Comics traditionally haven’t had much to do with symbolism or surrealism – they were usually considered “popular art,” which is to say not art at all, at least until popular art became a fad in art circles, which are just as inclined to fads as any other aspect of our culture – and by and large symbolism itself is a bit redundant in comics. Symbolism, especially in superhero comics but also in “literary” comics, is comics’ stock in trade, because historical quirks, notably an original emphasis on length limits, led to them becoming not so much stories as basically shorthand for stories. With not so much characters as shorthand for characters, with static panels enforcing shorthands for action, lack of sound generating onomatopoeia, etc. Not that most people commonly think of any of these as symbolic, but they are all elements that stand in for other elements. Where symbolism has been consciously applied rather than arising out of either publisher caprice or the peculiar dictates of the form, it has mostly been a weird anti-symbolism. In comics we have a perverse obsession with making the implicit explicit, so a guy intended to represent the ultimate development of humanity is called Superman (except the whole “alien” thing throws a monkey wrench into that) and a guy representing everything positive about the American spirit is named Captain America. It’s like nailing a sign to a door that reads “door.” They may be symbols, but they’re symbols that can’t be interpreted as anything else.