An unforgettable quote from a very forgettable movie: “Batman is a fascist!” DC’s latest Blue Beetle rides the wave of tokenist superhero films meant to vacuously pander to some corporate misconception of progressivism — yes, us progressives love cookie-cutter, AI-written afterthought action flicks so long as they promote BIPOC cultures in the same way that a NatGeo documentary promotes endangered birds. It’s reminiscent of that sentiment many Asian Americans felt from Crazy Rich Asians; it is the prerogative of out-of-touch Hollywood execs who want to cash in on the fact that they know about Hawker stalls from white people who don’t.
That deliberately outrageous quip, though, should provoke a sympathetic response from any sincere liberationist. Who does Batman think he is? Did Spider-Man just throw a manhole at a homeless shoplifter down on his luck? I’m reminded of that thing filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu said: “I see heroes every day.