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** Greg Rucka's The Hiketeia touches briefly on the poor treatment of sex workers by law enforcement and focuses heavily on how the line between justice and vengeance is not always so clear.

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!!Main: SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped

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* A number of Creator/ECComics in [[TheFifties the 1950s]]. In that era, ''doctors'' would appear in cigarette ''TV commercials'' telling people how healthy they were. EC in general (and ''Mad'' magazine more specifically) worked anti-smoking elements into their features quite frequently. Other notable aesops include:
** ''[[ Judgment Day]]'' features an astronaut from Earth refusing to allow a planet of robots whose society is [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything segregated along color lines]] to join a coalition of civilized species. The anvil is then hammered into the ground when the astronaut takes his helmet off and the reader discovers that [[spoiler:he is black]]. Its necessity was later proven by UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode Authority when the story was being anthologized, as they tried to tell EC editor Bill Gaines that the hero [[spoiler:''could not be black'']].\\
It also dropped a second and equally important anvil -- that segregation ''can'' be overcome. While the robots are refused membership to the coalition, the astronaut assures the robots that if they work at it, they can fix their social problems.
** ''[[ Master Race]]'' is about a German immigrant to America after World War II who is driven to near-madness because he believes he is being stalked by someone from the war. As the story unfolds, it is slowly revealed that [[spoiler:the man was a commander at Bergen-Belsen, and the man following him is a Jew he had tortured who had vowed revenge]]. The story is shot through with accurate descriptions and depictions of what occurred in the Nazi concentration camps, and was one of the first pieces in American popular culture to address the Holocaust at all.
* ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'', specifically the "Valerie" chapter, about a woman who had been a successful actress before the fascist regime slowly and cruelly destroyed her life, which ended in a concentration camp medical experiment, all because she was a lesbian. The narrative would not be half as effective if Moore had been subtle with it.
* Creator/WarrenEllis is big on these.
** The entire run of ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'' was a big, long, anvil about the importance of standing up for The Truth and speaking out for what you believe in, regardless of the personal consequences; and the evils of complacency and blindly accepting authority. Making the character who most embodied these principles a self-proclaimed bastard further emphasizes the already subtle-as-a-sledgehammer point.
---> '''Spider Jerusalem''': ''I'm sorry, is that too harsh for you? Does that sound too much like the Truth? Fuck you. If anyone in this shithole city gave two tugs of a dead dog's cock about the Truth, this wouldn't be happening.''
*** #40, "Business", is a stark look at child prostitution and the failings of underfunded social services. Despite the comic's post-cyberpunk setting, the story rings far too true. But the conclusion/anvil that the story comes to:
---> ''Why are your kids selling themselves on the streets? Because you completely fucked up the job of raising them.''
*** "Monstering" also has a good one about journalism and the duty of news media:
---> ''It's the Journalism of Attachment. It's caring about the world you report on. Some people say that's bad journalism, that there should be a detached, cold, unbiased view of the world in our news media. And if that's what you want, there are security cameras everywhere you could watch footage of.''
*** Another one was dropped by the Reservations:
---> "Remember the past, and learn from it, or you are doomed to repeat it."
** His run on ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}} is basically him railing against the aftermath of ''Comicbook/CivilWar'' - "No, the police should ''not'' be living tactical weapons roaming the streets looking for someone to wail on."
--> '''Joseph Swetnam:''' ''Justice, like Lightning, should ever appear. To few men's ruin, but to all men's fear...''
--> ''We applaud masked police beating the politically inconvenient in the street and then disappearing them.''
** ''ComicBook/BlackSummer'': A lot of people don't like the president, but only a giant prick would actually kill him.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica once was used quite often to address social issues. This tends to involve numerous misinformed people being led on by a few evil people against a few unfairly persecuted people, and Cap trying to resolve things.
** Cap tends to get [[BerserkButton really pissed off]] by [[MyCountryRightOrWrong blind patriotism]]. He doesn't just talk the talk, he [[WhatYouAreInTheDark walks the walk]]. Many storylines state that his {{Unobtainium}} shield is reinforced by American [[RightMakesMight righteousness]] as opposed to [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve ''self''-righteousness]].
--> ''"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world -- "No, ''you'' move.""''
** Another version was done in ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' #44, which involved Captain America being revived 'today' -- or, at least, well after a [[RedScare virulently anti-Communist]] version had laid claim to the shield and turned America into a rather unpleasant place to live. The resulting fight between the real Captain America and the John Birch Society knockoff was immediately followed by Cap delivering a WhatTheHellHero to the '''entire country'''.
--> '''Captain America:''' ''Without its [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism ideals]] -- its commitment to the freedom of all men, [[EagleLand America]] is a piece of trash!''
* In the 70's, a number of books like ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and ComicBook/TheFalcon'' and ''Comicbook/GreenLantern / ComicBook/GreenArrow'' tried to address racism. The stories were usually very heavy-handed, but it must be remembered that at that point there was very little diversity in comics to begin with, and children were still the primary audience. When trying to teach young kids about the horrors of bigotry, subtly wasn't necessarily the best route to take.
* ''Truth: Red, White & Black'' is very heavy-handed with its depiction of racism in the 1940's, but of course, the racism in that era was quite ferocious and appalling by today's standards. The actual plot, wherein we learn that the US government tested ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's [[SuperSerum Super Soldier Serum]] on a group of black soldiers, was directly inspired by the horrific [[ Tuskegee syphilis experiment]].
* Most of Creator/GrantMorrison's comics (most notably ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'' and ''Comicbook/FlexMentallo'') are tracts speaking against the Dark Age of comics, specifically the idea that comics should mirror RealLife in their violence and morally ambiguous attitudes. Morrison's takes on Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/{{Batman}} are extraordinarily optimistic and straight-forward; Franchise/{{Superman}} is often shown as a borderline God (especially in ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'') who tirelessly works toward the betterment of mankind, while Franchise/{{Batman}} represents the peak of human ingenuity and intelligence, who can break free from any trap and defeat any villain. The whole thing is a stark and welcome contrast to the Frank Miller ideal of the tortured outcast Franchise/{{Batman}}, and the ultimately ineffectual government puppet Franchise/{{Superman}}.
* The ComicBook/GreenArrow storyline where he discovers that his sidekick is addicted to heroin. During a time when the title had turned into a rather {{anvilicious}} series, this particular arc was exceptionally well done and considered a turning point in the character, the series, and even to some extent comics in general being a transport for serious issues. Several anvils are dropped -- not just drug-related ones, but Green Arrow's sense of betrayal of responsibility for his friend and his relationships with other superheroes. It's a remarkably deep arc during a time when most superheroes were just going "POW" at the villains.
* In the "Forever" story arc of ''ComicBook/{{Powers}}'', [[spoiler:Christian Walker]] goes to show his abilities to UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein, to ask what they are and where they came from. In their conversation afterwards, Einstein delivers an astoundingly good speech about the nature of the scientific attitude, and afterwards...
--> [[spoiler:'''Walker''']]''':''' I thought -- I thought maybe my story would ''upset'' you. I thought that I might be upsetting some of your theories of the--
--> '''Einstein:''' Listen to me, my new friend. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. Someone who can no longer pause to wonder, and stand rapt in awe, is as good as ''dead.''
* A meta example is the ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' comic book arc, [[! "Green Goblin Reborn!",]] where Spidey encounters the negative effects of drug abuse, with his friend Harry [=ODing=] on pills. Despite this, UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode Authority refused to approve the story for having ''any'' depiction of drug use -- even when it was peppered with {{Anvilicious}} anti-drug messages. Creator/StanLee decided to publish the stories without the [=CCA=] seal of approval, and the ensuing public support prompted the [=CCA=] to relax its overly-constrictive guidelines.
** On the subject of ''Spider-Man'', it dropped one of the biggest anvils of all: "With great power comes great responsibility."
** Still on the subject of ''Spider-Man'', though for the [[ComicBook/MilesMorales Miles Morales incarnation]], comes a moment where during a fight Miles' ruined costume reveals his skin color (though thankfully not his identity), and footage of this was uploaded on the internet by a girl who promptly start making a massive deal over the idea of a [[CaptainEthnic "Black Spider-Man"]]. Miles is understandably miffed by this, because for starters he's half-Hispanic and, although he doesn't put in the exact words, [[PositiveDiscrimination he doesn't want to be recognized simply for his race]] [[SkewedPriorities because it ignores all his accomplishments and actions in favor of something so trivial as skin color.]]
---> '''Miles Morales''': "This is- I don't want to be the ''Black Spider-Man''. I want to be ''Spider-Man''.
* Speaking of Creator/StanLee, he's made it clear that Marvel's staff runs the gamut of political beliefs, and that Marvel itself has no political stance... except for one ideal. Stan Lee always tried to push a message of tolerance in his work, and encouraged all of Marvel's staff to do the same, even if it makes some of their readers uncomfortable. While not everyone has followed this example, just the fact that he's encouraged such a message, and how he's fought for it so hard, lends weight to the anvil.
* The darkest story arc of ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMAX'', "The Slavers", includes a lot of information -- including a lecture, with slides -- about the sex slave trade. It's also the story wherein Frank is shown to be absolutely brutal and unrelenting, well beyond his normal extremes, exemplified with the line "It had been a long time since I had hated anyone as much as I hated them."
* The two issues of ''ComicBook/{{Zot}}'' in which [[spoiler:Terry comes out to herself and Woody pens an editorial about the attack on a young man presumed gay.]]
* The first story arc of ''WonderWoman'' Vol. 2 drops the same anvil as ''Film/TheDayAfter'', with Diana showing Ares that his plans to start World War III would leave him with nobody to worship him. Later, the "Who Killed Mindi Mayer" issue delves into drug use by revealing that [[spoiler:Mindi technically wasn't murdered; she died from a cocaine overdose before her attempted killer pulled the trigger.]]
* The moral of ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' is that morality ''is itself ambiguous''. Hammered home extra hard by [[spoiler:the death of Rorschach, perhaps the only remaining [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity morally absolutist]] vigilante.]]
--> [[spoiler:"I leave it entirely in your hands."]]
** Also, life is a precious, fragile thing, and we should be grateful for every day we get.
** [[KnightTemplar Moral absolutism]] is bad. So are rape and child abuse.
** Dr. Manhattan's story arc has a very touching moral that stands in defiance of most cynical viewpoints: sure, the universe can get along without us, but we are still unique, both as individuals and as the only sapient life-forms on the only planet known to harbor life, and we deserve to protect and care for it and each other.
* The whole reason X-Men exists: you shouldn't be afraid of someone because they're different. Different people are people too - some are bad, some are good, and some are neither. Don't pigeonhole huge groups of people.
** ''ComicBook/XMen'' is also largely about the world's "good" mutants managing to band together and prove to the world that their powers ''can'' be used for good, no matter how many psychopathic mutants decide to abuse their gifts. Even when mutants have every reason to hate humanity, and could conquer the world if they chose to do so, they are always capable of choosing a higher path and working for the good of society for no other reason than that ''it's the right thing to do.'' Example? Just check Magneto's track record.
** Another anvil dropped is that just because someone hates you does not mean you shouldn't do the right thing and help them.
* While the ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'' have been infamous for being {{Anvilicious}} in a negative way, one particular tract, "Why No Revival?", provided a positive one. Instead of criticizing unbelievers (or Catholics), in a tract that was explicitly directed at Christians (and states that it is NOT for the unsaved), he instead criticized Christians who were afraid to admit their faith and beliefs to their peers. In contrast, he shows the ancient martyrs who were under the threat of death and yet were not afraid to say that they were Christians. In the tract, he criticized the hypocrisies of some Christians and shows why many churches faced various spiritual problems and [[TitleDrop no revival]]. Even if Jack Chick is woefully out to lunch on a lot of things, he knows this topic very well.
* The main Aesop of ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' is that if you've made mistakes in the past, you shouldn't run away from them, but rather accept those flaws to become a better person and avoid making the same mistakes all over again.
* ''Comicbook/KingdomCome'' is a brutal, heavy-handed {{Deconstruction}} of the UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks with a decidedly apocalyptic tone that can come across as needlessly {{Anvilicious}} to modern comic fans. But considering [[UsefulNotes/TheGreatComicsCrashOf1996 the state of the comic book industry]] at the time of its publication, a subtler TakeThat might not have had the same effect. For this reason, many fans actually cite ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'' as the definitive end of the Dark Age.
* Early ''[[ComicBook/TwoThousandAD 2000AD]]'' strips could be very heavy-handed on the issue of FantasticRacism, but given the popularity of far-right groups in [[TheSeventies 1970s]] Britain and the views they held, it was an anvil that ''needed'' to be dropped.
** This still continues to recent strips: ComicBook/JudgeDredd, in one of his few truly heroic moments, ''forced'' Mega-City One to change its policies on {{Mutants}} at the risk of his own reputation and that of the Chief Judge.
** ComicBook/StrontiumDog deals with racism against mutants about as subtly as Wulf Stenhammer swings [[ICallItVera Der Happy Stick]], but considering that apartheid was still in full force, it was probably necessary.
* Comicbook/KittyPryde seems to have a gift for this:
** In one famous issue, after a mutant friend commits suicide over harassment, Kitty gives an impassioned speech about the nature of words and how they hurt, even rattling off a list of derogatory slurs to make her point.
** In another example, after being asked by an African-American man if she's a mutie, Kitty fires back asking if he's a nigger. When the man (obviously) takes offense, Kitty makes the point that the slur "mutie" is just as offensive to her.
** After the controversial "M-Word" speech scene in ''ComicBook/UncannyAvengers'' #5 that was full of UnfortunateImplications about minority politics, Creator/BrianBendis, himself a Jewish writer, responded in ''ComicBook/AllNewXMen'' #13 by having Kitty (a Jewish woman) give a page-long speech that highlighted everything that was wrong with said scene.
* Mark Waid dropped a lovely anvil in ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' #11, in which Daredevil delivered an epic TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to Comicbook/ThePunisher's female partner, shooting down her contention that heroes can only be driven by tragedy. Given the popular trend toward heroes being defined by tragedy, Daredevil's comments seem downright ''meta'';
-->"Don't you ever say that to me, ever again! That is a repellent statement. It's a vomitous insult to every cop, every fireman, every soldier who steps up to fight for those who can't! I am sorry for your loss, but if you genuinely believe that only the death of a loved one can motivate a human being to take up a cause... [[ShutUpHannibal then get your pathetic, cynical ass out of my way so I can do my job!]]"
* X-Men #141 and #142, the "Days of Future Past" arc, drops one hard, though not in words: Whatever resources you put into keeping another group down are unavailable for lifting yourself up. Hatred and prejudice are ''terrible'' bases for policy and society.
* In ''{{ComicBook/Violine}}'', the underlying themes are the evils of African dictatorships, the prevalence of death squads and endless revolutions, exploitation of the poor and African natives by powerful (white) European companies, and greed at the cost of third-world nations.
* ''ComicBook/{{Superman}}'' has enthralled generations of comic book readers for over half a century because his story is one of the most unsubtle and in-your-face arguments for the Power of Good in the history of fiction. Even with enough strength to rival most militaries, Superman selflessly works to protect people of every race, culture, class and creed, he turns aside every chance at using his gifts for wealth or power, and he acts with genuine compassion and humanity in all things--despite having been born on a world light-years from Earth. Why? Because doing the right thing is a '''choice''', and everyone is capable of making that choice. And from those who have much to give, much is demanded.
** He also touted [[ calling out discriminatory behavior]] ''in TheFifties''.
* The ComicBook/DisneyMouseAndDuckComics do it, once in a while:
** The underlying theme of the story "Paperinik il Diabolico Vendicatore" is that when you insult and humiliate someone continuously, one day [[WhosLaughingNow he may retaliate and make you pay with interest]] (the days of ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' are still away).
** The science fiction saga "The Frontier Chronicles" drop a big one when Mickey flunks the Academy in spite of his excellent grades because he's too short to be a space pilot and goes into depression, leaving his friends and reducing himself to a hobo: O'Hara tricks him into getting a job as an archivist and see reports of multiple tragedies to show him that "There's people who has it much worse, yet they don't give up but continue fighting! Thus you, honor student of the Academy, have no right to just give up like that!"
** Another from "The Frontier Chronicles", shown through Pete and Trudy's HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: you can't redeem those who don't want to be redeemed.
** ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' drops one in the one episode of the regular series where he appears: you are what you ''choose'' to be. Shown when [[spoiler:[[FutureMeScaresMe Trip's evil future counterpart]] and the whole BadFuture are undone by Trip simply declaring to his future self that he would never be like him]].
*** The same episode drops another: [[FailureToSaveMurder if you can stop a bad thing from happening but you don't, you're an accomplice]] and [[NeverMyFault blaming others for it will end to ruin you]]. After all, [[spoiler:it's Paperinik pointing out that the Gryphon, Trip's future self, could have used his TimeMachine to prevent his father's death instead of blaming it on Paperinik that prompts Trip to see the Gryphon as the monster he is, especially when someone completely different prevents the Raider's (Trip's father) death.]]

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