On Sunday in London, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio affirmed an earlier statement that DC would be changing the sexual orientation of one of its superheroes. He said that an existing character would become one of DC’s “most prominent gay characters,” implying that there are several less-prominent gay characters in the DC universe.
It wasn’t said in what comic or issue that the revelation would occur, but a DC flack said that the story would be in June.
Good for DC. And good for the readers. As much as staid comics like DC play to nostalgia, it would be remiss of them and other media outlets to not reflect the changing composition of the American people. In fact, it’s probably long overdue, but better late than never.
Ok, enough with the rhetoric that shows how enlightened and progressive the SJ writing staff is…
WHO WILL THE CHARACTER BE?
Let’s start with the highest profile characters:
The ONLY thing Aquaman has going against him is the element of surprise. Everyone has pretty much expected Aquaman to be gay. He has bleached-blonde hair, a tight, hairless body, is an avid swimmer, and regularly consorts with the most phallic of animals, the dolphin. When your greatest strength is an army of porpoises or dolphins or whales, you might as well be summoning your powers from the top of the Washington Monument. Also, he communicates with sea animals telepathically. I’m not sure if gay people can do this, but maybe they can. I’m on a deadline, so there’s no time for me to do the research.
Aquaman has always been a bit of a loner, perhaps because he was ostracized by cruel culture that didn’t understand who he was as a person.
Finally, if Aquaman is made gay, then there is no material change to the storyline, unless the marine life begins to shun him, which would be a totally intolerant move. Marine life are among the most tolerant to alternative lifestyles in my limited experience with them, which is all I have to go on.
Logic tells me that when Chris O’Donnell plays a superhero, then that superhero is most likely gay. He was an 8 year-old acrobat that travelled with the circus. I’m not saying that is a cause or effect of being gay, but it definitely allows for the possibility.
More important in the Robin origin story is that he was a ward of Batman, which could seriously stunt your social development. Again, not saying it will make you gay, but if I was raised by a brooding Christian Bale or Val Kilmer, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility. I do believe that the Michael Keaton Batman would not make me gay, but that’s just my belief and not a general rule for the population.
Also, Robin is named after a beautiful small bird with no aggression to speak of. That sounds like a pretty gay alter-ego. Just like I think all the players for the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays become gay once they sign with their teams.
I don’t think that DC would make one of their most iconic characters gay, if only because it would hamper lots of licensing deals already in place. From a strictly strategic position, I think that a lot of parents would be uncomfortable putting their kids in a Batman sleeping bag, or Batman pajamas if Batman had recently come out.
Parents who put their children in Aquaman pajamas at a young age know that the decision has been made and that their child is homosexual.
Finally, it’s been my experience that lots of gay men have bald men in their lives that they treat as nemeses or archenemies.
Again, just my personal experience.
He adopted a little acrobat boy, which was probably a red flag, and his trysts with Vicki Vale and the like have always seemed a little contrived and disingenuous. But, that’s not a compelling enough reason. If Batman was gay, I think he would have gotten a different butler a long time ago. I’m sure Alfred is very capable, but does he have the allure of a 17 year-old Asian houseboy with an oddly anglicized name like “Marshall?”
Of course he doesn’t. It’s also been my experience that wealthy gay men, aside from Tom Ford, really opt for a lot more color in their outfits than Batman does, which again leads us to the whole “Robin discussion.”
There’s an issue here that precludes women from this conversation, and that is the fact that making Wonder Womana lesbian to stay current with the times would go over like a fart in church. It would be seen as hopeless pandering to the predominately male readership by offering up lesbian fantasies galore.
Don’t get me wrong, I think they should do it, I just don’t think it should follow this announcement.
It’s lame, but I’m more interested in being right about this than entertaining. They’re probably blowing this whole announcement out of proportion, then going to out some lame tertiary character like Shazaam!, Plastic Man, or the Green Arrow. He will be gay, DC will be lauded for their progressive approach, all the while not seeing a bit of backlash, because no one cars if these characters are alive or dead, let alone gay or straight.
People will go back to never reading about these guys, and the world will keep spinning, albeit with a few more gay porn parodies for the character in question.