'The latest issue of a DC Comics series hit close to real-life politics, showing a child refugee, whose family was ‘gassed’ by the Syrian president. But it’s hardly new for the medium intended for teen audiences.
Doomsday Clock is an ongoing limited edition series, in which a universe of Batman and Superman gets intruded by characters (and themes) of the dark world of ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore – which is itself a deconstruction of the superhero comics. In the freshly-published issue #8, Superman visits a fictional Middle-Eastern nation ruled by supervillain/antihero Black Adam and sees scores of refugees sheltered there.
Black Adam introduces one of them, a child from Syria’s Douma, saying that “his younger sister [was] gassed by Assad, the Russians' puppet.” Some would say it’s no big deal, considering it all happens in a world where a guy dressed in blue and red flies and shoots beams from his eyes, but can easily hide his identity by putting glasses on. By the end of the issue the US and Russia go to war, by the way.
Really love how comic books continue to be propaganda outlets for the US war machine pic.twitter.com/ELTJa2jvmY
— Strand of the web of life (@thatrollbert) December 5, 2018
Others would argue it’s just an example of how American children are indoctrinated from a young age to support narratives that their country’s government promotes. And the US comics industry has a long record of doing it too, right from the good golden days of Captain America bashing the Nazis with his shield.
Occasionally this practice becomes pretty macabre. The classical story arcs of Batman comics, ‘A Death in the Family’, is best known for killing off the second character posing as Robin, the sidekick to the caped crusader. Jason Todd was beaten by the maniac Joker with a crowbar and left to die in an explosive-rigged room. Readers were asked to call one of two phone numbers to vote for either a miraculous survival or a real death in next issue.'
Read more: Superman comics showing victim of ‘Russian puppet Assad’ honors long tradition of propaganda