DC Comics and Batman writer Tom King had some pointed comments about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter and Julis Schwartz and Murphy Anderson’s Adam Strange.
In an interview with Newsarama promoting his upcoming Adam Strange series, King described John Carter and Adam Strange as “a metaphor obviously for colonialism.”
“The thing with Adam Strange is he’s from this long tradition of Flash Gordon and these sort of characters that live on our planet and they’re normal people and then they go off to another planet and they’re incredible people. Right? John Carter from Mars – it was like a common trope and it’s a metaphor obviously for colonialism. It’s that idea that the second son goes to India and becomes a king.”
He would elaborate that he wants to explore this metaphor in his upcoming Adam Strange book.
“I wanted to look at that metaphor and look at what it means to live these two lives – your fantasy life in one place and your real life in another place. And use that as a metaphor to look at where we are as a culture now, where our reality is clashing with our fantasy of ourselves.”
Does Tom King even know what colonialism is? For being a former CIA agent, he’s seems pretty ignorant.
Here’s a reminder for King on how the Oxford Dictionary defines colonialism:
“The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”
This is pretty much the opposite of what John Carter does. In a recent comic book series published by Dynamite Comics and written by Ron Marz, Dejah Thoris details that John Carter is actually fighting off an alien invading force that is enslaving the people of Barsoom.
And as Captain Joshua Clark of the Army of the Potomac explains this alien force moves from planet to planet. They invade it, conquer it, drain it of their resources, and then move on. He puts it plainly, “They will crush your entire world.”
And guess who is going to stop this alien invasion? I’ll just let Dejah Thoris say it:
“We won’t be conquered because of one man. He won’t allow us to fall, even if he is the last of us who stands. John Carter, Warlord of Mars.”
Like John Carter, Adam Strange does not practice colonialism. He was transported to the planet Rann via a “Zeta-Beam” that was deployed by the local inhabitants in an attempt to make contact with Earth. However, that Zeta-Beam was changed into a transportation beam bringing Strange to Rann.
After arriving on Rann and getting a little bit adjusted to his new surroundings, the planet comes under attack from alien invaders called the Eternals. Strange helps the locals fight off the invaders and comes to care for the planet and its inhabitants.
Neither John Carter nor Adam Strange engage in colonialism. They actively engage in helping their indigenous populations. They don’t bring in settlers in an attempt to exploit the area for resources. Instead, they help fight off invaders who are trying to do just that.
YouTuber Comics Matter w/Ya Boi Zack also notes that John Carter and Adam Strange are not metaphors for colonialism.
“It’s not obviously a metaphor for colonialism. It can be. Also, in Occam’s Razor’s finest point, it can just be the dream of ‘I’m ordinary where I am. What if I was extraordinary if I was somewhere else?’ That’s not about colonialism. That’s just a daydream.”
Tom King has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. It’s probably why the latest sales figures on Batman were almost below 60,000.
But it does appear that he plans on ruining Adam Strange’s character or at the very least completely disfiguring him so he’s unrecognizable.
What do you make of Tom King’s comments regarding John Carter, Flash Gordon, and Adam Strange?