I always loved Gambit. The smooth talking Cajun, desperately in love with Rogue despite not being able to touch her, was certainly one of my favorite characters growing up. He was a little bit of an arrogant asshole, but he had a good heart. Gambit was also a big fanservice character. He was one of the few male characters drawn more for female comic readers, and furthermore, there was always the hint that Gambit’s sexuality might be more fluid than the comics led us to believe. However, despite everything that could be inferred from the comic, Gambit was never explicitly stated to be a queer character. That seems to be a big trend in comics right now. Despite the fact that Marvel in particular has been doing a lot better with having more diversity in their comics, there is still a significant lack of queer characters.
I can’t say that Twitter is exactly my favorite social media platform, but what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in making it easier for me to keep up to date with the artists and content creators I follow than I ever could on Tumblr. Thanks to this, I was able to quickly discover and devour Lady of the Shard, a new one-shot by artist Gigi D.G.. At this point, I’m definitely fashionably late making this post; however, if you’re a fan of cute comics about lesbians, aliens, and hope, sit a spell and listen to me for just a bit longer about Lady of the Shard.
Recently I have been embracing my queerness more and more. I’ve always been open and proud about my pansexuality, but circumstances have made it so that I couldn’t be as out and as proud as I wanted tobe. For example, even now I can’t talk about or even mention my sexuality at my job, or I could be fired—the hazards of working for a Catholic church. I was nervous about going to my local Pridefest because if someone saw me I could have lost my job just for attending. This is an obstacle that is sadly still in my life, but other obstacles have since fallen away. Before this, I hadn’t come out to my father; however, I have now, with thankfully very few obstacles. I have also been engaging more with the queer community: something I was previously afraid to even attempt because of how prevalent I heard the bi and pan-phobia was in the community. But so far, to my delight, I haven’t personally encountered any such issues. Now I can be somewhat more open in my life, and the recent Pulse shooting prompted me to be even more open in defiance of all the hate. Together, this all has led me to want to engage more in the queer community and queer culture.
Of course, being a nerd, I naturally wanted to look into queer stories in sci-fi and fantasy. Sadly, as you can guess, there are very few.
It’s three months later and the final installment of the first story arc of Faith, “Hollywood & Vine”, has come to a close. My high expectations for the inaugural issue were met with flying colors, and I’m happy to report that these colors are still bright and vibrant three issues later. So, if you don’t want to get spoiled, here’s my TL;DR summary: if you’re looking for a refreshingly optimistic outlook on superheroes and regular people, or an interesting plotline that doesn’t go where you think it’s going to, definitely give Faith a shot. For everything else, spoilers below the cut.
When Deadpool came out in theaters not long ago, we all held our collective breaths hoping that he would actually be portrayed as pansexual. Despite the character’s pansexuality in the comics, it seemed doubtful that the movie would take this route. While there was some queer coding and some hinting in the movie, Deadpool was not shown to be pansexual, though the movie left us with some hope that his sexuality would be explored more in the next film.
Now, however, I am in a similar situation when it comes to the Suicide Squad movie and Harley Quinn.
Coping mechanisms are an essential part of life for everyone, whether you have any sort of a disability or not. Humans have learned to try and cope with various things that can be harmful or upsetting to them. For example, I tend to internalize every negative thing that someone says to me and make every little comment into something about what a worthless person I am, which greatly contributes to my low self-esteem. This is not healthy, and it is why I see a therapist, who attempts to help me develop a healthy coping mechanism to deal with my negative self-image. Good coping mechanisms are essential to living a healthy life. However, coping mechanisms can also be bad. For example, drinking to deal with depression is a bad coping mechanism because it is ultimately harmful to your health and well being.
Comics, unfortunately, tend to show characters coping in harmful ways, like having Batman deal with his grief by having him beat up on other mentally ill people. Other characters are shown just powering through their issues by sheer force of will and totally overcoming them by the next comic. This is not only a false representation of how to cope with trauma or other issues, but it’s also an extremely dangerous one, because it can convince people who could benefit from counseling that they should be able to overcome things by themselves. Deadpool, however, is not one of those characters. The recent Deadpool movie really shone in its portrayal of trauma and mental illness. We see both Deadpool and Vanessa trying to cope with grief, trauma, and mental and terminal illness by using humor as a coping mechanism.
Spoilers for the Deadpool movie below, and trigger warnings for rape and abuse.
Last week, I purchased the trade paperback collection of the Marceline Gone Adrift comic series. In the vein of previous Adventure Time Presents series like Fionna and Cake and Marceline and the Scream Queens, Gone Adrift is a six-issue story with a finite beginning and end. I missed the first few issues of it when it was coming out, so when I saw it was finally out as a trade I immediately snatched it up. And while part of me enjoyed it, I was left in the long run wondering why I’m still so invested in a relationship that’s constantly hinted at and doesn’t look, at this point, like it will ever be canon.