This Magazine Kills Fascists: Punching Nazis In ‘DC Comics: Bombshells’
This Magazine Kills Fascists looks at times that comic books and superheroes have dealt with tyrannical, corrupt and outright fascist world leaders — not because we think we can find a solution, but because art can provide inspiration in the face of oppression.
This week, like a lot of people, we're in the mood to punch some Nazis and see some Nazis get punched, and there's no better comic on the stands for that than DC Comics: Bombshells, which takes the iconic heroines of the DC Universe and recasts them as World War II resistance fighters.
The great thing about Bombshells is that it doesn't just extol the virtues of smacking a Nazi upside the face with a baseball bat; it reminds us there's more than one way to fight back.
The series is written by Marguerite Bennett, and features art from a host of incredibly talented peers, including Marguerite Sauvage, Laura Braga and Mirka Andolfo. It's inspired by the line of Bombshells statues that re-imagines the women of DC as World War II-era pin-ups. The comic takes those designs and place those heroes like Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl in the heart of the war-effort, whether it's at home or overseas.
Batwoman is ostensibly the lead, or at least the first lead we meet, and --- as a gay Jewish woman --- already has a lot at stake in the war before she officially joins the fight. At home in Gotham City, she's known as a fearless vigilante and media personality, who takes part in charity baseball games, but also beats the snot out of Nazi sympathizers and collaborators for selling information to the enemy.
After the introduction of Amanda Waller at the end of the first installment, Bombshells goes global and introduces us to versions of Wonder Woman, Mera, Supergirl, Stargirl, Big Barda, Dr. Light, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Zatanna and Constantine at what should feel like a breakneck pace, but the digital-first format of the series allows DC Comics: Bombshells to flit around and give everyone the spotlight they deserve.
One of the most important things about DC Comics: Bombshells is that it doesn't just cast the war as something happening across the world; it examines the impact and the general unease in the air back at home too. In Batwoman's absence, a group of teenage heroes known as The Batgirls are formed to protect against xenophobia and hatred in the form of crooked officials, such as Mayor Harvey Dent, who wants to Make Gotham Golden Again.
Bombshells represents a trend you find in real life too, and one you can see right now in the world around us. The cast of the series all represent the people most vulnerable to tyrants, authoritarians, and outright Nazis, but they find strength, safety and security in each other. The most vulnerable are often the ones leading the charge against those that would take away their freedoms, and if that means punching a goddamn Nazi in the face, then more power to them.
However, we can't all be out there punching Nazis, as much as we may want, and one of the best things you can do is find your fight. Whether it's advocating for victims of domestic abuse, helping with the homeless, or volunteering in numerous other ways, sometimes it's better and healthier to find the cause you're personally passionate about and encourage others to do the same. Not everyone can be on the front lines, but everyone can help, and everyone can fight.
There are a number of worthy causes that all need help, support and donations now more than ever. If you can, please consider donating to any of the following institutions:
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Planned Parenthood
- The Trevor Project
- Trans Lifeline
- Standing Rock
- Council on American-Islamic Relations
- National Immigration Law Center
- Bend The Arc
- The American Association of People With Disabilities
- The National Alliance To End Homelessness
- The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- The National Park Foundation
For post-election resources, Holy F— The Election is a great starting point. The website uses some strong language.