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Author Tract / Comic Books

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  • All America Comix is Joe Casey's treatise on how his version of America Chavez was new and revolutionary and that other America Chavez (i.e. the one popularized by Kieron Gillen) is a pale imitation.
  • Lampshaded by Grant Morrison when they literally show up in Animal Man to (among other things) mention that they feel their own writing for the book has become too preachy and contrived. Also deconstructed, as they note a potential hypocrisy in the way they rather self-righteously used Animal Man as a voice box for their own feelings about animal rights and vegetarianism while at the same time using their position of author to inflict numerous cruelties on the character (including the horrible murder of his family), which suggests both a similar sadistic impulse to inflict harm from a position of power onto something which can't fight back and consequently a lack of high ground from which to pompously lecture the audience about their potential moral failings.
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  • The Avengers (Jason Aaron) #20 is pretty much an entire issue dedicated to Aaron using Jennifer Walter/She-Hulk to deliver a meta-mockery of everyone who has criticized his run on her. The most infamous highlight has to be the sequence where she notes that Bruce Banner once confessed to envying her, because her Hulk form was far less threatening and more socially acceptable than his own deformed and monstrous body — and she, incensed by it, retorted by complaining to him how her form was less frightening, but she was also the target of constantly being hit on by her allies, lusted after by civilians, exploited by sleazy paparazzi, and groped during her fights with supervillains. The issue literally concludes with her stating that she loves being ugly and scary like Bruce, and she wouldn't go back to her older She-Hulk bodies if she had the choice.
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  • This is a major theme in Hellblazer. Since the beginning of its publication, writers have been putting their own political and philosophical British ideals in it, and since it follows real time than Comic-Book Time, a lot of those ideals are coming from what was happening in the then-contemporary UK. Examples of this include Jamie Delano's negative views of Thatcher's regime and by 2005, includes the War against Terrorism. When Garth Ennis took over writing, he included racism, drugs, and religious fanaticism, which were popular at that time. The most controversial writer, Brian Azzarello, tackled issues such as Neo-Nazism, prison rape, and homosexuality. During Warren Ellis' run, he included American school shootings in a one-shot issue which led to a major controversy. As such, much of Hellblazer's horror often arises from the crises and controversies of its time.
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  • Dave Sim's Cerebus the Aardvark eventually came to be dominated by Sim's viewpoints on the evils of feminism and his rather unusual take on the Abrahamic religions. An entire story arc was dominated by the title character reinterpreting pretty much the entire Torah.
  • Jack Chick's Chick Tracts are literally religious tracts in the form of comics. They contain thin stories to provide a framing story for an illustrated extract from The Bible and/or rant about how The Pope secretly rules the world and Dungeons & Dragons is a Satanic indoctrination tool. One tract explains where the idea came from — Communist China found that Western children loved reading comics, so they decided that easy-to-understand comics would be an excellent medium with which to indoctrinate the people.
  • The Invisibles was basically created as a way for Grant Morrison to explain their experiences with extraterrestrial contact and magic.
  • JLA: Act of God is entirely devoted to saying that Batman is right and the only way to fight crime is by being a normal vigilante with no special abilities. And also that superheroes are arrogant because only God should have power, it even goes so far as to have Wonder Woman convert to Catholicism, in spite of her being an Amazon, who has met Greek gods before. Worse when you consider that God explicitly exists in the DC-verse and clearly knows about and approves of them, even empowering some and taking a "light touch" approach supporting others.
  • David Mack's Kabuki started out as action-adventure (though already with some genre savviness and self-reflexivity) and eventually became a meditation on producing independent art (turning the self-reflexivity and self-reference up to 11).
  • Liberality for All is basically one long super-conservative author tract which posits the idea that the UN and Democrats want to put terrorists in charge of the United States. And that only a superhero team made up of a Fox News Channel talk show host and two conservative talk-radio hosts/convicted felons — all with Cyborg Artificial Limbs — can save us all.
  • Friends Forever Issue 14 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, according to author Jeremy Whitley, was written to address what he believed were Unfortunate Implications from the episode Dragon Quest. There are even moments where Mina, the character Jeremy created for the comic, goes as far as to stare at the viewer and bluntly declare his views to the reader while Spike effectively just nods and agrees.
  • Sky Doll by Barbara Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci often veers into this territory, which the overall story could be interpreted as an author tract against all religion in general.
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose often preaches about how Wicca is more inclusive and tolerant than other religions... and how intolerant those other religions are towards Wiccans.
  • "The Truth for Youth" by Tim Todd are comics done featuring Japanese-style characters talking about the evils of things like porn, drugs, and evolution.
    Rashad: Did you know that evolution is basically a racist concept? Some evolutionists still teach that white people evolved from "negroes" who evolved from apes — meaning "white people are more evolved!"
  • One of the reasons William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman was to convince everyone to come under "submission to loving authority" and how a "loving matriarchy" would be a superior, peaceful world government. Oh, and bondage is highly enjoyable. Subsequent writers mostly ignore all this.
  • In a borderline case, Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics was an incisive analysis of comics as a medium (though not without its own agendas and prejudices), while the 'sequel,' Reinventing Comics is much more of a personal manifesto.
  • Dwayne McDuffie would often include his thoughts on race relations in his work. One of the more notable examples would be an issue of Icon which talked about the historical importance of the Blaxploitation superheroes of the 70s.
  • Pat Mills was very fond of writing about the evils of Christianity and the glories of Neopaganism in the 80s; Sláine and ABC Warriors were particularly prone to simply becoming mouthpieces for his views on religion. However, he's gotten better about it.
  • Reginald Hudlin really wants you to know that the Black Panther is the coolest badass alive and that the American government has selfish motives in dealing with African countries.
  • Steve Ditko's comics, which attempted to mix superheroic action of a street-level variety with Aesops on various principles derived from Ayn Rand's Objectivism.
  • Warren Ellis has specifically stated that Transmetropolitan is basically him venting about his various opinions on politics and consumerism, with the main character being a sort of author surrogate. This is particularly notable in the issue where Spider Jerusalem takes on religion, which doesn't even end properly—the issue concludes with him dressed up as Jesus, tearing up a sort of religious convention in a mall (while giving a long speech about why religion sucks, of course) and getting tackled by security. No mention is made of it afterward. Indeed, most of Ellis' comics seem to have characters declaring their sociopolitical views, which always are along the same lines, and close to the author's own opinions.
  • Several times in Wilhelm Busch's stories. Best example may be "Pater Filucius". Gottlieb Michael (the good guy) is generally seen as a stand-in for the good German people, whom the evil Catholic church wants to harm. Pater Filucius was Busch's contribution to the Kulturkampf, the period of intense conflict between Bismarck's government (supported by the Liberals) on one hand and the Catholic Church and its political arm, the Centre Party after the first Vatican Council declared the Pope to be infallible. Most characters in it are allegorical and have significant names. The German people had long been personified as der deutsche Michel ("German Mike"), rather like the British one was represented by John Bull, because St. Michael was Germany's patron saint. Father Filucius (from the French filou, "crook") is a Jesuit, Gottlieb Michael's two maiden aunts Petrine and Pauline stand for the established Catholic and Protestant churches (the Pope tracing his authority to St. Peter, while Protestants place greater emphasis on the teachings of St. Paul). In the end, Gottlieb marries Angelica, signifying Wilhelm Busch recommending an "Anglican" solution to the centuries-old Catholic-Protestant divide in Germany.
  • Alan Moore is no stranger to the occasional tract.
  • The Dutch comic Earthling: Vegan Warrior — which essentially attributes every evil in the world to the fact that we don't live in a global Veganopia, and pits its Animal Man-expy hero against supervillains representing things such as war, pollution, eating meat, or wearing leather.
  • The Nightly News by Jonathan Hickman, which prefaces every issue with a Wall of Text on the lies and distortions of mass media is actually a Subversion; the grassroots La Résistance that fights back only rises due the machinations of an even more corrupt politician who blames newscasters for costing him a White House run. Hickman's afterword to the comic actually laments how many readers and reviewers didn't fall for the Bait-and-Switch.
  • Henry Vogel, writer for Southern Knights, had another less-known side series called X-Thieves where almost Once An Issue he'd demonize the IRS as emotionless, implacable puppets of the administration who were even worse crooks than the nominal larcenous heroes. His Taxation is Theft beef even showed up in editorials run in Southern Knights at least once, as well.
  • The infamous original Grand Finale of Young Justice, "Graduation Day", was essentially three issues of Judd Winick ranting about how kids and teenagers have no place in the superhero business and trying to act like adults will only get them horrifically killed.
  • Peter David has a reputation for putting his thoughts in characters' mouths — and interestingly, this sometimes interferes with what he's really trying to do. This thread on David's final issue of Captain Marvel is, at first, full of debate over his use of the character Eulogy to criticize Marvel. But in fact, according to David later in the thread, most of Eulogy's comments were taken directly from fan criticism the comic had received.
  • The final issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) is Larry Hama, through the normally mute Snake-Eyes, writing a letter to someone asking if he should join the army that serves as a Deconstruction of the Patriotic Fervor that Joe was often accused of promoting. He lays out the numerous issues with the military, the government, and its treatment of veterans, and punctuates them with numerous stories about the horrors of war. In the end, however, Snake-Eyes (and Hama) ultimately concludes that he had no regrets about serving. Larry Hama's own military experience as an EOD technician in Vietnam gives the words a lot more power than they might have had being written by someone who didn't serve. To avoid a Broken Aesop, the recipient of the letter doesn't say definitively if he will enlist or not but instead promises to think it over more deeply.
  • Marville started as an unfunny Shallow Parody of superhero comics and then trending pop culture before Bill Jemas went into a bizarre and nonsensical exploration on his beliefs concerning God, evolution, human violence, and death.
  • Transformers: Deviations was pretty much writer Brandon M. Easton shitting on the post-The Transformers: The Movie cast throughout the whole one-shot. Pretty much every Autobot introduced in the movie, bar Blurr and Kup, die; Rodimus Prime dies using the Matrix, even though this didn't kill him in the film; and everyone is rude to Hot Rod when they weren't in the film — and keep in mind that the the premise of the comic is Optimus was the one who walked away from the duel alive and Megatron was the one who died, so the other 'Bots have no good reason to treat Hot Rod like crap in this version of events when they didn't in the film despite Optimus's death.