Wednesday, October 16, 2013

PBS airs Superheroes, interviews Northstar writer, artist, screenwriter about evolution of gay character

Also: Sean Hayes tricks Matt Lauer into complementing him on how he looks in his shorts; Israel's Bert and Ernie now have a baby.

X-Men: from allusions of difference to outing.
Top: Have you tried not being a mutant?
Last night, PBS aired, in three installments, Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, hosted and narrated by Liev Schreiber (who looks better in jeans and a sport coat than he did in a dress in this movie).
     Installment three, A Superhero Can Be Anyone, looked at gay X-Man Northstar's development. It, and the other two segments, can be viewed online until Oct. 29th.

Jemenez: It says a lot about the success of the X-men that anyone can read into it whatever they want to. You can find in the X-Men the metaphor that you're seeking because it's all about difference.

Claremont: I'm a Mormon. The X-Men speak to me. I'm black. I'm Asian. I'm an immigrant. I'm gay. They speak to me.

Jemenez: The X-Men is the most amazing metaphor I find for young gay people because in that book they are constantly targeted for being different. For no other crime than being born. Wow. It's all about, I think, glorifying that difference, no matter what the world around you says. No matter how much they hate you.

Miller: When Northstar was first created in 1983, as a member of Alpha Flight, his sexuality wasn't an issue that was on the table. Over the last 30 years, comic books have dealt more frankly with sexuality than they did back in 1983. So if you're looking for, "How did the books evolve to the point where Northstar could go from being a very fast superhero who was part of the Canadian superteam to the X-Man who is homosexual and getting married in 2013?" the answer is that culture evolved to make it possible for that event to be depicted in the comics.

Unless you're a comix nerd you might be surprised at how many gay comic characters there now are:

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