2 years ago5,000+ Views

Marvel can't keep their stories straight- oh wait a minute.

The newest issue of Uncanny X-Men had a lot to unpack (including the news that there are *still* definitely no more X-Men... just like there weren't any after House of M). The news that many fans were interested in had to do with Iceman- we've been speculating about his sexuality for a while, and we finally have a confirmation.

Cool, right?

Well, sort of. In the above panel, the current Iceman is interacting with his younger self who is choosing to come out. Even though the older Iceman has had relationships with women, it seems like the B-word was never on the table (bisexual, the word is bisexual). I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with either identity. My problem is not with a monosexual identity (gay or straight), but with Marvel's seeming incoherence when it comes to anything else.

See this? It didn't count.

Even though Hercules and Wolverine shared a romantic kiss in one of the comics, because it took place in an alternate universe neither one of them is considered anything but straight. And maybe if there were more LGBT+ characters in comics, this wouldn't be a huge deal. But frankly, the major comic publishers (Marvel AND DC) have a lot of catching up to do.

Marvel isn't taking pride in what they *are* doing

The recent release of Angela: Queen of Hel revealed something that fans have suspected for a while: Angela is in a relationship with Sera. And since the two of them are a major part of this series, this has the potential to be a huge step forward when it comes to LGBT+ representation. Not only could this mean that Angela is bisexual, but this places Sera, a trans woman, in a very prominent canonical relationship. I can't even process how awesome and completely unprecedented that is.

Too bad Marvel isn't standing by it.

Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso refused to confirm anything about their identities, stating:
"That’s a question for readers to ponder and answer for themselves. We’re not looking to put labels on the character or the series. We’d prefer that the story Marguerite, Kim and Stephanie are telling — all aspects of it — speak for itself."
And while that might be a nice message in a different context (let people be people, not confined by labels or expectations), with the explicit confirmations regarding Hercules and now Iceman, the message seems to be: We're not interested in transgressive LGBT+ stories.

To be honest, I'm not angry.

But I am disappointed. So much of Marvel's marketing lately has been about being All-New and All-Different, but what it really feels like is... well, marketing. No substance. There are lots of amazing characters of color, but almost no nonwhite writers. Lots of new female characters, but staggeringly few female writers (and plenty of confirmed accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace). They *look* like they're making strides forward, but behind the scenes it sounds like business as usual. And in the meantime, they'll be profiting off their "progressive" new image.

And if we don't buy it... well they'll hardly chalk it up to their failure to decisively stand by their positive choices.

What are we supposed to make of this?

It honestly feels like we're in a lose-lose situation when it comes to these issues. Every step forward looks like a few steps back to me... but maybe I'm just having one of those days? @GinTenma @ButterflyBlu @ChosenKnight @DonovanMoore @WayneWinquist @konaskorner @AnnaDodd @AimeeH @InPlainSight @madelynnknight @JonPatrickHyde @chris98vamg @GinnaL13 @tardisdragon7 @TransAnmeWeirdo @CynHaven @Echo7 @robmiller @MooshieBay @baileykayleen I trust all of you on this one: What do you think is going on here?
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@Madtv it doesn't really change anything about my sexuality or anyone's, but it does change the way it's perceived. Like @InPlainSight was saying it's not just this one moment, it's about the fact that there are still a lot of stigmas attached to certain identities. And instead of challenging that stigma directly, they're kind of shying away from it
and I feel they are allowed to. it's their comic their story. they can shy away from anything and anybody who doesnt agree with it can just stop reading. whether they have are challenging the stigma or not is their choice as creators. who cares. they aren't in the business of making people change their ways of thinking. they are in the business to bring us great stories and make money.
@Madtv oh for sure. They're a business, just like any other. I don't think that means they're exempt from criticism. Just like any media, comics are forming our cultural identity. I think part of participating in that culture is supporting the things you agree with and not supporting the things you don't like you said. It's kind of hard when you support a piece of something but not the whole thing, which is where criticism comes in. @RobertMarsh and I were having a convo about that somewhere... I forgot what card :( but there's definitely a financial aspect as well as a discussion
ok i do agree with you there. if you support something do it wholeheartedly
@Madtv yeah! You can't have your cake and eat it too when it's something like this