October 14, 2004
HIV-Positive Superhero Kerfluffle
MTV gives us this story
, also picked up by wire services
and comics news sites galore
, about how writer Judd Winnick plans bringing to mainstream comic books the second HIV-positive superhero after the early 1990s Image character Shadowhawk
, this time a kid partner to the character Green Arrow to go by the codename "Speedy".
Beyond another in a series of social issues that comics publications have explored since at least the last time Green Arrow received press attention for a sidekick
, the move reflects a general area of personal concern to the writer (he created a non-fiction work
about close friend Pedro Zamora and examined issues of sexual orientation-related bigotry through a supporting character in a previous assignment
) and provides Winnick a chance to work with an issue that holds different implications since similar stories were told in comics and TV a decade and more ago.
Although comics readers, critics and cultural historians have long debated the utility of working real-world social concerns through superhero stories, the "Speedy" news kicked off a greater than expected wave of bizarre rhetoric in fan circles, culminating in some questioning the writer's motives in taking the character in this direction. If you're really, really interested -- and shame on you -- you can probably find some of this material rooting around here
posted 11:04 am PST
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