"Champion of the Oppressed!" Those are the first words that Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster used to describe Superman when he first appeared in 1938 in Action Comics #1. Now, seventy-five years later, the company that owns the rights to the character of Superman is placing his story in the hands of someone who is, in my opinion, one of the oppressors.
This story breaks my heart. Superman is a character that should be better than all of us. DC Comics has hired the science fiction writer Orson Scott Card to write the first arc of their new Superman title, Adventures of Superman, which is set to debut digitally in April and in print in May. Card is probably most famous for his Ender's Game series of books, and for his print adaptations of popular movies into essentially throw-away novels.
But he has no business writing Superman. Card has written numerous articles which say flat-out that marriage equality -- the legalization of same-sex marriage -- will lead to the end of civilization. He is on the board of the notorious anti-gay and anti-marriage equality group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM.) He regularly uses his celebrity to promote his case and his cause, as well as his faith. (He's a Mormon. I don't know why the Mormon's are so against marriage equality, but remember that they poured millions and millions of out-of-state dollars into California to promote the repeal of the California gay marriage act.) If you have read Card's work, you also know that the characters in them who are in any way villainous or antagonistic just happen to be gay as well.
Like I said earlier, Card was a niche writer who achieved a measure of popular success writing novel adaptations of popular movies. I stopped reading his stuff years ago, mainly for two reasons: first, I really got tired of just about every villain in his stories being gay, and second, because I find his writing to be hackneyed and mediocre. There are writers who can make the most ordinary thing beautiful through their use of language, like Ray Bradbury. There are writers who can blow your mind with their bold ideas when they extrapolate possibly futures from existing technology, like Robert Heinlein. Card is neither of these.
But I could stand it if Superman were being written by a mediocre hack. It's happened many times over the past 75 years. (Just about every Superman story written between 1955 and 1965 is cringe-worthy in one respect or another, but I digress.) What I can't stand is the idea that Superman will be written by a proponent of hate. Superman really is the embodiment of Truth, Justice, and, yes, The American Way. The character deserves better. DC's audience deserves better.
I will be boycotting DC's Superman books until they either dismiss Card or until his work is finished and he moves on. I am seriously contemplating boycotting all of DC's books, even though this would mean interrupting my fifty-one-plus years of reading and collecting Green Lantern. As just one consumer among hundreds of thousands, the only way I can vote on the issue is with my feet and my wallet. So I'm walking away from DC for now, and keeping my wallet closed. I urge you all to do the same.
For more information on the story, and to sign a petition asking DC to reconsider their choice, you can go here:
Anti-Gay Writer on Superman?