Friday, 7 January 2011

Fictional Furore

A (admittedly miniscule) blogo-furore has sort of erupted over the inclusion of a so-called muslim character as a Batmen-franchisee operating in France.

You’ve really got to love those passionate folks who wrote in their (to me, somewhat bigoted) views on the wrongness of such a move given that there is no actual person in fact.

22-year old Bilal Asselah aka Nightrunner is no more real than Bruce Wayne aka Batman will ever be. There a predictably muslim villain going by the name Colonel Abdul al-Rahman as part of the Liberators in Ultimates 2, so what is the big deal in having one as the front line good guys anyway?

Comics – fiction and fantasy that they are – can sometime be reflective of reality in the hands of great writers.

I still remember a Peter David’s Incredible Hulk take on the issue of HIV. A single issue with no preaching, and no answers pushed. Just like things are in real life.

The problem here is that the comics institution is pretty much localized.

Western comics – DC, Marvel, Dark Horse etc – are steeped in the ideals encompassed in Christianity, liberal, democracy etc.

Heck, our very own Zoy – whose super-skillful pendekars graced the Sunday pages of Berita Harian – infuses Malay, Islamic ideals in his fictional character.

Breaching these set barriers can be thus quite blasphemous in the eyes of chronically stoic-minded fans.

Do I think it’s a good idea to have Nightrunner @ France Batman?

Not really. It is after all so easy to run awry of ideals.

Hell, the character Batman himself is an anarchist, who skirts the law as best as he can. Sure, he doesn’t kill, but he bashes them all the same and do employ dubious methods in combating the so-called villains in his storyline, doesn’t he?

Bilal Asselah’s bashers do not need to worry as they will be times when the faith, belief of the French will be put to the test.

How the writers will tackled this eventuality will depend very much on their own set of beliefs and faith, won’t it?

Lighten up, dudes.

It is Comics after all.

Or would you rather than something like the Comics Code incident to recur?

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