The queer world of the X-Men By Erik Dussere, July 17, 2000
You missed the one very strong "gay metaphor" story line in the X-Men of late: the introduction of the Legacy virus, a virus that at first only killed mutants. The regular humans comment about it being a good thing, because who needs more mutants? And then suddenly, this mutant-only virus can be caught by regular people as well, and it's all those damn mutants' fault.
The Legacy virus parallels' to the HIV/AIDS epidemic were uncomfortable to read to say the least, and by far the least subtle of the gay themes in the book. But it brought about some of my favorite issues of those books ever, so I suppose in comics, as in real life, difficult and uncomfortable situations demonstrate to us who the real heroes are, and aren't. A gay fan of the X-Men, -- Alex Darke
The writer is absolutely right about the gay themes of the X-Men. Don't think for a minute the filmmakers doesn't know this. The director, Bryan Singer, is openly gay and Ian McKellen is a gay activist. -- Rebekka Kai Taubman
For the most part, I would imagine Marvel Entertainment's head honchos are unaware how their writers have appropriated and continue to appropriate gay themes. The most forthright use of the metaphor isn't in the 1982 graphic novel Dussere read as an adolescent but the current "Children of the Atom" miniseries by writer Joe Casey.
Incidentally, as the relatively well-adjusted teens in rival DC's comic "Legion of Superheroes" have also enjoyed a longstanding gay readership, I don't think it's purely the alienation themes that hold an attraction. But Dussere is right that all kids probably pick up on that feeling of alienation.
I do have a complaint about Dussere's piece. Saying the X-Men and other Marvel characters were created by Stan Lee denigrates the achievement of one of the great unknown pop artists of the 20th century, the cartoonist Jack Kirby. The only thing that most knowledgeable people question at this point is how much Lee may have been involved in Kirby's creations, not if Kirby contributed to Lee's.
If X-Men is about fighting for those stripped of their rights, it would be nice if the general public afforded Kirby his artistic right to be recognized for what everyone -- except maybe Lee's press agent -- should recognize as, at the very least, Kirby's co-creations. -- Tom Spurgeon
This article was one of the most flawed pieces of leftist rhetoric I have seen in quite a while. The author's weak attempt to draw a parallel between what the Jews and blacks have gone through with the homosexual agenda are not only insulting to Jews and blacks, they are insulting to basic human intelligence. I suggest you do a better job of reporting information, instead of being a conduit for the homosexual agenda. -- Jon Hartman
hm. it's not like marvel loves to take a stand ... their portrayal of gay characters usually consists on forgetting said character has a personality, and making their being gay all there is to them.
in general terms (ie. politics or other social issues) they can sound extreme if a bit over the top. they seem to pull the bureaucratic card all too often and the way they solve things is not truly consistent.
i'm sure this post wasn't made to get essay-like replies, but anyway. while i love marvel for the x-men and such, and some awesome writers have graced the titles, i feel certain subjects should be dealt with in different ways. most of the time i wish i wrote for marvel. heh.
Gender: Male Location: United States
Lake Ontario, Ny
There is a certian flaw in the logic that if you fear something you should embrace it. Being gay myself, i too have the right to be disgusted by hetrosexuals. I have the right to express hatred twords them for no reason at all, just because i can. But i don't. Having the power to do something is not sufficant reason to do so. Marvel, society, young and old need to be the one's to wake themselves up if they choose to. I can continue to look the other way when i am faced with that kind of hatred.
Unfortunatly, the world is training their gays along with their straights how to emulate such hate the world over. It really is irrelevant who your having sex with when all you've spent your life doing is hating.
The good thing is is that no one wants to be around you if you do such things. If you believe otherwise your the fool.
i don't think hate is necessarily related to sexuality. gay people can be narrow-minded as well (despite being a 'minority' or whatever society calls them and despite being alienated) and straight people can be tolerant. the point is, it's ignorance that breeds hate.
I agree with will. It's about intolerance in general. A fight for equality. Whether someone is gay, african american, handicaped, or a 49ers fan. The stronger should fight for those who can't fight for themselves. Edmond Burke said, "The easiest way for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." X-MEN ROCKS!
I don't think that it's necessarily ignorance that breeds hate. I think it's people's unwillingness to look at people as individuals instead of types. Ignorance can only take one so far and count for so much. With the number of homosexuals that are open in the world, people can't say that they don't know what homosexuals are like anymore. It's the stereotypes that are popular anyway (Will & Grace, Queer Eye, etc.), and these show up in print in characters like Northstar, etc. People know that there are homosexuals in all levels of government, in the military, in universities and public schools, picking up trash, arresting criminals, painting houses. People also choose to see what they want to see.