x-men

So, Iceman’s Gay…

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This week, Brian Michael Bendis basically lowered himself to Chuck Austen’s level on the X-Men writer totem pole, at least in my humble opinion. All-New X-Men #40 came out on Wednesday, and that’s not the only thing that came out.

Bobby Drake, is, apparently, homosexual.

Now, I shouldn’t have to say that I don’t have a problem with homosexuality, but we still live in that world, so: I don’t have a problem with homosexuality. Having said that, Bendis’ revelation regarding Iceman is about as nonsensical as Nightcrawler being retconned as the son of a demon during Chuck Austen’s infamous run on Uncanny X-Men a few years back.

Remember THIS load of horseshit?

Remember THIS load of horseshit?

There are several issues with this reveal. First of all, Iceman has a documented, decades-long love for vajayjay. Him being an immature horndog has been, on more than one occasion, one of his primary, defining characteristics. The Iceman who comes out is the 16 year-old version brought forward in time (along with the rest of the original team; that’s the basic premise of All-New X-Men, for those who didn’t know). You know how all sorts of ignorant or bigoted folks run their mouths about how “homosexuality is a choice?” And then gay folks and their supporters come back with, “If it’s a choice, prove it by choosing to take a dick in the ass, since that’s all there is to it?” Well apparently, at least to Bendis, Bobby Drake’s been choosing to be straight since his introduction in 1962.

bobbyurgayThen there’s the manner in which Iceman’s sexuality is brought to light. Iceman doesn’t come out of the closet–young Jean, his fellow time-lost teammate, goes into his thoughts and exposes him! So, here’s Bobby Drake, who’s been around telepaths his entire life–to include Charles Xavier, the most powerful psychic in the Marvel Universe–but only now does one pick up on him being gay? I call bullshit. Back in the 90’s, Iceman’s body was actually taken over by a telepath, the then comatose White Queen, Emma Frost.

But it gets worse. Say we replace Iceman in this situation with a brand-new character, who’s sexuality hasn’t been established. We still have Jean Grey invading a person’s mind. As far as comic book telepaths go, a willingness to do this sort of crap is what defines the good guys from the bad guys. There’s always been a morality to the use of psychic powers, that hinges on trust and concern for others. Jean Grey totally broke this. He even told her to stop. Even the US military, up until a couple years ago, had a law in effect that basically said, “it’s not our business; we don’t want to know.” Bendis had Jean break one of the cardinal rules of Marvel telepaths and shove her friend out of the closet.

heydon'tdothat

So we not only have one character being portrayed contrary to his decades-long established nature, we have another one violating what should be one of her core values in order to get us there. Nice work, Bendis. Of course, there are a variety of viewpoints floating around on the Internet regarding all this. Nerdist thinks its a good idea. There’s at least one gay comics reader who thinks along the same lines as me. And Billy Graham’s son Franklin took the time to try turning it into a religious issue.

For my part, if Bendis wanted to tweak an existing character’s sexuality that bad, there were better ways to go about it. Bobby feeling “experimental” or something, or wanting to explore a new part of himself by trying a relationship with a dude…well, it would still piss off the religious right (not that that’s a bad thing) but at least it wouldn’t fly in the face of canon. And for sure, it could have been done without Jean taking the choice out of Bobby’s hands. I hope whatever new status quo there is for the X-Men after Secret Wars washes all this away. And they should make that Azazel storyline not have happened, too.

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My Thoughts on X-Men: Apocalypse and the New Casting

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I rarely squee about movies on here–especially not horror movies, strangely enough, because I don’t watch them often–and not even about superhero movies, though comics and related media are my other bread and butter in life. The casting for the X-Men Apocalypse has me more than a little excited, though. Way more excited than I was about Days of Future Past.

I knew that with such a large ensemble cast, there was no way Blink, Sunspot, Warpath and Bishop were going to get the sort of limelight I’d have enjoyed, so there wasn’t much sense in getting worked up about it. Hell, I thought for sure at least Havok would get more play than he did, being a First Class-member and all, but nope (and I’d have loved for Banshee to return…he was always one of my favorites in the comic). I have a hard time believing Singer would cast a new Cyclops, Jean and Storm though and give them minor roles, though.

I’m the most excited about Sophie Turner, of course, as a Game of Thrones fan. She’s got the looks for a perfect Jean. My only real concern is how she’ll do with action–Arya’s been the go-to Stark Sister for physical dynamics, while Sansa’s gotten more of the castle intrigue. I’m sure she’ll do well, though. Tye Sheridan definitely has the look for a young Cyclops, though I haven’t seen anything he’s been in. The same goes for Alexandra Shipp as Storm, though I hope they write better (and MORE!) for her than they did for Halle Berry. Halle got a lot of crap from X-Men fandom for her Storm, but the scripts certainly weren’t part of the solution, either.

In terms of introducing the characters, I’m betting Storm’s will have something to do with her comic origin of picking Xavier’s pocket in Cairo, since Apocalypse is Egyptian. I can only hope that introducing a new Scott Summers in the wake of DOFP’s timeline-reset means a fix to the horrible movie-logic that rendered Havok and Cyclops as brothers a near-impossibility.

I’m pretty stoked about seeing Gambit in this film, though that rumor’s not exactly “new” news. I hope it gets confirmed soon, though. The other thing I’d really like to see is Jackman’s Wolverine sitting this one out. First-Class only had a cameo appearance, which was funny as hell, but worked well without adding him to the plotline. Days of Future Past…I get why the did it, from a movie-making standpoint, but as a fan, I was pissed that they skewed so far from the source material. In return, I’d love to see the character benched for the next couple X-Men movies at least, to give some other heroes the spotlight.

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Uncanny308_Thanksgiving[1]

The Christmas Comics Chronicle

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So, here’s the first installment of The Secret Origin of Lincoln Crisler. The first comic I ever remember owning is a subject for a later post, as is the first crossover I read. What I want to share before any of that is probably my third experience in life with comic books. I want to start there because I’ve read these issues again today for the first time in my adult life, and in the context of the previous three-years or so of X-Titles, read cover to cover straight through. These issues held great—indescribable—significance in my life at age twelve. All of the images, by the way, expand when clicked.

These entries won’t always be about comics, but the first few will be, certainly. There’s a reason for that. Comics, even more than either music or writing, dominated my young life. And every experience I had with them in my youth was valuable, because I never had money for them. These particular issues were under my Christmas tree in 1993, when I was eleven, courtesy of my older brother, who’d come by to visit. Comics are meant to be read sequentially, as most of you know—an ongoing story proceeds with each issue. Because I didn’t have money, and because I hadn’t read many X-Men comics, I not only lacked the narrative perspective these issues fit into, I also read these four comics probably once a week for six months, for lack of any others to read. I’ll discuss the first two this week and the latter two, next.

Uncanny X-Men 308 was the issue where Jean and Cyclops got married. The wedding took place two months later, in X-Men 30. I think it was at least a year or two later that I actually got to read the wedding issue. UXM 308 was a Thanksgiving-themed issue. The X-Men were enjoying a rare holiday, and Scott and Jean strolled through both memory lane and the X-Mansion grounds, examining various life occurrences they experienced together (Phoenix dying on the Moon; giving Nathan Christopher to Askani, etc.) and the holiday fun their teammates participated in. I could preach for hours on how the modern X-men have NOTHING on the 80s-90s X-Men, and if I had to pick one issue to make my point, this would be it.

 

X-Men 28 dealt with Sabretooth living in the X-Mansion following the events of the Sabretooth limited series and X-Men Unlimited 3. Jubilee has a bad dream, which wakes up Jean, which sparks a moral debate between a few of the X-Men, culminating in Jean vs. Sabretooth. The cover alone is striking as all get-out, especially from the perspective of one of an eleven year-old boy’s first comics. Keep in mind, I read this initially without having read Fatal Attractions (which took Logan out of the X-Men, severely impacting anything having to do with Sabes, of course) or the previously-mentioned Sabretooth issues. Also—damned if anyone ever has or will draw a better Jean than Andy Kubert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next week, I’ll discuss the other two comics I got under the tree that year–and two characters I wish had been continued in later storylines.

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