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Pull list for July 13 2016; Marvel Now missing LGBT solo; Gay Sulu

July 12, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m off tomorrow, hurrah.

I’ll go to the store for: Insexts #6, by Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina and Bryan Valenza; Mirror #5, by Emma Rios and Hwei Lim; New Avengers #13, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov; Power Man & Iron Fist #6, by David Walker, Flaviano Armentaro and John Rauch; Silk #10, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford and Ian Herring; Vision #9, by Tom Taylor, Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellaire; The Wicked + The Divine #21, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. And I’ll also pick up last week’s Silver Surfer.

I’ll also review: All-New X-Men #11, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard; Civil War II #3, by Brian Bendis, David Marquez; part of Civil War II Choosing Sides #2, specifically the story by Jeremy Whitley and Marguerite Sauvage (I actually haven’t decided if I’ll pick up a physical copy or buy a digital copy, but I’m leaning towards digital); Deadpool #15, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Jordie Bellaire; Old Man Logan #8, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo.

So that’s 7 comics I’m picking up (really, 8), and 4-and-a-third reviews. Pretty heavy week.

I’m looking forward to all of them. Insexts is incredibly screwed-up, but having enough fun with it to make it wonderful. WicDiv is going into a fight issue, which should be fun – this is where the superhero stuff comes in, and McKelvie does great superhero art. He does fantastic work with fights, so this issue will be awesome. Mirror is a weird book that I don’t think I totally get, but which I enjoy nonetheless. From Marvel, New Avengers has been fun all along, and we’re getting a great ramping up of drama and action. Same with PM&IF, it looks like. Seems we’re getting a more dramatic issue. Vision is Vision – just a phenomenal series. But truthfully, the comic I’m most anticipating might be Silk. I enjoy the series in general. And in the current volume, the growing bond between Silk and Black Cat has been so great to see, giving both characters someone they need. And I am so sad to see that coming to an end, and I am expecting to be emotionally wrecked by this issue. Because I want them to come through it all as friends. I want them to go shopping and get coffee and talk about their feelings. I want that so much, but I’m pretty sure it won’t go that way, and that makes me so sad.

So, on Monday night, there was a leak of Marvel’s Now 2: Even Nower line-up. I won’t link to it, because leaks don’t deserve to be validated. I will reserve fuller thoughts on the line-up for next week, for the same reason. However, I will note a couple things. They’ve made no advancements in regards to creator diversity. And they have no LGBT solo titles. None. Not a single one. They have a Solo title. Solo! The shitty ’90s anti-hero that no one has ever given a damn about! They gave him his own title, but not Ms. America, a fan-favourite who’s also popular with creators. They couldn’t be bothered to put out one single, solitary LGBT-led solo title. I guess they had no room in their schedule, because they had to include frigging Solo instead.

This is bullshit. And Marvel knows it’s bullshit. They know it. Everyone at Marvel knows they need LGBT solo titles. And they decided not to put one out. They made a conscious decision to do this. They were looking at all their choices for solo books, and they looked at all the LGBT characters, and they specifically chose to pass them over. This wasn’t an oversight, a mistake or an accident. This was a conscious, intentional choice they made, to omit LGBT characters from having solos. And it’s bullshit, and it’s unacceptable.

There is some speculation that Ms. America will be announced later on. The books they’ll be announcing on Wednesday will come out in October, so maybe Ms. America will come out in November or December. It had damned well better. The same thing did happen with ANAD. When they unveiled their initial launch titles, they took some heat for the lack of creators of colour. Then Black Panther, Power Man & Iron Fist and Nighthawk all got announced over the following couple months. It felt like a stupid way of doing things then, it feels like a stupid way of doing it now. Because right now, they are getting some negative attention for their lack of LGBT solo titles. It’s drawing attention away from what is otherwise a pretty good bunch of titles. I’m actually planning on getting 20 of the Nower titles, so my pull list is getting a bit bigger. And yet, all I can really think about is how frigging pissed off I am at the lack of an LGBT solo title.

I am curious if any of the mainstream comic press will ask Marvel about that. CBR talks to Axel Alonso every Friday. Maybe they could ask him if any LGBT solos will be coming. Buuuut, probably not. They’ll be too busy kissing Alonso’s ass and talking up how great and exciting the line-up is. And probably talking up how diverse it is, too, even though it’s probably slightly less diverse than it is now. But I dare CBR to ask Alonso about LGBT representation. Let’s see if they can do it.

As a Star Trek fan, I should probably comment on Sulu being gay in the new Star Trek movie. They said they did it to honour George Takei. Takei, of course, responded to the honour by saying he asked them not to do it, that Roddenberry envisioned Sulu as straight and Takei played him that way. He had asked the creators to instead make a new gay character. So, this has gotten a lot of talk. A lot of people were disappointed with Takei. A lot of people were outright insulting to him. Those people are assholes and they need to shut the hell up because Takei is a wonderful person. But even the people expressing disappointment with him, I think, should back off.

I’m glad a live-action Star Trek has finally added an openly LGBT character. It’s about damn time. And I have no real problem with Sulu being gay, at least partly because I don’t give a damn about the rebootverse and won’t be watching the movie for a couple years anyway. But at the same time . . . I am uncomfortable with some aspects of this. For one thing, the “honouring Takei” thing feels . . . weirdly condescending? Like, “Oh, you’re gay, so of course your character is gay!” Like a gay actor couldn’t have been playing a straight character. Also, as soon as Takei said he’d rather they not do it, they were no longer honouring him.

The excuse they used for not making a new gay character is that people would only see him as “the gay one.” And hey, that’s a fair concern, but I happen to have a perfect solution for that: Write better, you frigging hacks. No, really. If you make a character who’s interesting and nuanced, people will see those layers, and will judge the character accordingly. If the only thing the audience takes away from a character is that they’re gay, that’s on you, the filmmakers, for making a flat, one-dimensional character. The approach they took was the lazy route. They took a character people already liked and slapped gayness on there and congratulated themselves for creating an interesting gay character.

I’m fine with Sulu being gay, but I do have some problems with how it’s being talked about, and I have serious problems with how people have talked about Takei’s reaction.

I won another new book. Sarong Party Girls, by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. It’s set in Singapore and written by a woman originally from Singapore, and I do like to support diversity. The blurb describes it as being Emma set in Singapore. And I did love Emma. One of the reviews says it’s more like Clueless. Which is, of course, based on Emma. So we’ll see how it goes. I haven’t quite finished The Dog That Laid Eggs, but I’ll finish this week, for sure.

My schedule: 2-8:45 Friday, 4:15-10:45 Saturday, 4:45-11:15 Sunday, 11:15-7:45 Monday. So posts Thursday and Tuesday.

And that’s it for this week.

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