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Wednesday, April 07, 2021 

Why I can't feel sorry to see the social justice advocates turn against Geoff Johns

Geoff Johns is a very divisive figure. He's also one of the reasons I stopped reading superhero comics in the mid-2000s, because of the jarring violence he put into his scripts. In all that time, he went on to become a showrunner for TV adaptations of the DC cast members he'd written stories for in the past 2 decades. A most decidedly undeserved career, if you ask me, and as I've noted in past years, he is a leftist himself, little different from other such ideologues in the field. Now, it would seem that, following allegations made by Ray Fisher last year that Johns caused a lot of trouble for him on the set of the Justice League film when he was more involved, the chickens have come home to roost. Let's take a look at this current item from the Hollywood Reporter (via Indiewire), where Fisher goes on with what are admittedly questionable allegations, mainly because of the following:
Fisher was raised by a single mother and his grandmother in Lawnside, New Jersey — a community that he notes was the first self-governing Black municipality north of the Mason-Dixon Line. He says he felt a new sense of urgency to speak out when the pandemic hit and the Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets.

To Fisher, who had few screen credits, playing the half-man, half-machine Cyborg — the first Black superhero in the DC film universe — was both a huge career break and a major responsibility. (Justice League was released in 2017, the year before Marvel broke ground with Black Panther.) He was mindful that the film was overseen almost entirely by white executives and filmmakers.

While Fisher has dropped details and named names, outsiders have struggled to understand: How did Whedon incur his anger? Did Fisher really decline to participate in an investigation that was launched in response to his own complaints, as Warners claimed in September? Was Fisher fighting a righteous battle or a quixotic one when he set out on a path that appears to have cost him a place in the DC film universe?
The allegations made by Fisher, IIRC, were that Johns was one of Joss Whedon's enablers (reportedly, Gal Gadot also had problems with Whedon, and according to this report, even some Buffy performers accused him of harassment). And in that sense, yes, he could've been, or at least, did nothing to get Whedon to cut out any irrational behavior on his part. That said, it's irritating to think Fisher's raising this whole subject based on BLM, since, as any realistic coverage makes clear they're a movement built on some of the most reprehensible ideologies around, not the least being antisemitism, acceptance of Islam, and even LGBT ideology (which, as noted before, is still considered anathema to the Religion of Peace), and if Fisher accepts BLM in any way, he's only making it difficult to give him backing. Yet that's not saying I care what's happening to Johns' reputation now, if the very same PC crowd he was more or less a part of is throwing him under the bus. Still, the following is interesting:
Multiple sources tell THR that the show's creators were passionate about doing some nontraditional casting and that Regé-Jean Page, who would go on to become a breakout star of Bridgerton, had auditioned for the role of Superman's grandfather. But Johns, who was overseeing the project, said Superman could not have a Black grandfather. The creators also wanted to make one superhero character, Adam Strange, gay or bisexual. But sources say Johns vetoed the idea.

"Geoff celebrates and supports LGTBQ characters, including Batwoman, who in 2006 was re-introduced as LGBTQ in a comic-book series co-written by Johns,"
says Johns' rep in an email. Johns also pitched Warners on developing a television show around the first LGBTQ lead DC superhero television series, he adds. As for the role of Superman's grandfather, the rep says Johns believed fans expected the character to look like a young Henry Cavill.
Why specifically Cavill, but not a dark-haired white guy who could be 6'3 in height? Granted, it would've been embarrassingly bad if Adam Strange were changed to suit a LGBT agenda - quite possibly at Alanna's expense - for the sake of these politicized TV shows and films now in store, especially after Tom King put out such a horror story co-starring the 2nd Mr. Terrific, and that's an act of potential race-slighting nobody in the MSM thinks to consider. But let's also consider Johns was one of the DC contributors who supported the retcon to Roy Thomas' creation, Obsidian/Todd Rice from Infinity Inc, who'd been changed to homosexual as far back as the mid-90s, and did Johns ever do anything to prevent such agenda exploitation, or reverse it? Nope, nor did he ever try to keep James Robinson from shoving Alan Scott into a similar situation. Oh, and lest we forget, Johns was a co-writer of Countdown to Infinite Crisis, the 2005 crossover-precursor that saw white Ted Kord violently murdered by abruptly changed to baddie Max Lord, all so they could clear a path for putting in a diverse replacement as Blue Beetle, the Mexican-American character Jaime Reyes. If they hadn't resorted to such extreme methods, I'm sure there'd be a lot less objections to having a character of different race take over the role. Instead, under the pseudo-guidance of Dan DiDio, they treated the white originators of the roles and their co-stars like crap on their way out. And they wonder why the comics lost so much of their audience over 15 years ago?

If Johns' approach to live action films and TV differed in any way from his comics writing, there is a possible explanation to that: commercialism, and the apparent belief among people of his ilk that nobody in the wider public could give a crappy damn about the comics proper. That was one of the reasons why David Goyer's live action contributions to Superman a decade ago may have differed from what he was doing in the comics, making Supes forfeit US citizenship. Back then, the entertainment industry was still considerate to some extent of whether the wider public appreciated patriotism, a situation that's drastically changed now. And yet, not only has Johns has been involved with almost every live action adaptation to come out of WB, many of these productions do involve left-wing politics, and SJW themes. He was an executive producer on the Birds of Prey movie, as well as being a co-writer for Wonder Woman 1984, both films which build on current liberal ideologies that're pretty noxious. This being more recent, you could probably argue that in the past, there was a time when Johns wasn't quite that sold on SJW themes in commercial filmdom, yet here we are years later, and now he certainly is, if his recent efforts say something. His listings on the IMDB indicate he's part of the production staff for the upcoming Green Lantern show on HBO Max, and if it follows through with the plans to depict Alan Scott as homosexual, what does that say about his own positions? One sure thing, whether he's still writing comics on a regular basis, he's not doing anything to repair a bad situation getting worse there with social justice themes.

Since we're on the topic, here's a related interview with Johns from Arab-American News about the comic he's writing at Image titled Geiger, which says the following:
Set in a post-apocalyptic U.S., where a nuclear attack has left the continent’s surface unlivable and has pushed life underground, the comic’s release this week is fitting for the grave realities of a global pandemic.

But the main character, Tariq Geiger, is also half-Arab, like Johns. In fact, this is the second time Johns has penned an Arab comic book character. He had previously written an Arab American from Dearborn, Simon Baz, into DC’s Green Lantern canon. Dearborn is no stranger to Arab American heroes in comics, of course, with other notable works from author Saladin Ahmed.
First, let's be clear: an Arabic protagonist is fine. It's the applied religious/ideological beliefs that aren't, namely, Islam, and that's what the Baz character goes by, which unsurprisingly goes unmentioned here. However, there are hints where Geiger's going towards the end:
“When I was at the Arab American Museum (in Dearborn) back in 2012, kids were so excited to see an Arab American character in Green Lantern,” Johns said. “I’ve spent my career trying to diversify the comic book universe and introduce new characters from all sorts of backgrounds in different ways.”

Johns contributions adding new identities to the series Shazam made their way to the screen as well. Geiger, like Simon Baz in Green Lantern, is also unwittingly sent down his path through careless and cruel acts of people acting on stereotypes about Arabs.
Strange, don't they mean Islamists? Because that's pretty much what the GL stories where Baz first appeared seemed to emphasize, and that's why Johns' lurch to something more politically blatant than when he first began his career is so disturbing. He himself may not be an adherent to the Religion of Peace, but he sure seems pretty sympathetic to it. To the point where he cannot spotlight an Arab character who's a non-Muslim/Judeo-Christian adherent, or just simply secular. If he wanted to diversify the universe he's working with, he missed a huge opportunity with Arab characters as well, and something tells me he won't take it now. Heck, if he wants to diversify comicdom, how come no Armenian characters who could serve as a nod to Mannix? How come no Slovakian protagonists either? Such a hypocrite. If Geiger serves as a propaganda vehicle for the Religion of Peace, I won't be wasting money on it. No surprise they're sugarcoating Ahmed's terrible conduct either.

And now, Johns is being shunned by the very SJWs who lauded his agenda-driven tale with Simon Baz a decade earlier. Based on all the harm I feel he brought to the comics industry, that's why I find it hard to feel sorry he's now becoming persona non grata with PC leftists he's been pandering to in Hollywood. I have no idea how valid Fisher's allegations against Johns are, but this is pretty much a case of leftists turning one against the other, and Johns is the next leftist in line on the receiving end of their liberal ideological rants over live action adaptations those outside the industry proper likely won't bother to view on TV and in theaters anyway.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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