Books Apr 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm


Why would somebody write "two shits and an f-word?"

Proteus: because of Gawker Media's flaky profanity filter, I'm guessing.
stinkin' commies! Now they're infiltrating comics that children and obese men who've never been on a date read! Think of the fat losers!
Maybe my read of it was off, but it seems like the pitch could just as easily be read as a dystopian Marxism as a pro-Marxist parable: Dan the worker is clever enough to build the suit, but too dumb to know how to use it and needs the Union Rep (vanguard much?) to give him direction. In the name of working as a team, the major components of his suit (flying, aiming, fighting) are run by a committee of technocrats, the worker just becomes the pack mule for their collective aspirations. There were other socialisms and communisms before Marx, maybe it's time to dust some of them off?
Not to get tooooo nerdy, but there already was a Marxist Iron Man over 40 years ago:…
@3, Quick, we need to hold a new round of Comic Books Hearings.
If we're going that route @5, then we also have to include THIS "Marxist Iron Man" as well.
While I do wonder about the directions Marvel & DC have been going in the last few years, your two examples don't really do much to convince me.

Famous authors take on comic characters fairly consistently for both publishers, so a single failed pitch about an *in-canon* Marxist Iron Man just shows that Mievelle needs to take a different tack. As for Swamp Thing, that move by DC happened to a number of Vertigo characters during a minor shakeup last year. While it may have stalled out Mieville's project, I again fail to see how a mini-series alone would have brought in, and kept, new readers.
lwoekbi@4: afraid not. Mieville, while one of my favorite authors on many other grounds, is a dreary doctrinaire Trotskyist in his personal life. If he has a sense of humor or irony about left/rad politics, so far no instrument capable of observing it has been detected.
er, "...has been invented." Stupid brain.
@9: Skip Iron Council? I thought it was written from a point of view that was far from "doctrinaire Trotskyis[m]" with a definite sense of irony.
So, any word on the final casting for Ant Man?
Yeah, I'm sure once somebody explains facts to the nerds they will come right around and quit being pigheaded.
11: To each their own, but "Iron Council" was for me the low point of Mieville's politics dictating his plots.
I'd read Scrape Iron Man. And if you've ever picked up Orson Scott Card's Iron Man you'd know that Marvel has no problem blatantly injecting politics into Iron Man as long as they are Islamophobic!
I find Mielville's take on Marxism to be perfectly complimentary. In that Marxism is to Steampunk what, say, Anarchism is to Sword and Sorcery. Or Libertarianism is to Ayn Rand.

It's all fictional theorizing with only the thin hopes of the authors and readers to sustain it. Becuase trying to apply any of these ideas to real world problems on any sort of functional or sustainable scale rarely, if ever, works.

"Believing in Marxism" is like: I believe in the Star Trek Federation and faster than light travel... I know what that is. I can theorize about how I think it might work. I can find a bunch of people who think warp engines and Star Trek are all really cool. We can get together and draw neat-o diagrams of spaceships and write books and make movies all about this cool egalitarian future with spaceships.

But ultimately nobody is actually building a functioning spaceship that goes faster than light any time soon.

Nobody is building anything close to a nation-scalable functioning Marxist system any time soon (oh sure they say WHEN the current system collapses then "they" will get their chance - how Post-Apocalyptic Sci Fi is that!).

Not that I'd be against it -- if it could be proven to make me happier, why not. But right now nobody knows how to do it, what it would really look like, and nobody can prove it would make anybody, other than it's rabid Trekkies, any happier than our current flawed but somewhat functioning system.
Marx was more brilliant (however wrong he may have been about certain things) than pretty much all "super hero" comic book nerds combined.

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