Justice League: Cry For Justice #1. Gay man killed to make a super-hero feel bad.

Justice League: Cry For Justice #3. Gay man killed, and skinned, to make us think that a super-villain, one who single-handedly took out the Justice League once for God’s sake, is scary and important.

These incidents probably wouldn’t stick in my craw except, well, twice in one series? And at a company where the only other gay male character of significance*, Obsidian, just got turned into an egg after several years of doing nothing much but hang out literally as a shadow in the background. And if killing the faggot wasn’t such an old and monumentally stupid cliche in genre fiction.
When Marvel, the company that gave us the historic “Hulk gets raped” comic and the “Lol, fag” version of Rawhide Kid, is doing a better job by their gay characters, something has gone wrong**.

*I don’t count Mikaal as a gay character, as “aliens who don’t perceive gender and sexuality as we do” was last excusable as a metaphor for homosexuality in The Left Hand of Darkness.
**Yes, Rucka’s Detective Comics run with Batwoman is brilliant and remarkable, and DC should be lauded for it. But if you think that the prurient interest many straight men have in lesbians didn’t play a role in getting it published you’re delusional.

14 Responses to “One More and it’s Officially a Trend”
  1. GeorgeK says:

    Oh wow. Seriously? Do they just not think?

  2. Lawrence says:

    But do you think Robinson killed Tasmanian Devil because he was gay? Or because he was a Z-list hero? The last time I remember him being used was in a JLA:Classified issue as a mind-controlled henchman. I think it’s more likely DC editors didn’t even realize they had gay superheroes as opposed to having an agenda to kill them.

    Although, that may be even worse.

  3. CandidGamera says:

    I was pissed about Tas.

  4. François says:

    So, at best, it’s the equivalent of, who was it, Kirkman I think, who killed the gay superhero he’d just created at Marvel, and seemingly didn’t think of the connotations.
    But the more I hear about it, the more Cry For Justice sounds like a very, very bad comic.
    Such a pity, I used to like Robinson’s writing.

  5. Lugh says:

    It’s very jarring to see such moronic gibberish so lovingly rendered…

  6. Jack says:

    To be fair, Tas is so off the radar that most people (myself included) would have had no idea if he was gay or straight.

    Not saying Robinson didn’t know, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt based on how well he handled Mikaal and Tony in Starman.

  7. Jason says:

    With that art, I don’t know that I’d have even ID’d that as Tas. Wow.

  8. Hayden says:

    I don’t have anything remotely interesting or smart to say about this subject, but if it’s any comfort, The New Gay just posted a pretty homoerotic (and funny!) video about a superhero birthday party for Professor Xavier. Over here.

  9. Mark Clapham says:

    Out of the closet, and straight into the fridge. Thanks, Mr Robinson.

    At least Kirkman *liked* his doomed gay character and gave him a good few issues before bumping him off (I think Kirkman was naive and over ambitious rather than malicious in combining a rare new gay superhero with the otherwise good idea of bumping off a new superhero after a big fanfair, just to show how dangerous their lives are).

    Robinson, on the other hand, just seems to be using these guys as cannon fodder. Maybe he didn’t know Tasmanian Devil was gay? That’s not a defence, it just shows how glibly this stuff is written.

    My only comfort from this kind of thing is that, after all the fuss over bringing back Hal Jordan, they’ve made him an even bigger dick than he was as Parallax.

  10. Mark Clapham says:

    Also, sorry to bang on, but this is the third review of Cry for Justice #3 I’ve read, and each one has described it as being awful for completely different reasons.

    Which makes it sound like a multi-faceted prism of bad, where you can spend hours turning it over and admiring the many aspects of its terribleness.

  11. That is ONE sarcastic underTAKEr.

    //\Oo/\\

  12. Mark Clapham says:

    “Alfred, why are you moonlighting as an undertaker?”

    “To pay for my terrible toupee, Master Bruce.”

  13. Lugh says:

    This seems more like committee mandated badness: It’s disjointed and seems to have no coherent voice, as if some council told Robinson he had to make it appeal to people who think superheroes that use crime novel-esque torture are badass AND those who want “fun” in their superhero comics. The end result is a sloppy mess that tries to interest everybody but ends up being liked by almost nobody. I don’t think we should pillory Robinson for this – and most reviews and comments realize this – I think this book would have ended up pretty much the same with almost any other writer.

  14. Suzene says:

    Mark,

    I think “well-intentioned, but uninformed” covers Kirkman’s killing of Freedom Ring. He was originally pretty defensive about the reaction to Freedom Ring’s death until he got that he’d killed off a large percentage of Marvel’s gay characters in offing him. Quoted from the Wikipedia entry:

    “Frankly, with the SMALL amount of gay characters in comics in general, and how unfortunate the portrayals have been thus far, whether intentional or not–I completely understand the backlash on the death of Freedom Ring, regardless of my intentions. If I had it to do all over again… I wouldn’t kill him. I regret it more and more as time goes on. I got rid of what? 20% of the gay characters at Marvel by killing off this ONE character. I just never took that stuff into consideration while I was writing.”

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