So — Superman has come out. He’s gay. I know, stop the presses, another figure of the comic book universe is being stripped of his straight, white, maleness and tossed into the volcano of intersectionality. It’s about as edgy and groundbreaking as a consumer-product survey.
I was less surprised to learn Superman was getting pinkwashed than I was to find out Superman isn’t Superman anymore. There’s a new Superman, apparently, and it’s Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s son, Jonathan Kent. According to DC Comics sometime this month he’s going to kiss a dude and, poof, be gay, or bisexual, or whatever.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a pillow-biter! What it isn’t is believable. I mean, have you met any of us gay men? How’s Superman going to thwart the bank robbers with his nose stuck in Grindr half the day as he flies over different neighborhoods to refresh the grid? You can’t save the universe with witty retorts and backhanded compliments. Swoop up a damsel in distress? I dunno, what’s she wearing? Gallantry, fortitude and valor aren’t traits generally associated with your average homosexual and we gays know that better than anyone.
Gay people are so much better suited to be villains. The spindly, slippery, camp, sexually amorphous, morally bankrupt, narcissistic trickster is an archetype used over and over again for the baddies. It’s the feminine chaotic versus the masculine heroic and a dichotomy that resonates in reality. It’s why female villains are always so much more engaging, believable, and fun compared to most female superheroes. The best female superheroes are ones where their femininity is intrinsic to their strength and character. Rogue from X-Men — sassy, playful, taking charge yet deeply vulnerable — was always a personal favorite.
As a kid, and avid comic book reader, I found something odd about my friends who picked up those pages to see what the hero was up to. I didn’t care about whatever personal drama the protagonist was engaged in, I skipped ahead to the villains. The hero — often basic, boring and predictable — was only there, I assumed, as a vehicle to introduce us to a trove of villains who were cooler, more interesting, and had better outfits. Heroes, cheered on by the masses, said nothing to me. But those outcast antipodes who had a beef with the world and wanted to blow stuff up, that was relatable. That’s why I never read Superman — his villains were lame and he always came off as the most one-dimensional hero of them all.
For years now, the culturally dominant left has put the pedal to the metal in weaponizing art to manipulate perceptions and wish fictions into reality. It’s a good fit, because, much like the spinner rack, they, too, offer a comic universe filled with plot holes and magic bullet solutions to hysterically urgent, earth-shattering crises. That must be why the new Superman recently battled something called ‘climate change’ in the pages of the comic.
‘The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity,’ a writer for the series said in an interview. Oh, OK, well, let’s just have him waltz into gaydom. What did you do, throw a dart at the identity board and run with it? That’s more offensive than putting a straight guy in the rightful, and believable, role of world savior.
Oh, yes, representation, they scream, as though we needed any more. Gay saturation is not only cringe and irritating but may be damaging to budding homosexuals. Does a gay Superman give the false impression that, when you enter into the dating world, you may meet and fall in love with a real Superman? Because I got news for you, kiddos, you won’t. And when you do share that passionate kiss with the tall dark heroic man of your fantasies, it’ll be after a few lines of coke at a frat party and he’ll spend the rest of the semester avoiding you.
Dear young, gay comic book readers, gay Superman doesn’t exist but you will meet plenty of toxic people with truckloads of emotional baggage who do. And maybe somewhere down the line, if you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone who is not a hero to the planet, but only to you.