It seems like everything is politicized these days, and comic books are no different. Some fans demand greater diversity in their comics while others think doing so will cause the downfall of the industry. But while this may seem like a recent phenomenon in the Trump era of political tribalism, Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Captain Marvel and Bitch Planet, says comic books have always been political.
In a new interview with Syfy, DeConnick was asked about the politics that influence comics. "When people are like ‘would you please get your politics out of of my comic books?’ I’m like ‘What comic books are you reading?!’ Where is this apolitical comic book?"
"I’m sorry to break this to you, but Captain America is a social justice warrior," she explained, knowing "SJW" is a loaded term. Kelly Sue DeConnick and other proud feminist, equal-rights-minded, progressive writers in the comic industry are often called "social justice warriors," or "SJW," derogatorily. "I know you mean that as an insult, but that is the definition of what [Captain America] is."
She went on to point out that even Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, could be considered a social justice warrior in his own right. "He gives a fuck! He cares about people who don’t happen to be wealthy actors. He cares about people who weren’t born with the privilege he was born with. And that is what Captain America does — Captain America stands up for what I think we wish this country was. The ideals we’ve always stood for, but not always acted on."
DeConnick had another message for her haters: "If you don’t like my politics, don’t buy my book. Problem solved."
Going into the idea of the "normal" comic book fan being a white male, DeConnick pointed out that stereotype is a recent one. "There is nothing inherently masculine about words and pictures. Nothing in the history of our industry is inherently masculine. This idea that heroism is inherently masculine is flawed thinking."
Lastly, she tackled some of the criticism books written by her and other female writers receive, which is that they are shoved down readers’ throats whether they like it or not. "[Those readers] feel that we are taking something away from them. I have no interest in taking your books. They’ll continue to make all of the books — you can have all the books you want. But I’d like there to be some others, too. I’m gonna make the books that I wanna make, and if you don’t want to read them, don’t read them."
Sounds simple enough.
Check out the interview below: