All words by Cameron Hatheway
Truth, Justice, and the anti-homosexual way.
That’s how many comic book fans hypothesize the outcome of Superman when Orson Scott Card gets his hands on him.
DC Comics now find themselves in hot water with a majority of fans after their decision to hire science-fiction author and known homophobe Orson Scott Card to write a chapter in the upcoming digital comic. While other talented creators such as Chris Samnee, Jeff Parker, and Chris Sprouse are also involved with Adventures of Superman #1–debuting in late April–it’s Card’s association that’s getting the attention of fans and media outlets.
Best known for his science-fiction novel “Ender’s Game” (to be a motion picture later this year), Card is also known for his controversial remarks and views on homosexuality and gay marriage. Oh, you hadn’t heard? For instance, did you know that homosexuals long to leave the LGBT community? Card does.
“The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.”
The above quote is from his 2004 essay “Homosexual ‘Marriage’ and Civilization” from The Rhinoceros Times. Card loves writing essays against the LGBT community, and has written at length on the subject. He can’t figure out why people label him a ‘homophobe,’ however. Maybe it’s because he’s also been a member on the board of directors for the National Organization for Marriage since 2009, a group that seeks to prevent marriage equality.
Since the news first broke, thousands of comic book fans have made themselves vocal, with a majority of them wanting DC Comics to sever connections with Card. Boycotts have been encouraged against both Adventures of Superman #1 and DC Comics, and petitions have been signed, the most popular being over at AllOut.org:
“By hiring Orson Scott Card despite his anti-gay efforts you are giving him a new platform and supporting his hate. Make sure your brand stands for equality and drop Orson Scott Card now.” As of this article, the petition has over 15,000 signatures.
But while people are calling for Card’s head on a silver platter, the topic of free speech comes up, and if DC comics should fire a person based on their personal beliefs. After all, there are several outspoken liberals and conservatives working in the comics industry, so what makes Card any different from the regulars?
The difference is Card is a part of an organization that seeks to prevent ‘Adam & Steve’ from ever becoming a reality, and donates the money he’s made from his works to the causes he’s deeply passionate about. He wishes to cause emotional pain to an entire community of individuals who want the same rights as the rest of us, and the medium of comic books will only provide him another platform to spew his hate.
Despite the massive uproar from fans, DC Comics have stood their ground on the subject: “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.”
Many see their response as a cop-out, because all this attention foreshadows the issue in question selling like gangbusters. And most likely Card has already been paid beforehand for his work, and if he does in fact make anything on the backend from sales is entirely between him and DC.
One of my favorite responses on the subject has been from Brett White of Comic Book Resources:
“Imagine if Card had previously made comments about how great segregation was, or how he believes it’s his right to own slaves. Imagine if Card had gone on lengthy diatribes about how all women should be expunged from the work force and shoved back into their kitchens, where they belong. What if Card was on the board of directors for a group dedicated to keeping interracial marriage illegal? At one point in the past, the majority of society could, disgustingly, view every single one of those statements as a valid opinion. This is where history has proven to be on the side of progress and equality, and it’s here where every argument against gay marriage and LGBT equality is obliterated. History holds the truth. So why are anti-gay beliefs so easily dismissed as mere opinions whereas similar beliefs against people of color labeled as racist and are therefore, rightfully so, looked at as reprehensible?”
In recent years DC Comics has strived to make their cast of characters diverse in nature, ranging from different races, genders, and sexual orientation. To suddenly hire a writer and activist like Card could undo several years of hard work and lose trust in fans. While DC Comics is very protective of their iconic characters and more than likely won’t approve of any drastic changes to a character like Superman, just the mere hiring of Card is damaging to their reputation.
So come April 29th, you have two options; buy the comic, or don’t buy the comic. Let your wallet do the talking, because after all it’s just another comic book that the publishers want you to get hyped about.