Paradise Lost: Why Krakoa’s queer representation rings hollow
By - TexOliver93
Tbf to Iceman, everyone in the Marauders who isn't Kate or Emma has been set-dressing. Even Storm had enough of not doing anything and bailed.
As a gay guy, it’s funny and bit annoying how the writers of this articles calling for “representation” always misses the point or the context of the history they are writing from.
Kitty literally kisses a man and woman, you don’t need a exposition moment of the character (or another character) literally saying “bi” for something we can see...in a >visual< storytelling. Also Marauders point as an Xbooks goes obviously way more than a characters sexuality, which to be honest is a small plot device to any character of the book since the actual plot is situational to something big than the characters perspective.
She is right about iceman’s situation, since the awful Bendis’ story, the guy has been sidelined to the background, being poorly written by a unprofessional and homophobic gay writer (twice) and then now by straight guy who made him a gay joke (nice!). But, ironically, it’s also the fault from people like the one who wrote this article, who seems to forget the queer characters actually needs personality and story arcs rather than only live for the queerness.
Like, you open an X-Men book, a super hero comic book about action, science fiction and social political issues, and gets annoyed that YA tropes and characters personal life are not the front plot of the book??
Your argument falls flat, notice how the relationship between Cyclops and Jean Grey is a major focus, along with Rogue and Gambit meanwhile I can’t name a single gay couple that’s been a major focus in this era or at any point in. X-men history. Comic books frequently feature relationship drama. Also I think this discussion shouldn’t be had in a predominantly straight environment where straight people control what gets up/downvoted.
You can’t name a gay couple because just recently gay couple are a allowed to exist, and you already can point out couples like billy and teddy and they only had 16 years of comic history, and like everything in comics: to settle down and gain weight, you need time and history, so be patient.
As for the jean/cyclops and rogue/gambit, my point is actually that. They are both plot device in their books, minor moments in X-Men or Excalibur because the bigger purpose of the book is not their relationship or their personal life. That’s why kitty’s sexuality is not the main theme of the book. Kitty is bi now, we have the entire future to explore this organically, again: comics, history, be patient.
(Also, I doubt that most of the people “controlling” the votes are straight in X-men thread. You are queer and queer people can disagree/agree with you)
In the time that Jean Grey has come back which has been like what 4 years now she’s had more moments with cyclops in the main books then Iceman, or Northstar has had with any bf. A relationship doesn’t have to be the main purpose to be significant in a book. In the GOTG comic Star lord and Gamora have been established as a couple in much less time. You must not read X-men if you don’t think relationships are a big focus it’s just queer relationships which are shuttered.
Also you’re deluded if you think that most people in an X-men thread are LGBT.
And you wanna come to my face and compare Jean’s love life, an character who has almost 60 years of comic history and established character interactions and fandom, to 9 months bisexual kitty?
B!tch please! you act like everyone cares about jean’s love life, the whole reason they gave her this poly love thing is because nobody cares about awful love triangles plots with Jean&Scott&Logan or Jean&Scott&Emma (or the four at same time). Again: you are queer and queer people are allowed to agree/disagree with you, think that again the next time you try to gatekeep a queer X-men fan.
I completely support more queer representation but I've always hated when these articles ask for more but then also turn around and criticize the one time they actually did do it.
Yes more wholesale focus would be good and more representation fits perfectly in line with the x line but this article goes as far as to say Kate being bi isn't even confirmed even though its been made explicit.
I'd be curious to hear people from the LGBT communities input on this kind of thing because it always feels more like hit pieces when articles pull that detail to me. Finding some reason to invalidate whatever actually is there everytime seems like it would send the message that it actually isn't wanted since it's always wrong.
Again I know that isn't the intended message and im not against said intended message but it reads weird and id like to hear more from others who are in a better position to have an opinion than me as I can't relate to it the same way and would like to approach it in a more open way.
I agree with you. The whole iceman thing rubbed me the wrong way for a while before until the marauders even as a gay man. Mostly because when he “came out/ outted in the worst way” then his stories include more lgbt themes which I appreciated but it kinda came at the expense of what he is actually capable of as an omega level. Then again marvel was just a runaway of good concepts but terrible execution
To me that story was hurt by execution and also just the nature of long running storytelling thats supposed to connect.
For example Bobby had plenty of stories with actual internal monologues and apparently he never thinks about how he actually is into men this entire time. While people can deny their own feelings and such it came off weird combined with the execution.
I wish they'd done it better than the equivalent of Jean going "oh hey you're gay weird right?" And Bobby basically going "no I'm not wait a minute yeah I am. Hmm weird."
Exactly that shit was just off all together and I understood why some people who isn’t prejudice still hated the idea when it was first out
His "outing" was so poorly handled that I'm still flabbergasted that's how they handled it.
They really haven't confirmed Kate's bi. It could easily have been a moment of excitement or whatever, though it certainly seems to point to her being bi. I think it's fine to keep the criticism up tbh. Sure it's nice that Marvel is more willing to publish LGBTQ+-centered stories but there's always more to do, like an actual prominent trans character
I'm not against having more to focus on and do certainly but that's a very different criticism in my eyes and one I had no issue with in the article.
What would need be done to prove Kate is bi if her kissing a girl shes been into isn't enough? If she doesn't date her long term it doesn't count? She's just excited? It seems to me having Kate look at the camera and inform us she's bi would certainly anger the writer of this article.
I hope these questions don't sound aggressive they aren't intended too I'm just curious.
> What would need be done to prove Kate is bi if her kissing a girl shes been into isn't enough?
I mean, ideally, it would at least be something that people who don't like the idea of her being queer couldn't just handwave away as "oh, she was just excited, it was a one-time thing, don't read too much into it".
Like the author pointed out, there was a really good chance to hard confirm it by putting her on the recent Pride cover. Would have been totally normal and justified, doesn't affect any story, pretty definitive. Like, I love a lot of those minor characters they put on them too, but Kate is clearly bigger than all of the ones they included instead (except maybe Iceman and Mystique).
(Also, looking again, it's also weird those covers didn't include Loki? I could have sworn he would be, and was going to include him in that last exception, but he apparently isn't there?)
Yeah, he was included on the cover in the solicits, but got removed for the final cover. Wonder why (*cough, major Disney tv show *).
He was put back eventually, though they spinned it as a "reveal" of the complete cover
Well, that's good news!
>Like the author pointed out, there was a really good chance to hard confirm it by putting her on the recent Pride cover. Would have been totally normal and justified, doesn't affect any story, pretty definitive. Like, I love a lot of those minor characters they put on them too, but Kate is clearly bigger than all of the ones they included instead (except maybe Iceman and Mystique).
Not to mention long overdue, considering that she's been written as bisexual since Claremont created her.
Maybe this is just me but as a straight guy I've never met a soul who would consider a kiss like that a one time excitement phase. That's not a normal reaction among any straight person I know. The entire concept of a one time excitement phase is really not something that I generally see mentioned or accepted.
I can't speak for the writer but IMO yeah, Kate saying "I'm bi" or something to that effect would get the job done, or at least some internal monologue confirming it. The writer's point is largely about the continued overreliance on subtext and background work for LGBTQ+ characters and narratives. X-Factor was really the only book of the Krakoan era thus far that foregrounded all of that; everything else has been sly jokes or cameo appearances. Given that it's 2021 I think a lot of fans had hoped the X-line would be more direct and overt with that kind of representation, especially for a franchise known for its subtext under Claremont's pen.
That makes sense. I'm straight so like I said i cant relate exactly so it's interesting seeing new perspectives. For example a girl kissing a guy would not be considered subtext in any way. Or vice versa so I was a bit confused at Kate doing it being considered it.
Would you say a lot of the general romance short hands in storytelling would be considered subtext now in this context? Waking up in bed then cut to the mission... etc etc
I appreciate the different perspective
I think that would be more overt than subtext tbh. Subtext to me is done primarily through non-physical body language, symbolism, certain dialogue, or themes. Claremont and other writers who worked prior to probably the aughts had to be pretty careful with how they handled allusions to homosexuality because of either explicit or implied censors. Kate kissing that girl would certainly be more than subtext for that period, but I think for a lot of readers in the current day it doesn't quite confirm that she's bi, especially since that was months ago with no real follow-up since. I think that's what people want most tbh, a sense of commitment rather than little teases.
Well, as of this month, one of the biggest queer couples in X-Men were reunited in Excalibur.
I dunno. I'm just hesitant to take shots at artists in regards to what rep they can get away with when they are working under Disney(TM)
I think less ire is (and rightfully so) directed at the creators than it is at editorial since the buck would likely stop there
Yeah, this is probably me bringing some baggage in here since I've seen this line of reasoning single out writers recently as well.
Empyre ended with a giant gay wedding so clearly being under the Boogeyman of Disney isn't an issue.
> I'd be curious to hear people from the LGBT communities input on this kind of thing because it always feels more like hit pieces when articles pull that detail to me.
When it comes to representation on Krakoa? I'd rather have what we have right now than have it forced down our throats so Marvel can pat itself on the back.
When it comes to articles like this? Not a fan. It kinda feels like they don't want any subtelity and have characters remind us they're gay every other page. I like how DC does it in Midnighter back-ups. It feels so normal.
@Edit GotG are doing well with Wiccan and Hulkling too.
> Can readers truly open the pages of an X-Men comic book and expect to see Kate engage in explicitly romantic scenes with women? Honestly, no.
I feel like the priorities as fans have never met to the priorities of the creatives. At what point do we critique the words on the page, verse critiquing the words not on the page? Is that a fault of the writer? Or is it a problem with audience expectation? I’m not sure I have answers here but I think we need to examine what exactly the story offers before expecting something that isn’t there.
Always incredibly disappointing to come onto Reddit and see nothing but dismissive and critical attitudes regarding queer perspective on representation in comics. But I'm sure y'all support Pride and call yourself allies and shit so go off, kings.
While that is definitely here, a lot of this thread is other queer voices debating this perspective.
I don't see anything in this thread that warrants calling it a debate.
Okay, so then, you and me :).
Where is the line of criticism when there is a corporate interest at a higher level that is historically anti queer?
In 2021 it is NOT enough to just to build queer subtext, but in an environment where Disney will never allow a queer "main" Wolverine, is it wrong to still push as much as you can, even if you can never confirm it?
Honestly unless you’re gay maybe you should sit this conversation out. Before you jump into defense mode remember possible to like something with flaws. I completely agree with what this article is saying.
It’s always kinda rubbed me the wrong way that the X-men which is supposed to be an allegory for marginalized people is composed almost entirely of straight white characters and the few queer and POC characters are relegated to backup dancers in the Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Emma Frost, Magneto, and Professor X show.