Meryl Yourish discusses all things Hulk this morning. Well, really, just the new Hulk cereal, forthcoming movie, and the late Bill Bixby’s TV show. Which I continue to like, despite Meryl’s panning.

And, further evidence of my thesis that the public perception of homosexuality is changing rapidly, this calls to mind the fact that the TV incarnation featured “David” Banner, rather than the comic bookly-correct “Bruce” Banner. Why? Because, for reasons that escape me, “Bruce” had become the “John Doe” of homosexuality in those days (1978) and they didn’t want that association.

Update (1059): I piqued my own curiousity on this one so Googled “the name Bruce” AND homosexuality. The most amusing explanation is this one:

The superheroes in the Silver Age DC Universe were basically goodie goodie types. Blame Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent for that. Wortham accused Bruce Wayne of having improper relations with Dick Grayson, and after that the name “Bruce” became a codeword to describe any effeminate or homosexual man.

I don’t know if this is the true origin, but it would be damned amusing, especially given that it came back to haunt another comic book character decades later.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.