Coming off our 101st Episode (you know, the gay one), we boys felt like giving some big gay props to Marvel.
In response to Rob Liefeld’s d-bag comments regarding Shatterstar and Rictor smoochy smoochy, both Joe Quesada and Peter David have stood behind the decision to out the X-Forcers’ relationship with dignity and a cool head. Quesada took the stance the EIC at Marvel gets to take, looking at it from a business perspective by saying in his Cup O’ Joe column over at CBR:
“The characters are Marvel’s, and if that’s the way the characters are written, then that’s the way the character is. If Rob wants to publicly disagree with that, that’s his right, and I respect that. But if Rob is intending on flipping what Peter has written, he will have to wait to discuss that with the next Editor-in-Chief.”
But it’s David, the guy that has brought X-Factor to 50 wonderful issues of steamy noir deliciousness (sometimes ) —the guy who pressed Rictor and Shatty’s hot, wet lips together in…ahem, sorry— who is is not taking any criticism silently. In a recent CBR X-POSITION X-TRA, David says some sensible, beautiful things about Rictor and Shatterstar (both as individuals and as a couple), and why people are so damn hung up on the gay thing (we know!).
Here are some of our favorite quotes, but you simply must read the full article.
As for their relationship, I really had three options: 1) I could continue to play coy. 2) I could contradict it. 3) Or I could build on it. In light of such anti-gay activities as Prop 8, option 1 seemed kind of insulting and out-of-touch. Option 2 seemed gutless (what, was I so weirded out by the notion that I would feel the need to toss out what previous writers had done?). On that basis alone, option 3 seemed the way to go.
Another amazing message of inclusion came later.
“Was Disney’s first animated Chinese heroine exploitative of Asians? Is the heroine of the upcoming “Princess and the Frog” exploitative of blacks? Or is it simply acknowledging that there’s a portion of the audience that hasn’t been served by past trends and it’s time to be inclusive? Romantic straight fans got Madrox and Layla’s kiss on the Boardwalk. So why shouldn’t romantic gays get some – you should pardon the expression – face time? Are gay readers somehow less entitled to see two men being openly affectionate than straight readers are for a man and woman? How in the world is parity remotely exploitative? I just don’t see it.”
It’s at this moment that David did something shocking! He moved beyond the sexuality of an LGBT character as their defining trait! WHAAAAA?
“Rictor is still the moody former mutant who believes he’s useless and yet keeps happening to save the day; Shatterstar is still a badass warrior. If we don’t spend every issue dwelling on the sex life of the straight characters, I’m not sure why anyone thinks we’d feel the need to do so with characters that are gay or, for that matter, bi.”
But then the best part came when he responded directly to Liefeld’s comments. MEOW!
“…Could someone come in after me and pull the “real” Shatterstar out from a pod at the bottom of Jamaica Bay, complete with pony tail, shoulder pads, and phallic symbol strapped to his back (no, nothing gay there), and declare that Rictor was kissing a Skrull? Sure. I’d like to think they wouldn’t, but no one’s promised me anything. And if they did, what would that mean?
…And if five years from now, Joe Q has moved on to bigger and better things and Rob is EIC of Marvel, well, so much for Joe’s promise. As for how Rictor was presented in the first 1/19th of his existence, well… a lot’s happened with him since then. I don’t know if Rob was reading any of it, but I’ll simply say this: a guy from another dimension running around with swords on his back? That’s contrived. People exploring their sexuality? Not so much.”
Hey, Peter? Thank you. You are one of the good guys.