My latest reason is hearing that our latest in the long line of governors-turned-criminals, Rod Blagojevich, was signing autographs and posing for pictures with “fans” at Chicago Comic-Con on Saturday.  Really?

It’s bad enough that when I meet new people and tell them that I’m from Illinois (though I’m NOT from Chicago–far from it, actually), they automatically mention Helmet Head.  But what is this guy doing at a comic book convention?  Is he replacing Alfred E. Newman?

More bad press for comics

I saw this article earlier this week and it made me angry.  Long story short, this lady did a study and found that movie superheroes, like Iron Man, are bad role models for young boys.

I have many problems with Sharon Lamb’s study.  First of all, why is Iron Man the only “movie superhero” she mentions?  By doing so, she makes it sound like she has a personal problem with the character.  I also want to know how much this woman actually knows about comic books, because this article (and the original report, which really only talks about the superhero issue for a couple paragraphs) make it sound like movies based on comic books are the only exposure she has to the superheroes of today that she says are bad role models.

But because this is a DC Comics blog, let’s put this in perspective a bit.  I don’t expect Dr. Sharon Lamb to ever read this, but if it ever happens, I’d like to give her examples of superheroes that would be good role models for all teenagers, not just the boys.

Let’s look at Barbara Gordon, for example.  The first Batgirl was shot by the Joker and left paralyzed.  She very easily could have sat in her wheelchair and become a shadow of her former self, but I’ve heard comic writers contend that she’s more interesting as Oracle than she ever was as Batgirl.  Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she reinvented herself, becoming the “operator” for the DCU and being the poster child for the power of knowledge.

And what about those characters who use their brains to help people?  Ray Palmer’s scientific discoveries allow him to help people as The Atom, Ralph Dibney used his detective skills and concentrated Gingold and became The Elongated Man, and Michael Holt, who overcame personal tragedy to use his intelligence as Mr. Terrific.
I purposely stayed away from the Trinity, simply because I think those are the characters many people would immediately go to when trying to convince others that comic book characters can be good role models.  (Yes, I think Batman can be argued.  As calculating as he can be, he never gives up and has learned to push through pain.)  And, the ones I listed aren’t necessarily the ones who get the most publicity.

What other DC characters are good role models for young readers?   Share your thoughts in the comments.