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it's all quiet000001's fault. - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
it's all quiet000001's fault.
I was going to get something useful done tonight. And then I started reading superhero slash fiction.

This is a list of "out" GLBT characters in comic books. It's quite interesting. I'd really like to get hold of the Young Avengers comics and read them. Apollo and Midnighter's commitment ceremony is kinda scary though. And Monsieur Mallah and The Brain is... *words fail me*.

Also, the DC universe is seriously strange, even in canon.

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Comments
quiet000001 From: quiet000001 Date: 22nd March 2007 02:16 (UTC) (Link)
Is this where I pretend to be innocent and you laugh at me? :)

DC writers are on more crack than fanfic writers. And that's saying something.
purplerabbits From: purplerabbits Date: 22nd March 2007 07:40 (UTC) (Link)
I just love Apollo and the Midnighter and in a way think it's a pity they've gone downm the route of adopion and committment ceremony, which I've always taken to be the over respectable route. Of course they've done it sufficiently differently that I kind of don't mind...
hiddenpaw From: hiddenpaw Date: 22nd March 2007 10:11 (UTC) (Link)
Well I'm just miffed he's missed out even the most obvious of the 2000ad panthion. I may have to mail him and suggest it's got a big enough following for thier best gay charaters to count.
johnckirk From: johnckirk Date: 22nd March 2007 14:50 (UTC) (Link)
I quite liked "Young Avengers", although it did suffer from the common problem of "written by a guy who does TV stuff and only bothers to write the allegedly monthly comic when he gets round to it". It's currently on hiatus, so this would be a good time to catch up.

A similar comic is "Runaways" (mentioned here). The interesting point there is that there's an alien shapeshifter on the team who basically says "Ok, if you like girls, I'll take on a female form for you, no problem", i.e. he/she has a fairly relaxed attitude to gender.

I wouldn't exactly count it as a superhero comic, but "Ex Machina" (about a former superhero who's now the Mayor of New York) has dealt with the issue of gay marriage (in the TPB Tag). It's also been deliberately vague about the protagonist's sexual orientation.

Disclaimer: I don't choose comics on the basis of who the characters are attracted to, so you may not like them as much as I did.
baratron From: baratron Date: 24th March 2007 00:43 (UTC) (Link)
Is the Young Avengers out in book format yet? I like trade paperbacks, but I find actual comics a bit troublesome. I think it's because I hate getting things dog-eared, and with comics where the covers are printed on the same paper as the rest of it, it's rather difficult to avoid.

Disclaimer: I don't choose comics on the basis of who the characters are attracted to, so you may not like them as much as I did.

LOL! Neither do I! My ideal comic is something like Sandman, that represents all of the variants of humanity. The Sandman showed straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all skin colours, both families with children and the childfree. Most of the people were essentially normal, with quirks like we all have - but they didn't exist just to be The Token Gay Character.

Having said that, I do have a tendency to pick up (not necessarily buy) books simply because they have A. Gay. Character!! in them. And as a result I have read some of the worst books ever written, I think. Not sure I've read any bad gay SF, but I've definitely read bad gay fantasy, and er... utterly awful whatever the genre of fiction that relates to ordinary modern Earth life is called. (Does that even have a name? Someone on irc just suggested "contemporary fiction", but I'm not sure).

epi_lj linked to an article in the Toronto Star about race issues in comics, which I found very interesting.
johnckirk From: johnckirk Date: 24th March 2007 11:46 (UTC) (Link)
Is the Young Avengers out in book format yet?

Yes, there are two books of the main series so far (up until the hiatus):
"Vol 1: Sidekicks" - out in TPB (trade paperback) and HC (hard cover).
"Vol 2: Family Matters" - out in HC, with a TPB due in May.

There's also a TPB which collects the Young Avengers/Runaways mini-series, but I'd avoid that for now, since it ties into the big "Civil War" storyline that's been running recently, and it would make sense to read "Runaways" first.

Having said that, I do have a tendency to pick up (not necessarily buy) books simply because they have A. Gay. Character!! in them.

Yeah, I can understand that - I watched the film "Thunderpants" a while back for similar reasons (a character with anosmia). In the case of "Young Avengers", my main concern was that the vocal fans (in the letters page) were basically saying "Wow, here are two male characters on the same team - they must become a couple!" That's arguably no worse than the plot of the average romantic comedy (one male lead, one female lead, pretty much destined for each other), but it felt more jarring to me in a different context. I think that "Will and Grace" handled it better (at least in the episodes I've seen) - Will and Jack were friends, and both gay, but they weren't a couple because they had quite different personalities.

epi_lj linked to an article in the Toronto Star about race issues in comics, which I found very interesting.

It's a decent article, but I'd be wary of taking it at face value. In particular, my opinion is that Reginald Hudlin is a complete hack. I read (and enjoyed) the previous "Black Panther" series, when it was written by Priest (also a black writer); unfortunately it didn't sell well enough to avoid cancellation. I then picked up Hudlin's relaunch, and bought the first 6 issues (his first storyline); I think that was a fair trial, since £12 is more money than I'd spend on a random film at the cinema, and I was pre-disposed to like the series, but I just gave up on it in disgust because I couldn't figure out what was going on. Paul O'Brien has written a good review of #8, where he gives more specific examples of this. More recently, Hudlin has had a storyline where the Black Panther marries Storm (from the X-Men), and the motive does basically seem to be "Well, they're both black, aren't they?"

There was a recent Spider-Man story ("The Other") which was a big crossover between three ongoing titles (one written by Hudlin, one written by JMS, and one written by PAD); there were 12 issues, 4 per title, being split equally between the three writers. I figured I'd give Hudlin another shot, but after his first issue I gave up on his share, and preferred to read the story with three chapters missing. I think it takes a certain perverse skill to co-write a story with the man who wrote Hulk comics for 12 years and still completely screw up the characterisation...

Granted, this is my own opinion, and I assume that other people like his work (someone's buying it). However, it's not quite as simple as saying "Somehow, in this medium people are so out of touch with popular culture that they don't understand that black culture is popular culture." In other words, it's not enough just to publish a comic with a black/female/whatever character: that comic also has to be worth reading!
36 From: 36 Date: 22nd March 2007 18:21 (UTC) (Link)
Doom Patrol under Grant Morrison was a purposely surrealist and dadaist comic series -- I strongly recommend reading the series starting from 'The Painting That Ate Paris'. Now days it would be Vertigo rather than mainstream DC. Officially the whole of Sandman is in DC universe cannon, so weirdness will happen.
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