Monthly Archives: June 2015
It has been a few months since the younger time displaced version of Bobby Drake/ Iceman was outed in the pages of All New X-Men. The resulting controversy is notable not so much for the fact that Iceman is gay (even though there was and is some of that) but the handling of Iceman’s outing. I wrote about this issue briefly in my last post, but I’ve decided to expand on some points. The important thing, though, is that I still have problems with how Iceman’s outing was handled.
There are two main problems at the moment regarding Bobby Drake’s outing (besides Jean Grey’s involvement): One, the lack of a parallel narrative regarding the elder Iceman. Two, the abruptness of the younger Iceman’s outing.
It is important to remember that LGBT people come out at every age. (Having come out at seventeen, it is something I myself often forget. See my issue with Mark Matthews’s coming out in Coming Out on Top for an example). Iceman comes from (if my memory is right) a very conservative background. It would not be surprising that he would be closeted and in denial for a significant part of his life. This is equally true of many other gay and lesbian superheroes and supervillains who have come out like Obsidian and Rictor.
Personally, I feel that the elder Iceman should start the realization process (if not the coming out process) concurrently to the younger Iceman’s journey. Yes, the elder “straight” character confronted by his “younger” gay self is an interesting story. But it is also fraught with narrative danger. Especially given the general abruptness of the storyline.
Again, Iceman’s outing should either have been foreshadowed or explored in more depth as a subplot. This is one of the biggest frustrations when it comes to LGBT characters in comics. Creators who genuinely want to diversify their casts tend to out with little buildup or fall out. Characters come out. They don’t start the realization process or build the courage to accept themselves and come out. LGBT characters also rarely get to be explored after acceptance when the weight of the closet has been lifted.
The abruptness of declaring or outing a character as gay with little buildup or fall out leads, I think, to a general trend of pushing LGBT characters to the background. Has Bendis done anything interesting with Benjamin Deeds yet? Has Anole been featured more besides a recent oneshot? Has Striker appeared recently? (I could also ask where the hell the Young Avengers are).
Maybe I’m being too harsh here, I can admit that. Perhaps the push to the background has more to do with which characters the creative teams wish to work with. Maybe no one wants to work with those characters? Maybe in the future a creative team will? (Thinking back to my own Teen Titans idea, I would have favored Gear pretty hard. And I would have raged if I had to use Superboy or Bart Allen’s Kid Flash).
Another problem may be the fact that Marvel, favoring team books, has a general problem characterizing all of the cast members in the various titles. Especially given the nature of contemporary comic book writing.
Regardless, it is ultimately the choice of the creative team to decide who they write about. The buck stops with them and the editors.
I just hope Iceman’s story doesn’t fall to the background. Given the events of All New X-Men 41, I don’t hold out much hope.
It has been a while since I blogged. I should probably update. Many of the updates in this post should have their own, larger, posts, but I’m watching my nephew and step niece at the moment.
Avoiding the Puppies
I wish I could say that I have not near obsessively followed the latest fight of the recurrent plague that afflicts science fiction and fantasy fandom. But I have managed to keep my fingers from writing anything about it. Too many pixels have already been wasted on this seemingly never ending fight.
The only thing I will say is that I am wasting my time on this. I should be writing.
That is all.
Late to Iceman’s Coming Out Party
A few months back, the younger version of Iceman from All New X-Men was dragged out of the closet by Marvel Girl. The revelation did not come without controversy. Thankfully, the majority of the blowback originated from criticism of how the story played out, rather than the revelation that Iceman is gay.
It has taken me quite a while to get around to reading the issue at hand. I follow All New X-Men through the trades as provided by my local library. So, I’m way behind.
Personally, I think Iceman’s outing could have been handled better. It needed foreshadowing. It needed build up. And it needs to go somewhere. Not at the end of a run with the future of the character (not to say the least about the X-Men as a whole) uncertain to say the least.
What I want to know is: what has happened to Benjamin Deeds since his coming out? Anything?
This is one of my problems with LGBT characters in comics. What happens after coming out? Do the characters continue to be interesting or do they fade to the background while other, straighter, characters get more attention?
What has happened to Benjamin Deeds, Anole, Striker, and all the others?
I’ll stop myself now before I go into a full blown rant. But I should return to this issue again, soon.
Primary World Epic Fantasy?
I want to write an epic fantasy set in the real world. I have two options for this: an expansion of my magic project and a return to my superhero project.
Expanding the magic project should not be difficult. I already have a good idea of how I’m going to do it.
My only problem is that I don’t want to create a “real” magical tradition and force all magic into that provincial box. I want to use as many traditions as possible. Which means I’m going to have to do a lot of research in order not to fuck up.
As for the superhero project, I want to write it. I just don’t know what I want to write. I’m not happy with my original plan. But I am, actually, fond of what my Teen Titans idea could lead to.
World Building Modern Fantasies
As much as I want to write a primary world epic fantasy, I also want to write an epic fantasy set in a more modern secondary world. I like ancient history a lot. Indeed, my portal fantasy is set on a more “ancient” inspired world. But I prefer modern history far more (when I wanted to be an English professor, I intended to focus on modern and postmodern literature). So it goes as no surprise that I want to write fantasies inspired by the times I love. Now what ideas do I have. . .
This is it for now. But I’m going to try and post more regularly.