Fanfiction Fridays: Transitions by Zethsaire

It’s common knowledge that fanfiction is positively lousy with gay relationships, and with an almost entirely queer cast of hopelessly attractive young adults, Marvel’s Young Avengers is grade-A shippable material. With two gay men, one lesbian, two bisexuals, and a genderfluid trickster god, the two presumed cishets are outnumbered three to one. I say presumed cishets, because it’s not as though we know everything about Kate Bishop or Tommy Shepherd, which leaves plenty of room to extrapolate.

The eponymously titled Transitions by Zethsaire on AO3 explores the idea that speedster Tommy Shepherd was assigned female at birth and is physically transitioning to male. Set in a slightly alternate version of the Marvel comics universe, it follows the relationship between Tommy Shepherd and Noh-Varr, two members of the Young Avengers, and details how Tommy’s gender identity and transition process affects both of their lives. It also deals briefly with different cultural perceptions of gender, since Noh-varr is also a Kree, and his perspective on the matter is different from the average human.

Enthusiastic white boy dancing.

Enthusiastic white boy dancing.

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Lady Saika’s Agent Carter Season 2 Wish List

Marvel's Agent CarterWell, now that I got my real wish (a second season of Agent Carter—and with ten episodes this time!), it’s time for my wishing to get a little more specific. We’ve got eight or so months to sit around fantasizing about what comes next—so that’s just what I’m going to do. Without further fanfare, here’s what I want most out of Agent Carter Season 2.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Sky Doll’s Spin on Institutional Religion

Cover Art for Sky Doll, Vol. 1

Cover Art for Sky Doll, Vol. 1

A few years ago I came across the comic Sky Doll. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to finish it because it was overtly sexual, and that’s not really my cup of tea, but the story and the characters were interesting so I read it all anyway. One of the most fascinating topics the comic addressed was the religious war between the two female popes (papesses), Agape and Lodovica. They were both meant to represent aspects of religion, yet they didn’t unite people together. Their church tried separating the spiritual side of religion from the carnal side, and it caused pandemonium and chaos for everyone on their planet. Sky Doll shows what happens when people misinterpret the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law (and vice versa).

Spoilers ahead! Also trigger warning for blood and nudity.

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No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #14

Welp, the whole Marvel universe is coming to an end. Again. You know, as usual, thanks to yet another over-arching Marvel tie-in event called Secret Wars that Loki: Agent of Asgard has been awkwardly shoehorned into. To be honest, I have only the most general idea of what is going on in the rest of this tie-in, because like most people I can’t be bothered to read dozens of other series in conjunction with this one, but suffice to say that the world is ending. This marks the fourth such multi-series tie-in in just fourteen issues of Agent of Asgard, which leaves very little room for the actual title character of the series to develop while ey is busy playing backup to everyone else’s central plotlines.

Then again, there is the issue of whether or not the title character even is the same title character that we started the series with. The awkward young Loki we have come to know (and love?) has now been remade yet again into the bedraggled, slightly sickly-looking “God of Stories” who seems to have inherited only the vaguest impressions of young Loki’s memories.

This was the only panel that mattered, tbh.

This was the only panel that mattered, tbh.

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Reconstruction for White Boys—Role Models in Comics

thankshawkeyeThe toxic masculinity at the heart of nerd culture has been exposed—most noisily through Gamergate, but via plenty of other incidents as well. While sexism has been the most obvious motivator for these reactionaries, spillover into racism, homophobia, and transphobia are par for the course. At a fundamental level, this burst of nastiness is a reaction to the first real challenge to the privileged position of white men in nerd culture.

Things have degenerated into something of a civil war in nerd culture, and while it rages on, it is becoming abundantly clear that the good guys are going to win this one. I’m not so optimistic as to say that hatred and oppression will disappear, in nerd culture or anywhere else, but there is at least a growing consensus that those things are wrong, and deserving of criticism.

The doors are open, and white men no can longer dominate. But this change comes only after generations of being told that those stories are universal and vitally important. For years, white men never needed to share the stage, and the tales of others were pushed away. As we finally start to knock down the worldview that so deeply privileges one identity, it becomes imperative to reconstruct whiteness and masculinity as something new. Before, the construction of these identities was deeply rooted in claiming entitlement to a supreme position. Now, we need a construction which both rejects that entitlement and recognizes what enormous privilege remains.

Terrorist organizations, like the Ku Klux Klan, forced Reconstruction to end in the American South before its time, leading to an enormous and destructive backslide for civil rights. White men in nerd culture are now threatening or executing political violence for the same purposes. We need reconstruction to make sure they do not succeed. Comics, so long at the forefront of everything toxic about nerd masculinity and exclusivity, have taken up the call, and are finally white, male characters into new roles which fit in a diverse world. With any luck, these are not just changing stories, they’re going to be changing readers.

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No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #13

At long last, here comes Verity to save the day! But I’m getting ahead of myself; last you all heard in #12, Loki was still tied up and on fire as Future Loki explained the immutability of fate. That condition persists, but now with the understanding that said fire is metaphorical fire, and in the conflagration, Loki is confronting the specters of eir former selves as future Loki goes right on cackling, like he do. In the dreary headspace Loki finds emself in, Original Loki and Kid Loki both wait, swathed in an eerie green glow, to give em life advice.

What's a group of Lokis called? A murder? A fib? A failure?

What’s a group of Lokis called? A murder? A fib? A failure?

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Silk Was Worth the Wait

I recently sang the praises of the new Spider-Gwen series, but the illustrious Ms. Stacy is not the only spider-broad to get her own series coming out of the Edge of Spider-verse event. I meant to pick up the first issue of Silk when it came out last month, but my shop was sold out by the time I got there. I finally got my hands on the second printing of Silk #1 the other day, along with the first printing of the second issue, and I’m pleased to report that it’s a tremendously enjoyable read.

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