Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ianto's Death: Progress for Queer Heroes

Afterelton.com just posted an article by Polina Skibinskaya entitled Death by "Torchwood": Captain Jack, Ianto Jones, and the Rise of the Queer Superhero. Head on over and read it; the argument it makes is intriguing and empowering, no matter where you fall on the issue of Ianto's death.

I agree with the article, and I'd also like to posit that, due simply to the logistics of arranging multiple interpersonal relationships, the future for fictional queer characters in the media is in bi- or pansexuality. Just look at the characters in books today. Northstar, the oldest strictly-gay hero around may have a boyfriend, but when was the last time he appeared in Uncanny X-men? He must have gained the power of invisibility, because he's still listed on the Wikipedia roster and is nowhere to be seen.

On the flip side, the first gay kiss in Marvel was between a bisexual and an (arguably) pansexual character, and the "convenience-sexual" Daken is starring in his own title. It looks to me like the biggest advances in queer hero representation are being made by those heroes whose sexuality doesn't alienate any part of the audience.

Which isn't to say that I want to give up all same-sex OTPs! "Billy + Teddy 4evah!!", *squee*, etc. But if a gay pairing is threatened by a potential love interest who's female, e.g. Enchantress, I understand that's it's simply a result of equal gender representation comics, not of homophobia.

Of course, by making that concession, I do also expect some Executioner/Patriot action. After all, what's good for the gay is good for the gander.

1 betches:

Vrylakos said...

Also: I'm going to be quite sad to see Dark Young Avengers end. I liked its new characters, weird team dynamics for the Young Masters, and the freedom the series had since it's doing what it does without real connection to a big franchise...

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