Never say that comic books shouldn’t be political, because writers, fans, and press will prove you wrong. Earlier today, in response to Nazi/white supremacist rallies last night and today in Virginia, comics legend Gail Simone coined the hashtag #ComicsHatesNazis.
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) August 12, 2017
Predominantly, the tag does consist of panels of comics heroes beating up Nazis. It acts as a mood-booster for many in these trying times. For many, it reminds us that our heroes would stand with us, if they were real. Fans, creators, and members of the press have flocked to it in the last three hours. Beyond the pictures and Jack Kirby stories, some add calls to the Big Two to make more explicitly anti-Nazi content.
Simone herself has retweeted most of the hashtag, as well as tweeting extensively about the white-supremacist violence in Charlottesville. Other creators, like Ian McGinty, have also been vocal. In the film and TV sphere, Chris Evans hasn’t said anything himself on Twitter, but has been retweeting in support of the counterprostetors since last night.
That said, some reacted to the hashtag by pointing out Marvel’s Secret Empire, among other anti-Semitic recent or upcoming stories. For them, the hashtag feels like a hypocritical attempt at pacification. It’s important to recognize this, too — that recently, the Big Two have been pulling this in a number of ways.
But I want to point out, today, that Comics, as a medium, is more than Nick Spencer. It’s more than the studio and comics execs who greenlight stuff like Secret Empire and that Nightwing-is-a-fascist-in-the-future nonsense.
Comics, capital-C, is two young Jewish men creating a hero that would define both a medium, a genre, and in a lot of ways, a mainstream culture. Comics is a Jewish creative team having one of their heroes punch Hitler in the face when a fair part of the U.S. either sympathized with the Nazis or just didn’t care.
Comics is Magneto side-eying Red Skull during the Silver Age, and beating him to death in 2014. Comics is Kitty Pryde talking about how her faith is just as important to her identity as her mutation.
Comics is the fans, creators, and press people who want more than what we’ve been given lately.
We live in a world where we need these parts of comics more than ever. We live in a world where we need to fight to have them back, because the execs have either forgotten where the medium comes from, or they’re actively courting terrible people for money. We live in a world that needs these conversations. I think we live in a world, frankly, that needs #ComicsHatesNazis.
So let’s have them. Let’s raise our voices in solidarity with the best of Comics, and in opposition to the worst of it.