Some horrified wingnuts have been distressed over the announcement that DC Comics will “turn” one of its major legacy superheroes gay in June, and weirdly those wingnuts don’t include vile hate lizard Bryan Fischer. After all, at last someone is recognizing what Bryan Fischer’s many arduous years relentlessly studying gay men taught him long ago: that a muscle-bound man who runs around in tights must be a very naughty pervert indeed. Vindication. So really, what is the big hairy-chested deal here, angry conservatives? Let us turn to the tense worrywarts of the Weekly Standard for what is one rather novel argument adrift in the sea of outrage, here it is: We ought to feel disgusted because DC Comics is using gays for, get this, marketing purposes. GAYSPLOITATION.
Standard opinionator Jonathan V. Last hates to bother you with this inconvenient saga, but your beloved elitist DC Comics has not been doing very well financially these last few years.
For people who don’t follow these things (read: normal, well-adjusted adults) Dan DiDio took over DC Comics in 2006 and drove the company into disarray. Sales were down. The company’s flagship characters were in books nobody bought. With the exception of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise, none of the DC characters were successfully being brought to movie screens—which is, at this point, the primary business mission for comic book publishers.
After six years of DiDio’s management, the company believed that it was so creatively bankrupt that it had to cancel every single title it owned. And then re-imagine—and re-launch—the entire brand. Imagine New Coke, if Coke was the only product the Coca-Cola company owned in 1985.
So guess what: now they want some of those big homosexual bucks everybody keeps talking about, sellouts.
Comic book nerds were pretty worked up about all of this, but the mainstream press was thrilled. They don’t normally pay much attention to comics, but DiDio got places like the New York Times to smile upon DC because he promised that, as part of the re-imagining, DC was going to the diversity woodshed. The New DC would have more minorities. And homosexuals. And drunks. And drunk, minority, homosexuals. (I’m kidding—but only about the alcoholism.) The Times, and other organs of polite society who otherwise couldn’t care less about comic books, loved it.
Ha ha, the stupid media has fallen prey to such an easy trap, suckers. Who reports a narrative like “a struggling business changes its strategy to widen its demographic appeal and attract some publicity” when “gays shamelessly exploited for homosexual bucks” is the actual story here?
But really, who cares? The New DC is already a creative failure. It looks like it’s going to wind up a business failure, too. And as a piece of social activism? This morning Marvel announced that their big homosexual character, Northstar, will get gay married—interracially gay married!—in June’s issue of Astonishing X-Men. So even in the contest for transparently commercial attempts at cultural relevance, DC is a already loser, too.
So there you go. You may now feel smugly secure that DC Comics has failed at capitalism, for being too slow to embrace the homos. That is such a fun argument for a conservative magazine to make! [Twitter/ Weekly Standard]Related