Jamie Delano notes that his Hellblazer run began during an election year for both the U.K. and the U.S. Revisiting his early issues in a 1992 introduction to the Original Sins collection, Delano notes that he is again writing in the shadow of both country’s major elections. Things looked a bit better in 1992 than they did in 1987:
Over here, it appears that some of the Thatcherite ‘vultures’ may be coming home to roost – or at least to hover patiently over the disabled and whining Tory body-politic. It would be nice to think that Bush and his Republican reptiles might similarly be forced back under their stones. Perhaps such an occurrence would be a tiny encouragement, indicating a minute turbulence of conscience disturbing the blank stare of our culture’s self-righteous myopia.
Reading Delano’s introduction on the eve of an inevitably disappointing election here in the United States of 2012, I find myself wishing for similar signs of encouragement. Laugh all you want at Mitt Romney’s many mis-steps (and I do: believe me, I do): the fact that this presidential election is going to be close at all is terrifying, and should President Obama retain his seat, he remains a watered-down, disappointing version of the candidate who ran four years ago. More locally, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Republicans try to get an MA senator out of a debate by delaying votes in Congress. Said candidate, when he was finally shamed into attending said debate, used the forum to accuse his opponent, a woman, of “scaring women,” and mocked her educational background by sarcastically calling her “Professor.” This is just the tip of the iceberg of terrible that is American political discourse, of course. Overseas things don’t look much more encouraging. Last Monday’s Guardian contained a story titled “David Cameron’s Men Go Where Margaret Thatcher Never Dared.”