Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis Discuss Reasons For Gay X-Man

Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis Discuss Reasons For Gay X-Man

Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso says that Marvel "would be foolish" not to fully explore the meaning of the X-Men's newly gay teammate.

Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for All-New X-Men #40.

Yesterday, Marvel made headlines when leaked pages from the upcoming comic All-New X-Men #40 revealed that the young, time-displaced version of Iceman is, in fact "full gay." It was a revelation that left many (the comic characters included) confused while others felt outraged both over the decision and writer Brian Michael Bendis's arguably clumsy execution of the outing. That being the case, both Bendis and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso have offered statements aimed at addressing the concerns of the company's fans and readers.

Speaking about the subject in an interview, Alonso tried primarily to assure fans that Iceman's sexual orientation didn't derive from any sort of "editorial edict" and, rather, that it was a story pitched by Brian Michael Bendis that convinced the publisher to run with the idea. "This is a character with decades of history, and one who we've seen falter on the romantic stage - more than once. So the seeds were always there," he said. He further affirmed that the question of adult Iceman's (it was a younger, time-displaced version that came out of the closet) sexual orientation will also be answered as the plot moves forward. "We would be foolish not to deal with that."

Bendis, meanwhile, writing in a post on his Tumblr tried to offer clarity about his opinions on bisexuality, which some questioned due to some of the terms and phrasing used in the scene where Jean Grey outs Iceman. "I'm super bummed that some people are reading any sort of bi erasure and biphobia into the interaction between Bobby and Jean," he wrote. "If anybody reading the horribly scanned leaked pages even thought that for a second please free your mind of that. It's not there." He would go on to say that "this is just the first part of a larger story" and that fans should look forward to Uncanny X-Men #600.

Speaking personally, I would agree that the scene shown in the leaked pages definitely wasn't handled as well as it perhaps could have been. That being said, Bendis is generally a strong writer and if he can use Iceman being gay as fodder for a good story that makes sense in the context of the character's history, then why not go for it? It's not like there will be a lack of straight characters in the Marvel Universe as a result.

Source: MTV, Tumblr

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Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

Still don't feel they handled it that well about the bisexual thing but it's not the most outlandish sexuality switch in comics. Plus you don't really get examinations of closetted gay characters being particularly sensitive so it could be a fun story if they do it better than they did the reveal (harsh as it sounds, it sounds like Jean telling Bobby he's gay now, which does feel like an editorial mandate in execution if not fact).

Idunno, do kind of wish this wasn't a big ol' news story but I guess 'founding X-man is gay' is being supportive. Despite the fact mutants as a whole are a giant metaphor for socially maligned majorities who need civil rights attention (Legacy Virus anyone?) but whatever. It could be good if Bendis doesn't maintain the track record of Jean deciding people's sexuality.

Hard for me not to see this as a cynical cash grab by a writer who (IMO) isn't very good.

SlumlordThanatos:
Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

Well in all fairness it is newsworthy, though only through being so poorly written, so mishandled, so botched that the failure in execution itself is what is worthy of being talked about.

"This is a character with decades of history, and one who we've seen falter on the romantic stage - more than once. So the seeds were always there," he said.

So, by this logic, EVERYONE in the X-men universe is gay. Probably none more so than Wolverine, who holds the record for failed relationships.

I agree with everyone else here; the problem is mostly in the execution. This was very, VERY clumsily handled.

It's amazing to compare the positive reception to something like the end of The Legend of Korra to how they've sort of bungled this.

Well good to see them addressing the fans like that, and I'm interested to see the larger story that comes into play because of this. It seems interesting.

Also some people have said it's poorly written, or there seems to be the idea that the scene is generally bad. I've read it now and it seems fine really, I can't see what it is about it that makes the scene so bad. Could anyone go into detail about specifics?

"This is a character with decades of history, and one who we've seen falter on the romantic stage - more than once. So the seeds were always there,"

And this is where it goes from insulting my intelligence, to just insulting. I've been the victim of too many assumptions about my sexuality during dateless periods from friends and family not to call that questionable logic at best, but taking how successful comic relationships are, serious BS.

Come on Bendis. You had talent once so I know you can come up with a better BS excuse than that.

This isnt even new. They already did this in Ultimate X-Men when Colossus came out as gay. It was actually a fun arc, he comes out, Nightcrawler pull the religion card and stops talking to him... its great plot fuel. This isnt crazy or or outlandish or new, this seems par for the course. Im not reading this series and I probably wont pick it up any time soon, but the change is negligible to how the stories go and im sure it will end up being a fun arc... Stop freaking out.

Ok so if your not great with women, your probably gay. Got it. So how many failed relationships does this require to kick in? Anyone know Iceman's numbers? I just want to make sure I'm still allowed to be straight and for how much longer?

SlumlordThanatos:
Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

I agree. But gay people love there parades where they go out of their way to be different. They want to be treated normal and different at the same time. For me, just because you fuck a guy up the arse doesnt mean anything, you as a person are not defined by the gender you screw.

Ugh. Not news. I mean, it's a "new development", but there is nothing inherently special about a gay X-Man. It's fine, make them all gay, I don't really care. But how about we stop acting like being gay is a special state of being. If people don't accept it, that's dumb. But all of us who are absolutely fine with it treat it like nothing different from any other relationship.

Edit: Since Bobby's sexuality was never a defining trait, making him gay has no real impact on the character.

Typical Marvel sledgehammer subtlety. If you want a gay X-man how about instead of taking a pretty much straight-seeming character and making them gay 'because diversity' why not introduce a new character who just happens to be gay and not make a big thing about it

SonOfVoorhees:
I agree. But gay people love there parades where they go out of their way to be different. They want to be treated normal and different at the same time. For me, just because you fuck a guy up the arse doesnt mean anything, you as a person are not defined by the gender you screw.

You can treat everyone the same whilst celebrating differences in people without putting others down, they don't conflict.

Also being gay is who you're sexually attracted to, it's not about sex, it's about the attraction. You'll find a lot of straight people do things that would be considered gay if you boil it down to sex.

Yeah, is there anyone taking this anymore seriously than Wolverine's death? or anything that happens in the marvel universe?

Seriously. (see what I did there?).

We all know this is a basic publicity grab, probably also a jab at fox who still has the X-Men License. THough really. Marvel if you wanted to do something with a gay character for christ sakes use the ones you already bloody well have that you still have yet to give any real page time to.

This is just retconning for the sake of publicity and the sad truth is... we can all see it for what it is marvel... you're not fooling anyone.

A character being gay doesn't change anything in my mind. Bobby is still gonna be Bobby(as long as they don't change his characteristic traits) But all this makes me hate the young Jean even more. She doesn't care about anyones privacy, acts like a complete brat at all times even trys to force people to do her bidding if things doesn't go her way. I don't really understand, if thats what they are intending with the character or not but her confrontation with Bobby seems really out of line for me. Why in the hell does she care? Why, WHY doesn't she stop talking after Bobby is clearly uncomfortable with the subject? Why is she putting words in to his mouth? It really doesn't matter whether she knows what Bobby is thinking or not, every gay person has the right to stay in the closet if they want to and her forcing Bobby to talk about it out of fucking nowhere made me very uncomfortable.

I really don't know what they were thinking with this. There must have been a better way of doing this. Bendis, in my opinion is still a good writer, this just seems so rushed.

SlumlordThanatos:
Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

If it wasn't getting media attention, companies wouldn't be doing this so damn often. It's the industry's version of clickbait.

The fact that this is 'news worthy' is probably the most shameful thing about it.

That we, as a so called 'civilized', society have enough of a population to be 'freaked out' by a homosexual...
It just saddens me.

Then again, we're still not over religion (which is the main reason for this bigotry) or race, so I guess it's not really that big a surprise that sexual orientation is still a big deal.

:(

SlumlordThanatos:
Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

It'll stop making news when everyone who clicks and comments on the stories for whatever reason (to expresses approval, disapproval, apathy, it doesnt matter) stop, not before.

Tanis:
The fact that this is 'news worthy' is probably the most shameful thing about it.

That we, as a so called 'civilized', society have enough of a population to be 'freaked out' by a homosexual...
It just saddens me.

Then again, we're still not over religion (which is the main reason for this bigotry) or race, so I guess it's not really that big a surprise that sexual orientation is still a big deal.

:(

I dont see anyone here who're "freaked out" over the existance of gay people. The main negative emotions are from people who think this is looking like a clumsy and badly handled retcon of a very old character. And nobody has brought up religion either.

Not a fan. Not because I'm on either side of the gay media fence. I'm just disappointed that this is the most interesting thing they could of to do with Bobbie. It's become this long standing joke that in all this time Bobbie hasn't matured a day. Can we please have some growth for iceman? so now he's and idiot and also gay? Big woop.

It's an obnoxious retcon, obnoxiously handled.

I said it before and I'll say it again, Bendis is a complete and utter hack.

Uh, im not the most feverish follower of Xmen, but have we ever had information to the contrary to begin with? Or is "Being gay" the new superpower? I mean, who cares. Xmen are about superpowers and politics relating that. i dont care what sexual preferences the characters have.

SlumlordThanatos:
Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

This, all of this. homosexual people will never be accepted of we keep making every occasion they are noticed as "news".

Quellist:
Typical Marvel sledgehammer subtlety. If you want a gay X-man how about instead of taking a pretty much straight-seeming character and making them gay 'because diversity' why not introduce a new character who just happens to be gay and not make a big thing about it

because people will (incorrectly) cry "tokenism".

Strazdas:
Uh, im not the most feverish follower of Xmen, but have we ever had information to the contrary to begin with? Or is "Being gay" the new superpower? I mean, who cares. Xmen are about superpowers and politics relating that. i dont care what sexual preferences the characters have.

SlumlordThanatos:
Can we stop talking about this? Please?

If people want same-sex relationships to be more accepted, the best way to do that is to stop treating them as though they are special and/or groundbreaking, and start treating them like any other relationship.

This doesn't need the media attention it's getting.

This, all of this. homosexual people will never be accepted of we keep making every occasion they are noticed as "news".

Quellist:
Typical Marvel sledgehammer subtlety. If you want a gay X-man how about instead of taking a pretty much straight-seeming character and making them gay 'because diversity' why not introduce a new character who just happens to be gay and not make a big thing about it

because people will (incorrectly) cry "tokenism".

*Sigh* I can't disagree with anything you say. It's a really depressing situation isn't it?

This is why I've always liked writers like Clive Barker. He treats all relationships and sexualities with equal weight and did so long before it became a thing...

The article referred to some bad reactions over the bisexual bit, but (being bisexual myself) I found it pretty funny. I've seen the same attempts at justification from many friends who were coming to terms with their homosexuality, a type of last ditch effort at normalcy ("at least I'm half *normal*, right guys? right? no, not convincing myself either..."). Meh, maybe I'm just too indifferent over these things to begin with.

Yeah Bendis is certainly not Peter David.
Peter David handled the whole Shatterstar/Rictor relationship much better and organically than this footnote outing.

I also wonder why he would make is seem like being gay is some sort of conditioned trait, considering that the older iceman is straight. I would have preferred this a lot more if they did it with the older Bobby Drake, since it would avoid the whole "is being gay nature or nurture" argument, and make a more interesting story about older people coming out and dealing with that transition.

Trishbot:
So, by this logic, EVERYONE in the X-men universe is gay. Probably none more so than Wolverine, who holds the record for failed relationships.

So if Bobby is "full gay" then Wolvie is "super ultra double secret gay"

Pluvia:
Well good to see them addressing the fans like that, and I'm interested to see the larger story that comes into play because of this. It seems interesting.

Also some people have said it's poorly written, or there seems to be the idea that the scene is generally bad. I've read it now and it seems fine really, I can't see what it is about it that makes the scene so bad. Could anyone go into detail about specifics?

Bobby not getting to come out on his own terms.

He's clearly uncomfortable, hence "maybe I'm bisexual".

If someone isn't ready to come out, kicking them out of the closet is a dick move but it treats Jean like the hero of the piece.

When Bobby says he doesn't understand why everyone loves Jean she says because he's gay. Now she sounds like a cunt.

The fear that old Bobby just managed to pray the gay away or something (if he is gay fine, but there is certainly the concern that Marvel are going to keep him straight)

The phrase "full gay"

The lazy lazy lazy art, look at the 8 panels that switches between Jean and Bobby. It's literally the exact same image copy and pasted. Even the movement lines on Jean are the same meaning rather than throwing her arms in the air and leaving them up she's stood there flapping her arms like some kind of weirdo for that portion of the conversation.

The hundreds of more interesting ways to handle this story. Wouldn't it have been far more interesting to have nobody know? Only one person besides young Bobby could possibly know. Old Bobby. Old Bobby would know exactly what young Bobby was going through but be terrified to help because it would mean confronting his own issues at the same time. Much better than "I read your mind, you're gay lol".

If it looks like a retcon and talks like a retcon and walks like a retcon...

 

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