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Gay Writer To DC Comics: 'Be Better,' Be Like Superman

Superman_cardGay journalist and Superman aficionado Glen Weldon won't be reading Orson Scott Card's Superman story.

It's not only that Card's an anti-gay activist who works with the National Organization for Marriage, it's because of the character at hand, Superman. It would be a different story if Card were commissioned to helm a story starring a minor character -- oft-mocked Matter-Eater Lad, the avowed geek suggests -- but Superman's different; " he's the superhero."

"Superman is an ideal," Weldon writes at NPR. "He represents our best self. That's what he's for. He's not the hero we identify with — that's what Spider-Man is for... In Superman, we see ourselves as we hope to be. It's right there in the name — he's not 'Pretty Good Man' or 'Doesn't Suck Man'; he's Superman. He personifies our noblest ideals, ideals we believe in, and strive for..."

Weldom reminds readers that Superman was originally a "champion of the oppressed," but has picked up some other fitting nicknames along the way, including "man of tomorrow."

One of the other nicknames that accrued to Superman right away – that predates "Man of Steel" by a good amount – is "The Man of Tomorrow." And much of his early iconography bears a distinctive Socio-Realist, Diego Rivera vibe: a lot of burnished golden sunrises, eyes raised to the horizon, gazing into the future.

Because that's where he lives, Superman. And that's what he says to us: We can do better. We can be better, to ourselves, and to each other.

Hey, DC Comics? Be better.

So far it seems DC is standing by their decision to hire Card for the two-part digital story. The company said in a statement, "As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that -- personal views -- and not those of the company itself."

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Comments

  1. I think this is the beginning of the end for DC. They know they're wrong but refuse to acknowledge it out of stubborn pride. The story won't be good enough (Card just isn't that amazing of a writer) to bring them in as many readers as the controversy will lose them and the 'anti-gay supporter' label will stick to them ever after. Eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) they'll be forced to sell off the copyrights to the characters and maybe then writers worthy of the characters can once again bring them to life.

    Posted by: Dennis | Feb 17, 2013 1:58:53 PM


  2. DC Comics, in its zeal to "support freedom of expression" has chosen instead to subsidize bigotry. It has balanced one man's desire to write for them against the feelings and dignity of the thousands of gay men who read them, and in the balance found the feelings of the thousands negligible.

    Time for DC Comics to think more about truth, and about justice, and what ought to be the American way, and less about their imagined profits from a Card story. And they need to get clear that the right to free expression isn't a right to be paid for that expression, or to suffer no consequences for the expression of bigotry.


    Posted by: Vint | Feb 17, 2013 2:16:05 PM


  3. That drawing of Superman doesn't even make sense. His face looks evil, his chest is completely disproportionate to the rest of his body, and he's apparently standing 10 feet from the moon.

    DC must have signed a poorly designed contract guaranteeing Card his income even if they fired him for just cause.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 17, 2013 2:17:18 PM


  4. That drawing of Superman doesn't even make sense. His face looks evil, his chest is completely disproportionate to the rest of his body, and he's apparently standing 10 feet from the moon.

    DC must have signed a poorly designed contract guaranteeing Card his income even if they fired him for just cause.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 17, 2013 2:17:19 PM


  5. Also, the illustrator seems to have just given up when it came to drawing his left arm.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 17, 2013 2:19:55 PM


  6. Also, the illustrator seems to have just given up when it came to drawing his left arm.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 17, 2013 2:20:01 PM


  7. That non-response response has been the only thing DC has said. The boycott Card petition has over 13000 signatures and several comic stores have said they will not sell the Superman project. DC could step in here and do the right thing but they won't. This situation isn't going to end unless/until DC actually says something and does something instead of trying to ignore this and hoping it goes away. DC has completely dropped the ball and this is an incident that is going to have many feeling negative of the company going forward.

    The complete and utter lack of any real response is what gets to me. So incredibly dismissive and disrespectful to not acknowledge the tens of thousands of offended fans.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 17, 2013 2:21:31 PM


  8. I didn't know Superman tucked.

    Posted by: trees | Feb 17, 2013 2:47:32 PM


  9. Perhaps DC should be reminded that Superman was instrumental in bringing down the KKK, at least the radio show was. In a series of shows called "Clan of the Fiery Cross", the writers publicized everything, from "local Klan gossip to the Klan’s organizational structure and code words". The KKK was furious, but by shining light on the organization, and making so many of their secrets public, Superman helped defeat the KKK.

    I believe that there are, of course, other instances of this type of behavior, I just pulled this up in less than a minute of using Google.

    Source:

    http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/question/july09/index.htm

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 17, 2013 2:52:11 PM


  10. You know why their statement about "freedom of expression" is a FALSE defense? Because they won't hire a Holocaust denier nor a Person that thinks Black people are cursed by God. But it's still very acceptable to hire someone that thinks Gay citizens are sub human, they call it "freedom of expression" not what it is bigotry.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 17, 2013 2:57:03 PM


  11. You know why their statement about "freedom of expression" is a FALSE defense? Because they won't hire a Holocaust denier nor a Person that thinks Black people are cursed by God. But it's still very acceptable to hire someone that thinks Gay citizens are sub human, they call it "freedom of expression" not what it is bigotry.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 17, 2013 2:58:49 PM


  12. Oh the system is posting every thing twice! Except this post.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 17, 2013 2:59:48 PM


  13. "As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that -- personal views -- and not those of the company itself."

    Well, now you don't and now you aren't. You are now giving money vicariously to anti-gay organizations and mouthpieces; you are now giving a platform for a rabidly bigoted individual, who is a moderate, albeit popular, writer (go figure about the state of modern syfy), and finally, you are presiding over the death of your own company. BTW, remember what DC did to the creators of Superman--it wasn't nice, either.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Feb 17, 2013 3:04:47 PM


  14. "As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression, however the personal views of individuals associated with DC Comics are just that -- personal views -- and not those of the company itself."

    Well, now you don't and now you aren't. You are now giving money vicariously to anti-gay organizations and mouthpieces; you are now giving a platform for a rabidly bigoted individual, who is a moderate, albeit popular, writer (go figure about the state of modern syfy), and finally, you are presiding over the death of your own company. BTW, remember what DC did to the creators of Superman--it wasn't nice, either.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Feb 17, 2013 3:04:54 PM


  15. What next? Neo-Nazi or KKK authors for "diversity"?

    Posted by: sword | Feb 17, 2013 3:18:08 PM


  16. @Sargon Bighorn: do they have a written policy against hiring Holocaust deniers or people who "think Blacks are cursed by God"? You can't just look at whom they have hired to tell. One problem is that there are not many Holocaust deniers, so the chances of finding one who can draw well enough to be hired by DC Comics is pretty slim.

    The "Blacks are cursed by God" idea was popular in the past under a racist assumption that the "mark of Cain" required dark skin. The idea that Blacks were descendants of Cain was common in America in the 19th century, and was picked up by Joseph Smith or Bringham Young, and was perhaps the motivation for not allowing Blacks to be Mormon priests until 1978 (the Mormons explicitly disavowed the "mark of Cain" nonsense in 1954 but cited the existence of a "scriptural precedent" that might some day be changed, and "some day" took them over 20 years.) Oddly, dropping the restriction seems to have been due to expanding into Brazil, where there were too many mixed-race converts for them to have enough priests unless they dropped the restriction. Citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_and_mark_of_Cain#Latter-day_Saints
    The cynical explanation: "We need to uphold our tradition" "But, we won't get those Brazilians giving us 10% of their income if we can't expand there because of that tradition." "Hey, I just got a revelation from the Almighty (the Almighty Dollar, that is)."

    Given that it took the Mormons 20 years, plus some external factors, to allow Black priests after officially disavowing some racist nonsense, one might surmise that it will take about as long after anti-gay prejudice becomes socially unacceptable for the Mormons to fully accept gays.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 17, 2013 3:31:20 PM


  17. I like that the shop owners are responding like this. It's too bad they didn't stick up for the Wonder Woman when the current writer was hired and three months in made the Amazons into men haters who take over ships, rape the sailors and then kill them. Oh, and any male children resulting from the rape are sold to Hades... This among other similar mysoginistic things have made many long term fans very sad...

    Posted by: Anthony | Feb 17, 2013 3:42:51 PM


  18. I'm not looking for DC to suddenly become leading edge on social issues -- they just don't seem to get it in that regard.

    Posted by: Hunter | Feb 17, 2013 5:30:04 PM


  19. @Hunter

    This is far from leading edge according to any recent poll in the United States.

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 17, 2013 6:04:59 PM


  20. Looks like I won't be purchasing any DC comics from now on. I don't want to support any bigotry supporting companies.

    I'm a straight woman btw. But I have a gay son.

    Posted by: SailorMoon | Feb 17, 2013 7:22:40 PM


  21. Just out of curiosity, what gym does "Superman" use? He's not going to build those muscles by lifting 500 lb weights given how strong he is supposed to be naturally.

    Besides, if he's "faster than a speeding bullet," he'd do a lot of damage by producing a shock wave.

    Finally, how does he squeeze into clothes that would make him look like a wimpy reporter? Sounds to me like the "artist" has a continuity problem.


    Posted by: Bill | Feb 18, 2013 12:19:24 AM


  22. Was a fan of the mans writing and presumed he was a good guy given the themes...but theres no way I'll be going to see the Enders Game movie, no doubt he wouldn't want my filthy gay money anyway.

    Posted by: Heath | Feb 18, 2013 3:26:02 AM


  23. DC really screwed the pooch with this one. Card isn't just some random bigot, he's made bigotry his life's work, has said and written repellant things. Read up on his book "Hamlet's Father," a disgusting diatribe against gays, accusing us of being child rapists. It could share a shelf with the worst racist literature.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 18, 2013 7:03:27 AM


  24. Heath: I was really surprised when i found the guy was an homophobe (he is more than that because he is clearly a lunatic), because the clear message of Ender's game is to respect the differences

    Posted by: jjose712 | Feb 18, 2013 8:15:06 AM


  25. Isn't it bizarre that someone who has threatened to overthrow the US government (Orson Card) would be allowed to write Superman ---of all characters?!??!!

    DC Comics has lost its commmon sense....

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Feb 18, 2013 5:47:19 PM


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