Back in 2010, in an essay titled, “Our Puritanical Progressives,” George Will flashed back to the days of the toughest Super-Villain Batman and Robin went up against in the 1950s, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham. Today, many comic book fans likely think of Wertham as some sort of arch-conservative member of the biblical Moral Majority; Will reminded readers that he was nothing of the sort:
In 1954, Fredric Wertham brought science — very loosely defined — to the subject of juvenile crime. Formerly chief resident in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, he was politically progressive: When he opened a clinic in Harlem, he named it for Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx’s son-in-law who translated portions of “Das Kapital” into French, thereby facilitating the derangement of Parisian intellectuals.
Without ever interviewing the convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg, Wertham testified on her behalf concerning what he called her “prison psychoses.” Since 1948, he had been campaigning against comic books, and his 1954 book, “Seduction of the Innocent,” which was praised by the progressive sociologist C. Wright Mills, became a bestseller by postulating a causal connection between comic books and the desensitization of young criminals: “Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry.”
Wertham was especially alarmed about the one-third of comic books that were horror comics, but his disapproval was capacious: Superman, who gave short shrift to due process in his crime-fighting, was a crypto-fascist. As for Batman and Robin, the “homoerotic tendencies” were patent.
Flash-forward to today, and this headline at the Huffington Post, hard at work on solving the pressing issues of mankind: “Batman Is Gay: Comic Writer Grant Morrison Says Concept Of Superhero Character Is ‘Sexually Deviant:’”
Action Comics writer Grant Morrison, who is best known for revamping DC Comics’ family of Batman titles, spoke at length about comic superheroes in an interview with Playboy magazine, confirming maybe those Batman and Robin rumors aren’t so far-fetched after all, because the title character is “very, very gay.”
“He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant,” Morrison told the magazine. “Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay.”
Well, as most of you have noticed at this point:
Stuff you used to joke about as a kid = now a “serious” thing
And never forget (or else):
Speaking of which…