Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Marvel and DC Gay it Out

It’s raining men, I guess or at least men who love men. I plan to skate on the edge of political correctness and possibly alienate a bunch of people but the hype over all of the gay stuff is just over the top in the comic industry. First things first, should we have gay marriages? I don’t know. On one hand I’m more then willing to grant gay couples the same headaches and joys that a committed relationship can bring. I also think if a church does not want to allow marriage of gays, they have that right also. It is due to the fact that the term marriage is so woven into our legal fabric that not allowing marriage creates undue problems for people in a committed relationship. Of course the next question is what about plural marriages? Is it cultural basis stopping those from happening? Also what happens when, like Catholic Charities did, that companies say we will cover children and our employees and not spouses under healthcare. The unintended consequences of change are often far reaching. It is not the question of marriage it is the question of the legal rights of partners. Our rule of law society has become so complex I expect to implode.

Onto the comic book side of things, I think Marvel is doing it the right way. Northstar has been established (possible a retro-con, but I can’t remember) as gay and he has had his boy friend established. So a wedding is fine idea. Marvel was pushing introducing black characters years ago and I’m sure that was shocking to some people. The timing to work out with June LGBT pride month or whatever is also a nice little PC move. Marvel can only thank their lucky stars that Obama decided to come out of the closet at the same time. Marvel and DC crave getting real world attention and this sure as heck is nice little boost and will generate sales of that one comic, but let’s face it, the vast majority of comic book buyers are heterosexual males and we are not that interested in two guys getting married, two lipstick lesbians and we are buying that issue in droves. Still acceptance for various groups is important and this is a feather in their caps.

DC, as always seems to be trying to figure out what to do. I mean they have Batwoman in her own series and she is lesbian, but no one seems to want to give them much credit for that. Of course oddly enough the one woman artist on the book had some falling out and is no longer on the comic, but that is neither here nor there. It is their announcement that a prominent male, iconic character is going to be coming out in June. Their nebulous announcement of this news has just lead to all of their characters being ripped to shreds by comedians across the country. In some ways I could give a damn. The whole new DCU is a place that has left me rather empty so the idea of the next iteration of the Atom or whatever being an openly gay character does not bother me. The new Ollie Queen is not the same person anymore, neither is Superman, Aquaman or almost anyone. I would have a bias if they decided one of the Bats were gay, as I believe they have already been well established as straight. The issue there is that I like to identify with those characters more then others and it would destroy my ability to do so. Another problem is that instead of just making the announcement so retailers could try and order more of the book, they have left it as a burning mystery. Sure it generates a bunch of columns, mine included, but it is a tempest in a teapot. In the long term making people guess creates more problems then buzz in some cases, this being one.

I will say this if they decided to go nuts and make Batman or Superman gay, the amount of sales they generate would be destroyed by the amount of long term fans who would just quit their books altogether. I don’t want to read about a gay Batman and in fact I doubt very much I want to read about a gay guy who fights crime in spandex and a leotard, hey maybe they are all gay. The point is that if DC is re-introducing a character and he will be gay, it is pretty much a so what type of thing since the whole DCU is a totally new place. Regardless of what DC has said this Universe does not resemble the prior one at all. I have lost more interest in this universe and have recently cancelled Justice League, Catwoman, Detective, Batman Dark Knight and more. I’m down to maybe 26 of the 52. Write a good character and tell a good story, if he is gay so be it. If you want to force me to read about a lifestyle that I do not oppose, but also don’t care to read about, then I will drop the book and the marketplace will dictate what gets cancelled or not.

One day and not in my lifetime, we will get to a point that we will all learn that as long as someone is not trying to tell us how to live, we should not tell them how to live. My prejudices are less then my father’s and my children have even less then I do (although all generations in my family hate stupid people). My grandchildren will hopefully be in an even better world, where when a super hero is gay it will not need to be a media event.


  1. Twenty-six of 52? You can't stand DC and get that many titles? I didn't get that many from the beginning and I haven't anywhere near as strong feelings about DC. I think I'm at 5-6 titles.

    I think you're knickers are in a bunch a bit on the general topic. DC has said that the gay character will not be one that's already introduced in the New 52, so you can rule out Superman, Batman and the like.

    Your general disdain for the New 52 continues to be a source of bemusement to me. Years, and years, and years you complained about how DC and Marvel never really changed, just appeared to change. Now, you have the New 52, which you say has changed the DCU and is not the old DC at all, but you don't like that. You must give the boys at DC apoplexy.

  2. Well of books I'm getting 7 are from the second wave and I have not really decided 100% on those. The reason why the new 52 is annoying is the change I was talking about is actual growth in the characters. The fact that I crave change does not make all change good. I prefered the legacy stuff that the old JSA had. New iterations of characters carrying on the tradition.

    And yes I know they are not going to make Superman or Batman gay, but that was not my point. Rumor is it will be Alan Scott the GL of Earth 2, which is fine as he is a new character in that setting.

    I'm actually more upset to see that it won't be his classic costume as I always fetl Nodell's costume was one of the most unique of all time. Plus I own an original sketch by Nodell of the Golden Age Green Lantern and Marty was a very nice guy.

  3. I think it's good that DC and Marvel are trying to add in more variety to their stories. Sometimes it seems forced, but hopefully with time it will seem less so (not that sometimes them adding minorities isn't still forced but what else can they do when they kill off characters like Ryan Choi?). But I don't like it when the retcon characters. I mean, there are some characters that it'd be easy to have "come out" as they have stories that don't clearly establish them (over and over again) as straight. Considering the long enduring epic romance between Superman and Lois making Supes gay wouldn't make sense. When they made Obsidian gay I didn't bat an eye - they ended up with some great stories about him and it didn't change the base character so have him establish his sexual preference.