Whenever something about comic books makes the national news cycle, I can count on a half dozen of my friends forwarding an email or tagging the story for me on facebook, and I appreciate it. Even though my google news alerts are set for comic news I do miss stories, but I couldn't possibly have missed the biggest story this week, which is that DC is going to reveal that Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of parallel universe Earth 2, is gay.
Yes, yes you are.
This is what's known in comic circles as a reboot, where the company decides that the previous version of a character is no longer in continuity and no longer exists, and reinvents them as similar, but slightly different. DC did this with Batwoman in 2006, rebooting her as a Jewish lesbian rather than a bored socialite who wanted to marry Batman, and now they're doing it with Alan Scott, rebooting him as a young, gay, media tycoon rather than a WWII-era radio station owner with two wives and two kids. I have mixed feelings about this, but one thing I don't have mixed feelings about is this:
The stance that One Million Moms took on this issue is ridiculous.
For those who don't know, One Million Moms is an organization of (allegedly) one million mothers who are concerned about family values. The group is organized and funded by the American Family Association, which was classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to their anti-gay stance and continuous attacks on gay people and companies that they view as "pro-gay". On Friday, One Million Moms posted a "warning" to their members about Green Lantern's upcoming outing as a homosexual in "Earth 2" #2, and the backlash was so severe that they have (possibly only temporarily) suspended their facebook page.
People have a right to protest, but my problem with their stance is two-fold:
1) Their vulnerable, impressionable young children shouldn't be reading "Earth 2" anyway. The book is flagged right on the cover with a T (appropriate for readers age 12 and over) rating:
Children who are too young to know that gay people exist and kiss each other should probably be reading books with an E (age appropriate for everyone) rating rather than a T.
2) One Million Moms didn't issue a warning for their members over "Earth 2" issue #1, which means that they are fine with children seeing everything that happened in it. Let's just page through, and see for ourselves exactly what the conservative Christian family-values crowd thinks is totally ok for their kids.
How about the scene where Wonder Woman gets impaled?
This is followed by a panel where the sword has been withdrawn and you see the gaping wound in Wonder Woman's torso.
Or the one where Superman is torn apart and then disintegrated?
How about the scene where Batman dies in a fiery explosion while his crying daughter watches and screams for her daddy?
If the violence isn't enough, surely One Million Moms objects to Jay Garrick and his girlfriend's frank discussion of their premarital sex:
or to Jay Garrick's subsequent binge drinking as a coping mechanism for the breakup with his girlfriend:
Except that One Million Moms didn't see any of that as objectionable enough to issue a warning about.
To sum up, in "Earth 2" #1: Wonder Woman cuts someone's head in half on the cover, Wonder Woman slices someone's jaw off on page 2, Batman sticks a bomb to someone's chest on page 3, Superman punches someone's head off of their body on page 4, Wonder Woman cuts someone's head off on page 4, Superman crushes someone's windpipe on page 5, Wonder Woman cuts off someone's head and hand with the same sword swing on page 5, Robin shoots someone to death on page 7, Wonder Woman cuts someone's leg off on page 7, page 10 has a trifecta of Superman punching someone's head in half while Wonder Woman impales someone and Batman shoots somone in the head, page 12 has Wonder Woman decapitating someone while Superman rips one person in half and shoots his heat vision laser beams through someone's body at the same time, Wonder Woman impales someone on page 13, Wonder Woman decapitates someone on page 15 before being impaled herself in the panel above, Superman is torn apart and disintegrated on page 16 just before we see thhe gaping torso wound in Wonder Woman's corpse on the same page, Batman dies in a fiery explosion on page 20, Jay Garrick and his girlfriend discuss premarital sex on page 25, Jay binge drinks on page 26, and page 27 features Hermes, a naked pagan god, and the conservative Christian concerned mothers in One Million Moms had no objection to any of it.
In "Earth 2" #2, two men will kiss, and the conservative Christian concerned mothers in One Million Moms sent out a press release and warning to all of their members.
And that, frankly, is ridiculous.