“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: 'Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not”
Ted Kennedy’s Eulogy for his brother Robert F. Kennedy
I gave some thought about not addressing the final issue of Before Watchmen - The Comedian. Anyone who has spoken to me over the years knows that I advocate artists taking chances and trying new things. Creators who play it too safe are generally not too interesting to me.
Having said that, Brian Azzaerello’s trivializing of the RFK assassination is not, in my opinion an artist taking chances. It is a cheap attempt to shock. It is in bad taste.
Robert Kennedy was perhaps more than any of his contemporaries a symbol of hope and promise to the generation that grew up in the 1960’s…my generation. Perhaps Mr. Azzarello thinks we have all died off or no longer read comics. Perhaps being only about six years old at the time, Brian is somewhat indifferent to Bobby’s meaning to so many people not a hell of a lot older.
Regardless of his motivation, it was a misstep on the part of a very gifted writer.
He portrays Bobby as corrupt and disloyal and uses his death as a plot device.
Not only was that in bad taste. It was a disservice to the character of the comedian. FAR too predictable. I had in fact guessed that he would be RFK’s assassin by issue #3.
Am I angry about this? You bet.
Just a few things Brian forgot to mention about Bobby...
Bobby was an outspoken pioneer for Civil Rights.
Bobby was one of the first politicians to devote himself to ending the war in Viet Nam.
Bobby was THE driving force in the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis and almost singlehandedly averted a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
He died too young, leaving behind family who may be aware of how shabbily he was treated by Mr. Azzarello.
Bobby deserved better.