Thursday, October 14, 2004

AIDS joins the Green Arrow cast

Some of you know I'm co-publisher of the currently-fallow Unofficial Green Arrow Fansite. Well, media everywhere is suddenly awash with news regarding the comic. Writer Judd Winick is revealing in an upcoming story that one of the supporting characters has contracted HIV :
"I guess [Mia's HIV status] is something I came up with," Winick told CBR News Wednesday evening." "I have no idea if Kevin was ever planning on doing it, but when I [read Kevin's stories] I actually thought this was a natural direction that this would go. Kevin Smith had done an AIDS storyline in 'Daredevil' before, he's never been one to shy away from stories with a social message or any kind of social agenda. I thought this was a place he might go. We got Mia as someone who had an abusive boyfriend; she'd obviously lived on the streets and was getting by as a prostitute. It's not an unlikely progression."

I agree. It is indeed a natural and logical direction to take this character. I looked at comments on some message boards, and there were fans complaining that Mia contracted HIV because she'd been a prostitute. They argued that it would be more of a cautionary tale if Mia had been an All-American, middle-class cheerleader type that became infected through carelessness--be it unprotected sex or recreational drug use. Which, of course, completely misses the point. Mia is not from that kind of world. She's lived a rough, abused life. I've always thought it odd that she didn't have some kind of drug addiction remaining from her life on the streets. She seemed too clean-cut, too unscarred. Now that Winick has placed HIV on the table, I have to admit that this is a development that would be unrealistic if it hadn't happened. I'll be watching to see where he goes with this.

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