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'Literally shaming the reader': Batman writer says comic books weren't always woke; now characters are 'professional victims'
Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images

'Literally shaming the reader': Batman writer says comic books weren't always woke; now characters are 'professional victims'

Celebrated comic book writer Chuck Dixon argued that while comic books haven't always been woke and progressive, many have turned into the personal point of view of writers who shame readers with the political opinions of the author.

Dixon, who has written for Marvel and DC Comics dating back to the 1980s, has worked on iconic characters such as Batman and the Punisher.

While routinely taking fan questions on his own series called "Ask Chuck Dixon," the writer was asked about the idea that comic books have always been "woke/political." The fan added that he thought the X-Men in particular weren't always politically correct and "definitely NOT woke."

"It’s funny, isn’t it? The thing about wokeism, and political correctness, and all the rest of it is the goalposts are always moving," Dixon replied, according to Bounding into Comics.

Dixon then remarked how X-Men comic book writer Chris Claremont turned the characters into "professional victims" but was still criticized by progressives. Claremont came under fire in 2022 after he gave "inflammatory remarks" at a comic book event.

The writer reportedly referred to slavery in a fictional setting and jokingly corrected himself after referring to the movie "Men in Black," saying, "sorry, Persons in Black."

"I don’t know Chris Claremont’s politics, but I’ll bet you he was pretty much in line with the woke crowd until whatever it was he said or did made them turn on him," Dixon said on the podcast. "When you take the X-Men, the original X-Men, in particular, who I saw as a pack of whiners, and now you make them victims, like professional victims," he continued.

After explaining how he felt characters like Superman aren't inherently political but rather work within reasonably objective truths (such as disliking a greedy landlord), he commented that there isn't an excuse for writers to inject their political agenda and point of view into superheroes.

"Maybe politics are part of a story, but that doesn’t excuse you injecting your agenda, your political agenda, your personal point of view into superhero stories and telling the reader what to think or shaming the reader, or literally shaming the reader," he stated.

He then called it "divisive" when writers dictate political stances through comic book characters' mouths.

"Telling readers that if you don’t agree with my political stance or the political stance that I’ve put in the mouth of Wolverine or Batman, then I don’t want you reading my comics, it’s divisive," Dixon continued. "Comics were never meant to be divisive; they have universal themes. And there are characters you agree with and characters you don’t."

Dixon also described the difference between political injections and characters that have always been inherently political. The Daredevil has "always been the bleeding-heart liberal. [The Punisher] has always been the direct opposite," he explained.

The point to comic books, Dixon added, is to create fiction that the reader can escape into.

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