Monday, February 1, 2010

Teen Titans 1, Grant Morrison 0

I'll be honest.  I hate it when politics get brought up in comics.  99% of the time, the writer will misrepresent the opposing viewpoint, end up being preachy, get the facts wrong, or it will interfere with the story.

I like Grant Morrison's writing.  I don't believe he's a veritable god of comics like some people seem to think, but he's definitely produced quality material.  Animal Man is perhaps one of my favorite series that I've read of his, but it's very preachy at points and it suffers for it.  The worst part has to be Animal Man becoming a vegetarian.

I am not a vegetarian, but I have a great deal of respect for people who are willing to completely change their diet in order to do what they believe is right.  That shows real commitment to their beliefs.  However, Animal Man is a Grade A asshole about the whole thing.

He forces his family to adopt his new eating habits, including his wife.  She is noticeably ticked, but he doesn't care and continues to toss out meat in spite of her objections.  Later, he lectures his son because his son had the gall to eat a hamburger.

Like I said before, I respect vegetarians.  However, I have zero respect for people who attempt to impose their beliefs on others.  If you want others to adopt your views, you don't just force them.  You talk to them.  You tell them what you believe and why, and give them a compelling reason to consider your point of view.  Animal Man imposes his beliefs on his wife and kids with no regards for their opinions or beliefs.  And the story treats it like this is a good thing!

With all due respect, Mr. Morrison, if I wanted a sermon, I wouldn't be reading a comic.  I'd be in church.

Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum is Beast Boy from the Teen Titans animated series.  He is a vegetarian because as he puts it in one episode "I've been most of these animals."  Which makes sense.  I don't think I could look at pork the same way if I'd spent time as a pig.

Although Beast Boy does attempt to win the Titans over to the "soybean-y goodness" of tofu, he's not a jerk about it.  If the others are having meat, he'll fix something else for himself, although he will object if the others want to order meat on a pizza that's for all of them.  He doesn't harrass them about their food choices, and they don't harrass him about his.

Raven said it best (in response to Beast Boy offering her tofu burgers): "I respect the fact that you don't meat.  Please respect the fact that I don't eat fake meat."

Maybe someone should buy Morrison a Teen Titans DVD.  He might learn something about respecting other people's beliefs.

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