Renowned science fiction author Orson Scott Card is a very busy man this year. In November his most celebrated novel, Ender’s Game, will be released as a film starring Harrison Ford. And he’s been selected by DC Comics to kick off a new “digital first” series of comics about their flagship character, Superman (who is also getting a new movie this year). But that’s not all! In addition to all the work Mr. Card has on his authorial plate, he is also on the board of directors for the National Organization for Marriage, a non-profit political organization dedicated to preventing marriage equality in the United States. As states continue to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage—Illinois being the latest to grant this right on February 14—NOM’s tireless efforts to prevent equal rights for LGBT people are more crucial to overzealous bigots now than ever!
With this in mind, it occurs to me that perhaps Mr. Card could use a little assistance. I mean, he’s only one man, right? For this reason, I’ve taken it upon myself to put together a little superhero tale for him, free of charge, to submit to his bosses at DC Comics, in the event that his demanding schedule doesn’t permit him to meet the deadline. I’m here to help, Orson!
Superman vs. Baron Von Homo*
(for Orson Scott Card)
When a deadly pink asteroid plummeted into the distant plant Heteron, Heteronian super-scientist Jor-El sent his only heir into space to become to sole survivor of the devastation. The child crash-landed on Earth, and just in time to grow up in a world of deviant gays, lesbians, and transgender people with an evil agenda to win equal rights to regular, god-fearing straight people. With his supernormal powers granted to him by his alien—and totally heterosexual—lineage, the boy became SUPERMAN, a hero dedicated to the protection of truth, justice, and the American Way for most, but not all, people.
* * *
Lois Lane spun into Clark’s office and quickly shut the door behind her.
“Clark?” she asked, breathless. “Have you noticed something off about Jimmy today?”
Pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, Clark looked up at his colleague and raised his eyebrows. “Off?” he said. “In what way?”
“I don’t know how to say this, but our young photojournalist has been acting a bit…well…different.”
Clark drew in a deep breath and stood up behind his desk. He narrowed his eyes and focused on his super-hearing, which permitted him to listen to a thousand points of interest around Metropolis all at once. The only one he was interested in at the moment was his friend, Jimmy Olsen.
What Clark heard first was Dolores, from the secretarial pool.
Jimmy? she asked. Are you free tonight? Do you want to go see a movie or something?
So far, so good, Clark thought. Until what came next…
Not if you plan on wearing those shoes, girlfriend! Jimmy hissed back.
“Shoes?” Clark muttered, puzzled. “Why on earth would any man make a comment about a woman’s shoes? And what’s with that crazy lisp?”
Lois emitted a sharp gasp.
“Goodness, Clark,” she said. “You know, some men would do that.”
“Great Scott!” the robust reporter exclaimed. “But Jimmy isn’t one of those men!”
Clark and Lois exchanged a tense, nervous glance. Neither of them had to say what they were thinking, what they feared Jimmy might have mysteriously become.
“Clark,” Lois said, “I think this is a job for—”
“Way ahead of you, Lois.”
He tore his shirt open to reveal the symbol of his true identity, the iconic S that adorned his broad, powerful chest. Lois sighed, her cheeks flushed. Someday, she hoped, she would marry him, though she knew Superman could never rest until the kind of traditional marriage she craved was no longer threatened by the ever-growing blight of same-sex marriage. After all, how could decent heterosexual people be happily married when there might be happily married gays just down the street from them?
So with that, Clark Kent disappeared and Superman strode out into the main area of the Daily Planet office.
“Great Caesar’s ghost!” cried Perry White, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, upon seeing the towering red-and-blue figure. “What are you doing here, Superman? Nothing serious, I hope.”
“I’m afraid it just might be, Mr. White. Have you seen Jimmy Olsen around?”
“Last I saw him, he was in the break room chatting with the girls from the secretarial pool. I never pegged that boy for a ladies’ man, but…”
“Neither have I,” Superman agreed. “I just hope he hasn’t turned into some kind of lady-man!”
“Good heavens!” Perry White bellowed, the cigar dropping from his mouth as he sputtered. Superman just shook his head sadly and made a bee-line for the secretarial pool.
He caught sight of Jimmy right away. He almost wished he hadn’t.
Jimmy was mincing and preening like a pony, speaking rapidly to the girls with a strange overabundance of hand gestures. The girls giggled and grinned, but not in a way that suggested female admiration for an attractive man. No, these girls were behaving as though Jimmy Olsen was one of them.
“Jimmy!” Superman shouted.
“Well hellooooo, Superman,” Jimmy lisped. He tugged at the pink and white ascot tie dangling from his neck. When had he started wearing that?
“What in the name of Heteron are you doing?”
“Oh, you know,” Jimmy said. “Just girl-talk.”
“But Jimmy, you’re no girl!”
“Oh, Mary, rub it in, why don’t ya?”
Superman was aghast. He took several steps back, repulsed as though Jimmy held a chunk of pink Homonite, Superman’s only weakness.
“How did this happen, Jimmy?” he cried. “Who—or what—did this to you?”
“Don’t act so shocked, Superstud,” Jimmy said, pronouncing it Thuperthtud. Superman shuddered. “Baron Von Homo only showed me what I really am, and now I can finally get married—to another man!”
“Baron Von Homo!” Superman said. “Great Neptune’s Beard!”
“That’s right, Superman,” came a terrible, high voice from behind.
The Heteronian turned to see a newcomer to the Daily Planet: a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love. The stranger sparkled from his perfectly coiffed head to his jewel-encrusted toes. He looked like a cross between Liberace and Gary Glitter, with a heaping helping of Richard Simmons for good measure. Superman did not need the prancing spectacle to introduce himself, but he did so all the same.
“Baron Von Homo,” he jeered, “at your service, gorgeous.”
“Don’t you mean baroness?” Superman growled, puffing out his mighty chest and curling his hands into fists.
“Now, now,” the Baron said. “I’ve come to play, Superman, and I must insist that we all place nice!”
In a flash the villain slipped his immaculately manicured hand into the waistband of his skin-tight silver leggings, which twinkled like diamonds. Superman shouted, “NO!” but it was too late—Baron Von Homo had whipped out a long, pulsating pink device of some sort, which he aimed directly at Superman.
“Say hello to my Homo-Ray, you glistening hunk of Super,” the Baron crowed. “With this I will instantly transform every man, woman, and child in Metropolis into preening, godless homosexuals like myself, including every member of the state legislature who will then legalize gay marriage and totally destroy the sanctity of every heterosexual union now and forever!”
“Dear God,” Superman lamented. “Traditional marriages could never survive such an evil blow!”
“My plan precisely,” the Baron replied, tittering like a chipmunk. “Today, Metropolis. Tomorrow—the world!”
Superman gritted his teeth and took a long step forward, but Baron Von Homo shook the Homo-Ray at him and sneered.
“Not so close,” he warned. “One more step and I’ll blast you all over with the immutable evil of homosexuality!”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
“Oh, but I would. And even you will be powerless against it. You know, I think you’d look positively fabulous in pink!”
With a spine-chilling cackle, the wicked queer shook all over as the staff of The Daily Planet cowered in terror, counting off the few, precious remaining minutes of their blessed heterosexuality and church-sanctioned unions. Perry White grasped a framed photo of his wife from his desk and, as a single tear rolled down his cheek, kissed the glass.
“Goodbye, honey,” he squeaked. “I guess the next time you see me, I’ll be one of…them!”
Superman knitted his brow and hauled a deep breath into his massive, masculine chest.
“Not so fast, Mr. White,” he boomed. “There’s still one thing Baron Von Homo hasn’t accounted for.”
“Oh?” jeered the Baron, swinging his hips. “Tell me, honey—what’s that?”
A wry grin appeared on Superman’s face as he dipped his head, clasped his hands together, and started to mutter quietly to himself. The Baron’s own grin melted away and he began to shake.
“No,” he gasped. “No! Not that! Anything but that!”
Lois sidled up to her boss and grasped him by the elbow.
“What’s he doing, Perry?”
“The only thing he can do, Lois,” Perry White said gratefully. “The only power in the universe strong enough to stop this blasted homosexual menace.”
“Of course!” she said. “Prayer!”
Superman hollered, “AMEN!” At the exact same moment, the phallic device exploded in Baron Von Homo’s hands, instantly sending him to his knees and ruining his hair.
“You beast!” the baron wept. “You horrible, horrible beast!”
“I may not be super enough to put an end to your dastardly schemes against traditional marriage, Baron,” Superman said, “but with God on my side, you homos will never prevail!”
The villain collapsed into a blubbering heap as the entire staff of Metropolis’ number one newspaper cheered and applauded their hero. And as the baron commenced a humiliated crawl toward the door, Superman called out after him, “Now go back to San Francisco where you come from!”
Lois sprinted across the room to her man with tears glistening in her eyes.
“Oh, Clar—I mean, Superman!”
Superman winked and embraced her. Into her ear, he whispered, “Maybe now that Baron Von Homo has been defeated, we can finally get married without fear of the Gay Agenda ruining our lives!”
“Wait a minute,” she said, pulling away and looking over his shoulder. “What about Jimmy?”
“Great Scott!” Superman cried. “I almost forgot!”
He flew back to where Jimmy stood among the Planet’s secretaries and seized the photojournalist by the shoulders.
“Jimmy, my friend! Talk to me, boy!”
“Su—Superman? Wha—what happened?”
“You were hit by Baron Von Homo’s Homo-Ray, chum. We thought you were a goner there for a while.”
Jimmy shook his head, dazed, and tugged at the silk ascot around his neck.
“How did that get here?”
“Just tell me one thing, Jimmy,” Superman said sternly.
“Sure thing, Supes—what’s that?”
“Which do you prefer, Beaches or The Rose?”
“But I don’t even know what those are, Superman!”
“And Thank God for that!” said Superman, and he laughed uproariously with Lois and Perry while poor, straight Jimmy Olsen scratched his head in confusion.
THE END (OR IS IT?)
*Please note: this is clearly a parody, and as such protected under the doctrine of Fair Use.
**Note also: the initial over-description of Baron Von Homo (“deadly, winking, sniggering,” etc.) is taken directly from Sir William Neil Connor’s description of Liberace in The Daily Mirror (as “Cassandra”) in 1956. I only wish I’d come up with something as ridiculous as “ice-covered heap of mother love.”