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Young Mutants in Love
July 4, 2009 10:31 PM   Subscribe

They've been rumoured to be an item for some time, but in X-Factor #45 Rictor and Shatterstar, formerly of X-Force (the most 90s comic of all time), finally kissed - giving the comics world two more confirmed gay superheroes and making the X-Men Universe Relationship Map out of date (Shatterstar creator Rob Liefeld has however vowed to undo it). Meanwhile over at DC flagship title Detective Comics is now fronted by the new lesbian Batwoman - ironically a character who was introduced to make Batman seem more hetro.
posted by Artw (107 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, and I've probably linked this before, but here's the 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings - 90s superhero comics fans, what were you thinking?
posted by Artw at 10:34 PM on July 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


Mark Chamberlain: Gay Batman and Robin.
posted by ericb at 10:37 PM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


"“As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived.”"

Dude, no matter how you see it, you're a parent, so STFU and just love your gay kid.
posted by zerokey at 10:39 PM on July 4, 2009 [46 favorites]


“As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived.”

Work for hire, dude. If the company owns it, they can do whatever they want to your little Shatterstar.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:40 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's nopt the bets Liefeld line. The best Liefeld line is "He’s a warrior, a Spartan, and not a gay one."

...which, y'know, probably made him a bit of an outcast loner in Spartan society.
posted by Artw at 10:42 PM on July 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm with Strong Guy -- definitely didn't see that coming.
posted by lumensimus at 10:47 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are there any fans left who don't think Liefeld's just a complete joke? I mean, who does he think has his back on this one?
posted by voltairemodern at 10:50 PM on July 4, 2009


This is why I avoid the more minuscule X-Men comics (that'd be anything X-Men except Uncanny [the original]). Not because I'm a homophobe but because there's too many continuity issues.

I did get this week's Detective Comics with lesbian Catwoman making her debut on the cover though. Good on DC, for that.
posted by seandq at 10:51 PM on July 4, 2009


Heh. You're worried about purity of continuity and you're reading a post 52/countdown/crisis/RIP/cowlfight Bat comic?
posted by Artw at 10:55 PM on July 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Are there any fans left who don't think Liefeld's just a complete joke? I mean, who does he think has his back on this one?

probably the same people who threw a complete hissy fit when Peter Milligan took the X Force name and created one of the best written and most modern feeling comics Marvel has put out for ages, but it wasn't about people with ridiculous guns and hundreds of little pouches.
posted by Artw at 11:06 PM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived."

How do you "undo" that? What, this Shatterstar's actually a Skrull? Mastermind just made everyone think Shatterstar was gay?

Grow up, Rob. These stopped being your toys a long time ago, and I wouldn't count on ever getting them back.
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 11:07 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is lesbian Batwoman a typographical error in your post? Is it Catwoman who is lesbian?
posted by idiopath at 11:07 PM on July 4, 2009


No.
posted by Artw at 11:08 PM on July 4, 2009


So, no asexuality allowed?
posted by Ingenting at 11:14 PM on July 4, 2009


In keeping with his creative vision (established during the character's first dozen appearances), Liefield is also looking forward to undoing the Shatterstar's realistic human body proportions, non-ridiculous hairstyle, and feet big enough to support his weight.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 11:14 PM on July 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


Liefield is homophobic, in addition to being a lousy artist? Color me totally unsurprised. On the other hand, he's obviously never seen a naked woman in his life, and those huge guns are obviously sublimation for something, so I think the man doth protest too much.
posted by happyroach at 11:23 PM on July 4, 2009


God, X-Factor. That was more nineties than Surf T-shirt here in Australia, and right at the apex of my comic collecting. Polaris and Alex, Storm and Forge, Jamie and... Jamie. I'm getting a mutant-sized serve of nostalgia right now.

*Also go gay superheroes! Bout time someone stepped out of the spandex cupboard in a mainstream title.
posted by smoke at 11:29 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Liefeld can go suck a bucket of badly drawn dicks.
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:32 PM on July 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


X-force. I mean X-Force. Though I think you can argue both are pretty damned nineties heh.
posted by smoke at 11:33 PM on July 4, 2009


Honestly, the Batwoman thing seems like a bigger deal. The others are obscure characters in a book probably even X-Men fans don't read, but the lead of Detective is gay? Whoa.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:33 PM on July 4, 2009


Liefeld's just upset because he thinks, like, okay:

gay dudes -> fashionistas -> shoe shopping -> having to draw feet.
posted by cortex at 11:37 PM on July 4, 2009 [41 favorites]


Wow, when your relationship chart has to have a special line for "comes from an alternate dimension" in the key right below "has had a one night stand with" your shit is getting real complicated
posted by Kiablokirk at 11:38 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Comics Should Be Good! is a great blog...that is all I have to say about this matter.
posted by GavinR at 11:47 PM on July 4, 2009


40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings

I'm laughing so hard I'm crying!

but the lead of Detective is gay? Whoa.

And at one point there were 4 Supermans and at one point Supes was dead and at one point they merged all 55 universes and at some point every character will get their parallel gay universe series.

Don't get me wrong, it's progressive and everything, but I wouldn't get too hung up on this being something ongoing.
posted by GuyZero at 11:51 PM on July 4, 2009


One of the things I love about the last few years of comics is how a number of Rob Liefeld creations have become interesting characters in spite of their inauspicious beginnings. Cable started out as just another douche with big guns and superfluous thigh patches, but once he got in the hands of some decent creators who took Liefeld's threadbare concept and ran with it, he's turned into a fascinating figure that I look forward to reading about - a turnabout I never would have anticipated in the nineties. Remember that "Soldier X" stretch he went through a few years back? That was better than any Liefeld character could ever expect! And this was around the same time that Peter Milligan and Mike Allard were on X-Force, turning the book Liefeld launched into something fresh and original about superpower and celebrity. You know, the same shit Liefeld was trying and failing at over in Youngblood.

Deadpool is another good example. Liefeld didn't seem to put anymore thought into the guy than smashing Wolverine and Spider-Man together, then giving him a sword. Now Deadpool's a fourth-wall shattering blast of a read with an ongoing, a couple minis and all sorts of one-shots coming out any given month. Remember Supreme before Alan Moore got ahold of him? How the concept was basically "what if Superman was, like, way badass, man?" Then Moore came along and did this sweet stretch of twisted Silver Age style stories that rocked for the same reasons that All Star Superman would rock years later.

Now this daring move by Peter David that Liefeld hopes to "undo." I've been indifferent to Peter David for years, but that single kissing panel is more interesting than every Shatterstar story Liefeld ever "wrote." For crissakes, why does Liefeld expect any comics publisher aside from the ones he owns to ever offer his can't-draw, can't-make-a-deadline ass work again?

Because from where I'm sitting, it seems like the healthiest thing that can ever happen to a Rob Liefeld character is Rob Liefeld relinquishing control of it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:19 AM on July 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


Liefield. Pretty much sums up a good chunk of what sucked about 90's comics. Hadn't thought about him in years & had never seen a photo of him before now. Every once in a while you see a picture of someone that makes its own speech bubble proclaiming "I'm a tool".
posted by item at 12:21 AM on July 5, 2009


Also, his eyes are uneven - as if he drew them himself. Might explain a lot.
posted by item at 12:22 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This line from the 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings link is absolutely priceless: The man is a pair of blue jeans with a face. He has on a backwards cap, and when he turns it around, it's still backwards.
posted by item at 12:25 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and: The new Detective Comics is fucking awesome J.H. Williams may well be my favorite artist working today. Not only are his characters and environments impeccable, his layouts are absolutely stunning. I read the relaunch issue with a heady mix of envy and admiration, and I look forward to doing so again next month.

Batwoman's grabbing all the headlines right now, but the back-up feature is worth noting as well. Renee Montoya - another DCU lesbian, has taken over as The Question and is finally, finally getting a story all to herself. I've been waiting for this ever since 52. I'm crossing my fingers for a new Question ongoing to spin out of this, as I read the shit out of some Vic Sage stories back in the day.

There's a lot that I dig about the new direction on Detective Comics, but I really appreciate how low-key the approach to the whole homosexual thing has been. These aren't stories about OMGLESBIANS - they're detective stories that happen to star lesbians. Their sexualities aren't treated as anything exotic or out of the ordinary - just as another incidental detail among many about the characters involved.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:32 AM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just last week my comic shop guy was brandishing the new Detective Comics in my face and demanding that I read it. I don't follow DC at all, and I'm kinda hesitant to start, but I liked the art when I thumbed through the issue. I may pick it up.

I will not, however, read X-Anything. Just can't do it.

OK, OK, I'll buy the three issues of "Uncanny" that cross over w/ "Dark Avengers". but that's it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:53 AM on July 5, 2009


Also: Marvel needs to do a one-shot of Deadpool coping with the death of Bea Arthur.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:57 AM on July 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


BitterOldPunk - I hear you on the X-avoidance. However, don't let that deprive you of Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men. It's been years since he wrapped up his story and Marvel still hasn't managed to top it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:00 AM on July 5, 2009


It was Rob's influence that drove me away from comics -- specifically, away from the mutant books, when every book acquired characters whose mutant powers were, apparently, to carry big guns. Cable. Bishop. Random, a shapeshifter who used his ability to make his arms into big guns. Argh.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:02 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rob who? Isn't that the guy who draws the most improbably anthropomorphically and biologically incorrect musculature known to comic-book readers worldwide? The guy who makes everyone of any gender feel inadequate whether or not they're actually loggers, steel workers or dam builders in real life?

Whatever. Doesn't matter. It's far too late to wantonly capitalize or anti-capitalize on an any potentially gay tight-wearing superheroes. All of the ones who count have already been presumed gay as is obvious to anyone with any shred of functioning gaydar.

Look, do be pure and support realism and try to adapt to the reality of life... but...

...almost everyone who is alive today has had someone "come out" to them in various forms, including real community heroes. If you've been paying any attention at all there really isn't any drama or shock left there for most of us - which is, frankly, totally awesome.

The easy kitsch and novelty is over. Get over it. Some hominids are totally gay.
posted by loquacious at 1:15 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and in other mildly heartening comics news:

"I never want to see Supergirl's panties again."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:22 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


However does this withstand the Comics Code Authority? Won't somebody think of the children?
posted by jabberjaw at 1:41 AM on July 5, 2009


never seen a photo of him before now

I know shit about comics, but I know from gays. And that man? He's gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Biggest case of gayface I have seen in ages.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:42 AM on July 5, 2009


Biggest case of gayface I have seen in ages.

OMG yes
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:49 AM on July 5, 2009


I know. I'd love to spooge all over his face & I'm only like 10-15% gay.
posted by item at 1:57 AM on July 5, 2009


Exhibit 1.

The prosecution rests.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:06 AM on July 5, 2009


The prosecution rests.

They're just hugging.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 AM on July 5, 2009


After filming wrapped for his Levi's commercial, Rob went back and finished his sketch of Shatterstar giving Spike Lee a rimjob.

Do you notice how much Shatterstar looks like an idealized version of Liefeld? I'm guessing he's antsy about having his immortal superhero alter-ego homofied like that.
posted by bunnytricks at 2:29 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


1. A friend & comic shop owner put it best regarding Liefeld: "It should be a crime to let that man hold a pencil."

2. I totally don't care about this development, because I've never cared for Shatterstar. Rictor got boring as soon as the original X-Factor split up. Aside from it getting Liefeld's goat, this is a non-issue for me.

3. I'm sorry, Cable should be purged from the Marvel U. I don't care how much rehab the character receives. He's a waste of space.

4. "Gayface" sounds like the name of some sort of anti-hero/villain whose unquestionably gay face causes fatal conniption fits for homophobes, prompting the burning moral question of whether or not it's wrong to kill someone for their homophobia. (Seriously, a gay face? What is that?!)

On the one hand, I want to be glad that Marvel is still trying out the idea of gay characters. On the other hand, they're still doing it with obvious throwaway characters (Northstar? Really? Who cares?), and so it's a little hard to take this as a sign of progressive thinking. Kudos to Peter David for at least making this much happen, but then, he's never been afraid of these topics.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:27 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Exhibit 1.

Of course The Thing is a bottom. If he was a top, who would he be fucking?

They're just hugging.


Everybody needs a hug.
posted by crossoverman at 4:06 AM on July 5, 2009


He initially was depicted as asexual, and struggling to understand human behavior. What he wasn’t, Liefeld insists, is gay.

Looks like he's bi, actually. Which, you know, makes perfect sense for someone "initially asexual" who's been "struggling to understand human behavior."

Fuck you, Liefeld.
posted by mediareport at 6:32 AM on July 5, 2009


Do you notice how much Shatterstar looks like an idealized version of Liefeld?

I think you may be projecting a tad; Liefeld is not, unsurprisingly, that good a caricaturist.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:21 AM on July 5, 2009


I haven't read comics in a few years, but seriously: how many times has Dick Grayson been Batman over the past sixty-odd years? And he never sticks with the job!
posted by yhbc at 7:25 AM on July 5, 2009


Biggest case of gayface I have seen in ages.

QFT. He pings my gadar so hard it should register on the Richter scale.
posted by elfgirl at 7:36 AM on July 5, 2009


elfgirl: "Biggest case of gayface I have seen in ages.

QFT. He pings my gadar so hard it should register on the RichterRictor scale.
"

FTFY
posted by ChrisR at 8:10 AM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Can I use "I was 11" as my excuse as to why I bought so many Liefeld comics and liked them?

Well, I don't exactly remember liking them. I do remember buying them, though.

Oh, how I love revisiting that 40 Worst Liefeld Drawings. Sadly, I'm usually somewhere I can't burst out laughing.

You know what's a good use for Liefeld's comics from the '90s? Craft projects. When you cut them up so they're just bits of color and glue them onto things, they're actually pretty.
posted by darksong at 8:24 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I haven't read comics in a few years, but seriously: how many times has Dick Grayson been Batman over the past sixty-odd years? And he never sticks with the job!

I'd be really happy if it stays this way for a while, because something about the new set up just works -maybe it's The league of assassins trained amoral Robin. Possibly it's just that Morrison has an artist that works for rather than against the script here - I hope it's more than that as there's only one more issue of quietly.

Oh, and Morrison is now doing Bondage Wonder Woman.
posted by Artw at 8:31 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


And at one point there were 4 Supermans and at one point Supes was dead and at one point they merged all 55 universes and at some point every character will get their parallel gay universe series.

Don't get me wrong, it's progressive and everything, but I wouldn't get too hung up on this being something ongoing.


"If they right me out, man, I ain't never gonna be seen again!"
posted by Artw at 8:58 AM on July 5, 2009


Gah. "write". Oh for an edit.

Anyhow, I like to think Sunshine Superman there sort of came back as President notObama Superman in Final Crisis. But what of the Love Syndicate od Dreamworld?

posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on July 5, 2009


J.E. Richter is a mutant with the superhuman power to generate powerful waves of vibrations which resemble earthquakes.

Hell, this sounds like a dude that anyone would enjoy!
posted by orme at 9:37 AM on July 5, 2009


Oh, and I've probably linked this before, but here's the 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings - 90s superhero comics fans, what were you thinking?

Oh my. I thought you guys were exaggerating about the feet, but... no. Hilarious.
posted by heatherann at 10:04 AM on July 5, 2009


You'd think that Prof. X would have covered the whole "sexual identity" aspect in teaching the X-teams to accept themselves.

While dealing with being a mutant, being ostracized from whatever family you had, being chased by aliens, demons, giant robots and the government, finding out the people you thought you were sleeping with were shapeshifters, Skrulls, or alternate versions from other dimensions, ninja clans changing the ethnic identity of team members, mutant killing viruses, entire countries dedicated toward killing your kind, friends undergoing radical genetic reconstruction by way of supervillian or random late stage mutations, people you know coming back to life on a regular basis...

Being gay should be a non-issue at that point.
posted by yeloson at 10:24 AM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I never want to see Supergirl's panties again."

I am loath to derail from the much-deserved hate for Liefeld, but this article filled me with an odd sense of rage. Maybe it's just because the collected edition of the Superman/Batman books which featured the debut of the maligned Supergirl costume happens to be sitting right next to me on the desk. It strikes me as oddly sexist and prudish to focus in on "ZOMG you can see Supergirl's panties HOW AWFUL THIS MUST CHANGE" when the truly unfortunate part about that story arc was how superficial and two-dimensional her character was, and how it's really just the influence of others that determines whether she's sugar and spice or a wicked villainous bitch. There's no middle ground, no introspection on her part, no evidence that she has a will of her own.

But somehow the biggest problem is that she wears a short skirt.

Or maybe I'm just insulted because I always liked Michael Turner's art, even if he was principally known for drawing cheesecake-y women. I'm still sad that he's gone now.
posted by trunk muffins at 10:37 AM on July 5, 2009


I hope that the next hurdle comic books address is mental illness. Really. Right now there seem to be three types of mentally ill characters: evil crazy (Norman Osborn, every mad scientist ever), funny crazy (Deadpool), and crazy crazy (Sentry). In the same way that ever so gradually homosexuality is becoming more than just a broad-brush descriptor ("who's he again?" "the gay one." "oh, him."), I hope that mentall illness will be handled for more than yucks or pathos.

Of course, all of that was merely a preface to ease into my main derail:

Is there anyone reading Marvel comics who can't see how this whole Dark Reign fiasco is going to go down? I mean, the Sentry, if he wanted to, could pretty much toss the entire planet into the sun. You don't think he's gonna eventually catch on to how he's being used? He'll conveniently have a lucid moment, get pissed at Osborn, and that'll be it. No one in the Marvel U can stop the Sentry -- that's his whole reason for being. The Sentry HAS to have crippling mental illness or the whole of the Marvel U unravels: the answer to every crisis is to simply stand back and let Bob Reynolds deal with it. So Marvel is spinning out book after crossover book, treading water until the day Bob shakes off his demons long enough to think, "hey... waitaminit..."

I know I bring up the Sentry in every comics thread. Sorry. But the character fascinates and repels me in equal measure. I don't understand why he was created to begin with, why his backstory got retconned into Marvel continuity, and what they're going to do with him now that he's established as part of the world. And he's doomed: there's no help for Bob Reynolds. He can never overcome his schizophrenia. If he did, he'd simply be too powerful to co-exist with the other heroes. I guess they'd just fly him off to a distant galaxy somewhere to get him out of the books for a bit. Enough. I should GMOFB, right?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I am reading Shatterstar's wiki page.

I have read quantum physics articles on wikipedia that make more intuitive sense.
posted by empath at 10:57 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope that the next hurdle comic books address is mental illness. Really.

The only monthly-esque comics I read are The Walking Dead and Glamourpuss*. TWD's cast are all afflicted with PTSD to one degree or another, and are handled pretty well, IMO. As for Glamourpuss... well, while it doesn't feature any sort of mental illness... y'know what I mean.

*Almost forgot that Wednesday Comics begins next week! Woo!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:09 AM on July 5, 2009


Or maybe I'm just insulted because I always liked Michael Turner's art, even if he was principally known for drawing cheesecake-y women.

It's okay. I'm insulted that you like Michael Turner's art, too. ZING! But no, not really, though I don't think that he's all that great, especially. At any rate, I think that trying to tone Supergirl down a little is a noble effort. I'll be honest here: growing up, I used to think that the way superheroines are usually dressed was less bug than feature, and then two things happened: (1) the shit just got fucking ridiculous, with all these girls in just preposterous fetish gear in poses that are clearly nothing but fanservice, and (2), more to the point, I managed to gain a seven-year-old niece who loves superhero stories. Thank God there are things like the Justice League DVDs to give her, because I'd as soon not hand this little girl stuff that looks like Vivid Entertainment: The Comics Series. I really think we're doing something wrong if you can't give a little girl an issue of Supergirl without worrying what impact it'll have on her developing psyche and sense of a woman's place in the world. (My sister, as it stands, refers to my niece's Elektra Barbie as her "hooker doll.") I want you to understand that I don't have the faintest objection to cheesecakey art in its place, but really, if there's any character that really ought to be a safe role model for young girls, it's the female counterpart of Superman, for Christ's sake.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:11 AM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry. There's some damn good commentary in this thread, but just --

we are connected via satellite with an eyeless, 14-fingered disabled man who chose to wear a turtleneck and a trenchcoat with the collar popped to his report in the desert

tess, what have the iraqis been doing to your thumb, jesus christ

i'm sorry we can't hear you, try talking directly into your hot dog on a stick


LOL
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2009


I managed to gain a seven-year-old niece who loves superhero stories. Thank God there are things like the Justice League DVDs to give her, because I'd as soon not hand this little girl stuff that looks like Vivid Entertainment: The Comics Series.

Yeah, point definitely taken. I would never, ever argue against the fact that there is considerable room for improvement in the way that women are portrayed in superhero comics. Twenty years ago, I was a little girl who loved comic books even given the industry's clumsy and clueless attempts to appeal to female readers (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld anyone?). I'm sure that's just one of many forms of media via which I internalized some pretty messed-up messages about women. Perhaps one need only point to the Fathom poster on my wall as evidence thereof.

It's just that speaking personally... Supergirl's panties don't insult or offend me, but making a big deal out of them kinda does. I haven't followed her books more recently, but if she's developing as a character with complex motivations and (more importantly) gaining a sense of self-determination, in addition to covering her midriff and no longer doing the upskirt thing, that's awesome.

I will toss in as a humorous aside that as I was flipping through aforementioned Superman/Batman book, I happened to notice that after Supes gives Kara her new costume, he adds, "My mom made it for you."

Anyway, lolpouches amirite
posted by trunk muffins at 11:44 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Annoying Rob said: "“As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived.”"

May I just say that the idea of Liefeld "writing" anything is laughable at best. Liefeld couldn't write directions out of the bathroom. Gods, he annoys me. It's been 15 years since I had to deal with him, and I'm still annoyed by the very concept of him.

All that aside, I thought Rob *was* gay.
posted by dejah420 at 11:59 AM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Isn't this akin to me getting all bent because someone decided my imaginary boyfriend was straight?
posted by Vavuzi at 12:44 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk: Yeah. I'm occassionally dipping my toes in the Marvel Pool these days and the last thing I saw with a decent Sentry storyline was Silent War- if only because it was great to mirror him and Black Bolt:

Iron Man: "Why don't you jump in the fight? Stop spacing out!"
Sentry: "Uh, dude, if I go off, Black Bolt goes off, and ain't shit left to fight over..."

Also back on topic: Notice that for a woman superhero to have the ability to flip the world, they have to be crazy? Thinking both of Scarlett Witch and Jean Grey...
posted by yeloson at 1:09 PM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hmm... Proffesor X (as Onslaught) and Legion come to mind as counter-examples.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on July 5, 2009


Or rather Male equivalents in similar storylines.
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on July 5, 2009


15+ years since that first group of "superstar" pencillers left Marvel to found Image the only one who's work I can even stand to look at is Erik Larsen. And even then Savage Dragon is meh and has been for a while. Liefeld is, we've established, the worst. I don't feel anything special for Jim Lee these days. Silverstri is veering from poor man's Jim Lee to rich man's Michael Turner, Valentino could never draw, Todd spends all his time with PED tainted baseball and Whilce is drawn Spawn now so no thank you. Kirkman really saved that company's ass, didn't he?
posted by thecjm at 2:20 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thread derail: Artw, , in that link you posted... maybe I'm just used to that publicity photo of Clive Barker where he looks like Paul McCartney, but man o man is he not looking good.

As for the topic at hand: never really cared about the characters myself; I've always had a hard time taking Liefeld's art as anything but a parody of superhero comics myself (I mean, utility garters? Seriously?) and every single thing that I've read or heard about Rob Liefeld confirms his status as a tool.

Oh, and I think that All-Dyke Comics, aka Detective Comics, is off to a very promising start.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:46 PM on July 5, 2009


Jim Lee is an incredibly nice guy. Did I mention I almost threw up on him in an elevator once?
posted by Artw at 3:10 PM on July 5, 2009


X-Factor and Astonishing X-men are the only X-titles I'm reading and enjoying right now.
posted by runcibleshaw at 3:23 PM on July 5, 2009


i've been accumulating comics since i was a tyke. i tried to quit for awhile in the mid-80's but it didn't take. i realized early on that things in comics don't stay the same, they change, they get better or worse, then they go the other way. when i started seeing Rob's stuff, and all the other Image guys, too, i thought i'd give it a whirl and see what the buzz was about. i knew i didn't like what he... or they... were doing in the mainstream comics, but why not. i picked up all those titles... only to ask myself "why did i ask why not?"

they were mostly pretty awful. i knew i disliked Rob's work after reading an Amazing Spider-Man Annual during the Atlantis Attacks run. OMG. i understand that each artist has their own unique vision, but this was wrong. i've never found myself able to say anything like "well..... but he was good when he did this." even artists i'm not particularly fond of seem to have some kind of redeeming quality to recognize. I'm not a fan of Don Heck, Jim Mooney, Dick Ayers, Jim Aparo, Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, on and on and on, even some of the stock Image guys like Matsuda or Churchill, but they're no big deal in the loathing department. I mean, they did their jobs. They deserve respect just for having done their jobs. Some of them did stuff better in one title than on another. Some of them will get better, while some of them had better days. They did their jobs. But ROB...

i was so perplexed when Alan Moore decided to partner up with Mr.Liefeld in the late 90's for Youngblood and Supreme. during that time, i realized how much i didn't like Rob's work because i could not bring myself to spend money that might in someway support his reign of errors. no way. not even for Alan Moore. AND even then, Rob Liefeld managed too screw THAT up. the only smart move he's ever made and he loused THAT up, too. i guess Mr. Moore eventually learned who and what he was dealing with eventually, which is really too bad because i will always wonder what would have happened had his culminating "1963" issue ever come to be.

yet... Rob still has fans. they are out there. i have no doubt. someone is buying his books. i don't know why, but they are.

if i see him on the street though, i'm likely to take him down with a Capt.Kirk shoulder roll.
posted by swindlehorne at 3:35 PM on July 5, 2009


ArtW, how many female characters can you point to who CAN be uberpowerful and yet, not batshit?

The problem is that the trope is "Power makes women CRA-ZAY", whereas with male characters, power might make them awesome, might make them evil, or any number of things, but the idea of men having power is not always painted as the quick road to Crazytown World Goes Boom!
posted by yeloson at 3:55 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


J.E. Richter is a mutant with the superhuman power to generate powerful waves of vibrations which resemble earthquakes.

I think I dated him, once.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:15 PM on July 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


With great power comes great insanity - TBH I couldn't tell you if power-ups being the road to crazy town is more prevalent in one gender or another, but it's pretty clearly not gender exclusive.

Jean Grey, BTW, probably doesn't count, for awesomely sucky retcon reasons. Of course that hasn't stopped Joss Whedon from ripping off Dark Phoenix half a dozen times.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


trunk muffins:

For what it's worth, here's an interview with the current Supergirl writer talking about growing up in the shadow of a famous, perfect sibling, mindlessly acting out as a teen, then gradually realizing there are better ways to establish your own identity outside golden boy's halo. I don't think the gentleman wore hip-baring microskirts as part of his rebellious phase, but otherwise that seems to be where he's going with it.
posted by ormondsacker at 4:25 PM on July 5, 2009


If anything I'd say the counter example, of endless power-up without negative consequences, is rarer - mosly because it'd be utterly boring. I think Silver Age superman sort of fits that, where every week they'd give him some random new power, andit swiftly got dull. The best examples I can think of a writer pulling it of are probably Swamp Thng and Promethea, sso you need t be a Moore level genius really.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on July 5, 2009


working version of the power/insanity link
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on July 5, 2009


The comics examples on the page on gaining godlike powers all turn out pretty badly as well.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on July 5, 2009


Rob Liefeld sells jeans, via Retailer/Blogger/Mensch Mike Sterling's Youngblood week, wherein he asked fans of Rob and Youngblood to answer the question 'Why, for God's sake, why?!?'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:00 PM on July 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Me, I just liked Brigade.

Anyone want a run of Brigade? I'll give you a good deal...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:01 PM on July 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hope that the next hurdle comic books address is mental illness

What, you missed Doom Patrol?
posted by rodgerd at 5:23 PM on July 5, 2009


I'm crossing my fingers for a new Question ongoing to spin out of this, as I read the shit out of some Vic Sage stories back in the day.

Paging the DC "Missed Opportunity Dept.": You gave Vic Sage cancer and killed him (and that was a shame, since he was one of the few DC characters who wasn't just a power-set with generic and interchangable alter egos inside the suit; Flash, I'm looking at you), so why in god's name wasn't the cancer from the FREAKING GAS HE'S BEEN BREATHING FOR DECADES? Shit turns all his clothes another color; that can't be good for the lungs, right?

BitterOldPunk's stuff about the Sentry.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Dark Reign is gonna go down when Steve Rogers returns to reunite all the battered and distrustful post-Civil War heroes, all King Arthur style. But I'll say this about the Sentry: they need to do a "mentally-ill World's Finest" staring him and Moon Knight. Seriously.
posted by Amanojaku at 9:42 PM on July 5, 2009


maybe I'm just used to that publicity photo of Clive Barker where he looks like Paul McCartney, but man o man is he not looking good.

Whoa. No kidding.
posted by brundlefly at 10:40 PM on July 5, 2009


But I'll say this about the Sentry: they need to do a "mentally-ill World's Finest" staring him and Moon Knight. Seriously.

Oh gods oh please oh yes. Marvel, hire this man! Between the Sentry's split personality (Sentry, Void, Bob) and Moon Knight's internal cast (Marc Spector, Steve Grant, Jake Lockely and Moon Knight) it would be the world's first dynamic duo that was also a team book.

And if we're throwing out bets as to how Dark Reign's gonna end, my money's on Peter Parker finally deciding that Norman Osborn is his responsibility. The return of the One True Cap is sure to be a factor, but I'm pretty sure a Spidey-Goblin showdown for All the Fucking Chips lurks somewhere in the future. Also, a two-page spread featuring, at minimum, Cap, Thor & Iron Man, with Cap hollering "Avengers Assemble!" in big block letters.

Which reminds me of my favorite moment from Dark Reign up to this point - the very last panel of Dark Avengers (horrible name, fun book) #5 - breaking news of a major emergency interrupts Osborn's televised interview, so he calls up his assistant, Victoria Hand, and says, "Get'em up and get'em ready. Avengers ... you know. Get them together." Fucking. Awesome.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:27 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know I bring up the Sentry in every comics thread. Sorry. But the character fascinates and repels me in equal measure. I don't understand why he was created to begin with, why his backstory got retconned into Marvel continuity

Reading the original Sentry mini-series, it seemed obvious that he was the most blatant Gary-Stu ever shoehorned into a mainstream comic.

Seriously. It reads exactly like fanfiction, in which the author's superhero fantasy self gets to meet all his favorite superhero characters (and is even shoehorned into his favorite stories) and he is awesome and everybody loves him. I mean, The Hulk is calm and happy in his presence. That right there is a Grade-A Prime Mary Sueism.

Thanks alot Paul Jenkins. Your superhero fantasy is one more thing ruining the Marvel Universe. The Sentry is constantly zipping around the globe to deal with the most dangerous situations he sees. So in any given Marvel Story, if The Sentry isn't swooping in to save the day, it's because the story you're reading isn't important enough. The Sentry is busy tackling a more dire threat to the world than the one you're reading about. Or sulking.
posted by straight at 2:32 AM on July 6, 2009


I'm just glad it was Shatterstar and Rictor who turned out to be gay and not Multiple Man. Could you imagine that? Last thing I need is for my X-Force comic to look like something out of Caligula.
posted by aftermarketradio at 7:31 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rick Veitch has a series of brief posts on the Secret History of The Sentry, featuring some really fun concept art.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:37 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I read X-Factor, it's pretty good. It's an enjoyable detective series populated with B and C-level characters, only tangentially tied to the rest of the X-series.

Still, half of the characters are low enough that *I* don't even care about them, or remember their names. (I had to look up Rictor.) Call me when Marvel makes an important character gay.
posted by graventy at 7:59 AM on July 6, 2009


ArtwPoster: "Oh, and I've probably linked this before, but here's the 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings - 90s superhero comics fans, what were you thinking?"

I was eleven years old!
posted by shmegegge at 10:39 AM on July 6, 2009


also, you know what still blows my mind? liefeld says he's going to put the kibosh on the rictor/shatterstar gay thing, which assumes that he's going to get another shot to work on the book. ... why? why would marvel ever let him touch another comic again?
posted by shmegegge at 10:44 AM on July 6, 2009


They'd do it in a heartbeat if they thought there was a big pile of money in it.
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on July 6, 2009


so then... people are still buying comics he's involved in BECAUSE he's involved? that sounds crazy, but then I'm not totally up on comics stuff these days.
posted by shmegegge at 11:05 AM on July 6, 2009


Halloween Jack said: maybe I'm just used to that publicity photo of Clive Barker where he looks like Paul McCartney, but man o man is he not looking good.

To be fair: Clive is almost 60, and he tortures himself over his art. He's a lot like the Portrait of Dorian Grey, in that you can see a new line for everything he creates...it takes a lot out of him to do what he does...but he does it so brilliantly. Also keep in mind how unflattering florescent bulbs are to everyone. But here he is in his studio, in the fall of 2008...he looks way better in his own element.
posted by dejah420 at 11:28 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


He has a following... on the other hand outside of that following he's horrifically unfashionable, and on top of that he's slow and I imagine utter hell to work with.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on July 6, 2009


Um, wasn't Rictor confirmed and out of the closet in conversations with Jamie Madrox over a year ago?

I should probably pick up X-Factor again. Before I moved last year, it was the only X-angst title that didn't leave me frustrated trying to figure out how the current plot retconned the retconned retcon X-Men continuity has become. That, and the refreshing absence of improbable spandex wedgies, Scot Summers asshattery, and Emma Frost angst.

Add Emma to the MK/Sentinel pairing above, and you have the Avengers + reserves.

But to be honest, I have no hope on Marvel handling this well given that most of their LGBT characters get bounced into character limbo, tortured, or retconned to heterosexuality. Both Karma and Northstar practically vanished after being brought out. Freedom Ring killed in a fairly brutal manner. Rawhide Kid retconned. Wiccan and Hulking's title went into development hell. Xavin's gender ambiguity ignored by Wells/Caselli and erased by Whedon.

Not that I have a stake in it. Marvel fandom is too demanding with byzantine cross-overs, fragmented storylines, and attempts to fix all of their storytelling woes by throwing Wolverine at them. Perhaps I'm too old and jaded to be distracted by things that go "skint" from the frustration that I have to plunk down money for titles I hate every time a character disappears. I'm much more pleased by Dark Horse's house editorial decision that if two authors are going to work in a shared universe, at least put a few thousand years of time between their characters.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:08 PM on July 6, 2009


Prediction: Liefeld's next character will be called Gayface.
posted by ooga_booga at 2:01 PM on July 6, 2009


dejah420: Yes, looking much better there.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:34 PM on July 6, 2009


{Liefeld} has a following... on the other hand outside of that following he's horrifically unfashionable, and on top of that he's slow and I imagine utter hell to work with.

I think the "misses deadlines like a deadline-missing thing" is really the biggest strike against him with the folks at Marvel. They're churning out product and if you don't hit your marks, they don't care how many fanboys you have--they'll find someone else who delivers on time.

This is why I don't see Liefeld doing a Marvel book anytime soon, not because he's an idiot who can't draw, but because he's not professional. (Note: I do not work in the comics industry myself, so this is third-hand scuttlebutt.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:05 PM on July 6, 2009


Sidhedevil: I think the "misses deadlines like a deadline-missing thing" is really the biggest strike against him with the folks at Marvel. They're churning out product and if you don't hit your marks, they don't care how many fanboys you have--they'll find someone else who delivers on time.

Wasn't that why Whedon's writing run seemed to be considerably abbreviated as soon as his Breakworld story wrapped up?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:35 PM on July 6, 2009


Well, except they replaced him with Warren Ellis.

Hey, last ish of Planetary out sometime this year!
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on July 6, 2009


The formula I've heard for editors to want to work with you as a comics artist is that you have to be good, you have to be fast and you have to be nice, as in nice to work with. Two of those will cut it, but if you're down to only one you never will be. Liefelds only really has the "good" side of the triangle, and that's questionable to put it lightly.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on July 6, 2009


I was thinking more of Whedon's much-heralded Runaways run, which was filled with great ideas that were not fully developed, and then brought to one of the most abrupt endings since Firefly. Actually, worse than Firefly because the last issue of his run just didn't make sense, it ham-fistedly solved relationship conflicts with a few lines of dialogue, had a character reappear after being held captive, explained the absence of another character with smarmy emotional cheese, and shoved the entire crew back into the 21st century.

Both Runaways and Astounding X-Men were in serious production hell at the end with issues hitting the shelves weeks late. It just occurred to me that if Marvel and the current nerd superstar parted company over two critically-acclaimed titles in production hell, why would they bring back Liefield?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:44 PM on July 6, 2009


You know my girlfriend, she boned Rictor a couple of years ago. Same writer. Rictor was her first kiss actually, almost twenty years ago (they've kissed a lot actually). Guess Rictor is bi unless another writer undoes that. Last I heard, my girlfriend was sniffing this guy's butt.
posted by rahnefan at 8:54 PM on July 6, 2009


Creeponysterical
posted by autodidact at 10:04 PM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


so what was marvel comics first gay kiss then anyway?
posted by Artw at 10:37 PM on July 13, 2009


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