The list of retailers who refuse to carry the upcoming Adventures of Superman comic because of controversial sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card’s involvement is growing. This time, it’s Funny Business in Nyack, NY, whose owner, Chris Barchuk, cited Card’s vocal opposition to homosexuality and marriage equality as the reason he won’t carry the book.
When asked if this meant he’d carry Adventures of Superman once Card’s commitment to the title was finished, Barchuk answered emphatically, “I’m not going to carry the book at all if I can’t order the run from the start. People can get it online, or I'll special order it for them if they want, but I won’t put it on my shelves.”
Barchuk was quick to point out the ways DC Comics has tried in recent years to portray the LGBT community in a positive, prominent light, “Yet here [Card] is working for a company that has all of these prominent gay characters! And it wasn’t that long ago that Earth 2 featured one of the main characters, one of the most important characters in that part of the DC Universe, proposing to his boyfriend! So Card says he’s so against gay marriage but now he’s working for DC. What kind of conviction is that on his part by taking a paycheck from a company that has actively endorsed a gay lifestyle? It’s hilarious!”
DC Comics has done an impressive job of foregrounding homosexual characters in recent years. They’ve taken lesser-known characters from the Wildstorm imprint, Apollo and Midnighter, who had long been involved in a romantic relationship with each other and put them in the main DC Universe on the high-profile New 52 Stormwatch title. In 2006, DC reinvented Batwoman as a lesbian with a romantic history with Renee Montoya (The Question). And that's only the start.
In a high profile move, Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern who made his first appearance all the way back in 1940’s All-American Comics #16, was reinvented as a gay man at the start of 2012’s Earth 2. By using one of DC’s most recognizable names (Green Lantern) to portray a confident, successful man in a long term, committed homosexual relationship (he proposes to his boyfriend in Earth 2 #2), DC effectively cemented their position at the forefront of the movement to make superhero comics more inclusive. While it had been done in other comics with other characters, none had the strength of the Green Lantern brand name behind them and that’s what made this move so important. What’s more, Alan Scott is certainly the most powerful character who’s been introduced in Earth 2 and is a natural choice for the leader of the superhero team that will surely be forming in that book in coming months. DC appears committed to putting LGBT characters in the spotlight, and this is what has made their decision to hire Card so confusing.
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