Posts Tagged ‘Gay comic characters’

6/5/2012 – Leave the “vulnerable to wood” jokes to Kevin Smith’s crew.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

I can’t take credit for this one; the “Rainbow Lantern” line came from my girlfriend. And she doesn’t even read comics, so that she thought of it before me just goes to show how out of it I’ve been lately.

Prior to that, we didn’t have any plan to mention the Alan Scott thing at all. I didn’t have anything particularly insightful to add, and I really wanted to avoid the increasingly tired formula of  “prejudiced guy says something ignorant and our wise and evolved hero points out why he’s wrong”. I’m not saying we’ve never gone to that well (though we have always tried to add a little twist to the exercise), just that I’m conscious about not repeating it at every opportunity.

I’m kind of interested to check out Earth 2 now, where I wasn’t before. I mean…James Robinson has NOT had a great track record for, like, a little while now. But I like his approach to this change. It was precipitated by the realization that de-aging the JSA would remove one of DC’s existing gay characters from canon: Alan’s son, Obsidian. So why not balance the scales and make Alan gay? And when asked if Robinson would be writing this version of Alan any differen, his response has been simply, “No. He’s attracted to men, and that’s the only difference.” That appeals to me, as does the knowledge that Alan won’t just be “the gay one” on the team, swallowed back into the roster when nobody has a particular use for him.  (Northstar, I’m staring a hole right through you) No, he’s the square-jawed leader of this world’s premiere superhero team, and possibly the most powerful mortal on the planet. That’ll certainly make those “Gay Superheroes in Comics” lists less of a lame read.

Of course, anyone put off by DC’s “Look at us! Look at us!” patting-themselves-on-the-back parade, it’s hard to blame you. Promotion is one thing, but it’s not terribly classy to be THAT proud of yourself for doing the right thing. Act like you’ve been there before, y’know?


Quotable quotes from @JoshCritic:

“Wonder if the mainstream news is more surprised about the original Green Lantern being gay or about there being more than one Green Lantern.”


6/9/2012 – No, “Faerie” with an “e”, like Neil Gaiman would write it.

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Someday, someone’s gotta write a comprehensive book about Jim Shooter. During his time as editor-in-chief for Marvel, there’s no denying he had an incredible impact on not just the company, but the entire industry. And depending on who in the industry you ask, this impact was either disastrous or fantastic or some mixture of the two. It’s pretty tough to find someone with real knowledge of the Shooter reign who doesn’t hold pretty strong opinions on the man. (Hell, it’s hard to find someone with hearsay knowledge who doesn’t have an opinion)

This strip goofs on Shooter’s policy of disallowing gay characters in Marvel comics, which resulted in the rewrite of a long-running Alpha Flight sub-plot. Northstar was still officially in the closet in those days, although creator John Byrne and later Alpha Flight writer Bill Mantlo would drop what hints they were allowed to make. Mantlo intended to go a lot further than hints, and over the course of several issues had Northstar suffer from a progressively-worsening sickness that was eventually to have been revealed as AIDS (Because he was gay, you see. Let’s not dwell on the appropriateness of the storyline as planned, lest we stray too far from our point).

Between Shooter’s policy and the Comics Code, the revelation was squelched. A new explanation had to be given for why Northstar was so sick, and Mantlo rose to the challenge by revealing that Northstar was actually part elf (or “fairy”, as it’s commonly told in the retelling. But again, let us not get bogged down by Mantlo and stay on-point). So he was an elf and he was dying of an elf disease and magic saved him and yay it was over. Northstar wouldn’t come out of the closet officially for another, what, 60 issues of Alpha Flight?

Some people take this and other instances (Google “Hulk” and “YMCA” and see what you find) as evidence that Shooter had a personal problem with homosexuality. I dunno, I think it’s just as likely he was afraid to go up against the Code or that allowing gay characters would lead to controversy that cost them readers. But the thing it, the reason why is largely irrelevant. If you’re the guy making the edict that _____ group is not allowed to appear in your company’s product, then whatever the reasoning behind it, you’re the guy who gets to hold the shit-bucket for as long as people care to recount it.


Quotable quotes from @JoshCritic:

“Before Marvel made an announcement about Northstar’s marriage, they should have made one reminding everyone he was still with the X-Men.”