Anyone who says comics rot the brain, corrupt readers’ morals and fail to teach a damn thing, first of all, must be a Republican congressman from the 50s. Second of all, they are simply wrong. There is plenty to learn from comics, especially from the major “events” like Civil War, Blackest Night, Fear Itself and Flashpoint. Primarily, events are a way for DC and Marvel to whore out extra comics to their dedicated legions of fans, ensuring a sweet bottom line in a world where print is ailing. But hey, who cares – some sweet stuff comes out of it (like Spider-Man’s first issue of his Fear Itself imprint).
But, for the person willing to look deeper, there is quite a bit to learn from these events.
Brought about in the post-9/11 paranoia era, Civil War taught us what fear-based government regulation can do to a society and the people within it. Suddenly, heroes that the public knew and trusted were branded criminals, and heroes and civilians alike were left to choose a side. It showed what fear-based policies can do to a society – divide and destroy. It showed that a culture based on hatred of the unknown can lose sight of rationality pretty damn quick. Clearly, nobody learned sweet nothing from it, since Stephen Harper now has a majority.
When your friends come back from the dead, they will generally come back with a real pissy attitude. Also, there is more than one emotion worth harnessing the power of. In fact, there are approximately a shit-tonne, and not all of them are good. Who knew?
But really, the main takeaway value of Blackest Night is that you should be wary of seemingly trustworthy shrunken little blue men with face scars. They always wreck shit. If you learn nothing else worth taking away, that would be it. You will lead a happy, prosperous life if you follow that rule.
In an era where politicians and corporations cultivate the fear of everyday folks for their own personal gain, it is possible to overcome your fears and go on to do great things. Fear need not motivate every decision, and when it becomes a primary motivator, terror ensues. The possibilities of a society ruled by fear are on display in Fear Itself, and it is something worth noting for all the Tea Party voters out there.
When someone travels through time to get revenge on you, it usually results in the history of the entire world being rewritten. Also, your cool chick friend will start dressing weird and acting like a crazy bitch.
Okay, the real lesson is, if you wear an eye patch, don’t attempt to be a Somali pirate. Wonder Woman will board your boat and then (maybe) kill you or something.
Or maybe it’s that misguided vengeance is a dish best served in reverse.
Yep, that’s it.