Here at Word of the Nerd, we are a big family. We have very intense discussions about nerdy things and those discussions can lead to differences of opinions and therefore, can lead to arguments. They are not malicious in any way, shape or form and usual end with a very nerdy joke and everyone laughing (whether it is at the person or the joke remains to be seen).
So when it was announced that DC comic was going to make one of their characters a homosexual, it obviously sparked a debate. Firstly, who would it be? Secondly, was it all a marketing ploy and did it really matter in the grand scheme of things?
(Let me interject here by saying that I am the comic book newbie of the site. Sure I grew up reading comics, but as I grew older I began reading novels and plays, and comics just fell by the wayside. When I started writing for this site, I realized that I missed my old friend, the comic book, and with the recommendations of my knowledgeable colleagues, I was able to get right back into the swing of things)
Finally, when the big secret was revealed and we learned that Alan Scott would be DC’s new gay character (which we discussed in the most recent episode of DC Confidential), we all had an opinion about it. Funny thing was, all of us had the same opinion. Who really gives a crap? But, being journalists, we decided we would argue whether or not it was a big deal and if it would make a difference in the DC Universe. Instead of one of us arguing for and against the fact that it is important, we decided to split the story into two different points of view. Mark chose to write it from the I Couldn’t Care Less That Alan Scott is Gay, and Neither Should You standpoint, whereas I decided to look at it as – It really doesn’t matter that Alan Scott is Gay but we should care.
Not in the bad way we should care, but in the good way.
Think about it this way: comic book characters’ sexual orientation has never really mattered much, but they usually fall into the “straight” or “it really doesn’t affect the character so let’s not bring it up” category. And that is all well and good, but why aren’t there more gay characters? Is it because they wont be as successful, sales-wise, as their straight counter parts? Well we know that isn’t true, as Kate Kane (a.k.a Batwoman) is a lesbian and Batwoman is one of the better selling DC comic books of the New 52.
So then what could it be?
The fact remains that there is no real reason why all of the superheroes in comic books are straight. That was just the way they were created back in the 50’s and that is how they have evolved over the years. But now that homosexuality is becoming more prominent in the world (and more importantly, widely accepted), it is time for a change. I feel that there should be more gay characters in comic books. But I must add that there is a certain way it should be handled. The sexual orientation of a character can be whatever, as long as it doesn’t affect the story. Take Kate Kane/Batwoman for example. In the first issue it is established that she is interested in women. But does that become a main part of the story? No. The story continues regardless of Kate Kane and her girlfriend. That aspect of the story is handled the same way as if the love interest was a man. Why? Because Batwoman isn’t a lesbian. Kate Kane is. Heroes don’t have a sexual orientation. They are there to protect innocent people and save the day from whatever shit the bad guys can conjure up. Their alter egos, on the other hand, have a life and therefore can be written or created to be anything. But do we read the comics to find out what Clark Kent, or Bruce Wayne are up to? No. I read comics to see how the world is going to be saved or what trouble my favorite heroes are going to find themselves in.
So does matter that Alan Scott is gay? Or that Kate Kane is gay? No. It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t change anything about them other than their sexual orientation. They are still superheroes, and will continue to be regardless of who they share their bed with. Should we care? Yes. We should care because it shows that DC (and Marvel for that matter) are looking at the world around them, seeing the changes that are happening and having the brains to reflect that in their characters.
Look, as I see it, you can be upset that they made Alan Scott gay and that it shouldn’t have been done. But guess what? It is done, and you just need to deal with it. As far as I am concerned, they should make more characters gay. Maybe that way children will grow up to accept people for who they are as people, not who they are interested in sexually. And if you really think about it, with Alan Scott and Kate Kane being homosexuals. Two entire different universes and we know of two super hero homosexuals. Isn’t that kind of sad?
Now… If I only knew who Alan Scott was….