The release of the last Batman (The Dark Knight Rises) triggered a fierce media debate about Christopher Nolan’s political intentions. Was his Batman defending against the values of conservatism? The hysteria reached its peak when the villain’s name, Bane, was associated with the name of a company founded by Mitt Romney (Baine Capital). Chuck Dixon, the co-creator of Bane, had to make a public statement to declare his conservative beliefs (Jozef Siroka, « Batman ne porterait pas le carré rouge », www.lapresse.ca, July 24, 2012).
This is reminiscent of when Frank Miller harshly denounced the Occupy movement, a position that was then criticized (Brent Chittenden, “Oh Frank Miller… Creators and Politics,” November 17, 2011, www.comicbookdaily.com “Watchmen Writer Alan Moore Set to Occupy Comics After Spat With Frank Miller”, www.geeksofdoom, December 6th, 2011). However, as Sara Lima pointed out, V for Vendetta remains an excellent comic even if Alan Moore claims anarchy as the best form of government (“Do Politics in Comics Alienate Readers?” www.comicvine.com, October 6, 2011).
We feel that a work of art should never be crushed under the weight of political or social metaphor. Otherwise, the characters become unmoored from reality and their sole purpose is to be spokesmen for the author. Authors who want to deliver a strong social or political message should consider essay writing.