Poll: Are the number of gay characters in comics proportionate?

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Thread: Gay Characters

  1. #1
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    Default Gay Characters

    In comics, I am aware of Northstar from Uncanny, Apollo and Midnighter from The Authority and there was at one time some indication that John Constantine was Bi-sexual. There may be more characters, but is the number proportionate to the number of characters in comics?
    Del

    Driftwood: Well, I got about a foot and a half. Now, it says, uh, "The party of the second part shall be known in this contract as the party of the second part."
    Fiorello: Well, I don't know about that...
    Driftwood: Now what's the matter?
    Fiorello: I no like-a the second party, either.
    Driftwood: Well, you should've come to the first party. We didn't get home 'til around four in the morning... I was blind for three days!

  2. #2
    Alpha Flight

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    There's also Shan/Karma in New Mutants (soon to be New X-Men: Academy X) and Vivisector (X-Static).

    I don't feel that there are enough gay characters in comic books, but then I'm bound to say that being gay myself. I think things are probably getting better, but if you look at how many characters are in the Marvel and DC Universe there surely should be MORE - if they want to represent society.

    Problem is that the general public still see comic-books as being read soley by children - when in truth the average age of comic readers is getting older and older - so imagine the hysterical headlines in the papers if they were to introduce a whole slew of gay characters! In short there would be an outcry

  3. #3
    Alpha Flight

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    And for those interested here is a link to a great website which lists gay comic book characters:

    http://www.gayleague.com/

    Scroll down and click on CHARACTERS.

  4. #4
    Gamma Flight

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    There's Mariko Yashida from Exiles...Phat from X-Statix(Deceased)

  5. #5
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    Default Gay characters

    I voted there are enough. I don't have a problem with gay characters/people, but too often, it just becomes a political issue in comics, and I personally read comics for the escapism.
    My only problem with the Northstar revelation issue was the press conference. It seemed contradictory to the character, who had been developed as a close to the vest kind of guy. Think about it. He wasn't open, even with his teammates, and he didn't even have living parents to "protect" from his "lifestyle."
    Talking fictional characters here: I can accept it readily with Northstar because (at least before the on-page revelation) he was a multi-facted character who was made most interesting on the Moondragon (hey, she's gay now too!) and Namor principle: being jerks, they make scenes a lot more interesting.
    Karma is a good example of what's wrong with gay characters: has she had any type of development since then that hasn't centered on her "lifestyle"?
    Northstar was brought to the by Austen X-Men because he was gay. As far as instructors go, the CERTIFIED TEACHER Aurora would have been a wiser choice on Xavier's part, but we didn't see that. And since then, Northstar had been used to potentially bait Juggernaut being gay (Wolverine's earlier reference to Black Tom as Juggernaut's boyfriend). This is the single mindedness that gay characters seem to generate in the writers. Northstar's been in the X-Men title for a couple years now, but Austen has not thought to explore the relationship between NS and Wolverine, Wolverine's most undeveloped relationship with the originals.
    My vote for closeted gay characters would include both Cloak & Dagger, Sandman, Baron Zemo and the new Puck.

  6. #6
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    I'd like to see more gay characters but only if they were written well. Maybe it's just Marvel (or perhaps the mainstream BIG comic publishers) who have problems trying to write for gay characters? The DC imprint, Vertigo have always managed to write gay characters well into their books, but then they are aimed at Mature Readers so they don't have to worry about allowing their gay characters have relationships etc.

    Btw, I've never read The Authority so don't know a great deal about Apollo and Midnighter - are they written well or not?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetleblack
    Btw, I've never read The Authority so don't know a great deal about Apollo and Midnighter - are they written well or not?
    Ellis introduced them and wrote them very well in my opinion. Millar being the shock jockey type of writer he is had to do the rape of Apollo by the Commander etc. However on the whole he and Morrison, who's writing Authority now, haven't overplayed the fact that the characters are gay and it's not a big issue.

    Even Austen seems to write Northstar very well, unlike the stupid #106 which was sensationalism for the sake of it, no statement being made, no attempt at being PC, just a way to cash in.
    Del

    Driftwood: Well, I got about a foot and a half. Now, it says, uh, "The party of the second part shall be known in this contract as the party of the second part."
    Fiorello: Well, I don't know about that...
    Driftwood: Now what's the matter?
    Fiorello: I no like-a the second party, either.
    Driftwood: Well, you should've come to the first party. We didn't get home 'til around four in the morning... I was blind for three days!

  8. #8
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    Re: Northstar: I don't know if the character was specifically created gay or just became gay under the various writers. Re-reading the whole of version 1 I see hints from the outset (under Bryne) but not sure if I'm reading more into these hints than were intended.

    As for Apollo and Midnighter, I shall have to check them out. Any tips on TPB or issue numbers I should check out?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetleblack
    Re: Northstar: I don't know if the character was specifically created gay or just became gay under the various writers. Re-reading the whole of version 1 I see hints from the outset (under Bryne) but not sure if I'm reading more into these hints than were intended.
    Hints were intentionsal. Look how Raymonde was drawn, the look of shock on NS's face when Clementine kissed him so passionately because his sister was there.
    I am also 98.7% sure that it was stated in a letters page somewhere between 12 and 20, in "crypitcally" answering a letter writer's question "Yes" without stating what the question was.
    The hints go back to the 1st appearance in UXM, when Aurora refers to her brother as a fighter, not a lover.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kozzi24
    Quote Originally Posted by beetleblack
    Re: Northstar: I don't know if the character was specifically created gay or just became gay under the various writers. Re-reading the whole of version 1 I see hints from the outset (under Bryne) but not sure if I'm reading more into these hints than were intended.
    Hints were intentionsal. Look how Raymonde was drawn, the look of shock on NS's face when Clementine kissed him so passionately because his sister was there.
    It must be an unintentional hint but for those that do not know, Raymonde in french is a woman names.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetleblack
    As for Apollo and Midnighter, I shall have to check them out. Any tips on TPB or issue numbers I should check out?
    There are five Stormwatch TPB's, but Apollo and Midnighter don't appear until 'A Finer World'. If you want an idea about what Ellis was doing with Stormwatch, it might pay to get the first three, plus Stormwatch 'Final Orbit' which is basivcally a prequel to 'The Authority' . Then you have four Authority TPB's 'Relentless', 'Under New Management', 'Earth Inferno and Other Stories' and 'Transfer of Power' These cover all but issue #21 of the first vol. There's also a few one offs featuring the Authority plus vol 2 which is ongoing, #10 came out a couple of weeks or so ago.
    Del

    Driftwood: Well, I got about a foot and a half. Now, it says, uh, "The party of the second part shall be known in this contract as the party of the second part."
    Fiorello: Well, I don't know about that...
    Driftwood: Now what's the matter?
    Fiorello: I no like-a the second party, either.
    Driftwood: Well, you should've come to the first party. We didn't get home 'til around four in the morning... I was blind for three days!

  12. #12
    Alpha Flight

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    Cheers, thanks for the info, as always you are a mine of information.

  13. #13
    Alpha Flight

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    Got hold of a few copies of The Authority today from Another World in Derby (btw, apparently Another World have been bought out by Forbidden Planet!!!!) from a 50p sale box, so will take a look and see what I think. Thanks again for the info.

  14. #14

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    I'm torn on the issue. On the one hand, it seems only Ellis and Winick can tactfully write a gay character. On the other hand, there is a serious shortage. I think the simple answer is this, publishers and editors should not push gay characters onto writers, but also shouldn't block them in any way. I think writers who want to write them should be able to do a good job. But when it's forced it's more likely to get ugly. But you could get alot of writers doing it for shock still, so I guess editors should step in there. Uggh, it's such a complex issue, I just wish they could be written well and increase the amount, and that'd be that.

  15. #15
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    I think how well or how poorly homosexual characters are treated in comics is really too complex to answer...sometimes it's enough to simply have homosexuality acknowledged without making a big deal of it -- eg: Elfquest's general "DUH! Of course some elves take same-sex lovemates/lifemates!" -- when at other times, situations like Austen and Lobdell's heavy-handed treatment of Northstar or Millar's borderline degradation of Midnighter and Apollo make me long for the days when same-sex relationships had to be expressed in ways that were, by necessity, subtle and intelligent enough to make it past the editors and so missed by an unfortunately large segment of the readers as well. Really, it depends on the talent of the writers and the policies of the company. Marvel in particular makes me want to puke when it comes to handling the characterization of homosexual men; coming out in the Marvel U is the death of all other characterization...assuming you aren't instantly shuttled off to Limbo before the fundies catch wind of you.

    Suzene

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