In the wake of comics legend Steve Ditko’s passing, reader Man of the Atom shares a Ditko story that’s downright prescient in light of the culture war being waged in comics–and all media-today.
The following excerpts are taken from the plot synopsis of Blue Beetle #5 from November, 1968.
At a Hub City art museum, critic Boris Ebar lectures his students on the misshapen, dirt-colored piece known as “Our Man”: “This anonymous work is a perfect example of art that reveals the true spirit of man…man as he really is.” Ebar highlights the missing eyes and heart, as well as the closed hands that symbolize, “man’s inability to solve or control the illusion we call existence.”Passer-by / art lover / part-time action hero Ted Kord comments to his companion Tracey that it’s a shame that a majority fo the folks gathered around Ebar seem to support that claim. One of those in agreement with the poor state of man is the gorilla-faced Hugo, the artist behind “Our Man,” who thinks to himself: “That’s exactly how I feel! Man is an incompetent nothing in a world of mystic terrors…all without meaning or purpose!”
The Hub City art museum seems to be the action hero hangout, as none other than Vic Sage drops by. Ebar calls out to Sage for support in his argument, but Sage will have none of it: “Your views and that thing belong on a junk heap! But it’s perfect for all of you…perfect for self-admitted nothings who have nowhere to go in their world of nothing!” Kord tells Tracey that he’d prefer Sage’s company to Ebar’s, and they venture in to the next exhibit, where more heroic pieces are on display. These, says Kord, are representative of an artist who thought better of the world.
FYI, Vic Sage is the civilian identity of Ditko’s cult favorite creation The Question, whom Alan Moore tried and utterly failed to undermine with his intended parody character Rorschach.
On a relevant side note, it’s eerie how Sage’s scathing denouncement of Hugo’s nihilistic art sounds a lot like someone else’s critique of two recent sci-fi movies. And no, I hadn’t read this issue of Blue Beetle before now.
Normies often ask me why SJWs purposefully run the IPs they usurp into the ground. Why do they lust after the destruction of beauty and truth to the exclusion of making a profit? Steve Ditko knew the answer fifty years ago.
But the group of nihilist beatniks that follow Ebar’s opinion find the room of heroic art unbelieveable — suitable only for fairy tales. Not only that, but the art is offensive to them; it represents what they feel they can’t be. Sage opines: “It’s so unfair, isn’t it! You can’t have what you want and wishing for it should be all the effort you need to get anything.”
I already admired Vic Sage. Now I find my high regard for this character blossoming into full-fledged love. #nohomo.
Our guy Vic even knows the correct answer when Lefty demands an apology.
Kord thanks Sage for standing with him, and Sage insists that it should be the other way around — Kord saved an inspiring piece of art. Ebar suddenly appears at Sage’s shoulder, demanding an apology for the earlier embarrassment, but Sage retorts: “I owe you nothing! How you feel about your own evaluation of art is your business! Don’t try to use me to foster your opinions!”
From now on, I plan to keep a text file full of Question quotes handy for arguing with SJWs on Twitter.
Yet Blue Beetle Ted Kord is not to be outdone by the Question’s high T exploits.
Meanwhile, “Our Man” rampages through a Hub City park, destroying statues of town heroes. The beatniks have assembled there and cheer on the sculpture-on-sculpture violence. As a police officer protects a passing woman and her child from the falling debris, Beetle swoops down from the Bug to save the day: “You seem to get your kicks out of destroying. I get mine from kicking the destroyers.”
Conservatives take note. When Blue Beetle sees a Leftist vandal tearing down a statue in the public square, does he balk at getting involved for fear of “sinking to the SJWs’ level”? Does he argue against intervention because “That’s not who we are?”
No. He enthusiastically answers the nihilist iconoclast in kind. He is the model of the happy warrior because beautiful, truthful art has inspired him with confidence in the civilization he defends.
In this issue, Ditko even features a proto-SJW hatemob and once again shows the Question responding accordingly.
Vic Sage agrees to cover the exhibit containing “The Unconquered,” which ticks off the supporters of “Our Man” to no end. Ebar and his critic pals get together to threaten to force Sage’s sponsors to drop out. Ho-hum, that again? Sage tells them to mind their own business.
Today the preferred nomenclature is “Fuck Off,” but it was a more polite time.
He’s confronted by Ebar, who says he’s gotten two sponsors to drop Sage’s show in Hub City. But Sage replies, “If sponsors or anyone else lets you do their thinking for them, they’re in trouble, not me!”
ZFG Question FTW!
Truly Steve Ditko was a man ahead of his time. Go seek out his work, and for a decidedly non-political action-adventure romp, check out my award-winning Soul Cycle.
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