Robot 6

‘A fictional character announcing that he’s gay should not be national news’

At AfterElton.com, X-Factor writer discusses the relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar, and recalls the immediate ramifications at Marvel of Northstar’s much-publicized 1992 outing:

Alpha Flight #106

Alpha Flight #106

When you really get down to it, the concept of a fictional character announcing that he’s gay should not be national news. He’s fictional. It’s like Dan Quayle saying that Murphy Brown’s actions are a poor guide to single mothers. She’s fictional. But nevertheless, it wound up making national news and blowback from that came as a result of a major retail chain – and I’m not refusing to name it because I’m trying to cover their asses, I’m refusing to name them because I don’t remember … as they say, “I didn’t know there’d be a quiz.”

This major retail chain informed Marvel they were going to cease carrying – and this just gives you an idea of the kind of homophobia that pervades corporate America – they informed Marvel they were going to cease carrying any mutant toys because they didn’t want to risk being associated with this gay mutant who was being talked about on CNN, which is bizarrely hilarious or ironic or sick, depending on how you want to look at it when many people perceive mutants in the Marvel universe as a metaphor for how gays are treated in the United States of America. Because Northstar outed himself in the pages of Alpha Flight, they didn’t want any mutant-related toys. They wouldn’t sell Wolverine in their stores. They wouldn’t sell Wolverine action figures because of the taint, which was insane. Particularly when you consider there were no Northstar toys at the time.

As we noted earlier this week, Northstar will officially get his first boyfriend — in the primary Marvel Universe, at least — with January’s Nation X #2. Hey, it only took 18 years …

There’s much more with David at AfterElton.com.

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Comments

6 Comments

So, a fictional character announcing that he’s gay shouldn’r be national news, but the fact that he’s got a boyfriend should be? hrm

Has his boyfriend been seized upon by the mainstream press?

This is probably just a case of “hey it made CBR, That’s national enough for me!” kind of thing. Although I do think the comic shop boycotting because of a gay character should have probably made more news. If homophobes were subjected to national ridicule every time this happens I’ll bet we wouldn’t even have this problem anymore.

But then again I don’t even think it should be national news when a real person comes out. At the end of the day it’s all a big “I do a thing that you will never see and will never affect you in any way”. If that’s a big enough problem for you that you whine about it, I wish I had your life. I got better shit to do than worry about other people’s bedrooms.

Dear god. Take that cover down.
My eyes are bleeding.

Kevin Melrose wrote:

[This major retail chain informed Marvel they were going to cease carrying – and this just gives you an idea of the kind of homophobia that pervades corporate America – they informed Marvel they were going to cease carrying any mutant toys because they didn’t want to risk being associated with this gay mutant who was being talked about on CNN, which is bizarrely hilarious or ironic or sick, depending on how you want to look at it when many people perceive mutants in the Marvel universe as a metaphor for how gays are treated in the United States of America.]

Funny. When I was growing up, many people thought the X-Men were a commentary about race in America.

Kevin Melrose
December 11, 2009 at 9:29 am

[Has his boyfriend been seized upon by the mainstream press?]

No.

And this is likely due to openly homosexual couples being SO visible in various media (TV, comics, etc.) that Northstar having a boyfriend is considered “Meh.”

By contrast, Black Panther marrying Storm garnered lots of attention because Black romance is still rare in comics. That fact that some freaked out over that marriage indicates comic fandom still has issues with Black HETEROSEXUALITY.

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