Thursday, May 1, 2008

Comics and Conflicts

Siskoid made the claim that World War II is the best known war. I'd like to note that that attribute has some roots in something Chris said in that WWII "was the last 'good' war" fought and won by the US (and its Allies). Other conflicts, as mentioned, weren't so seemingly tidy or clear cut. It's a no-brainer that comics would be much different had WWII been lost.

However, an interesting corollary to this was mentioned by Chris and Smacky with Transformers and Iron Man taking place during the current Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, respectively. Granted Transformers wasn't centered on the war, just taking place in the area for part of the movie. Tony Stark allegedly has a run in with Osama bin Laden in Iron Man, which could possibly be chalked up as a bit of propaganda but I haven't seen the film yet.

With WWII being the first and only mass media war to be won by the US, it was essentially romanticized, as Siskoid mentioned, paving the way for creative liberties like monsters and such without much of a fuss. This is one of the reasons we haven't seen much in the way of Revolutionary War or WWI weirdness.

For now, WWII remains the virtual golden child where bizarre war fiction is concerned. While we might occasionally see anomalies, it's pretty safe to say the widespread wackiness inserted into WWII won't ever be repeated with conflicts since.


smacky said...

The fact that the actual Iwo Jima photo on which the statue is based was actually posed, since the photog missed the actual planting of the flag blows my mind. So the photo and statue, as inspiring as they are, are a piece of war propaganda circulated to raise morale.

Wes said...

I dunno -- if we can ever get the frick out of Iraq, I wouldn't be surprised to see generic terrorists getting the fictional attention generally reserved for Nazis in thirty years or so.

Not that Nazis will ever go away, of course!

De said...

Terrorists are a bit of a different animal. Cobra and the other enemies of G.I. Joe have been mainstream for over 25 years now. The current G.I. Joe comics (the World War III storyline) have Cobra actually taking over parts of the world, including the United States. However, this was accomplished through conventional means not through weather dominators, mutagenic spores, or other concepts commonplace in the '80s cartoon series.

Some of the post-1994 comics have had some batshit insane concepts like android troops and clones of clones (Serpentor, a composite clone, was resurrected several times) but these stories were never tied into the current US War on Terror. Iraq War, or Afghanistan War. However, part of the World War III story oddly takes place near Darfur of all places.

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