“In Case You Missed It” is a wrap-up of the previous week’s comics, showcasing those titles or moments that may be of special interest to queer readers. Major spoilers will be avoided, but some plot elements may be revealed. Please read responsibly.
Avengers Academy #8
Does everyone out there remember New Avengers #35? That’s way back when the Avengers were fighting the Hood… er, the first time. As a way of demonstrating his power, the Hood attacked Tigra in her home, shot her, beat her, and threatened to do the same to Tigra’s mother should she stand in the way of his plans. He also videotaped the whole thing, and somehow, that tape just hit the Interwebs. In this issue, Tigra and her Avengers Academy students deal with the fallout of that bit of unwanted publicity, having all the while a very adult conversation about revenge vs. justice, and the feelings that such an attack can bestir. Tigra makes the conversation not just about herself, but other victims: “battered spouses, abused kids, rape survivors…” She doesn’t explicitly name them, but certainly the gay-bashed or bullied qualify as well. Ultimately, part of Tigra’s solution involves the creation of the “Always an Avenger” center, a charity for the disenfranchised. This in the aftermath of co-teacher Hank Pym’s decision to open the Janet Van Dyne Center for [Battered] Women at the end of Ant-Man & Wasp #3. While the Scavenger is delighted to see some heroes making a difference without beating some poor loon in a costume senseless, he wonders where superhero/policewoman/teacher/single-mother Tigra finds the time to run a charity. And, cynically, he wonders if any of these charities will ever appear in print again. He suspects not.
This is a disappointingly less-than-progressive viewpoint on teenage sexuality from a schoolteacher in a bikini.
X-Men Legacy #244
Blindfold is the X-Men’s blind precog of the moment. To clarify for those without a Nerd-Shorthand-to-English dictionary close at hand, young Ruth is a mutant whose whole superpower is the ability to see the future. SHE CAN SENSE DANGER COMING BEFORE IT HAPPENS! Apologies, gentle readers. The Scavenger is sure you get it. Somehow, though, the X-Men don’t. Why are Blindfold’s cries of alarm always greeted with the same dismissive tone one usually reserves for small children? “Oh, Ruth – there are no monsters under your bed! Lovecraftian horrors from beyond the Veil? Silly girl.” This done-in-one issue works to recap for new readers what has come before, as well as to set the stage for one comes next. Bling! – who is alternately described as either lesbian or bisexual – shows up for all of one panel, and the other queer standbys (Northstar, Anole, occasionally Graymalkin) are nowhere to be seen, making this a less-than-stellar showing for the Mutant Rainbow.
What makes this issue of interest to the Scavenger is that it serves as a lead-in for the upcoming Age of X crossover, the one set in an alternate reality where all the mutant dudes are hot and shirtless. The Scavenger isn’t sure what chain of events leads to this state of affairs, but he’s hoping the X-Men can’t figure out how to fix it.
Is it the Scavenger’s imagination, or are the X-Men battling a lot of Japanese porn lately?