a reader's worldview and political preferences and what is viewed as "political" is more likely aligned in opposition to the same.
~Christina M. Knopf
9 November 2020 [updated 14 January 2021]