Archive for the “gay issues” Category

The short interview in question, as well as Cooke’s attempt to partially walk back his statement in which he appears to condemn revealing previously established characters to be gay can be found here, and are worth looking at, especially for David Uzumeri’s respone to Cooke.

Given the backwards-looking nature of much of Cooke’s work, I can’t say I find his objection to a lesbian Batwoman terribly surprising. Disappointing, but not surprising.

While some may be outraged by Cooke’s statement, for myself I’m not sure his statement deserves a response above the level of “heavy sighing.” His statements seem to fall along the same level of disagreement that Alex Ross had with making Obsidian gay. I don’t think either Cooke or Ross are homophobes, I just think they’re a bit too blinded by heterosexual privilege to realize how what they’re saying can sound homophobic.

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I haven’t been terribly impressed with Bill Willingham’s run on Justice Society of America to date, mostly because I’ve found the Captain Nazi story uninteresting and interminable and the expansion of the cast into two titles frustrating. But issue 40, which came out last week, was actually surprisingly very good. Yeah, it wraps up the Nazi story with a bit of a deus ex machina and it’s very obviously only meant as a bridge to the cross-over with Justice League, but apart from that it was a good, character-focused look at Obsidian, an under-used character at the best of times, and an angst-free look at that.

There was, however, one note that didn’t quite ring true.

Yeah, it’s just a joke…but it’s a joke about a subject that ruins peoples lives and that ideological doctors are actually pursuing.

So maybe a conservative straight guy who occasionally writes for right-wing blogs isn’t the one who should be making jokes like that, is all I’m saying.

Still, the good thing about this is that this was what was passing for gay humor in 1972 in “liberal” Mad magazine.

Yeah, I’ll take the conservative who means well over the liberal bigot on this subject, any day.

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Oh, come on, you didn’t think I’d let that pass without comment, did you?

  • It’s nice to see an acknowledgment that the Hercules of myth had an eye for the fellas as well as the ladies.
  • It’s especially nice to see it after the “eromenos” jokes in earlier issues.
  • A significant portion of an Uncanny X-Men storyline focused on Northstar’s crush on Iceman. After that, it’s hard to see how having sex with Hercules could be seen as an embarrassment.
  • Yes, it did occur to me that revealing this after killing off Hercules is convenient timing.
  • (No, I don’t really think Herc will stay dead long. Or that this will ever be addressed again.)

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Justice League: Cry For Justice #1. Gay man killed to make a super-hero feel bad.

Justice League: Cry For Justice #3. Gay man killed, and skinned, to make us think that a super-villain, one who single-handedly took out the Justice League once for God’s sake, is scary and important.

These incidents probably wouldn’t stick in my craw except, well, twice in one series? And at a company where the only other gay male character of significance*, Obsidian, just got turned into an egg after several years of doing nothing much but hang out literally as a shadow in the background. And if killing the faggot wasn’t such an old and monumentally stupid cliche in genre fiction.
When Marvel, the company that gave us the historic “Hulk gets raped” comic and the “Lol, fag” version of Rawhide Kid, is doing a better job by their gay characters, something has gone wrong**.

*I don’t count Mikaal as a gay character, as “aliens who don’t perceive gender and sexuality as we do” was last excusable as a metaphor for homosexuality in The Left Hand of Darkness.
**Yes, Rucka’s Detective Comics run with Batwoman is brilliant and remarkable, and DC should be lauded for it. But if you think that the prurient interest many straight men have in lesbians didn’t play a role in getting it published you’re delusional.

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It’s an interesting time to be a Torchwood fan. First of all, you have to be able to watch the show past that Cyberwoman episode. Which means you have to spend some time defending the show from the people who couldn’t watch past that episode. You also have to find some way to talk about how you’re glad that the show found a way to put a gay relationship in the foreground of a sci-fi action drama without sounding like an obsessive shipper who only watches the show as fodder for slash-fic stories.

Which all made the meltdown over the third series, broadcast over five nights as a mini-series, so interesting. Given it’s biggest audience and biggest venue yet, the show performed very well and attracted critical acclaim.
And fans raged.

As for the praise, it was well deserved. “Children of Earth” was a fantastically plotted, amazingly acted television event. A frequent point of criticism for the series is that, while it aspires to mature story-telling and was presented as a more “adult” take on Doctor Who, producers and writers seemed to think that all you needed to make a sci-fi series mature was add in lots of swearing, violence and sex. It’s a partly valid complaint, and the unevenness of the first season is testament to that. But by the second series most of the tonal problems had worked themselves out and the show was able to balance a sophistication in story and character with a self-deprecating sense of humor. That frequently focused on sex. This third series continued that evolution even more, and it’s probably telling that shortening the series to one story told over multiple episodes allowed for a more carefully crafted and thoughtful approach to the series than the need to get out thirteen weeks worth of episodes out the door.

The regular cast do a remarkable job, with Gareth David-Lloyd in particular turning in a excellent performance, and Eve Myles stepping up and showing us a Gwen that wasn’t quite always there in previous seasons but comes to the fore remarkably as well. The supporting cast, particularly Peter Capaldi as ill-fated civil servant John Frobisher, do excellent jobs as well. It’s a terribly well-acted show, and writers Russell T. Davies, James Moran and John Fay should be congratulated for giving such meaty roles for strong actors. If there is a fault to be found with the show, it’s in the rather laggy pacing, particularly in “Day Five”, which frequently felt like a thirty-minute story padded out to sixty.

There are some nice nods to the wider universe the show appears in as well, with Gwen making a fairly convincing case as to why, in certain times of deep crisis, the Doctor doesn’t appear on Earth. It’s a telling indictment, since for those who have been watching the new series of Doctor Who, a significant part of the problem faced here can be traced back to the Doctor upsetting history by removing Harriet Jones from power. And, of course, even if it is slightly selfish praise, it is nice to see a big, mainstream, action sci-fi show headlined by an openly gay man that places one of its heroic leads in a same-sex relationship.

And now, for those of you wishing to avoid spoilers, don’t read past the uncomfortable looking gentleman…

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