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Comic book depicting hero fighting violent homophobes with Pride flag causes controversy in Poland

The Swedish edition of The Phantom sees the hero fighting violent Polish homophobes

2018-05-03

A comic book depicting the hero fighting violent homophobes with a Pride flag has caused anger in Poland.

The Swedish edition of the American comic The Phantom – known as Fantomen - came under fire from Polish media after it sees the titular superhero attending a Pride event in Warsaw.

However, the hero is forced to defend the parade from a group of violent Polish homophobes – wearing grey militaristic uniforms and waving Polish flags.

The hero fights off against the homophobes by picking up a Pride flag while saying: “I have to act quickly before blood flows on the streets!”

Written by Polish writer Philip Madden, the comic has caused controversary after Polish media claimed it perpetuates stereotypes of Poland as being intolerant.

Fantomen editor Mikael Sol defended the issue and told Swedish publish Expressen: “I thought it was a nice symbol, with the colourful flag, which stands for tolerance, against the colourless grey dressed villain who stands for intolerance.

“I understand clearly that the cover is controversial, but sometimes you have to feel comfortable and stand safe in your choice.

“There is always someone who reacts [negatively, but] overall there has been a positive response.

“I think people should read it before they have an opinion about it.

“The Phantom is always going to do the right thing and to stand on the side of the oppressed.

“It may be against companies that ruin the environment or eradicate animal species for economic gain, and it may be to fight slave trade, or stand up for religious freedom.”

It’s reported the comic was inspired by real accounts of violence at Pride events in the Polish capital by far-right nationalists.