Here’s the difference between DC Comics and Marvel. When Marvel Comics wants attention, it put together a summer blockbuster series of comics (Avengers vs. X-Men, Skrull Invasion, Civil War, etc.) based on epic storylines and kick-ass fights. These stories are largely hit or miss and obvious money grabs, but they’re at least mostly based on logical story progression and character development. They also from time to time release a movie that breaks every single record and makes people want to buy the comics. It’s worked out so far.
On the other hand, DC Comics goes all in on short-sighted attention-whoring publicity stunts that don’t make much sense. Remember in the early 90s when they said, “hey, let’s kill Batman and Superman for the f*ck of it” or “let’s bring in a world-renowned writer for a big crossover centered around rape.” Or when they just decided to have the whole roster of heroes lose their powers for a couple of shitty months. Or when Superman changed his suit to make him a glorified laser pointer for a few months. Or most recently when the company decided to erase 70 years of history and start every character over from scratch even though the Batman franchise was in the middle of a hot run of creative excellence.
All of these publicity stunts came with PR releases that were basically “look at us, we’re cutting edge and we changed things!” Just when the New 52 revamp was gaining steam for its stellar writing (Batman is still a great series), DC goes ahead and pulls this obvious cry for attention: Green Lantern is gay everybody. As part of recreating its characters from scratch, Alan Scott, the Green Lantern from Earth-2 (don’t even f*cking ask) kisses a guy.
Contrary to DC pretending that it’s being cutting edge, there are a multitude of gay characters in super-hero comics. Midnighter and Apollo, two of my favorite characters from Authority, are lovers. Batwoman is a lesbian. Marvel’s Northstar is marrying his boyfriend in May – a topic that people in 2012 actually still care about.
DC, though, knows that these characters aren’t going to get mainstream attention for coming out. So instead of just building up a character from scratch or use actual plot development, they just slap some gay on one of the trademark characters in order to get some publicity.
Obviously, the issue here isn’t that comic books are utilizing homosexual characters. It’s been a long time since “oooh he’s a gay character” has been in the middle of any sort of controversy. The issue is that DC Comics is using homosexuality as nothing but a gimmick to get attention to its brand. It’s outdated and desperate, which is odd for a company kicking ass in sales since the New 52 started.
See you guys in 2013 when Wonder Woman gets an abortion.