Can Superman Triumph Over Modern Thought Police?
DC Comics hiring Orson Scott Card to write for the Superman comic book series ignited liberal fury across on the Web.
At first the backlash was relegated to comic book message boards. Then it spread like a forest fire, first to small news sites and now into the mainstream media. A hugely successful author is taking on a beloved character, and people aren't happy.
If you have to ask who Card is, your probably don't read science fiction. He is the author of Ender's Game, one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time. He is recognized as a living legend among his peers. A movie based on his book is coming out later this year starring Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley.
So why isn't news of a writer of Card's caliber writing a popular comic book character met with applause? Why have liberals (many of whom have never cracked a Superman comic or Card novel) united to get him fired?
The answer lies in Card's beliefs. Card's legacy goes beyond his writing talents. He sits on the board of the National Organization of Marriage. He sticks to his Mormon faith, vigorously denouncing gay marriage and stating his views that homosexuality is an aberration.
Ever since DC's announcement that Card would be writing the first issue in a series called Adventures of Superman there has been continual debate.
"No one is repressing Card's right to say anything," says gay writer (and Mormon) Andy Mangels to the Daily Beast. "But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be consequences."
The idea of having consequences for differing values, however, has some in the comic book industry uncomfortable. Mark Millar, one of the most popular liberal writers in comics, wrote on Twitter:
Petitioning to have Card fired for his social views is as fascistic as politicians condemning a sexual preference.
Miller was subsequently attacked on the social media network. Rich Johnston, another well known liberal in the comics industry, refused to join the petition against Card, stating on Bleeding Cool News that firing someone for their beliefs only starts an evil trend where you yourself might be next.
Despite Johnston not agreeing with Card's views, the comics veteran was immediately attacked on Twitter, with dissenters giving statements ranging from desire to see Johnston raped to death threats.
Is Superman Conservative?
Suddenly the liberal/gay community is trying to make Superman a symbol of their cause. But is he? Since the beginning, Superman has been the most conservative of superheroes, even to the point that Frank Miller lambasted the character as a Reagan crony in his classic The Dark Knight Returns.
The most significant Superman comics have always focused on his old-fashioned views of morality, thinking of himself at heart as a farm boy who refuses to kill or interfere in the course of human events (the opposite of big government).
Whenever there's been a story where Superman adopts liberal principles, he's inevitably repented of his decision. Such as the story of the graphic novel Kindgom Come, where Superman went around punishing every superhero who disagreed with him, a bit like this current situation with liberals and Card. The only difference is Superman eventually realized he was wrong.
If Card is fired, it should concern conservatives and liberals alike. If DC Comics's mantra becomes: Intolerance will not be tolerated, it will be but another admission that we live in "The Age of the Ridiculous."
We who choose to swim against the current are facing persecution in the name of love. The bullied are the bullies. The leaders of witch hunts are humping broomsticks. Do those who wish Card gone, watch Polanski and Charlie Chaplin movies? Those men were pedophiles. Do they read the works of Hemingway and Dickens? Those men were racists. Do we respect the Founding Fathers? Those men weren't perfect. Many of them (such as Washington and Jefferson) owned slaves.
It's clear that the greatest hero in all of comics is currently in danger of being the victim of an agenda.
Take a Stand for the Man of Steel, Individual Thought
If you wish to protect the right to not be fired for your beliefs, it will cost you $2.99. By buying Adventures of Superman #1 (available April 29) and making the issue a success, you will be making the statement that bullies can't fire people for disagreeing with them.
This is about more then Card. This is about all of us. It is a shame that a literary hero so completely decent is now being used as a battlefield. Superman is the hero of all, not just Republicans or Democrats. How easily people forget. There is hatred spewing in the air. And to those responsible for it, it is the opinion of this writer you have no conception of what Superman is actually about.