Retroactively Gay

 

4404433-3521185277-0b43a4a4f569aaee9e3e094c770fb9b1I grew up reading comic books, as did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in. The revival of the Marvel universe on film and TV has been a treat! I think this is why, despite great differences in our origins, we can relate so well to each other. We are both living in some variation of the Marvel universe.

The hubby and I just recently finished watching the Daredevil series. After I got over the initial shock of a brunette Matt, we ended up enjoying it quite a bit. One cannot keep up the complaints about Charlie Cox for long, after all. And I am looking forward to the remaining three series to be launched on Netflix — and remaining mum on the specifics of Daredevil for those who have yet to watch.

Last evening, the hubby and I were looking though the YouTube on “Easter eggs in Daredevil” when he dropped the bombshell. “Did you hear Bobby Drake came out as gay?” Hmmmm. Et tu, Marvel?

No, no, I don’t live in a universe without homosexuality. One member of my immediate family stayed in the closet for decades before feeling comfortable to come out. I get it. It is a personal struggle, and each person gets to travel at the pace they choose. But I expected more from Marvel.

Bobby? Iceman? Could they not have introduced a new character? Could they not have picked someone more prominent?  There is a lot of speculation on both sides on whether or not he “showed signs” of being gay during his 50+ year comic book life. I find it interesting. The poor kid got over being a mutant before he got over being gay. He is not one of the “main” main characters, but is not rare either. They had to pick someone in the Goldilocks zone I guess.

When the comic universes were being formed, there was a time when African-American heroes became a trend. That made sense to me. No one went back and “got color.” I suppose that would be hard to do. Female superheroes were never an issue — all comic book readers dig those. Characters on TV shows went from being male to female (Starbuck and Boomer in Battlestar Galactica). I don’t think the story changes much either way. And I don’t think Iceman being gay changes anything either. But it’s a shame that Marvel couldn’t launch a character that was gay from the start, Instead they had to make someone retroactively gay.

What, if any, opinions do you have on Bobby Drake coming out?

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  1. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    It’s silly and the lazy way out.  Creating a new character requires you to make that character interesting.  Marvel is afraid of introducing a gay character and having him not be very popular.  The secret to avoiding that outcome is called “good writing”.

    Expect more of this.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Woulda made way more sense to make Warren Worthington the gay one, especially considering Bobby & Kitty’s relationship in the movie version of the team.

    Considering how DisneyMarvel has been reducing the prominence in the comics of the characters it doesn’t have the movie rights to, in favour of the characters it does have the movie rights to, a conspiracy theorist might think this is a tactic by DisneyMarvel to stick it to 20th Century Fox.

    Apropos of nothing, but Marvel already has a gay X-Man. Northstar married his partner in 2012.

    • #2
  3. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    This kind of stuff just trivializes everybody’s human experience.

    • #3
  4. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Loved Daredevil!

    • #4
  5. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    meh… it’s why I don’t watch TV anymore.  It certainly is all the rage to have women forced into roles, to the point that it now seems almost like a stereotype to have the one smart, sensible, truly bad-ass character on virtually every show be a woman to the dimwitted male foil.  So now it’ll be a trend to make everyone gay.  Just another reason to tune out.

    Then, I still sit down and read Chesterton novels and Sherlock Holmes, which never seems to get old.  In 20 years, it’ll be something new, and people will look back and say “remember in the 2010’s when everything was gay?”  Yeah…  and as Frank said, it is lazy, so none of it will stand the test of time.

    At this point, there is enough decent literature – and even television – to keep a person entertained for quite a long time without ever having to be bothered with stupid trends.

    • #5
  6. user_189393 Inactive
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Instugator:Loved Daredevil!

    We need a thread for that :-D

    • #6
  7. user_1134414 Member
    user_1134414
    @Hugh

    Ah. The influence of the PC world.  The question is: can you make the label stick to the character over time?

    Didn’t J.K Rowling decide one day that Dumbledore was gay?  Haven’t heard very much about that since…….

    • #7
  8. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Hugh:Ah. The influence of the PC world. The question is: can you make the label stick to the character over time?

    Didn’t J.K Rowling decide one day that Dumbledore was gay? Haven’t heard very much about that since…….

    I was about to post that about the Dumbledore thing. I think a lot of it is “Me Too”-ism. “See! We have a gay character, and he was really gay the whole time!”

    • #8
  9. user_189393 Inactive
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Misthiocracy:Woulda made way more sense to make Warren Worthington the gay one, especially considering Bobby & Kitty’s relationship in the movie version of the team.

    Considering how DisneyMarvel has been reducing the prominence in the comics of the characters it doesn’t have the movie rights to, in favour of the characters it does have the movie rights to, a conspiracy theorist might think this is a tactic by DisneyMarvel to stick it to 20th Century Fox.

    Apropos of nothing, but Marvel already has a gay X-Man. Northstar married his partner in 2012.

    I wonder if the iconography of the Angel scared them?

    • #9
  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Why?

    Why is it that so many libertarians are fascinated by superheroes?

    Superheros make a career out of violating innocent bystanders’ property rights in pursuit of some notion of cosmic justice, and this has never struck me as a particularly libertarian thing to do. Do we ever hear about the superhero paying damages the umpteenth time he upsets the poor greengrocer’s cart, ruining all his merchandise?

    If those damages are, in fact, paid, how does the superhero raise the capital to pay them? If those damages aren’t paid, how can ordinary people afford to make a living in a world overrun by superheroes? This has always bothered me.

    • #10
  11. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Why?

    Why is it that so many libertarians are fascinated by superheroes?

    Superheros make a career out of violating innocent bystanders’ property rights in pursuit of some notion of cosmic justice, and this has never struck me as a particularly libertarian thing to do. Do we ever hear about the superhero paying damages the umpteenth time he upsets the poor greengrocer’s cart, ruining all his merchandise?

    Only in “The Incredibles”

    • #11
  12. user_189393 Inactive
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Ryan M:meh… it’s why I don’t watch TV anymore. It certainly is all the rage to have women forced into roles, to the point that it now seems almost like a stereotype to have the one smart, sensible, truly bad-ass character on virtually every show be a woman to the dimwitted male foil. So now it’ll be a trend to make everyone gay. Just another reason to tune out.

    Then, I still sit down and read Chesterton novels and Sherlock Holmes, which never seems to get old. In 20 years, it’ll be something new, and people will look back and say “remember in the 2010′s when everything was gay?” Yeah… and as Frank said, it is lazy, so none of it will stand the test of time.

    Ryan – nothing against the classics, but there is always more to enjoy.  And comics are my personal vice.  My brother-in-law has a theory about comic book readers and non-comic-book readers.  Cops tend to grow up to be comic book readers (as in want to fight evil) and Lawyers tend to be non-comic book readers (as in want to define evil only if proven guilty).   He, btw, is a cop.

    I think that comic books are a reflection of the morality and culture of a time in the U.S.

    • #12
  13. user_1134414 Member
    user_1134414
    @Hugh

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Why?

    Why is it that so many libertarians are fascinated by superheroes?

    Superheros make a career out of violating innocent bystanders’ property rights in pursuit of some notion of cosmic justice, and this has never struck me as a particularly libertarian thing to do. Do we ever hear about the superhero paying damages the umpteenth time he upsets the poor greengrocer’s cart, ruining all his merchandise?

    If those damages are, in fact, paid, how does the superhero raise the capital to pay them? If those damages aren’t paid, how can ordinary people afford to make a living in a world overrun by superheroes? This has always bothered me.

    Yup, watch the first ten minutes of Disney’s: The Incredibles

    • #13
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Sure, I’ve seen The Incredibles – and enjoyed it for that very reason. Nonetheless, that’s not the norm in comic-book universes, is it?

    • #14
  15. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:Sure, I’ve seen The Incredibles – and enjoyed it for that very reason. Nonetheless, that’s not the norm in comic-book universes, is it?

    I’m not a comic book aficionado but I get the impression that it isn’t really in the forefront. It’s just a given that stuff gets “fixed” or it’s just ignored.

    • #15
  16. user_189393 Inactive
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:Sure, I’ve seen The Incredibles – and enjoyed it for that very reason. Nonetheless, that’s not the norm in comic-book universes, is it?

    Sorry – I am not going to apologize for wanting to live in the Marvel universe as a child.  Get over it.

    • #16
  17. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Why?

    Why is it that so many libertarians are fascinated by superheroes?

    Superheros make a career out of violating innocent bystanders’ property rights in pursuit of some notion of cosmic justice, and this has never struck me as a particularly libertarian thing to do. Do we ever hear about the superhero paying damages the umpteenth time he upsets the poor greengrocer’s cart, ruining all his merchandise?

    If those damages are, in fact, paid, how does the superhero raise the capital to pay them? If those damages aren’t paid, how can ordinary people afford to make a living in a world overrun by superheroes? This has always bothered me.

    1) It’s not only libertarians.  Superheroes are popular across the spectrum.

    2) Super powered battles lead to property damage…because villains attack people.   Much as police can damage property and potentially harm bystanders when confronting a dangerous individual.  It’s necessary.

    3) Yes, we do hear about how heroes pay for and deal with the property damage.

    Now from a libertarian perspective

    4) Super heroes are rarely government operatives, and usually chafe at and shake off such controls at some point.  Super heroes are individuals doing the right thing because they choose to, not because they have to.

    5) Super powers level the playing field with government.  The U.S. government may not like that there is a school for mutants in upstate New York, but they are not eager to do anything about it while they remain peaceful, as a handful of super powered individuals can hold off an army.

    • #17
  18. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Barkha Herman:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:Sure, I’ve seen The Incredibles – and enjoyed it for that very reason. Nonetheless, that’s not the norm in comic-book universes, is it?

    Sorry – I am not going to apologize for wanting to live in the Marvel universe as a child. Get over it.

    I think the beauty of it is that in that particular medium you don’t have to worry about it. You can reset that universe over and over and it doesn’t really affect anything.

    • #18
  19. Casey Way Member
    Casey Way
    @CaseyWay

    Frank Soto:It’s silly and the lazy way out. Creating a new character requires you to make that character interesting. Marvel is afraid of introducing a gay character and having him not be very popular. The secret to avoiding that outcome is called “good writing”.

    Expect more of this.

    This is entirely the case.

    If you look back at the “Blaxploitation” era of comics, you see that many of the characters that came out at the time were stereotypes writ large in the panels. When they shed the “Power Man” and became Luke Cage, they were much more compelling characters and became more popular.

    Milestone Media is another example of “rectification of racism” in comics. It was all AA writers and AA heroes geared towards young AA kids. Part of their distribution plan was selling comics in shoe retailers because that’s where the “perceived” demographic populated. Instead of writing characters and stories that would appeal to any comic customer walking in the shop, they marketed to only a subset of kids getting shoes who might also be into comics. They were eventually wrapped into the DC universe and their most unique property Static Shock did get some further traction.

    The criticism today, with more AA or any other minority characters than before, is they are not written by the respective matching writers. If the story is compelling, it doesn’t really matter to me…

    There are some great compelling minority characters today and the ones that persist are the well written ones.

    • #19
  20. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Will any villains be getting a similar transformation, or would that be a hate crime?

    • #20
  21. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Barkha Herman:

    Ryan – nothing against the classics, but there is always more to enjoy. And comics are my personal vice. My brother-in-law has a theory about comic book readers and non-comic-book readers. Cops tend to grow up to be comic book readers (as in want to fight evil)

    I’m completely with Barkha on this point.  Real life heroes tend to have spent years fantasizing about being a hero.  This is why every civilization prior to the post modern west focused on teaching their young men stories about heroes.

    Channeling the aggressive tendencies of men into the noble pursuit of protecting others is of vital importance.  These stories tap into every noble impulse humans have.

    People grow tired of the same tropes being used over and over again, but that is because there are always new generations growing up to consume these stories. These are stories worth suffering through the repetition.

    • #21
  22. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Frank Soto:3) Yes, we do hear about how heroes pay for and deal with the property damage.

    Wow, that’s pretty awesome! And definitely not something a person only casually acquainted with comic books would know about.

    • #22
  23. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Barkha Herman:

    Ryan M:meh… it’s why I don’t watch TV anymore. It certainly is all the rage to have women forced into roles, to the point that it now seems almost like a stereotype to have the one smart, sensible, truly bad-ass character on virtually every show be a woman to the dimwitted male foil. So now it’ll be a trend to make everyone gay. Just another reason to tune out.

    Then, I still sit down and read Chesterton novels and Sherlock Holmes, which never seems to get old. In 20 years, it’ll be something new, and people will look back and say “remember in the 2010′s when everything was gay?” Yeah… and as Frank said, it is lazy, so none of it will stand the test of time.

    Ryan – nothing against the classics, but there is always more to enjoy. And comics are my personal vice. My brother-in-law has a theory about comic book readers and non-comic-book readers. Cops tend to grow up to be comic book readers (as in want to fight evil) and Lawyers tend to be non-comic book readers (as in want to define evil only if proven guilty). He, btw, is a cop.

    I think that comic books are a reflection of the morality and culture of a time in the U.S.

    haha – well… I’m a lawyer, but I don’t think I have a hangup about innocent until proven guilty, which I’ve elsewhere argued is something of a silly notion…   I used to read lots of comic books – green lantern series being a favorite, and some graphic novels like Kingdom Come – but these days I tend to think of comics like TV.  I just don’t want to have their preachy morality (which is distinctly different from, and sometimes fairly hostile to, my own) shoved down my throat.

    • #23
  24. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Six Fictional Universes Where It Really Sucks To Be A Regular Person:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18475_6-horrifying-implications-awesome-fantasy-movie-universes.html

    The Marvel Universe is #5

    The Marvel canon lists approximately 5,000 characters in its entirety. Even ignoring significant others, aliens and advisors and assuming that every single one of those is an Earthling with superpowers, this means that for every successful superhero, there are 1,400,000 regular people. So in Marvel world, the odds of winding up with super powers are less than half the chance of being hit by lightning (although to be fair, being hit by lightning in the Marvel universe would probably give you superpowers).

    • #24
  25. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Interesting, so is Marvel now saying that homosexuality is a genetic mutation?  Is gay his new mutant power?  Will he get a gayray that will be able to turn others gay just by pointing his hand or looking at them?  Or maybe gaydar where he will be able to sense the presence of attractive men in the area?  Possibly an attraction field where all women in the area want to be his friend?   The mind boggles at the possibilities.

    • #25
  26. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Vance Richards:Will any villains be getting a similar transformation, or would that be a hate crime?

    There was a storyline where The Joker made it very clear that he was willing to serve as “catcher” in exchange for being broken out of Arkham Asylum.

    The story was written by Kevin Smith.

    Furthermore, Catwoman was recently outed as gay (or at least bi).

    • #26
  27. user_189393 Inactive
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Misthiocracy:

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Six Fictional Universes Where It Really Sucks To Be A Regular Person:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18475_6-horrifying-implications-awesome-fantasy-movie-universes.html

    The Marvel Universe is #5

    The Marvel canon lists approximately 5,000 characters in its entirety. Even ignoring significant others, aliens and advisors and assuming that every single one of those is an Earthling with superpowers, this means that for every successful superhero, there are 1,400,000 regular people. So in Marvel world, the odds of winding up with super powers are less than half the chance of being hit by lightning (although to be fair, being hit by lightning in the Marvel universe would probably give you superpowers).

    You are assuming I am a regular person in my Marvel Universe.  Who the heck would desire to be a NPC in their own life?

    • #27
  28. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Barkha Herman:When the comic universes were being formed, there was a time when African American heroes became a trend. That made sense to me. No one went back and “got color”.

    Well Nick Furry is now black, thanks to Samuel L. Jackson, and of course there is Heimdal in the Thor movies I’m quite sure he wasn’t black in the comics, and then there is this rumor going about concerning the Human Torch.

    Now frankly I love black Furry and black Heimdal, not because of their blackness but because the actors they got to portray them really breath life into the characters. Now of course a black Human Torch is a bit more strange because they aren’t making the Invisible Woman black so I have no idea how they plan to square that circle.

    But it turns out you can indeed come out as black even if you aren’t a fringe character. Frankly the real progressive thing to do would be to make Luke Cage a gay white woman.

    • #28
  29. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Barkha Herman:

    Misthiocracy:

    Barkha Herman: I grew up reading comic books. As did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in.

    Six Fictional Universes Where It Really Sucks To Be A Regular Person:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18475_6-horrifying-implications-awesome-fantasy-movie-universes.html

    The Marvel Universe is #5

    The Marvel canon lists approximately 5,000 characters in its entirety. Even ignoring significant others, aliens and advisors and assuming that every single one of those is an Earthling with superpowers, this means that for every successful superhero, there are 1,400,000 regular people. So in Marvel world, the odds of winding up with super powers are less than half the chance of being hit by lightning (although to be fair, being hit by lightning in the Marvel universe would probably give you superpowers).

    You are assuming I am a regular person in my Marvel Universe. Who the heck would desire to be a NPC in their own life?

    Well, about half the heroes in the Marvel Universe are mutants, they are hated by most of humanity, and are periodically hunted-to-the-death by government-funded robots.

    And then there’s the divorce rate to think about. Of all the married Marvel superheroes, only Black Bolt & Medusa have managed to stay together.

    But then, they ARE royalty. Gotta set an example for the plebs, you know!

    (Furthermore, I don’t even assume that you’re a regular person in our universe! ;-)

    • #29
  30. Herbert Woodbery Inactive
    Herbert Woodbery
    @Herbert

    Instugator:Loved Daredevil!

    We need a thread for that :-D

    You are talking about the new Netflix series right? First outside of reading comics as a kid, I’m not much of a superhero fan. That being said I’d put daredevil right up there with Spider-Man and Ritchie rich as my three favorites from long ago.

    My criticism of the netflix series is the violent fight scenes (sometimes gratuitously gruesome) . Other than that I liked it…

    • #30

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