Superman Vs. Orson Scott Card

superman1Homophobic science fiction writer Orson Scott Card has been tapped to write a story or two for DC Comics’ new digital first Adventures of Superman. Controversy and outrage swirl in the wake of this recent announcement. Find out why I think the writer shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Man of Steel, after the jump.

I am sooo late to the party on this one. And I’m ashamed. I have to admit up front to being uninformed. I knew Orson Scott Card’s name. I knew he was a science fiction writer. I knew his big claim to fame was a novel, possibly a series of novels, called “Ender’s Game.” I knew he had also written a few books on writing. I knew that “Ender’s Game” had been made into audio plays on Book Radio on satellite, and that they were good for insomnia whenever I put them on, cuz I went right out. Other than that, I knew nothing about the man personally, and I certainly didn’t know anything about his politics.

superman2It turns out the man is a raging homophobe. I didn’t find this out until it was announced that Card would be contributing to a new digital first comic from DC Comics called Adventures of Superman. I was surprised and shocked. This shouldn’t be happening. Such a man as Card should not be writing the Man of Steel. I don’t even think he should be allowed to.

There have been many solutions to this. We could always vote with our dollars, and just not buy the book in digital form or otherwise. I don’t think that is really fair though. After all, ‘just don’t buy the book’ sounds an awful lot like ‘just don’t marry a member of the same sex,’ doesn’t it? Sounds almost like something Card himself might say. There’s a petition out there for you to sign, it’s right here, and science fiction author David Gerrold has offered an intriguing and amusing solution here.

I myself don’t want to come off Card-ish and insist the man be deprived of his right to work, just as he would insist others be deprived of their right to marry those they love, but, again, he should not be allowed to write Superman. Being the man he is, there’s no way that Card can even understand who Superman is and what makes him who he is.

superman3Superman stands for what’s right, and he protects the rights of those who cannot do it themselves. I’ll be bold and just say it. Superman would be for gay marriage. Superman stands for civil rights, Superman protects minorities, Superman is a real American – whether he was born on Krypton or in Kansas, the Man of Tomorrow is all-American.

This is how he has always been. Early on, before America entered World War II, in the pages of Look magazine, Superman captured Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin and delivered them to the World Court to stand trial for crimes against humanity. On the radio later in the decade, Superman took on the Ku Klux Klan. And what about the countless times he tried to change the world for the better by traveling back in time to save both Lincoln and Kennedy from assassins’ bullets? Does this sound like a man who doesn’t fight for civil rights?

Orson Scott Card isn’t qualified to write Superman. Let him go back to writing flawed characters like Iron Man. That he can do. Just not a true American role model like Superman, who would fight for all of our rights to marry anyone we loved. Superman fights for what is right, and that’s why I love Superman.

8 Replies to “Superman Vs. Orson Scott Card”

  1. I see you have fallen victim to a politically correct publicity stunt. Superman is at best just a sad rip off of Doc Savage, and at worst, he is the personification of the Nazi ideal. that is how he was created. so the idea that he would stand for modern values is a joke.
    Now, we get into the idea that Orson Scott Card is a raging Homophobe , you compare him to the KKK, which murdered and tortured people, he has done nothing of the sort. he is a Mormon, and has expressed his religious values. what you are saying is not PC it is religious persecution. I do not support his stand on the issue, but I am not a religious person. If you are looking for what the ideal of “truth, justice and the American way” are all about, I would have to say that freedom of speech and freedom from religious persecution is the very first thing mentioned in the Bill of Rights.
    Card is an amazing writer, who has won every award there is in the field. This stunt is nothing more then a vendetta against a man who had the courage to express his own opinion about something. I don’t agree with it, but like superman, (metaphorically), I would fight to the death for his right to say it.
    Trying to blackball him professionally is nothing more than a McCarthy style stunt and do you really want to stand on the side of oppression in the name of political correctness. In the 50’s it was communism, and now they are trying to make it religion. Do not fall victim to this sort of logical fallacy. I hope that gays do get equal status, but not at the expense of everyone else. Their ideas and beliefs are different, just like everyone’s and should be respected. One set of people can never have freedom at the expense of another, otherwise you are just trading places between masters and slaves.

    1. Yes, it’s true Superman evolved from Doc Savage, a villainous switch on the John Carter concept, and the Nazi ideal – but he has changed with the times and adapted throughout his 75+ year history. As I pointed out however in the article, he has always stood for what was right.

      And for the record, I never compared Card to the Klan, or Hitler or Stalin for that matter, I only used them as examples of what Superman has fought for and against.

      I also will fight for Card’s freedom of speech. I don’t advocate taking that from him. I would just rather he not do it with Superman. Aren’t you actually putting me down for expressing my opinions as well? Trains run both ways.

      Thanks for commenting, I hope you keep reading even though we disagree on this point.

      1. Expressing an opinion is one thing, but trying to deny the man a right to work is another and that is what people are trying to do with this petition. They are trying to blacklist professionally and persecute him for his beliefs, I find this strange coming from people who claim that they are and oppressed minority.
        Card’s writing style has been to create moral paradox in his books, which would be ideal for a superman comic, since he is practically invincible, I don’t think he is going to write about superman bashing minorities or any such thing, since he has not written anything like that in the past.
        Superman has always been a sort of one dimensional character and one of the weakest in terms of plot devices. Card’s style of writing would be perfect for introducing the character to quandaries which can’t be solved by strength and invincibility. This is why DC choose him and if you had read Ender’s Game or Speaker for the Dead, you can see why he is an ideal choice for taking on this comic. He could wind up re-inventing him in the same way that Frank Miller re-invented Batman.
        Considering what he must be charging DC to write a comic book, (he is a 2 time Nebula and Hugo award winner and a multiple best selling author), I think they know what a catch they got in signing him. This is not about gay rights, the comic is not gay rights, this is nothing but a publicity stunt used to discredit a political opponent and slander his work. That is not going to change anyone’s mind about the issue one way or the other, so to the people professing that we all show tolerance, I have to say, practice what you preach.
        Do not worry about me discarding your blog, I agree with you on many things about what you are saying and enjoy your posts, even this one. I just ask that we all show the same courtesy to others that we ask for ourselves.

  2. I usually agree with you, Glenn, but not this time. While I disagree with OSC’s ideas and statements on gay marriage, the idea that he couldn’t write on a topic because he wouldn’t “get it” is preposterous. He is a talented writer, and as I stated in another conversation about this topic, if I hadn’t been told he was homophobic, I wouldn’t have known it. A lot of the male-male relationships in his novels carry not a small hint of tension that can only be described as sexual.

    As for his opinions, while I REALLY disagree with them, he has the right to state them. If he verbally attacks a PERSON (not a group) then that is over the line. I’ve never heard of him bringing his views to a personal level. Of course anyone in the group he doesn’t agree with will take it personally, that’s human nature. I am of the believe that it’s impossible for a person to give offense, it’s only possible for a person to take it. You can’t offend me without my direct participation.

    1. I maintain my belief that he’s not right for the job. And as I stated in the article, with my limited knowledge (up until recently) of Card, I wouldn’t have known his politics either. From what I have heard, I don’t think his beliefs enter into his fiction either. I just don’t want him writing Superman.

      I’m just one voice though, and for the record, Card wouldn’t be the first person I’ve thought inappropriate to write the man of steel.

      Thanks for commenting, Dave, cheers.

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