Superman is supposed to be on the verge of having a really big year. The Christopher Nolan produced Warner Brother's film "Man of Steel" is coming to theaters soon hoping to restart the sagging franchise. DC Comics recently re-launched their continuity as the New 52 with the goal of bringing in new readers. Hot on the heels of these Mattel is launching both "Man of Steel" and New 52 product lines as shown at the New York American International Toy Fair last weekend.
DC Comics has unfortunately thrown a wrench into everyone’s plans with a controversial choice of writer for their new digital comic "the Adventures of Superman". They announced last week that controversial author Orson Scott Card will pen at least one issue of this new series. Card is well known as the author of the "Ender Games" sci-fi novels.
Orson Scott Card is also famous in the political realm as a Mormon board member of the National Organization for Marriage, which many groups such as the National Black Justice Coalition have deemed a hate group. It was through this position that Card has made statements likening all LGBT to pedophiles. Some theorize his works are fictionalized homophobia and that Ender Games specifically is about pedophilia.
In an essay Card wrote for Ornery.org he called gay marriage "A potentially devastating social experiment on ourselves". He also stated that gay men can already get married so there is no discrimination in marriage because "Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law."
DC Comics has stood by their hiring telling the Advocate that “As content creators we steadfastly support freedom of expression”.
That has not stopped the swelling demand by fans and the LGBT community to fire Orson Scott Card. A check of DC’s Facebook page show a minority in support of Mr. Card. Those fans that approve of his hiring mainly state an agreement with his radical views. Some have just said that a person's beliefs should not affect his employment.
People who want Orson Scott Card fired say this is nonsense. They do not believe an avowed homophobe who is politically active in the fight over LGBT rights should hold a position writing for America’s most iconic superhero. It has been noted that DC Comics would not hire a Nazi or member of the KKK to write Superman. A petition has been started at AllOut.org and has already amassed more than 12,000 signatures.
As reported by the Huffington Post comic book stores across the country have stopped buying all print issues of Superman in protest of this digital edition.
It remains to be seen what impact this controversial hire will have on ticket sales for "Man of Steel", comics sales for DC, and the new Superman toy lines being released by Mattel.