Yep, gone are the days when X - Men were real men ( or X - Männer in my case ) all thanks to writer Brian Michael Bendis to get some publicity for ALL NEW X - MEN. I guess the sales must be floundering on that title.
COME ON THE RISIN` WIND WE`RE GOIN` UP AROUND THE BENDIS
Now I must admit that I gave Bendis ( I´m shortening the name from now on, not to dis the man - to which I would havbe good reason - but really because I´m lazy ) a second chance after he wrote what will probably go down as THE WORST story in Avengers lore EVER, the train wreck that is AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED. Longtime readers of this blog probably know all the reasons why the story sucks so much but the three things I will mention ( because I think they may come up in some posts in the near future ) is the total destruction of the character of the Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye going down in one of the most stupid death scenes I know ( basically he´s too stupid to take of his quiver ) and Doctor Strange explaining that there is no such thing as Chaos Magic after spending an entire storyline ( in his own title mind you, so Bendis had no way of knowing that ) looking for a new source of mystical power after he lost the favor of the guys he used to call upon. You would never guess what the new source of mystical power was that he used since then. Right. Chaos Magic. But that doesn´t exist - at least according to Bendis. So how could he use magic against the Scarlet Witch if his magic powers were based on Chaos Magic which according to him does not exist ?
I´m not going into this whole debate but if you want to read more about this check out Brian Cronin´s The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Scarlet Witch Uses Chaos Magic ? post on COMIC BOOK RESOURCES´ extensive Comics should be good archive and also Neilalien´s Doctor Strange questions .
So despite all this - and a few other selected catastrophes where Marvel heroes behaved out of character - I gave Bendis a chance on ALL NEW X - MEN and so far ( I´m currently at issue 30 ) I have enjoyed the book.
In fact, apart from the months when Tim Bradstreet actually managed to deliver some art for WOLVERINE & THE X - MEN it was the only x - book I read. For somebody who has fallen off the X - Men train and not read an X - Men comic in years ( which includes basically everybody except the few diehard X - Men fans that still existed ) this was the perfect book because I had no idea what the hell was going on in the x - universe. One of the biggest things in AVENGERS vs X - MEN was Cyclops killing Charles Xavier - for everyone but me. I didn´t know he was still alive because in the last X - Men comic I read he was dead. So he was alive and then dead again.
And I guess I wasn´t the only one who couldn´t make heads nor tail of the new mutant universe. So a title like ALL NEW X - MEN, in which the five original members of the X - Men are brought into our time and everything has to be explained to them was the perfect jumping on point. Because the original X - Men had the same questions like the long absent readers.
Is Magneto currently one of the good guys or bad guys ? Was a member of the Hellfire Club really a teacher at Xavier´s school ? What the hell is a Xorn ? Since when does Wolverine remember his past ? By the way, who is this guys with claws coming out of his hands and what´s his obsession with beer ? Why hasn´t the mutant situation improved ? And what was that leather jacket nonsense all about ? Okay, so Jubilee lost her powers but got really big breasts in exchange, then was turned into a vampire and now runs around with a baby. That sounds totally normal, right ?
But not only does the series have an interesting story with the added bonus of the original members meeting up with their older counterparts, the art by Stuart Immonen is some of the best of his whole career.
Good writing, good art . . . . well, exceptional art. If you think that Stuart Immonen´s art looks good on regular pages you have to see his awesome double page spreads. Immonen totally kills it on those double pages.
Another big plus for me was that I love a good time travel story. And here Bendis really uses the possibilities of the concept of time travel. Not only do the X - Men from the past meet their counterparts from the present but they also encounter the X - Men of the future. Who are revealed as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants when the REAL X - Men from the future arrive. It´s a really big no holds barred everything goes romp through time and space to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite television shows ( the space thing coming into play when they meet the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jean Grey goes on trial for her crimes as Phoenix ).
BENDIS` WIBBLY WOBBLY TIMEY WIMEY STORYLINE CONTRADICTIONS
And here´s one of the first problems of the whole " Iceman is gay " story. The Iceman of the past who gets outed by Jean Grey - or better bullied into saying that he is gay - has met Iceman of the present who is not gay.
What´s more, he has also met his future self who is also not gay.
Okay, current Iceman - not gay. Future Iceman - not gay. Past Iceman - suddenly gay. How does that work ? If you ask me, young Jean Grey convinces young Iceman that he is gay although he isn´t. Since current Iceman really knows he isn´t gay he puts young Iceman into a facility to de - gay him with the help of future Iceman because he doesn´t want to risk becoming gay at some point in the future because of some stupid notion Jean Grey put into the head of his past self. Do you have a headache already ? Then let´s look at how it happens in issue 40 .
Bobby doesn´t come out of the closet and say he´s gay. He is railroaded by Young Jean Grey who tells him that he is gay and she knows because she has read his mind. Without his permission. But since she is getting him to admit that he´s gay it´s all right. Because where homosexuality is concerned the normal rules of human ( or mutant ) behavior do not apply.
There are so many things wrong here that I don´t know where to begin. If you knew somebody and you were convinced he was gay would you do something like this to him when he´s clearly not ready to do it himself ?
Is Bobby only pretending to be interested in girls or completely clueless ?
Some people may think this is helping him but how can it be helping him if you do it for him ? Now the whole thing gets even more complicated by the fact that we don´t get to see into Jean Grey´s head. Or Bobbie´s for that matter. Which is something that does happen in comics or movies.
So we don´t know what exactly Jean saw or read in Bobbie´s mind. All we know is she says he´s gay and she knows because she read his mind. So she found some thoughts of him about how hot Hugh Jackman is ? I think he´s hot - for a guy mind you - that doesn´t make me gay. Did he just think " Wow, I´m really totally gay although I can´t admit it . " or what ?
Am I the only one who finds it highly suspicious that Jean just happens to take a peek at Iceman´s head to find out he´s really gay right after he has made some inappropriate remarks about some of his female team members ? Because that´s totally what women do. They make up stuff just to mess with your head. They tell you you´re adopted or your penis is too small or that you are gay. And this Jean Grey is one loco broad, ese.
I mean everybody´s going " If Jean Grey says it it must be true because she can read minds " but we´re talking about somebody who became - or is destined to become - one of the greatest mass murderers of all times as the Dark Phoenix. Or has everybody already forgotten all about this ?
Yes, Jean Grey is not really the most mentally stable person in the x - universe especially if she gets plucked from the past, thrown into our time and told that she will become a monster and die a few times in the next years. That knowledge can really do a number on any normal person.
A READABLE MIND or I KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHT LAST SUMMERS
Okay, so let´s just for a moment assume that Jean did read Iceman´s mind and discover he´s really gay. Why hasn´t any of the other telepaths on any of the numerous mutant teams ever found out he´s really gay ?
I mean, what about Professor Charles Xavier ? He´s a pretty big telepath and while some argue that he didn´t know because he makes it a habit not to invade people´s privacy ( a concern the young Jean Grey clearly does not share ) he trained the X - Men in defense against the dark arts . . . . I mean defense against telepathic attacks. And for that he probably had to go into their deepest minds and would have stumbled about that.
Are we really meant to believe that young Jean Grey is a better telepath than adult Charles Xavier ? And that she somehow managed to uncover in a few minutes what he failed to notice in decades ? We are talking about a time span that begins in the sixties here. Now there are people who argue that if Xavier knew Iceman was gay he would have never told him about it as long as he himself was not sure about it ( another thing young Jean Grey has no reference for ) because that could influence the whole thing. If you have seen the first MATRIX movie you probably know what a self fulfilling prophecy is. So the argument here is that IF Xavier knew Iceman was gay the moment he told him that he would have technically turned him gay or something - which is much too metaphisical for me.
Professor X - too busy abusing his power to notice that Iceman is gay ?
Another argument is that as a mutant Iceman was already a victim of prejudice, hatred and bigotry so Xavier didn´t want to add fuel to the fire by revealing Iceman´s gayness. Which is total BS. If you are a mutant your life is already effed up enough. I mean there´s giant robots out to kill you just because you were born. What more are they going to do to you ? Hit you with the really painful death ray instead of the soft and gentle death ray ? Take away your X - Box or give you a bad grade ?
I mean Storm was never singled out from the other x - Men because they thought she would be hated more than other mutants. A mutant, an atheist, a woman AND black ? Clearly she has to suffer more than other mutants. Is that really what Disney now wants me to think ? That all people are the same but some mutants are clearly more effed up than others ? Sorry, but this kind of thinking doesn´t really work for me.
If political correctness means to divide discriminated persons into some kind of rating system depending on their " level of discrimination " I don´t want no part of it. Like, this would be discrimination but because a gay / lesbian / muslim / black person does it it´s okay ? When did this kind of reverse discrimination against certain individuals become acceptable ?
FIFTY SHADES OF GAY or STRAIGHT PEOPLE CAN BE DIFFERENT TOO
To come back to the main topic, yes, the X - Men comics have always been about being different but that doesn´t automatically mean gay.
Stan Lee came up with the idea of mutants not because he wanted to represent homosexuals and therefore he came up with these people who were born with special abilities. The simple truth is that he was sick and tired of always having to come up with a super special origin story like a radioactive spider bit him or he got hit by a radioactive gamma bomb or they were bombarded by radioactive rays from outer space. Because it´s really hard to always come off with a good origin story for every hero and with the advance of science people knew that you were more prone to die from radiation poisoning than get powers from a radioactive accident. So Stan just said " Let´s make them mutants. " and that way didn´t have to invent different origin stories for every mutant which in hindsight was a good thing because they grew like mushrooms. If you don´t believe me the whole thing is one of the original soundbites from the Man himself and you can listen to it on STAN LEE´S AMAZING MARVEL UNIVERSE, a book I pimped on this blog when amazon offered it at a bargain price.
I know it´s hard for some people to understand but there are individuals out there who are different and misunderstood and persecuted and who are not homosexual. Gays don´t have a monopoly on being different and certainly not on the X - Men comics. So, no, X - Men doesn´t equal gay and therefore there is no imperative for a gay member. I also don´t buy into the logic that on one side being gay is something you are born with and you can´t do anything about it but a gay man can have sex with a woman for years because he doesn´t know better or he´s afraid to tell.
Either you know you are gay and only have sex with women to pretend you are not and have a gay relationship on the side or you are not as gay as you think. I mean there are thousands of husbands who go to great lengths to come up with fool proof plans just to cheat on their wives and I´m led to believe that a gay man who has more reason to do this can´t ?
Or the whole thing that Iceman´s past relationships with women were what you call " experimenting " . I don´t know but it sounds like an awful lot of experimenting in a field he´s not supposed to like. My Mum always tells me " How do you know you don´t like something if you haven´t tried it ? " which usually is followed by her trying to get me to try some food I ALREADY know I do not like because I have FRIKKIN tried it a hundred times already. There are some things you don´t have to try for yourself - like running into a brick wall get hit by a bus - to know you don´t like them. There ARE others but if you keep experimenting and experimenting and experimenting you have to ask yourself if you really do not enjoy it.
So which part of the picture above shows Reed Richards experimenting ?
Now to come back to the topic of somebody reading Iceman´s mind and finding out he was gay - what about the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost ? She has spent quite some time with the X - Men and she never said anything about Iceman being gay. I mean she even switched bodies with him at one time so she definitely would have found out there.
She even was better than him of controlling his powers - was this because he spend a lot of energy on repressing something ? If Emma found out he was gay would she not have used this to mess with his head since she was still on the side of the villains ? And what about Cyclops ? He and Emma have had a lot of intimate contact physically as well as telepathically. Would he not have found out ? Maybe she really is that good at hiding things from Scott but there are too many " buts " in this train of thought.
SHIFTING SHAPES OF GAY or SHAPESHIFTER OF MY HEART
Another big " reason " that people cite for Iceman being gay is that he had sex with Mystique who is a shapeshifter. Because if you are having sex with a shapeshifter this can only mean you want her / him / it to become a boy or a man without your teammates finding out you´re gay, right ?
Wrong. The reason why you are having sex with a shapeshifter is probably that you want to have sex with a teammate - a girl - who doesn´t want to have sex with you or you are too afraid to ask because . . . . I don´t know, maybe read minds, like Jean Grey ? So it would totally make sense.
She never read that Iceman was gay. She read that he wanted to butter her sandwich and that shocked her so much that she told him he was gay.
And before you tell me how improbable that is - am I really supposed to believe that Iceman thinks he has to have sex with a shapeshifter in secret because the other X - Men will not accept that he is gay ? Do people who think along these lines ever read an X - Man comic in their lives ?
There are numerous reasons to have sex with a shapeshifter apart from the teammate thing or having sex with a superheroine who you know would never touch you with a ten foot pole. It could be to have sex with a female super villain without having to worry that she kills you afterwards.
Which might be a moot point with somebody like Mystique anyway. Way back when I started this blog I did a - much missed by longtime readers - section called COMICBABE BATTLE which also included the hot women on the Fantastic Four. There was a post about the runners up and one about the finalist which to my own surprise was not won by the obvious choice, MILF Susan Storm, but by Lyja, Johnny Storm´s shapeshifting skrull wife.
I explained the pros of shapeshifted sex at length in those posts ( in fact I went a bit overboard and had to give Lyja her solo post ) so I won´t say anything more on that subject matter than that there are certain benefits if your sex partner can look like anybody, any celebrity - alive or dead.
So Iceman is not the first male in the Marvel universe who had sex with a shapeshifter and Nobody is saying that Johnny Storm must be gay. At least until now. And you know they did it because Lyja had his egg and all.
GOING ROGUE - GAMBIT DID IT BEFORE ICEMAN SO WHO`S GAY NOW ?
Which leads us to the Rogue thing and the title of my post ( I know, you thought I´d never come around to that ), a thing that´s more based on the movie universe than on the actual comics. Iceman had a relationship with Rogue in the movies before it happened in the comics. I would even say that it would not have happened in the comics if it hadn´t happened in the movies first. In fact, it didn´t happen in the comics which for many is a sign that Iceman is indeed gay. There is an issue where Iceman goes on a road trip with Rogue and the " tell " that he is gay is that he is not trying to get Rogue into his bed. And I have to say foul on this one.
If every man who does not try to get the woman closest to him into his bed immediatelly is gay that would be a lot of men. Maybe Bobby had other things on his mind on that day or maybe she just wasn´t his type. I read an interesting post ( probably related to the Batgirl thing ) about how female leads in comics have trouble finding a partner because nobody even the most perfect male specimen is not good enough. On the other hand it seems that any female is an elegible choice for any male in comics no matter how she looks like. And that doesn´t work in the real world and it doesn´t work in comics. So maybe Rogue just wasn´t Iceman´s type.
Or it could be that Iceman knew that somebody else was always putting the moves on Rogue and wanted to avoid being caught in a love triangle.
That´s right, my little Gambito. If there ever was an X - Men who needs to come out of the closet it´s the X - Men´s Cajun fighter ( bazinga ).
I mean, come on. If being in a relationship with Rogue is a sign of being gay would Gambit not have first dibs on this ? Am I really the only one who makes the connection here ? If there´s one über compensating member of the X - Men who always has to show off and even tries to come off much cooler than Logan it´s Gambit. Really, the fake french accent, the unshaven look that went out with Don Johnson, the long hair and that awful trench coat with body armor underneath - how much gayer can you get ? And then the fact that he was wearing this coat all this time just because he knows that it will rain some day. That´s not something men do. And the whole thing with the playing cards. That´s the worst you can try to throw with the aim of hitting your target. The worst I tell you.
And then he picks the one girl of all the hot women in the x - teams who can´t be touched to be his girlfriend. She´s like " Oh, Gambit, I love you but we can never consume our love. " and he´s all " Pas de probleme, mon chere, I´m fine with that. " and this is not highly suspicious to anybody ?
For me Gambit is a representation for everything that was wrong in the 90s. He´s what happens when you try to build a character based on what the marketing experts tell you is hip with the readers. He should not even be in the X - Men after they found out he was mainly responsible for the MUTANT MASSACER, one of the bloodiest incidents in mutant history.
Now people have told me time and time again that he should be forgiven to what I answer if they would say the same about a person who aided the Nazis or somebody who participated in the lynch mobs. If you ask me, he got away easy with the X - Men just leaving him in the antarctica to die.
Which happened in UNCANNY X - MEN 350, one of the X - Men comics I have read most often and not only because Gambit gets his just reward ( there´s some Madureiras art ). It´s one of the best written single issues by Steve Seagle which got totally butchered in the german translation.
Okay, back to our topic IF there is a character who is gay because he´s in a relationship with Rogue it should be Gambit. So why is it Iceman ?
MARVEL´S GAY MUTANT HYSTERIA or MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Because nobody cares, that´s why. I know, there´s this whole thing now on the internet - and I´m participating - but it´s not about Iceman. It´s really more about the way they did it. Because it makes no sense like I´ve been saying the whole time. This is just Bendis trying to get the spotlight because I don´t believe for a minute that he just wanted to " write his story without it all becoming a big deal ". If that´s what he wanted he would have written it differently because it is possible to have gay characters in the Marvel universe without it becoming a big deal.
Like Wiccan and Hulkling on YOUNG AVENGERS. They are a gay couple and they never made the big news headlines. Why ? Because like I already wrote in my Is Warren Ellis gayer than Erik Larsen ? post, there are certain writers who just include gay or lesbian characters to become newsworthy. And it´s our own fault if they still succeed with this.
One part of this is clearly to get into the news. Because they didn´t choose Cyclops - that would have been too unbelievable after his time with Jean Grey and Emma Frost. They didn´t pick the Beast because they already tried that and backpedaled on that a few issues later. They didn´t pick Angel because they didn´t want trouble with the catholic church - if you´re making an angel gay that´s like picking a fight with the pope. So who´s left of the original X - Men who´s not a girl ? Right. The ice dude. The one member writers have been struggling with for years. Let´s be honest, there are no big stories involving Iceman which don´t include him losing his powers or his powers getting out of control. So you pick the X - Man who´s always in the background and turn him into a homosexual.
They didn´t get the attention they wanted with Northstar, Shatterstar, Rictor or any of the other b - or even c - listers like the Avenger´s Living Lightning so now they try their luck with one of the original X - Men.
And they want to give SONY the finger. SONY is clinging to the X - Men movie rights like the devil to a sinner´s soul so Disney is turning the Inhumans into the new X - Men. And they make Iceman gay. How you like that SONY ? I think it´s just pathetic. I have been reading ALL NEW X - MEN so far and I totally planned to keep it on my pull list. Yes, Stuart Immonen has left the title to do black Captain America but Mahmud Asrar is one of the best pencilers in the business right now so there´s no big problem there. They are going to make Mike Morales Spider - Man a team member in the next issues which I don´t have a problem with. I never read any of his ULTIMATE SPIDER - MAN issues but more because it´s not my book. My brother was following that series - at least until they killed off Peter Parker. I´m anxious to see how they end up in his reality.
But the whole " Iceman is now gay " thing ? That is so hamfisted that I doubt I will be reading the title after that. Which is a real pity because there are really not that many good titles left at Disney. But who knows ? The whole Marvel universe is supposed to end in a few months anyway so who knows how long our new gay Iceman is going to make it in the end.
I don´t know but it seems to me that there are not many decent writers left at Marvel. Iceman is gay because Jean Grey tells him. Thor becomes unworthy of Mjolnir because somebody whispers something in his ear. And Ghost Rider is now Ghost Racer because he drives a car. This is not comic writing but definitely abuse of drugs or other illegal chemical substances.
Two founding members of the Avengers are down - is Iron Man next ?
And this is the point where it´s time to end this and leave other things like black Captain America for another post. Today´s post has become rather long so the video section is equally long with two parts : one that ties in with Today´s topic and one that is about something completely different for all the readers who are tired of gay Iceman at this point.
Since this is the first video I saw about the whole " Iceman is gay now " thing I´m putting this one first. It echoes a lot of my thoughts on the whole matter like Marvel doing this whole thing to pander to the gay community and make headlines. They know what Disney´s reasons for this are : " Hey, look. We just changed a text bubble, added three letters, now he´s gay so you will all blindly love Marvel and give us money. "
For the sake of diversity here´s a video that has all the arguments for Iceman being gay. I don´t agree but I also don´t want to deny that there are people out there who think that gay Iceman is the best thing ever.
Another gay Iceman video, this one is more in my ball park.
And last but not least a video that shows that there are gay comic fans who are not so sure how they are supposed to feel about the whole thing.
But let´s get to the part that I like to call the entertainment section. This year is the tenth anniversary of New Who and since I already mentioned the show in the post here´s a video about this. Sadly, this is a fan video and I don´t know if the BBC has plans for an anniversary special or not.
And we´re staying on the subject of cult science fiction with one of the funniest videos I´ve seen in a long time. An alternate scene you won´t find on any DVD extras. Warning : once it´s seen it can´t be unseen !
Speaking about funny videos this one probably makes more sense - and is more entertaining - than the upcoming Superman vs Batman movie.
Our last one combines bad entertainment and time travel : episode 3 of the horrible AVENGER UNITED THEY STAND cartoon show starring Kang.
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Shut up and keep squeezing monkeys !