I read the new comic turning “Alex From The Bronx” into a heroine, so you won’t have to.
Occasionally we see a desperate lurch delivered by some noteworthy individual from the left, or the press, who tries to insist that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would not be such a huge deal if conservatives were not so concerned with her. The only reason she is so prominent is that those on the right fear her to the point of obsession, and have thus elevated her well beyond her import, goes the argument.
Somehow I doubt that it was the GOP that placed AOC on the covers of Time, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. Which Fox News pundit got Alex booked with Stephen Colbert? I suspect Republican voters were outnumbered in the line around the building waiting to see Ocasio-Cortez speak onstage at the not-conservative South By Southwest Festival. Which conservatives at Netflix approved the $10 million purchase of the documentary at Sundance about her New York campaign (after they signed the Obamas to a production contract)?
I can also say with certainty that no conservatives were responsible for the creation of the comic book about Alexandria. The reason for that confidence is I have read the issue. As Brandon helpfully tipped us off/warned the population a few weeks ago, there were some rather disturbing images contained therein. Also, this release was targeted by DC Comics for stealing Wonder Woman trademarked elements to portray AOC on select covers. As it turns out, the imagery matches the content, with around 50 pages of puddle-deep politics and baseless adoration for the cover “star”.
The first item of note is this is not a single narrative that tells a story. Instead the publisher, Devil’s Due Comics, enlists the full stable of its writers and artists to contribute over a dozen brief scenes and some single page art. There is no cohesive storyline, there is no connective tissue to it all (aside from their collective fealty to AOC) and there is a significant lack of logic. Also, there is no portion where our hero is neutralized by her lone weakness – a garbage disposal. So, in an attempt to make sense of this GND-level of inanity here is the rundown of the various vignettes that are in this comic.
1. AOC 3:16.
The opener is where we will find those panels previously released in the advance PR. Clocking in at 5 pages this stands as the longest of the segments in this book. A variety of political players are introduced through a plot surrounding professional wrestling, for some reason. AOC is a newcomer to the sport and she disrupts the balance of the other “wrestlers”. Trump, Pence, and McConnell are all upset, and in the locker room Pelosi (shudder) is dismissive.
Then we see her sleeping that night in her “crummy D.C. apartment”. (The writers missed out that Alexandria has actually secured digs in the posh DC Naval Yard neighborhood.) She is visited by the ghost of FDR who, in the afterlife, is still wheelchair bound it should be noted. Next she is in a tag team match with Bernie Sanders, fighting against Dana Loesch, Big Oil, and Big Pharma. In bizarre fashion they are joined up by Maxine Waters, who is decked out like Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. (I guess they all look alike to the DDC crew?)
Asking “why” would be folly here, as it will lead you down a rabbit hole of asking that question constantly in this brief segment. The final panel is a perfect summation of the lack of political knowledge by the creators. After defeating the enemy we have an exterior shot of the Capitol Rotunda, as the crowd chants for AOC. A banner outside announces this fight was dubbed “Senate Slam”, even though Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the House.
2. JUSTICE ENGINE
Maybe some of the better artwork here as use of the contemporary non-linear panel layout is in play to show AOC with Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar piloting jet fighters to combat a “bile-spewing corporate beast”. This leviathan is composed of a garbage shell, that was built with the backing of a special interest goon. Then they extend their practice of copyright infringement by announcing “Let’s Voltron up”, defeating the beast by invoking, “By the people, for the people” for the second straight story. This closes out with shots at a breakroom table as AOC is describing all of this to Omar, regarding their vote on a tax bill. Apparently we are led to understand this is how Ocasio-Cortez discusses legislation on The Hill. This is a believable concept.
3. ZERO F***S
A pointless 2-pager drawn up to resemble an 8-bit video game. In four panels we see what is supposedly her, then Trump blocks the way to “Eagleland”, and the last panel is repeated, but with a pattern of middle fingers overlayed onscreen. Trenchant stuff, this.
4. THE U.S. OF SLAY
A variety of political figures are in a dance club, including Kyrsten Sinema and Maxine Waters again, and all male figures are dressed in drag. Nancy Pelosi is serving as DJ during a dance-to-the-death contest. Big Oil spills crude all over the floor, but the liberals start reciting various interest groups by name in non-sequitur fashion. I guess they end up winning by supporting each other? None of this makes a bit of sense.
5. WHY I’M ROOTING FOR FOX
This is little more than cover artist Josh Blaylock writing an extensive FaceBook post with some artwork squeezed in. At first he sounds sensible, taking CNN to task for highlighting Trump’s tweet compulsion and accusing them of ignoring serious issues. But after AOC rises as a figure he scorches Fox News for lashing out at her and giving her clout. He then implores them to continue sensationalizing those tweets — which he previously blamed CNN for doing, but okay.
6. DANCE PARTY USA
Nothing more than a retracing of photos that show how poorly past Presidents have danced. Then we see the AOC shots of her dance video from college, and the narration repeats the lie that this was “Seen as offensive by supporters of our current GOP sith lords”. The closing point that her apolitical dance routine to “Grease” will lead to significant policy initiatives is not what you would call significant.
7. MAKE AMERICA EMPATHETIC AGAIN
AOC confronts Trump in the White House, and after he tweets she delivers a NAZI PUNCH to the President. (A pause here, as we reflect on what the media mushroom cloud was to look like had someone depicted President Obama being violently attacked in print.) She then shaves Trump’s head and he is transformed. He erases ALL of his policies, “with a single executive order!” He is then jailed for being a Russian spy, Pence leads a crusade against conversion therapy, and AOC campaigns for office — which somehow leads to Whoopi Goldberg becoming President. This infantilism is in need of intensive “Schoolhouse Rock” conversion therapy.
8. TWEET WORLD
In a coliseum setting Democrats and Republicans square off, eventually with the Dems forming behind AOC as they march out in victory, I guess. This chapter basically embodies the term “pointlessness”.
9. EMPLOYEE MAN
A cartoonish-looking segment has some office drones being oppressed by a boss depicted as a demon. He ends up dumping a truckload of paperwork on them as he leaves to go golfing. They feel trapped until one female sees a tweet on her phone. It is from AOC, when she famously quoted comic book icon Alan Moore this past January, and sent a nerdgasm across the internet for a day. This inspires the workers to, uh, work. They complete the tasks, and the corporate heads end up promoting the drones, to the dismay of their boss. This boils down to AOC, who never appears in this scene, becoming lionized for merely repeating the words of someone else.
10. FEMALE IS FUTURE
In her white pantsuit AOC brandishes an amulet fashioned after the female symbol. She slays a swamp hag, and then destroys the Lincoln Memorial, before planes arrive to seed clouds with a Green serum developed by international scientists to battle the Orange Fungus. (Subtlety, what is that?!) The fungus takes the form of Trump, but AOC defeats it by squishing its mushroom heart. Of particular note is this deeply moving tale of wonderful female empowerment was written, drawn, colored and lettered by — no women.
11. THE SHOE DEAL
All panels are a closeup on the feet of AOC as she campaigned. We get served subject after subject as the two shoes debate with each other. This is the pair of walkers that AOC wore during her primary and became enshrined at an exhibit for the Cornell Costume Collection. There is a surprising pointlessness shown here, as one shoe at the end morosely declares, “I feel pointless, and old.” The shoes want to debate the healthcare issue which could take years. “Well, we’re not going anywhere”, states the other, effectively neutered from behind the display case. I believe this serves as an unintended metaphor made by the writers, but sometimes those are the best kind to drive a point home.
12. THE MATRIARCHY, RELOADED
The theft of intellectual property continues, as we get a tepid retelling of “The Matrix” movies. Bernie Sanders enters AOC’s bar and offers her a blue and red button to choose. She becomes Neo-C, and takes on Agent Crowley. In one panel she alludes that Crowley lives far away, and “He’s not even here!” This is unintentionally hilarious since Ocasio-Cortez faces the exact same accusation of not living in her district.
There you have all the reason not to rush out and nab a copy of this supposedly transformative book. It is plainly obvious this is directed mainly at the crowd that derives its political opinion from comic books — and clearly created by those who learned politics from the comics. The irony is that this is an industry that has been in serious decline due to its leftist ideology and social messaging for some time. Their range of influence is shrinking.
There is little to no chance of this comic becoming an influence in any fashion. So in that way, it serves as a perfect representation of its beloved subject matter.
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