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General Chat => Books & Comics => : Funt Solo 12 October, 2021, 02:42:52 AM

: Kiss His Cape..?
: Funt Solo 12 October, 2021, 02:42:52 AM
DC Comics reveal that latest Superman character is bisexual (https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-58879161)

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/7353/production/_121032592_superman_sonofkal-el5interior-1.png)
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: rogue69 12 October, 2021, 06:53:39 AM
Tim Drake's Robin came out as Bi back in August as well
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-58184320
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Colin YNWA 12 October, 2021, 07:57:54 AM
The reaction has been depressingly predictable from some corners of fandom.

Though of course we should celebrate the fact its been embraced by other. Tom Taylor (current writer) was on BBC Breakfast briefly this morning too. I think an extract from an interview elsewhere.

One day this won't even be news, but while it needs to be to shift mindsets lets embrace the slow progress.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: The Legendary Shark 12 October, 2021, 10:12:22 AM

Makes sense for Supes to be bi, I think. Given the way Kryptonians reproduce by some kind of cloning (?) process, their society would have no need to enforce, encourage, or endorse strict or even prevalent heterosexuality. Some good and thoughtful stories could stem from this aspect of Superman's inherited culture clashing with his adopted one. Bravo, DC.

: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Dark Jimbo 12 October, 2021, 10:41:15 AM
Makes sense for Supes to be bi, I think. Given the way Kryptonians reproduce by some kind of cloning (?) process, their society would have no need to enforce, encourage, or endorse strict or even prevalent heterosexuality. Some good and thoughtful stories could stem from this aspect of Superman's inherited culture clashing with his adopted one. Bravo, DC.

It's the son of Superman and Lois that's bi, not the original Clark Kent supes, so I'm not sure how much inherited Kryptonian culture he'd have, but your point's a good one.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: sheridan 12 October, 2021, 11:38:29 AM
Makes sense for Supes to be bi, I think. Given the way Kryptonians reproduce by some kind of cloning (?) process, their society would have no need to enforce, encourage, or endorse strict or even prevalent heterosexuality. Some good and thoughtful stories could stem from this aspect of Superman's inherited culture clashing with his adopted one. Bravo, DC.

It's the son of Superman and Lois that's bi, not the original Clark Kent supes, so I'm not sure how much inherited Kryptonian culture he'd have, but your point's a good one.

Original supes would have inherited culture entirely from those crystal things anyway, as they weren't conscious of their surroundings when they left Krypton.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: The Legendary Shark 12 October, 2021, 12:07:30 PM

Oops, sorry - I didn't click the link and just assumed this was a reboot.

: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Mister Pops 12 October, 2021, 12:18:02 PM
The reaction has been depressingly predictable from some corners of fandom.

Though of course we should celebrate the fact its been embraced by other. Tom Taylor (current writer) was on BBC Breakfast briefly this morning too. I think an extract from an interview elsewhere.

One day this won't even be news, but while it needs to be to shift mindsets lets embrace the slow progress.

If you were a cynical person you might think that making headlines was the motivation behind this. You might even cynically think this is just an attempt to stoke up social media  "discussion" for free publicity.

A less cynical person might think that's fair enough, it's a business and making money is their priority, so it's nice they can do that by making minorities more visible.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: JayzusB.Christ 12 October, 2021, 12:59:22 PM
The big surprise for me is that someone else is Superman now.  What happened to Clark Kent?  I mean, I suppose I could read the comics, but... nahh.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: The Legendary Shark 12 October, 2021, 02:39:06 PM

Didn't he catch cancer off the sun or something?

: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Funt Solo 12 October, 2021, 03:33:17 PM
I think the issue with a knee-jerk reaction of "they're only doing it for publicity" means that you can't tell a story that involves an LGBTQ character without the retort that "they're only doing it for the publicity", and so where do you go from there? Just never tell any stories about LGBTQ characters?

It's a mirror of an argument used against female streamers: they're not *real* gamers - they're only getting views because of their feminine wiles etc. So, they just shouldn't be gamers?

The same kind of reasoning gets adopted by entire states, where they claim that gayness isn't even a real thing, and is instead the "influence of Western media".

Given the subject, it's important that we shelve our cynicism, lest it undermine inclusivity.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Bad City Blue 12 October, 2021, 05:58:53 PM
Tom Taylor also wrote the recent excellent Hellblazer Black Label series, where Constantine snogs the devil and is definitely bisexual.

Not a word anywhere! Seriously, though, buy the book it's amazing, just like gath used to write with teh added bonus of Darrick Robertson art.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: The Legendary Shark 12 October, 2021, 06:12:18 PM

I don't have any answers but here's my perspective, for what it's worth.

I personally don't care about people's sexual orientation and so long as nobody's getting coerced or harmed then what folk get up to is nothing to do with me. That's kinda' my default position on just about everything, tbh. When it comes to media, however, my feelings are a bit more complicated. I'm not a big fan of soppy love scenes of any persuasion but they are necessary sometimes in the context of the plot. A good love scene informs on the characters and situation, a bad one hangs signs around the characters' necks proclaiming labels like STRAIGHT! LESBIAN! GAY! BI! I detest those scenes because it feels like somebody's trying to force me to recognise something I'm really not interested in, to accept something I already accept. It's annoying, and probably more annoying still to people who think differently. I do, however, recognise the need for people of all orientations to be accepted - with my previous caveat, ideally - and that it's part of the media's role to facilitate this acceptance. Some attempts will be perfect, some will be cringeworthy and some will be exploitative, but most will be just clumsy.

I don't think that soppy love scenes are always necessary, either. Lots of media don't use them, relying on the story itself to get across everything the audience needs to know. This is an imperfect example obviously, but lots of films, especially old films, eschew soppy love scenes for intimate character moments and dialogue. Granted, in those more solidly heterosexual times, even soppy love scenes had little to do in respect of establishing a character's orientation because there were only two: straight and deviant. Nowadays, of course, it's gloriously diverse - and I think this might be a large part of the problem.

Maybe, and as I say I really have no solutions or even an understanding of what other people go through in this regard, it might be an idea to simplify things again, this time to loving and hateful. The subject doesn't have to be forced or signposted, just written as normal. Imagine a parallel world where the orientations of people had ceased to matter; would Casablanca still be a great film if Rick was Nikki and there were no other changes than that one name in the script? Would Raiders of the Lost Ark still be a great film with no other change than Henry Jones Junior becoming Henrietta Jones Junior? Or Marion becoming Mario? I like to think they'd still be classics, that I'd still love them, and that they'd convey the characters' orientations as effortlessly as the versions in our world convey heterosexuality without hanging big neon signs everywhere. (Tarzan might be a bit more problematic - just how did old Greystoke deal with puberty and young adulthood until Jane came along? And what if Jane had been John?)

I know, I know, this is a simplistic view but I'm a simplistic fellow and I guess it doesn't advance the discussion very much beyond pointing out what everybody probably already knows anyway - it's the love that's important, not the form it takes.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Mister Pops 13 October, 2021, 12:38:05 PM

Maybe, and as I say I really have no solutions or even an understanding of what other people go through in this regard, it might be an idea to simplify things again, this time to loving and hateful. The subject doesn't have to be forced or signposted, just written as normal. Imagine a parallel world where the orientations of people had ceased to matter; would Casablanca still be a great film if Rick was Nikki and there were no other changes than that one name in the script? Would Raiders of the Lost Ark still be a great film with no other change than Henry Jones Junior becoming Henrietta Jones Junior? Or Marion becoming Mario? I like to think they'd still be classics, that I'd still love them, and that they'd convey the characters' orientations as effortlessly as the versions in our world convey heterosexuality without hanging big neon signs everywhere. (Tarzan might be a bit more problematic - just how did old Greystoke deal with puberty and young adulthood until Jane came along? And what if Jane had been John?)


I take your point in a broad sense, but the examples you have cited here are from a specific point in history when homosexuality wasn't just taboo, it was illegal. A time when gender roles were more rigidly defined. The characters in those stories were written in a specific way that was informed, to a degree,  by the prevalent attitudes of when they were written, and the perception of attitudes in the setting. Just changing the gender/orientation of a character and keeping everything else the same would be, at best, a bit anachronistic, or at worst, completely deny the ignorance, bigotry and prejudices faced by people in those times. Like the gay equivalent of one of those Oscar winning movies set in Antebellum America that try to make white people feel better.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: CalHab 13 October, 2021, 12:53:28 PM
Tom Taylor also wrote the recent excellent Hellblazer Black Label series, where Constantine snogs the devil and is definitely bisexual.

Not a word anywhere! Seriously, though, buy the book it's amazing, just like gath used to write with teh added bonus of Darrick Robertson art.

Hasn't Constantine been bi for years (forever?)? He was certainly bi in the Spurrier run.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Jim_Campbell 13 October, 2021, 01:32:01 PM
Hasn't Constantine been bi for years (forever?)? He was certainly bi in the Spurrier run.

I have some vague notion that it was at least strongly implied in the Azzarello run (which I haven't read) and has been solidified since then.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: JayzusB.Christ 13 October, 2021, 01:52:24 PM
Hasn't Constantine been bi for years (forever?)? He was certainly bi in the Spurrier run.

I have some vague notion that it was at least strongly implied in the Azzarello run (which I haven't read) and has been solidified since then.

Don't quote me on this but I seem to remember Constantine's bisexuality first being introduced by none other than John Smith; who wrote exactly one issue of Hellblazer in about 1992.  He wrote a very good Hellblazer too - would have loved to see him do a few more.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Jim_Campbell 13 October, 2021, 02:26:37 PM
Don't quote me on this but I seem to remember Constantine's bisexuality first being introduced by none other than John Smith; who wrote exactly one issue of Hellblazer in about 1992.

#51 which, for some unfathomable reason, I've never read. And you're quite right — it features the line "Girlfriends, the odd boyfriend… they all have a nasty habit of walking out on me."

(Thinking back, I now recall that it was #50 which caused me to give up Hellblazer. I wasn't a fan of Ennis' take on the character to begin with, and #50 had a very strong undercurrent of homophobia which made up my mind to drop the book completely. I only found out some years later that John had done a fill-in for the following issue.)
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Funt Solo 13 October, 2021, 02:56:02 PM
If you were a cynical person you might think that making headlines was the motivation behind this. You might even cynically think this is just an attempt to stoke up social media  "discussion" for free publicity.

Turns out that the real Superman* agrees with that position: Making Superman bisexual is 'bandwagoning not brave' (https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-58895126)

(Newsthump (https://newsthump.com/2021/10/13/comic-fan-furious-after-flamboyant-superhero-wearing-extravagant-cape-and-bright-red-underwear-over-his-trousers-revealed-to-be-not-entirely-straight/) also having some fun.)




*actor
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: The Legendary Shark 13 October, 2021, 04:50:39 PM

You're Goddamn right, Mister Pops. What I was trying to say, in my own clumsy way, was that in a parallel world where orientation didn't matter in the same way that it did in ours these films would still be great regardless of the protagonists' preferences. Just rewriting them in our world would be as bad as you suggest and I wouldn't argue for such revisions to be made. In writing modern films, however, I wonder whether presenting characters with different orientations without signposting and just telling a good story in an entertaining fashion would be one way of encouraging acceptance; to make boy meets boy, girl meets girl or feral teen meets ape (??) as mundane as boy meets girl without feeling the need to sensationalise it. Person meets person, kind of thing. (Which is not to say that there is no place for films exploring the prejudices and difficulties faced by minorities, far from it - but, maybe, not every film has to present non-traditionally oriented protagonists as victims of prejudice or be constantly tub-thumping. I guess I'm arguing for subtlety, which is just as much a shock for me (as subtle as a cast iron wheelbarrow full of broken breeze blocks, I am) as it is for anyone who's read any of my posts!)

: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Mister Pops 14 October, 2021, 01:52:24 AM
Again I take your point, Shark.

However, romantic stories can be enhanced, and sometimes depend on strife and prejudice. A love can be more meaningful because the society says it's wrong. Romeo and Juliet. Dante and Marakov.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Hawkmumbler 14 October, 2021, 08:58:55 AM
Hasn't Constantine been bi for years (forever?)? He was certainly bi in the Spurrier run.

I have some vague notion that it was at least strongly implied in the Azzarello run (which I haven't read) and has been solidified since then.

Aye, Johnny boy even explicitly stated he had a passionate and frantic relationship with King Shark so our guy really doesn't seem too fussy what his type is.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: rogue69 14 October, 2021, 01:42:12 PM
 The new Captain America came out as gay 6 months ago during Pride month yet no one seemed to notice

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/18/marvel-announces-first-gay-captain-america-aaron-fischer-united-states-of-captain-america
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 14 October, 2021, 08:37:47 PM
Oh, the usual suspects did very much notice that there was a new Cap and he was gay. And by Usual Suspects, I mean of course the internet/ Facebook thickos who just cannot seem to grasp that:

Gay people exist and should be represented in comics.
Comics are not (just) for children.
Reading about the gay does not make you the gay.
And even if it did, so what?
The new Cap was not the old Cap.
Jesus didn't exist.
The Earth is more than 6000 years old.
It's usually best to read an article before spouting ill-informed bigoted hate that relates to a headline only.
And, I dunno, dinosaurs were real.

See also the current Aquaman: The Becoming mini series, which received the same response, probably from many of the same people.

SBT
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Funt Solo 14 October, 2021, 10:56:20 PM
Jesus didn't exist.

*faints*
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: milstar 14 October, 2021, 11:30:39 PM
See also the current Aquaman: The Becoming mini series, which received the same response, probably from many of the same people.

SBT

Is that the one with that awful cover as if it came straight out of a teen magazine?


Personally, I don't care about someone's sexual orientation, and such themes should be superficial to the character. Soul and integrity are more important. If you don't have that...it's bonkers. Like when they changed Dr. Who into a woman. Who had no character at all.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Art 15 October, 2021, 12:41:48 AM
Don't quote me on this but I seem to remember Constantine's bisexuality first being introduced by none other than John Smith; who wrote exactly one issue of Hellblazer in about 1992.  He wrote a very good Hellblazer too - would have loved to see him do a few more.

Hellbalzer #51 - Counting To Ten - The one mostly set at a launderette. It's a VERY good issue, worth hunting down.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Funt Solo 15 October, 2021, 01:56:59 AM
I don't care about someone's sexual orientation, and such themes should be superficial to the character. Soul and integrity are more important.

Except that actually they're intertwined (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/202011/the-relationship-between-personality-and-sexual-orientation).
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: milstar 15 October, 2021, 07:21:38 AM
I don't care about someone's sexual orientation, and such themes should be superficial to the character. Soul and integrity are more important.

Except that actually they're intertwined (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/202011/the-relationship-between-personality-and-sexual-orientation).

Cool. Another quasi scientific essay.

: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Hawkmumbler 15 October, 2021, 10:54:10 AM
How in gods name do you create characters sans sexuality, sensuality, and agency? That's not a character, that's a cipher.

Genuinely baffling take.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Funt Solo 15 October, 2021, 05:25:01 PM
Cool. Another quasi scientific essay.

Scunthorpe is nice this time of year.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: milstar 19 October, 2021, 05:21:37 PM
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/oct/17/superman-motto-american-way-a-better-tomorrow (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/oct/17/superman-motto-american-way-a-better-tomorrow)
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Leigh S 19 October, 2021, 05:30:38 PM
The problem with the original is hardly a new observation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt6M5QWoU30 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt6M5QWoU30)
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: wedgeski 20 October, 2021, 09:06:19 AM
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/oct/17/superman-motto-american-way-a-better-tomorrow (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/oct/17/superman-motto-american-way-a-better-tomorrow)
Yup, the 'American way' is much better represented by Stormfront these days.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: milstar 20 October, 2021, 12:27:09 PM
Yup, the 'American way' is much better represented by Stormfront these days.

Not for decades it wasn't.

But this story has a sequel. The colorist decided to resign at DC after latter dropping "American Way" from Superman motto.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: wedgeski 20 October, 2021, 01:06:24 PM
Yup, the 'American way' is much better represented by Stormfront these days.

Not for decades it wasn't.

<snip>
Yes. I am aware of this.
: Re: Kiss His Cape..?
: Hawkmumbler 20 October, 2021, 01:08:07 PM
Yup, the 'American way' is much better represented by Stormfront these days.

Not for decades it wasn't.


(https://c.tenor.com/jXiv2wcDihcAAAAC/sure-john-cena.gif)