Tag Archives: Gay Marriage

5 Ways To Make Your Superhero Miserable

So, you’ve probably heard by now all the fuss about writers J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman leaving DC Comics after the editors told them they couldn’t write Batwoman‘s marriage. Big hulabaloo ensues. DC replaces them with an openly gay writer to make themselves look better, and they defend themselves by saying the no marriage thing had “nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character,” but rather because, as Dan Didio said at Baltimore Comic Con

“Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.”

Okay…

I mean, fine. It’s true. Heroes of the super variety do tend to basically have shitty lives. Batman can’t hold on to a lady friend, Iceman basically almost destroys the world, Rogue can’t get anywhere near first base…

But let’s think about this for a second.  Marriage is kind of a sensitive topic in the LGBTQ community.  You know, the institution being not-so-fictionally denied them until about oh two and a half months ago.

So an editorial board denying one of its few LGBTQ heroes the chance to get married without some kind of story referencing DOMA or something and then saying it has “nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the character” is sort of like putting a giant banana on a comic full of Black characters and saying it has nothing to do with race… Oh wait… that happened too.

Point is, sure maybe they didn’t decide Batwoman couldn’t get married because they are against gay marriage, but rather because they don’t want any of the Bat family getting married (which isn’t actually what they said, they only said they don’t want them having happy personal lives, but whatever). Nonetheless, it’s pretty ignorant to pretend the denial of marriage in general has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community.   Add on top of that the fact that they created an alternate universe Alan Scott, the classic Green Lantern, who was gay and proposed to his boyfriend only to see the boyfriend die like 2 seconds later. Smell an unfortunate trend? But let’s stick with their story and accept that it wasn’t anti-gay marriage, just kinda dumb and insensitive.

Bananas are bananas. Put them on a picture of a bunch of Black folk, they’re not just bananas anymore… regardless of the intent. Is DC’s decision anti-gay? Probably not. Is it ridiculously stupid? Yup.

To exemplify just how stupid, here are 5 other ways that DC could make sure Batwoman’s personal life stays full of suck (mildly spoilery if you don’t keep up with your DC).

1. Paralyze her

oracle-570x414

What could possibly be worse for a hero who’s “committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests,” by punching and kicking things than taking away their ability to punch and kick things. Oracle (Batgirl) knows a thing or two about it, lucky for her she’s also a super computer whiz and managed to stay in the game that way. But what about our military-trained, party-girl Kate Kane? Here’s betting she go on a twenty-year drinking binge and destroy her marriage before Batman bought her bionic legs or something. Then she could be all sad and wompy all the time about how she alienated her wife and was half-android now.

2. Kill her wife.

You know what’s more traumatic than not getting married? Getting married and then watching your significant other die. Just ask Katana. The whole kill the love of your life thing is totally a staple of hero adventures. It’s basically how women got into the business at all. Got a hero? Here, have a woman he can love and lose so he can go all dark and gruffy, just how we like ’em.  And it makes life totally worse if you give the hope of happiness first and then rip it cruelly away and scar them for a good long forever. Just look at Katana, she’s been talking to her husband’s spirit in a sword for some 30 years now.

3. Kill her son. 

damian

Seriously, the potential for a miserable personal life only increases with marriage (no jab intended at you lucky couples), but honestly, imagine if Kane was allowed to marry her beloved, and then they have a successful in vitro, despite all odds, and raise a happy plump little boy name BatAwesome, who lives a solid 10 years only to be used to try to murder you and ultimately get killed by his own clone.  Ya. That’d really suck, wouldn’t it TaliaBatman?

4. Blow up her whole planet. 

Actually, maybe not. Superman seems to be doing alright with all that baggage…

5.  Kill every single woman on Earth in one fell swoop, except her. 

LOL. Ya that’d suck, right?  Brian K. Vaughan was clearly playing off of that male fantasy to be the only male option on Earth when he killed off all but one guy in Y: The Last Man. But imagine it the other way around. A woman who loves women stuck in a world full of dudes… I can’t even deal with the level of sad and effed up that is. But now imagine if she had been married to Mags when that horrible ish went down. Rather than a man alone in a world full of women (with mostly violent intents towards him) searching desperately for his girlfriend, you’d have one really really lonely, miserable, sexually-frustrated Batwoman.

Okay, that’s a stretch, but you get the point, right? Marriage is maybe sort of totally a big deal for everyone, but it’s especially poignant for those denied the right, and the wound is still fresh, so maybe a little extra thought on this one DC? Maybe no hard fast rules that you blanket across your mostly white, male heroes. If you’re gonna have a diversity of heroes, you might want to have a diversity of miseries too, ya?

5 Big Queer Geeky Weddings That Should Happen to Celebrate the Death of DOMA

In case you missed it yesterday… THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA) WAS DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL!! The internet literally exploded with rainbow flags. It’s a great way to end LGBTQ Pride Month.  But for the geeks for equality out there, I thought I’d offer up a nerdier celebration.  Here are 5 couples that should tie the knot in celebration of this (long overdue) step towards social equality in the U.S.!

Batwoman (Kate Kane) & Maggie Sawyer

Kate and Maggie have had flirty repertoire ever since they first met on the pages of the rebooted Batwoman in 2006 and they hooked up not long after. By issue #17, Kate risked it all and exposed her Batwoman identity by proposing to Mags in full Bat costume. It’s four months and four issues later and I’m feenin’ for some wedding bells. Batwoman is pretty much the most high-profile lesbian character in comics (who wasn’t relegated to an alternate universe at that), so this wedding oughta be a Huuge and super awesome. Come on, just imagine the complementing black & red tuxes… right?!

Stahma Tarr & Kenya Rosewater

 

Okay so this one is a lot of wishful thinking, but when big things like the government actually supporting gay rights are happening, we gotta dare to dream big.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been absolutely adoring this duo. They’re pretty much perfect for each other, both straddling that strange complex line where they are both incredibly strong and powerful women, yet they have found themselves in abusive relationships….

Read the full article on UnleashTheFanboy.com

Superheroes in Defense of Love: Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTQ Characters in Comics

You may kiss the groom!  Northstar and Kyle Jinadu get married in Astonishing X-men #51
You may kiss the groom! Northstar and Kyle Jinadu get married in Astonishing X-men #51

Many argue that politics don’t belong in comics. I hear those arguments. I even understand them. But, obviously I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. On the contrary, I think comics are a perfect medium for political reflection. Fiction and literature have a long history of social critique and reflection, using story to show society its reflection – its progress, its missteps, its blind spots… And comics (comics are literature too), as a serialized medium, are unique in their ability to keep up with the times, to keep that reflection current.

So, today being an important day, one that will forever alter the face of American society when the U.S Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, let’s take a look at how comics have kept up with the times…

Northstar and Kyle Jinadu get married!

One of the biggest moment in gay rights in comics occurred just last year, when X-men member Northstar (aka Jean-Paul Beaubier) proposed to his long-time boyfriend Kyle Jinadu in Astonishing X-men #50. In issue #51, Kyle and Jean-Paul became Marvel’s first gay married couple at a beautiful ceremony in New York’s Central Park.

The couple also claims the distinction of being one of few married couples at all, as well as being a mixed-race couple and a mixed  super-powered–no-powered couple to boot! The marriage issue was a huge hit among comics readers, but it wasn’t all celebration, at least not in the Marvel universe. The issue made sure to depict that this is a fraught issue, and while Kyle and Jean-Paul had a beautiful ceremony with the support of many of their super-powered friends, the idea didn’t sit well with everyone. A keen acknowledgment that the human tensions around the issue don’t go away with a change in law.

kyle northstar wedding

Same-sex marriage became legal in New York in July 2011, so Kyle and Jean-Paul’s wedding, taking place in May 2012, was no hopeful fantasy land wish. in the real world, a same-sex New York wedding was already a precedent. In comics anything is possible – Asgardian gods descending from the sky to mingle among us, alien invasions, wealthy, technologically superior African nations led by Panther kings, wealthy entrepreneurs who become technology-enhanced superheroes… But I suppose, sometimes, it’s the real world that beats fantasy to the punch. On that note, the happy couple are still face some very real world issues, with Northstar, who is French-Canadian, facing possible deportation because his same-sex marriage is not (hopefully soon was not) acknowledged in national law…

Kevin Keller and Clay Walker get married in Life With Archie #16
Kevin Keller and Clay Walker get married in Life With Archie #16

Northstar wasn’t the only comic book character that got in on the action. Archie Comics was actually a bit ahead of the game. In January 2012, on the tail of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and months before the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, Kevin Keller, an openly gay active U.S. Military Officer in Archie Comics married his partner Clay Walker in the all-American town of Riverdale, NY. This was also a mixed-race couple (I wonder if there’s gonna continue to be a trend here…).

While same-sex marriage has only recently hit the scene in comics, openly gay comic book characters are much more common!  This includes DC Comics‘ own Batwoman, who is probably the most high-profile openly gay comic book character. She recently proposed to her girlfriend. Wonder if she’ll be getting hitched anytime soon…  DC also pulled a pretty controversial move, around the same time that Archie and Marvel were stirring things up, when the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott came out with DC’s New 52 relaunch. One Million Moms threw a foe-ful fit, of course.  Unfortunately, DC faced the other side of the battle, when they hired anti-gay-marriage writer Orson Scott Card as a writer for a digital comic Adventures of Superman. 

Willow: Wonderland #3
Willow: Wonderland #3

Gay characters in comics are hardly new. Many awesome creators had their eyes open from the jump and saw that LGBTQ folk have always been here and queer. Though she started off on television, lesbian superwiccan Willow of Joss Whedon‘s original tv series Buffynow headlines her own comic Willow: Wonderland which is in it’s 5th issue. It’s also seriously awesome and you should all go pick up the trade whenever it’s out.

There are quite a few other LGBTQ characters hanging around the margins of comics. Get a brief on a few of them in this great slide show at The Week.

And speaking of the margins, there are some creators addressing love and sex in interesting and strange ways under the radar. One of the most jarring I’ve found is Our Love is Real by Sam Humphries and  Steven Sanders (Image comics), which came out in 2011, with much love from industry insiders. It’s not LGBTQ exactly, but rather depicts a world where the bounds of who or what one can love are seriously blurred and open, including some who have love affairs with minerals. Clearly there’s some symbolism and commentary in there…

Gay characters and LGBTQ topics have had some presence in comics, and that representation is increasing as we become a more open society. Still it’s a pretty sad reflection that even in the fantastical worlds that the “low brow” medium of comics create, the idea of a magical green-glowing ring that grant limitless universal powers to its wearer is more fantastical than a ring that lets two members of the same-sex the simple right of legal recognition… That space habitation, intergalactic wars, and giant red crime-fighting demons have long had a place in supreme unreality, but gay marriage was a far stretch of the imagination…

Makes you wonder where else the notion of resolving some injustice is so crazy a notion that we can’t even imagine it in our most imaginative mediums… We could probably make up a whole genre of social fiction from historical examples alone.

With the Supreme Court’s ruling out this summer, here’s hoping gay marriage rights for all doesn’t remain a fiction.

Batwoman proposes
Batwoman proposes