Okay, this is going to be part essay, part rant. Feel free to disagree, and tell me I’m wrong; this is just my opinion.
I’ve heard a lot of people tell me they don’t like it when modern comic writers/artists/creators put political undertones into their works. I completely disagree. A comic (or any other work of art, for that matter) can never transcend pure entertainment without a statement, and particularly with comics released on a month-to-month basis, politics are an extremely fertile ground.
Green Lantern/Green Arrow was really the first time where it was overt; where the heroes tackled the issues themselves, as opposed to some analogy made into a tangible villain. But the ‘50s and the ‘60s has comics FULL of politics, trying vainly to hide themselves behind a veil of metaphor. Do you think Steve Ditko would have created the Question if not for him to serve as a megaphone for his Randian philosophies? Do you think Joe Simon wrote Prez for any other reason than to expose readers of the time to his views on then-current topics of debate? Heck, to veer into manga for a second, Astro Boy (or Mighty Atom, if you prefer) was all about politics. Robots were stand-ins for minorities (much like Marvel’s contemporary heroes, the X-Men) struggling for rights in a world that had designated them to be used merely as cogs in a grander machine. I agree that there are times when integrating politics into a fictional narrative can be ruinous, if it is done too overtly, or, by contrast, not overtly enough, but in a scenario like that it isn’t the existence of politics that is the problem, but the way they’re being handled.
There has never been a time where comics weren’t political. This isn’t new. It’s not “forced diversity”, or “liberal agenda pushing”, it’s simply creators expressing their views on society through the work they create, like they always have. If you don’t agree with the philosophy, don’t read the book. Find a different series. Find a different author. Or artist. Or creator. I guarantee there’s one out there. In the meantime, I’ll be reading Mark Russell’s new Riddler one-shot.