REVIEWS: Russell's Reviews, Volume One # 6

EDMLite robrogers72 at
Mon Feb 11 16:29:43 PST 2008

On Feb 11, 10:47 am, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:
>    The basic premise of the genre-- that people can
> make a difference and that good triumphs over evil--
> is frankly irreconcilable with this most extreme
> version of the Evil Government trope.  The only times
> the trope has really worked-- the Secret Empire
> storyline, though it has not aged particularly well,
> is one of those times-- is when the Evil Government
> is, to some degree, thwarted.  While Nixon's legacy
> might remain intact, covered-up by the government, the
> threat of the Secret Empire is over and Captain
> America's good name restored-- even if he chooses to
> abandon it for the duration of the next storyline.
> Order is restored, and in many ways, superhero stories
> are about the restoration of order and the correcting
> of injustices.

As always, Tom, a very thoughtful and
thought-provoking series of reviews.  Here's
my two cents on what makes the current
Evil Government storyline different
from the Secret Empire arc, and why I
think it might be particularly relevant

In Secret Empire (and most other conflicts
between a super-hero and an Evil Government),
the public is somehow duped or brainwashed
into voting the Evil Government into power.
What's implied is that no one in their right
minds would have supported these monsters
if they had known how bad they really were.

Hex Luthor is similarly duplicitous. And
yet, I get the sense that the people of the
Loonited States might vote him into office
a third time EVEN IF they knew how bad he
really was.

Why?  Because the residents of the LSA
might well believe that an Evil
Government might do better than the
super-heroes at protecting them from
the dangers threatening the universe,
precisely because that government
is willing to do things that heroes
won't.  (Even Irony Man seems to
believe this; if I'm reading Arthur's
story right, it's the reason why he
goes along with Hex's plan).

My guess is that by the end of Beige
Midnight, the people of the
Looniverse (and the readers) will see
that it's possible for good to defeat
evil without embracing the methods
used by evil.

My hope is that those of us in
the "real world" will come to
believe the same thing, and
cast our collective votes for
heroes, rather than those who
exploit our fears in order to
justify their actions.

Then again, I had the same
hope in 2004...

--Rob Rogers

More information about the racc mailing list