The Alt-Right Tries to Reclaim Comics: Part OneI'm not a big fan of many movements in modern superhero comics. Both in technique and topic, they seem to be sliding into shallow pieces of shlock that prioritize the quick buck over maintaining solid narrative. In addition, comics, especially Marvel, have embraced the most annoying brand of political progressiveness, alienating fans and losing sight of what superhero stories actual are. Fans and other nerds alike are ready for comics that do not purposely insult them.
|A multi-ethnic coalition beats the white dude. Subtle.|
Astoundingly, the Alt★Hero project raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars in crowd funding, so I don't think Vox or his ideas are going away soon. After taking a look at his writings on comics and Alt★Hero, however, it becomes clear that despite a few decent ideas and some passable art, the current state of the project is bitter and flawed.
Growing resentment to the status-quo in comics probably explains Vox Day's Alt★Hero. Vox Day is a an Alt-Right culture warrior, and he sees comics as yet another battleground of societal influence that needs to be reclaimed from liberals. Therefore, Alt★Hero represents his attempt to enter into the fray. Some people, predictably, have immediately denigrated the enterprise, even though it hasn't even come out yet. To be fair, associating your comic with the Alt-Right is going to color your work before anyone has a chance to give it a fair shake.
First off, Vox's own words on comics are not very promising. He does not care about comics, but he believes that success will be determined by a mixture of arrogance and admitted ignorance. Pointing at his Amazon Kindle numbers, Vox claims that his approach of storytelling is a "fundamentally different approach to comic book storytelling than the standard presently being utilized by the industry as a whole." However, a closer look reveals that he's not doing anything really different, he's just got an audience that's willing to buy whatever he cranks out. He's getting the equivalent of a protest vote from consumers.
Vox wants to start a comic book revolution, even though he doesn't care about the medium apart from its value as a cultural battleground. Now where have we seen that kind of thing before? Oh right, we've seen it come from the very SJW practices that Vox is supposedly battling.
|I.C.E, I.C.E., baby...|
This particular bent will be accused by one side of the political system as racist, while the other side may agree with it wholeheartedly. Either way, this take is needlessly divisive and ignores what superheroes have always been about. Superheroes aren't necessarily liberal or conservative. In fact, I'd say they often straddle between the two sides of the political spectrum. Superheroes, unlike what you will hear from political ideologues, are a mix of conflicting political ideas. They often operate outside of the law; and yet, they often work to uphold a loose sense of humanitarian status quo. In this way, superheroes appeal to everyone, no matter your political persuasion. SJW comics have certainly lost sight of this truth; however, simply responding with an obnoxious political contrarianism is not the path to unite true fans of the genre. All you do is further divide the fandom.
It's a shame really, a sad waste of an opportunity. Having a regular superhero run into the immigration issue as presented from another political perspective might have been interesting reading. As we shall see in part two of this exploration of Alt★Hero, Vox is capable of nuance. Having a hero target illegal immigrants is hilariously tone deaf if you're trying to appeal to a wide audience.
Vox will not revolutionize comics with his approach. At best, he'll create a sub-niche of bitter contrarians who read his material to spite mainstream offerings. Hooray for comics.