Recently a comic book shop proprietor made a bit of a kerfuffle in the claim that DC Comics was blasphemous in depicting Superman, who was hit in the back with a bursting tank shell, taking a deity’s name in vain. Hilariously, the guy declared he was boycotting the DC Comics title.
In reading the new Action Comics #1, I myself didn’t take the “GD” uttered by Superman as blasphemous. Firstly, something is blasphemous only if you are negatively invoking something that exists. Since magic doesn’t exist, Grant Morrison and DC Comics were not doing anything in vain except for rebooting the DCU. Dramatically, it was most obviously a grunt. Admittedly, Superman often swore in comic books in a trend going back decades. In nearly every appearance he can be read taking the name of his personal lord and savior in vain whenever he expressed a “Merciful Rao” when surprised or injured. I notice that no one ever seemed to have a problem with it. Not too many Sun God followers out there read comic books, I guess.
Most ridiculous is a person who sells and presumably reads comic books getting all huffy about a supposed negative biblical reference. Comic books are nothing if not the kind of fantasy material typically frowned upon by the devout. Comics are full of examples of naughty ideas god-botherers hate such as magic, science, civil rights, witches, demons, talking animals, people that fly and false idols. It’s like a pornographer being offended by genitalia.
Indeed, the big cross-over event from Marvel of the last several months is a story of the Creator returning to Earth during the end times. Spoiler: It isn’t Jesus and his dad who shows up. Did this comic book guy previously voice any problem with the heresy of an entire line of books featuring an Asgardian pantheon? Probably not but all things being equal, he should have. Focusing on Action Comics #1 while ignoring all the other examples of “blasphemy” seems hypocritical and smells of a publicity stunt. But ranting online about Marvel being heretical likely would have resulted in a forum ban and not being taken seriously enough to have the local news drive up to the store with a camera.
But personal affronts aside Free Speech is allowed in this country. Along with saying what you ant in various formats one is also free not to pay any attention to it. Even if DC intended to blaspheme, then so what? It is fiction. It is also a word (among others) almost anyone would say if hit hard in the back. It isn’t like they included a racial slur or anything. For instance what would a real person say if slammed hard enough from behind to break the skin? I’m willing to show anyone who cares to find out. FYI, clicking on this NSFW Superman link is not compulsory. If easily offended, don’t click. If stupid, have someone else stop you from clicking. You are free to ignore it: Reaction #1 (Sept 2011).
But where the Action Comics #1 panel was a non-event there is something far more upsetting in many other DC Comic titles lately. If there is anything in comic books to circle the wagons for then it is the threat to modern civilization contained within this panel depicting Batman:
HRM is clearly a DC Comics typesetting contraction for Human Resources Management. Take it from one who has been there, HRM is one of the leading causes of corporate economic failure in our times. If businesses fail then so does America and then the world. HRM embodies a decay beyond the spiritual and including the term in comic books must be some kind of evil agenda to poison the minds of children and 50 year old men.
HRM positions are typically staffed by those who have nowhere to go, are on their way down and are too stupid to sign up for Welfare. HR Managers often hire the wrong people and the best employees are usually terminated from a company without cause. Outrageous policies are implemented like Health Care plans being offered to part time employees. Casual Fridays are stilled called Casual Fridays but business attire is mandatory, no jeans allowed. I don’t know why HRM is being promoted by the boys upstairs at DC Comics but it shows up in just about every title featuring Batman. “Business Blasphemy” is rampant at that company, much like how anti-christian themes are prevalent at Marvel. It seems counter-productive. Probably involved is a similar inverted thinking where religious fundamentalists exclusively recruit the crazy to publicize their cause. Kind of a two steps forwards, two steps back kind of approach to proselytizing.
Who knows what ultimate goal DC has in mind for their staffing requirements? But their anti-employee agenda goes against all intuitive processes in effectively training newly hired personnel. All I know is until DC reverses their position on Human Resources Management and apologizes I’m boycotting all the New 52 titles featuring members of the Bat Family.