Monday, May 24, 2004

Coming to terms with terror: At Ninth Art, Chris Ekman wonders why comics aren't realistically addressing terrorism:

"The highest-profile post-9/11 attempt came, naturally, in CAPTAIN AMERICA, in a 2002 arc written by John Ney Reiber that pitted the patriotic hero against a stand-in for Osama bin Laden, but nonetheless attempted to be even-handed. Paul O'Brien wrote an admirable and comprehensive takedown of the story at the time; for this article, I only need to talk about the villain, Faysal al-Tariq.

"In his showdown with Cap, al-Tariq explains that he hates America because his poor unnamed country-of-origin was used as a proxy battleground in the Cold War, and American-funded guerrillas murdered his father as he was out tilling the fields. This in no way resembles the actual experience of bin Laden, member of a wealthy and highly-favoured commercial family in Saudi Arabia, then as now one of the US's most cosseted client states. Apparently Reiber - or quite possibly his editor - can't imagine anybody hating America without having been personally wronged by it."