When I was working upon the ABC books, I wanted to show different ways that mainstream comics could viably have gone, that they didn't have to follow 'Watchmen' and the other 1980s books down this relentlessly dark route. It was never my intention to start a trend for darkness. I'm not a particularly dark individual.
The great fear that hung over the business community in the 1970s was death by regulation, and the great goal of the conservative movement, as it rose to triumph in the 1980s, was to remove that threat - to keep OSHA, the EPA, and the FTC from choking off entrepreneurship with their infernal meddling in the marketplace.
Once we accept violence as an adaptation, it makes sense that its expression is calibrated to the environment. The same individual will behave differently if he comes of age in Detroit, Mich., versus Windsor, Ontario; in New York in the 1980s versus New York now; in a culture of honor versus a culture of dignity.