Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

August 15, 2006

Gay League on Marvel’s GLBT Policy

I would have totally missed this if not for an e-mail, but this article spotlights Joe Quesada's statements at Wizard World: Chicago on Marvel's unwillingness to have a gay and lesbian lead character in a solo mini-series without an explicit content warning. Supposedly this stems from the 2002 mini-series Rawhide Kid and criticism Marvel received on CNN's Crossfire program. The spirit of Fredric Wertham is even invoked.

This seems bizarre and unfortunate on a lot of levels, and I have to wonder what was going on where this policy would become specific in exactly this unique, public, potentially hurtful way as opposed to there just not being any titles like this -- the way there aren't any television series with gay lead characters that spring to mind. As I recall, Rawhide Kid was a smarmy, obvious comedy and hardly the basis on which the feasibility of a type of character should be judged. I'm also not sure if Crossfire is even on anymore for exactly the reason it seemed like pre-staged fighting for the sake of fighting rather than honest engagement of any issues or representative of the public's view on any issue. It's at least not every respected. Heck, I saw that episode and Stan Lee came off well, and Lee's forte has never been fighting on the issues. This is all very weird.

There's a significant conservative element among superhero comics fans that tends to be passionate about these issues; as a result, discussions like this one here can be real fire and brimstone affairs. Noted in the thread is that Marvel does have gay supporting characters, most notably in the title Young Avengers.
posted 1:23 am PST | Permalink

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