A few years back Superman (2011 in DC Comics) announced he was renouncing his U.S. citizenship! Now, I’ve not been a comic book reader/consumer since I was 10-11 years old, but I was always a big Superman fan.
I found this action repulsive. One – that the beloved character would do such a thing, and Two – that in so doing such a children’s fictional comic would make the national news. After all, they ARE just comic books.
Fast-forward to NOW. It was announced a couple of months ago (and made the national news again recently) that beloved perennially-in-high-school everyteen comic book character Archie Andrews would die in the comic book. This was NOT due to his having been in high school 78 years.
It was because he would dive in front of an assailant attacking his friend with a gun, and his taking a bullet for him! Archie’s GAY friend!
What do I make of this?
Political correctness aside, I like to believe I would have done the same thing for any good childhood friend. My best friend from third grade through college was a legitimately brilliant. IQ off the charts. Socially, less skilled. But, except for his studies and church, my constant companion. He was the geek I aspired to be, even though I didn’t have the mental acuity.
After his own father disowned him when he came out of the closet as a college freshman, and my own father lampooned his gayness, I had to stand up for Carl. Fortunately, no one shot him. And I, myself, had to overcome childhood indoctrination regarding gayness, and what that means. After all, sexual preference aside, he remained my friend!
I’m not yet certain how I feel about comic books being tools for political correctness. Of course, even Peanuts eventually had a Black character. I suppose comic books must change with the times, as well. I don’t know how the Archie friend’s character’s gayness is shown to the comic book audience. Obviously kids are more aware of such things than I was 50-60 years ago.
But, I know one thing.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13 (ASV)
If we can teach this to the self-absorbed-faces-glued-to-their-cell-phone adolescents, then all is not lost. If only adults read comic books.