Monday, October 12, 2009

Squad K and Irresponsible Spending

Supergirl #45 by Sterling Gates, Greg Rucka and Jamal Igle (2009)

We know that governments (both local and federal) have a history of irresponsible spending habits in comic books, particularly involving concerns of safety from metahumans and aliens. This one, however, is near the top of the list of just complete waste of resources. Though, that does seem to be the point of the book.

Currently, the Superman family is having some troubles. Ever since the creation of New Krypton, a few misguided murders, and some puppeteering from General Lane and the furtive Project 7734, the DC Universe has been so scared of damage or a hostile takeover by the Kryptonians that Earth has agreed to fund an international, anti-Kryptonian unit known as "Squad-K." These guys are equipped with the very best of technology--armor, guns, ammunition, etc.--in order to deal with this looming threat. Kryptonians have been officially declared enemies of Earth and are not allowed to be present within its atmosphere (not even Superman!). When they do breach this code, Squad K shows up to exact punishment.

I don't need to tell you just how expensive this would be. Not only are these guys apparently well-trained and well-equipped, but they are prepared enough to be anywhere that Supergirl, Nightwing, Flamebird, and any other threat presents itself. So, as the case in this comic, when there are Kryptonians in Paris, Squad K has to be in Paris--and fast. That either means that there are some serious transportation expenditures going on, or that there are troops stationed just about everywhere primed for attack.

Let's forget about the absurdity of the xenophobia that justifies this coalition for a second and assume that we agree Earth needs to protect itself. Yet, doesn't Earth already have such a coalition? One that has proved itself effective time and time again for decades? An organization that has demonstrated nothing but selflessness and complete devotion towards the mission of keeping Earth safe from exactly this sort of thing? I'm referring to the Justice League, of course.

Now, New Krypton has been going on for quite a while and frankly I've been out of touch with the happenings of the Justice League ever since Infinite Crisis. For all I know, the League could have been off fighting some space battle for the past several years. But really this should not be the case. After all, the Green Lantern Corp. had even paid a visit to New Krypton in order to allay some international concerns about its intentions. Clearly, at the very least, the Justice League is cognizant of the situation at hand.

Another reason might be that Earth has grown so suspicious of Kryptonians that its paranoia has extended pretty much to all aliens, including those comprising the Justice League. However, this is also pretty silly. First of all, Superman is currently not a part of the League, is he? He's been off at New Krypton for quite some time leading its armies. Any concerns his influence somehow guiding the actions of the League should be long pacified.

I suppose the public could suspect that New Krypton and the League could be colluding, but towards what end? It is one thing for them to suspect that Superman had persuaded his friends to grant New Krypton enough autonomy to try and establish a self-sustaining society. But to suspect that this courtesy goes beyond that is ludicrous. Superman or no, he would never be able to convince the League to stand back while New Krypton planned any more destruction. If this were the case, then why did the League not ally itself with every other race of aliens who invaded? Folks attack Earth all the time and the public, as fickle as they are, hardly suspect the League of involvement. Darkseid just attempted to take over Earth and the people were more than happy to place their trust in a group of aliens to take care of the situation. For some reason, this particular wave of anxiety has destroyed any sensible judgment that the people of Earth might have had. And not just moral judgment--economic judgment!

Again, it seems to be the point of the book that all of this is irresponsible, but this is just too much. Even for Earth. Call the League! That's what they're for.


Larry Lennhoff said...

I'm not reading comics these days, but the mostly likely explanation is that the law is so stupid the Justice League refuses to enforce it. AFAIK the league is not beholden to any particular government or supergovernmental organization.

ShadowBanker said...

No, but at the same time it is beholden to the people of Earth. That's why if the Kryptonians posed a real threat, they'd know.

Larry Lennhoff said...

Exactly. Which is why the OPs request to "call in the league" may not work in the DC universe. There isn't any government or supergovermental organization that can give orders to the league. If the league turns down the request to drive Kryptonians off the planet then either the governments give up(*) or they have to create something like Squad K.

(*)They could of course attempt sanctions against the league at the same time they are attempting to interdict the Kryptonians. Good luck with that.

RJ Moore II said...

Let's not ignore the possibility that the Squad-K is an outright demagogic AND pork-barrel scheme. Many of the citizens may not take it seriously, or mistrust the Justice League. However, I think most people would agree that informed citizens do not have a lot of control over the actions of their government so long as they're not willing to subvert it.

The people might think it's a huge waste of money, and many of them might not be worried about Kryptonians at all, but that doesn't mean that appropriation after appropriation wont be passed because some bureaucrat's getting mighty big off of it. It can also be an excuse to build, test and sell anti-Superman weapons which ordinarily would be viewed as distasteful.

sim so dep said...

Daniel, yea I can see what you probably did there. I actually appreciated that part, but hehe I am not that harsh like my dad with these things. He always tells me loopy stories back in the day and calls me a loser. I guess it's time I transfer out of my dad and mom' basement LOL. Aaanyways, what about you? what does your dad assume xD" Anyway, in my language, there are not much good supply like this.

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