Let’s talk about graphic novels for a change. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I read a lot across all sorts of genres. I’m currently reading Portrait of a Mutant written by Alan Grant. The graphic novel was published in 2002, a reprint of a story from 2000AD which was published in 1981.
Portrait of a Mutant is set in the future after the devastating Great Nuclear War 2150. This war has led to a lot of nuclear fallout, which in turn has led to a huge increase in humans born with mutations, which are far, far more likely to to result in a disability than a super power. Mutations giving superhuman powers do happen but are vanishingly rare.
There is a great deal of prejudice by the ‘norms’ (regular people without a mutation) against the ‘muties’ . There is a popular politician called Nelson Bunker Kreelman who brought in anti-mutie laws, for example, that mutants are not allowed to be employed, the resulting poverty leading to mutants getting evicted from their homes and ending up starving in out-of-town mutant slums. The comparisons between the treatment of mutants in this world and Jews in Nazi Germany have been noted by many, and aren’t exactly subtle. Kreelman is definitely one of the bad guys in this story.
But there was one particular Kreelman quote that I’d like to share with you all that brings to mind more recent events. In one speech he says:
Until the scourge of the mutants is wiped from our streets, no man dare turn his back – no woman or child is safe! I say – let us act! Let us make this country great again! Let us banish all muties from our cities! And you can quote me on that.
I make no comment about politics, but did the people running Trump’s presidential campaign know that they were quoting the bad guys with the whole Make America Great Again thing? I mean, if you were a young teenage boy in the early 1980s, you may well have the skills and experience to be involved such a high-profile political campaign by now. Did it start as a joke and just get out of hand?
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