Porkins Policy Radio episode 74 Tom King, the CIA and Comic Books with Ryan Carey

Writer and comic book reviewer Ryan Carey joins me for an in depth discussion of the comic industry and its relationship with the CIA. We begin by looking at the early days of comic books and their first forays into politics during WWII. Ryan talks about the overt left leaning politics of the original Superman comics and how this evolved into a nationalistic pro-US series during WWII. Next we move onto ex-CIA agent Tom King who’s charmed life has led him to the pinnacle of comics, writing the latest Batman comics. Ryan explains how King went from being a clandestine office in Iraq and Afghanistan to moving quickly up the ladder within the industry. We talk about King’s earlier work such as Omega Men and Vision and how shades of his past bled through with the writing. Ryan also talks about The Sheriff of Babylon which is loosely based on his own experiences inside Iraq. Ryan also points out the bizarre circumstances surrounding Kings career and how he continued to move up despite poor comics sales.

Later we discuss the significance and influence that Batman has with the comics industry and why it is so important. Ryan and I talk about why the CIA would gravitate to Batman and seek to influence it and its message. Ryan explains how several of King’s story-lines fit into the narrative the CIA is constantly putting out. We also talk about how the latest Batman comics have Bruce Wayne working indirectly for a shadowy arm of the government. Ryan and I also touch on the fact that CIA asset Ben Affleck is the latest actor to portray Batman and how this couldn’t just be a coincidence.

Download PPR episode 74

Show Notes:

Trash Film Guru

@TrashFilmGuru

Daily Grindhouse

How one man went from the CIA to writing Batman adventures

The spy who came into the comic book store

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Comments

  • Jarrod  On December 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Great guest, hope you have him back. Very knowledgeable. Even though I’m not too interested in comics, it was nonetheless insightful, adding another piece to the cultural engineering puzzle and CIA involvement in it.

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