Thursday, August 07, 2008

Some X-Men To "Come Out Of Closet?"

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Marvel editor Axel Alonso hints that with series relocation to SF, some X-Men characters might be coming out of the closet...

Q: Is there a chance we might see one of the X-Men come out?

A: Yes. Yes. The city being what it is, certain characters whose sexuality might have been ambiguous are going to feel free to be who they are. I will qualify and say that I never go into the situation with a mandate or an agenda. It has to come along naturally. We're not going to rush into it. But I see it happening.

I fully support this. With such a large extended cast as in the X-Books, it would be only natural that some team members and supporting characters would be gay. It's like with The Avengers. Or the Justice League Of America.

The question is, what X-Men (X-Women) are we talking about here?

Me, I always liked the storyline where Northstar had a crush on Iceman and there was the possibility (and maybe I'm wrong and read too much into it) that maybe Bobby Drake had some sort of conflicted feelings back for the Canadian superhero.

Did Northstar just call some woman "a skank?"

But what would be really awesome is to have a gay character just have an open, non-emo relationship with someone. I mean, it's THE X-MEN, so a certain amount of emo is going to be there. know what I mean. What Cyclops has with Emma Frost. When you read Cyke/Emma stories, you get the feeling they are boinking each other all the time. Or have it be more sweet, like Spidey/MJ.

Why can't you have homosexual characters have that freedom, without it being this self-hating frustrated longing thing where they are afraid to be who they are? They used to have those plotlines in old movies all the time, ending with the self-loathing gay (or "gay coded") character dying horribly or killing other people or more likely killing his- or herself.

Northstar is too hot to be pining over some guy he can't have. He's way smarter and savvy than that.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the new storyline.


  1. My vote: Havok. The whole time Polaris was just his beard, causing her even more mental/self esteem problems.

    Why will they do that? Because it's a terrible idea.

  2. I had stopped reading the X-books by then, but a buddy of mine said that Morrison (I think it was Morrison) had laid the groundworking for "outing" Beast.

    This came up again toward the end of Joss Whedon's run on AXM, when Agent Brand more or less threw herself at Dr. McCoy (Beast, not Bones).

    So, my vote is Beast.

  3. Iceman be the Neil Patrick Harris of the X-Men? Hmmmm

    I could see certainly see Wolverine out of the closet.

  4. There's no way to do this to not offend SOMEONE'S sensibilities (i.e. "it's just a tactic to bring in new readers", or "What, now ___ is gay, JUST because they moved to SF?") But as someone who's hard at work on a graphic novel revolving around a gay superhero, this is good news!

    I just hope they don't go the lazy route and out a "hot" female mutant, just to appeal to fan-boy fantasies. (unless there's a real reason story-wise to do so)

    Hell, pack some poundage on ol' Wolvie, and he'd make a great "bear"...

  5. Did Joe Quesada change his stance that gay characters could only appear in MAX books?

  6. Not only should there be gay characters in every title, especially X titles, but the "Gay Metaphor" should be played TO THE HILT. Once upon a time the X-men were an excellent & brave metaphor for race in America; to remain important, they should become the same metaphor for sexuality.

  7. Anonymous12:51 PM

    I blame Warren Ellis.

  8. Is that true?

    Didn't Northstar date someone named "Hector"? I seem to remember that they were included in a Marvel swimsuit issue, which was semi-stunning to me at the time.

    I have no idea who Hector was, but at least it wasn't Northstar having a crush on Iceman.

    Weren't Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy gay?

  9. What mordicai said.

    It's a shame that current fans have completely missed that aspect of the whole mutant concept.

  10. The Cyke/Emma thing is far from implied in Ellis' first issue; it's practically stated outright, in large part, I suspect, because of the continuing effort to reposition Cyke as the "alpha" among the X-Men.

  11. Anonymous1:33 PM

    God Loves/Man Kills played heavily on one aspect of the gay allegory, back in eighty-aught-something.

    When it comes to Northstar, I think someone might play up the reformed terrorist angle some day, in addition to his orientation, but I won't hold my breath.

  12. Tom: Hector was an openly gay member of The Pantheon, a collection of semi-immortals who The Hulk hung out with, and for a time led, while he was smart during Peter David's long run on the series.

  13. I'd love to see an actual relationship for Northstar, but in the end it doesn't really matter because they'll just kill him again.

  14. Come to think of it, a Baubier reunion wouldn't be a bad idea, would it? Unless Aurora's dead or something.

  15. I'm not a fan of outing for the sake of it. But if it comes naturally sure. My bet, like Dan, is Beast. For some reason that makes sense to me.

    The Iceman one doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to me.

  16. Poll: Is Wolvie a homophobe?

    I vote yes. The great irony of liberalism is that it doesn't always carry through every aspect of life. You can be totally down with gays and have a hard time with race, for example.

    I say Wolvie has issues with gayness.

  17. @aaron -- God, I loved the Smart Hulk days. Smart Hulk hanging out with the cast of The Iliad, no less.

    That was awesome. Sigh... I was 14.

  18. knowing them
    they will introduce new gay x members
    or just minor characters came out of the closet and in about 3 years they will long gone and forgotten.
    its not cool having just having gay characters for just the sake of having gay characters.

  19. I like Alonso's quotes on this. But then he edited my second favorite X-title of all time, X-Force/X-Statix.

    But yeah, I don't want to read a tortured "am I gay or am I not?" self-loathing storyline. Too retrograde and demeaning. It also reinforces negative stereotypes.

    And I don't want to read something about Northstar- a former pro-skier and longtime superhero who should be confident and comfortable with his identity and should have little or no trouble going for anyone he wants- pining for someone he can't have.

    Of course it's dramatic fiction so they can't have everyone being happy all the time. External and internal conflict and all that. They just need to avoid the cliches to make me happy.

    I also agree with Alonso's reasoning. Given the size of the casts of all those books it's practically a given there should be some gay or bi or trans characters. But hopefully not as tokens or one-note iterations.

    They should go for this. I've always viewed the X-books as a metaphor for a number of different things, even as far back as the Claremont days. In some cases the parallels could be overt and amplify and reinforce the subtext.

  20. im all for it. its about time my peeps get some representation WITHOUT dying horribly

    ie: Northstar, Freedom Ring

  21. ps, brentcorner:

    there are gay characters in mainstream Marvel already.

    see runaways, young avengers, northstar (mike carey brought him back), new/young x-men (anole), etc etc

  22. I could see it being Beast, he comes off as effete depending on who is doing the writing.

    Wolvie usually runs conservative and could be anti-gay. Living as long as he has he may have known man-love

    Like anything if its a logic part of the story I vote yes, if its a stunut I vote no!

  23. They already have established Anole as gay.

    The Beast has been referenced as gay, and referred to non-mutants as "straights" as far back as the early 1990s.

    They are more likely to use some of the surviving Young X-Men (et al) characters than older ones because (a) they have less continuity to fight against and (b) it is increasingly okay and comfortable for teens to come out vs. adults. This would also help them provide identification characters for teen readers, to help capture and keep that market.

    Making Armor into a baby dyke would be interesting, because it would give them a chance to bounce off whatever long-held ideas that Wolverine might have. (Which is most likely going to be "You gonna hit on me, bub? You gonna try and just hit me? Then we got no beef. You do your job, I'll do mine, and we'll go drinking. If some guy hits on me, I'll send him your way.")

  24. Oops... I'm sorry! That was YOUR reasoning. I get a D- in reading comprehension today.

  25. There are a few established mutant characters that are gay/bi or rumored to be so.


    Stongly Speculated:

    Speculated - But I Don't See It:

    As far as anyone coming out of the closet, I wouldn't be surprised it someone comes out of group three above. I just hope they don't make Nightcrawler all anti-gay like his Ultimate counterpart. As a huge fan of the character and a liberal (recovering) Catholic, I was offended by that narrow portrayal.

  26. I don't think Wolvie's likely to be a homophobe.

    He's Canadian, and we're all basically gay.

  27. paul-

    you may have been offended, but a LOT of Catholics ARE that narrow. so it was pretty representative and interesting to see a character who wasn't all "im down with the gays" and how they handled that situation and showed him grow out of his ignorance.

  28. I thought Rictor IS bisexual. I remember hearing something about his sexuality was handled better than the coming out of Northstar. Shatterstar is iffy though.

    I'm kind of offended when someone accuses a majority of Catholics to be close minded and narrow. A vast majority of those in disagreements with the LGBT community are Christian fundamentalists, not just Catholics. I think it would be more impressive if Marvel were to include more of those with an Arabic descent. Heck someone that's homosexual AND Muslim would make a great story.

  29. @Eric

    ha ha... I always sort of forget Wolvie is a Canuck. I mean, I know it, I just don't think of him that way.

  30. @Paul

    Re: Shatterstar as gay.

    does it make me a reactionary conservative in that I object to characters from other planets having sexual relationships with characters from this planet. I mean, Lois and Clark is a cross-SPECIES love affair.

    Does that ick anyone else out?

    (for the non-initiated, Shatterstar is another species too, A) he is from the Mojoverse, B) he was created by Rob Liefeld)

  31. Bradydale

    Sadly, there were a lot of people who used to (and may still) view my interracial marriage in the same light.

  32. Anonymous12:20 PM

    That's Northstar? From the look of him, I thought you'd posted some panels from DNAgents.

  33. I've always assumed that Shatterstar was straight, but just a weird outsider with weird mannerisms. Richter's already made it pretty plain that he swings both ways, and I think Shatterstar was just the obvious target of his mancrushes.

    Also, as far as I understand, at least some aspect of Madrox is the gay, from what his duplicates have to say on the matter. Though that's very questionable and debatable.

  34. Anonymous11:11 AM

    The sad thing is he COULD have Bobby. Bobby is a character that seems to be closeted, either bisexual or gay. His father was a very WASPish person who hated his Japanese girlfriend for being Japanese. It would make sense for Bobby to stay closeted. When he was friends with Northstar he was getting undressed when he left the room because "He didn't want anyone getting hot and heavy", and later on asked him out for dinner, and later on pretended not to know he was gay. Northstar there thinks Bobby isn't attracted to men. Ummm, JP, the exact same thing happened to you. Bobby was being emotionally manipulated by an empath into liking her.