As times change, so do the comic books that so many fans celebrate. Of course, some of these changes might not be what audiences are looking for. This appears to be the case with a new Batman comic, Batman: Fortress #1, which reveals the titular character fleeing from a group of Antifa and Black Lives Matter style rioters.
The social commentary begins when the titular superhero needs to investigate an alien interference causing global blackouts. At the same time, all of Arkham Asylum’s prisoners are released unto Gotham City. With that in mind, he notices rioters waving weapons and looting buildings. Nevertheless, Batman doesn’t believe the Antifa styled rioters are his top priority and he decides not to intervene.
In fact, Batman has the following inner monologue:
“Haven’t seen a night like this in a while. Last time it was this bad was with that damn fear gas in the water supply. Only so much I can do. Need to prioritize. Hunt the big fish. Protect the little fish.”
“These places all have insurance. Not my job to protect their profit margins. In my father’s day, the American Dream used to mean something. An honest wage for honest work. Food on the table. Liberty and justice for all. Now it’s an illusion, a carrot on a stick, attainable by a few, dangled just out of reach for everyone else.”
“A bigger TV. A faster car. Shiny objects to keep the masses distracted, while the world burns. You want to blame them for grabbing the carrot when the lights go out? Go ahead. But don’t look to me to stop them. That’s not why I do this,” he concludes.
This caused backlash by some fans, a sample of which you can see below:
Interestingly, writer Gary Whitta has commented on some of the resulting complaints. Whitta responded on Twitter by saying:
“Any negative review I get from a right-wing critic who can’t stomach the thought that Bruce Wayne might have a social conscience goes into my positive review file. Thanks for this!”
He added the following thoughts in a later post:
“I honestly didn’t expect it to be that controversial but some readers *really* didn’t like the choice Batman made in Fortress #1 to pass up putting a beatdown on people stealing big-screen TVs and saving a busload of kidnapped schoolchildren instead. Telling…”
Of course, as with most stories, there are always flaws in the logic. Whether or not that ruins or makes this comic book for some fans is up to the individual to decide.
Gary Whitta wrote Batman: Fortress with artwork from Darick Robertson.