Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A gay year for comics: Northstar

Not a dream! Not a hoax! Northstar got married! On the cover even!

And, in the TPB version, my N'star story was reprinted for the 3rd time, yay. 

Ok, now I start getting a little cranky. All three of 2012's major gay comic stars are white. All three have BFs of color. At least two refer to their BFs with the pet name "love."

I understand from Adam that according to "the census" gay couples are more likely to be biracial than straight couples. Ok, that's cool. But when 100% of the slim representation of gay male characters are trying to be "not stereotypical" they just come off collectively as trying too hard.

I also take umbridge with this over-use of the pet name "love." Adam again goes out of his way to prove that he calls Lance "love." I point out to him that he most often calls Lance "babe." 

I've noticed the over-use of "love" since I was reading early Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes and Shadow Lass called Mon-El "love."  I have zero statistical data to support this, but in all my life, I've never heard anyone call their partner "love." I've heard "honey," "dear," "dearest," "my lovely," "darling," and many, many variations of someone's name, be it a formalization or casualization of it. Lest we forget the most common one I hear utilized in my gay travels, "sweetie." I myself veer toward specialty pet names like "puddin' pop," "mutton chop," and "fang face."

I am sure there might be others like Adam out there...but, again, when there are basically 2 out male heroes, how can they both call their BFs "love" and not "hotstuff" or "stud." 

More soon.


Javier said...

Yes, just as an addendum. When Gail Simone gave the gay hero Olympian/Achilles a boyfriend... he was also black.

I mentioned to her that Northstar also had an African American boyfriend, who had just been featured in a comic the month before and she claimed ignorance.

Ah well, it will just be the non powered ethnic gay boyfriend trope of the early 20th century.

Glad to see you posting again.

Tim Fish said...

I am fully happy about inter racial relationships. but it's starting to feel like a weak device..."how do I show my readers he's not your typical 'fag'? I know—black boyfriend." I don't mind them needing to be saved, as wasn't that Lois Lane's primary purpose for years? ;) I know, I know, she needed to be saved b/c she was taking her job too far...unlike these guys, seem more like props.

Javier said...

I have a slightly different take on it. The interracial gay relationship wouldn't seem so forced to me if it wasn't so out of sync with the rest of what is occurring in comics.

Straight white male superheroes still date straight white females. The only real "interracial" relationship seemed to be Wally West and Linda Park (who have been erased by the nu52).

I would LOVE to see Hal Jordan or Ollie Queen or Dick Grayson in a committed relationship with a woman of color.