Friday, December 07, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: Not Helping

Like anyone whose desire to say something is matched only by their desire to waste time saying it on the internet, I've been blogging for a while. Timewalking Archive Trap is presents select treasures (for very liberal definitions of "treasures") from yesteryear for the sole enjoyment of my readers.

So, you've probably heard about the Women in Refrigerators trope. I guess some guy was inspired to write a version for gays. The gay version was interesting because I've never heard of most of these characters and I haven't been able to keep up with the rest (not really too interested in buying a comic just because some of the ensemble are gay, especially since I bought the book with Freedom Ring to see what the fuss was about and it turns out it wasn't very good.).

I was tracking with the list, more or less on faith, until I (finally) came across the entries for Apollo and Midnighter:

"Thinly veiled gay versions of Superman and Batman. Super-assassin heroes, stars of super group “The Authority.” Book canceled by parent company Warner Bros for implying Superman and Batman are gay. Book brought back as result of fan-popularity. Apollo attacked and gang-raped by supervillain team. Midnighter has his heart ripped out by supervillain. Couple marries and adopts baby girl and continues to kill threats to our safety in all universes. Midnighter now has his own solo series—without Apollo."

In addition to being hung up on their status as pastiches, it's a gross misrepresentation of the two. Wolverine didn't get his own series without Kitty Pryde (or Jubilee. Whatever) because of sexism, it's because he's a badass, and badasses get their own series without a bunch of empathic peaceniks involved. One of the most--the one good story in The Midnighter solo series was a shot-in-reverse killfest which lets the reader understand The Midnighter's predictive abilities by invoking their own knowledge of his inevitable victory, seeing as he's the title character. How did Garth Ennis express that, by writing him making out with his husband page one of the book. As you read on The Midnighter makes it clear that page zero was them fucking on a deck of cards.

The care packages of violence that the two send and receive isn't because of some sociopathy/victimization combo against homosexuals, but because they and their best friends will kill you if you start serious super-villain shit. They live in a brutal world of dubious superheroics and the fact that, occasionally, the racist, homophobic, morally bankrupt people they're trying to punch holes in will respond in kind while uttering homophobic nonsense is somewhat expected.

 And let's not get started on how The Authority was published--if not published reliably--from its inception in 1999 until DC shuttered Wildstorm in 2010. Apollo and The Midnighter popped back up again in Stormwatch as part of the New 52 in 2011. Not even a year later.

No one's going to take your charges of homophobic bias in comics seriously (no matter how apparent the phenomenon is) if you're just making shit up. Unless you're writing this to misinform people who don't read comics, your audience is going to smell that bullshit out, especially if they're as biased against seeing gays as heroes as you say.

It's not helping, all you're doing is giving boring people who want to look informed another talking point that doesn't stand up to the slightest resistance. The people who are actually in a position to receive your message, change their minds, and begin working towards the few valid points you make certainly won't take you seriously. But hey, way to sell that book.



Jordan Shipp said...

I like that, in his article, he says that Batwoman is portrayed as fanboy titilation. However, if you actually read her stories, that simply isn't the case. Yes, she has a sex life, but it's hardly the focus of any stories.


VanVelding said...

This guy is straight up: the worst.