Holy Terror, Batman!


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Great column, Chris! Several times throughout I literally found myself exclaiming, "Whoa!" Like when the KKK password changed, and still found its way into the following week's show. This led me to wonder when / if other comic books and comic book characters have changed the world. Maybe this could be the subject of another column, eh, Mr. Brosnahan?

I do have some questions:

Why did the Klan believe Kellogg's would pull their sponsorship? Were they previously Klan-friendly? And though I believe you (and your sources) when you say that membership (both new and old) dropped, some hard stats would have driven the point home.

Did Stetson ever suffer any Klan-led repercussions?

When did Superman KO Hitler? You wrote:

And it's true — Superman did punch out Hitler.


Batman, Superman and Robin didn't go and serve. For a number of reasons they fought the war from home... partially since the writers and artists who were crafting the stories weren't serving, it could be seen as somewhat hypocritical for them to write stories about people who were fighting....

And finished with (note the part in bold):

Now, you can look back at World War II, where you had Superman punching out Hitler (which he didn't do in the comics), and you could see Batman on a poster with the slogan "Bash a Jap Today."

Was it on the radio show, the cartoon, a poster?

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Thanks, Yoda - let's see if I can answer your questions.

The 'supes KOing Hitler bit' happened on the covers. They had stuff happening at the time in the covers which weren't happening in the comics - especially on the covers of 'Worlds Finest'.

Kellogs weren't Klan friendly, but the Klan believed that they were very powerful, especially around Atlanta - an early form of pressuring the market (the PTC, for a more current example). They hadn't really tried something like this before, and Kellog's just told them where to go.

Stetson, to the best of my knowledge, never received any Klan-led retribution. And there are more in the way of hard figures in 'Freakonomics'. I tried very hard to not quote too much from the book, particularly in a way involving numbers, since it would have felt a touch too much like plagiarism. It's a good book, incidentally.

Incidentally, Yoda cut a small section of the comic, which was basically a paragraph or two of me going off on a tangent about 'Preacher' - which was completely the right call to make. If I'd made my point better with it - which was that even now, comic books can reinforce things like how the Klan are perceived, and my own perception of the Klan being coloured (no pun intended) by the 'Salvation' storyline in reacher - then it would have been okay to have kept in. As it was, it was clumsy, and that was a great editorial move.

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Excellent column Chris. I had vaguely read somewhere about their being episodes of the Superman radio series where he fought the Klan, but I had no idea how important that was. As for Holy Terror, I'm thinking it could be really good or it could suck, won't know which till more info comes out.

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