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Knowledge Waits: The Possible Hints Over the Years That Iceman Is Gay

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

One of the interesting aspects of young Iceman coming out in the most recent issue of All-New X-Men (and from the sound of Brian Michael Bendis’ discussions of the topic, it sure sounds like adult Iceman will be catching up with him, as well) is the notion that Iceman being gay is something supported in past comics. Bendis noted to CBR:

CBR: This story isn’t something that’s coming out of the blue, either. Over the years there’s been a lot of hints that Bobby might not be entirely honest with himself about his sexuality.

Bendis: Yes! That’s the funniest conversation online. We have some people going, “What on Earth are you talking about? Where did this come from?” Then there are other people who weren’t surprised at all. Already on Tumblr, and I’m not going to repost them until later in the week, people have posted a road map of panels of things that Bobby has done over the last 50 years that prove the point that I thought was obvious, and many others did too.

Bendis is correct that “Iceman is gay” is something that has come up a whole lot over the years with X-Men fans. So what’s this road map that Bendis is referring to? I don’t know what he’s specifically referring to, but I know what what most of the signs people refer to when they argue that Bobby Drake is closeted. So let’s take a look at them.
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Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans – Yikes

As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans have caused a bit of a controversy by referring to a question about Black Widow seemingly becoming involved with Bruce Banner in the new Avengers movie instead of either Renner’s Hawkeye or Evans’ Captain America, and their responses were…wow.

What I think gets me more is their APOLOGIES, well, at least Renner’s.

Here’s Evans’ apology: “Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America. We answered in a juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize”

While here’s Renner’s, “I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.”

As you can see, Evans went with a legit “My bad, sorry,” while Renner went with the classic, “Sorry that you were offended.”

The thing that gets me about Renner is that he seems so calculating about some of this stuff. Remember his Golden Globes bit with Jennifer Lopez?

And there, too, his “apology” was “don’t take things too seriously.”

It’s certainly fair to say that these things aren’t extremely important issues, but they’re not nothing. It’s not “just” a joke when the entire hook of the joke is calling a woman (even a fictional woman) a slut because she is dating another guy. Slip of the tongue while you’re overworked doing press junkets? Sure, fair enough. Just say that. But own it like Evans did. Concede that it WAS an offensive joke. But what’s particularly disappointing is when Renner seems to be trying to be OVERTLY crass, in a sort of calculated “See! I’m a bad boy!” manner. I guess what’s even more disappointing is that Renner might be correct and that doing this is probably better for his career.

1987 And All That: Booster Gold #13-22

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

Booster1Booster Gold #13-22 (DC) by Dan Jurgens, Gary Martin (#13), Mike DeCarlo (#14, 18), Bruce D. Patterson (#15), Bob Lewis (#16), Arne Starr (#17, 20), Al Vey (#19), Ty Templeton (#21-22), Gene D’Angelo (#13-15, 17-22), Bob Lappan (#13, 17), John Costanza (#14, 18), Agustin Mas (#15), Albert de Guzman (#16), Duncan Andrews (#19), Steve Haynie (#20-22), Barbara Randall

Booster Gold is kind of a jackass. My previous exposure to the character had always been in the context of the Justice League, so I knew he was cocky, but the true depths of his self-importance surprised me when reading his solo title. Yes, I was aware of his origins as a former star athlete from the future who stole technology from his own time, brought it to our own, and used it to make himself into a superhero. None of that screams altruism, so I suppose I could’ve expected the brash, reckless, in-love-with-himself hero I got, but for whatever reason it caught me off-guard at first. I guess I had always assumed that since he was a professional superhero, he must have a strong core goodness that would trump his immaturity and arrogance when it mattered. In reality, his self-interest is his core, and any genuine goodness that results does so almost in spite of his personality. He likes the superhero lifestyle, but his enjoyment comes first from the thrill and then from the fame, with any satisfaction he gets from actually helping someone or fighting evil being largely incidental. He’s not a bad person; he has loose morals that guide him and the hint of a sincere desire to be better and do more. Yet all of that keeps getting overshadowed by his continued focus on maintaining his public image, getting rich, womanizing, and having fun. Continue Reading »

Cover Theme Game for 4/22

The cover theme game works like this: I’ll show you three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, a connection between all three characters, a locale, a trait all three creators share, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” “They are all Avengers (who ISN’T?)!” “They’re all dead (who HASN’T been killed off?)!” “They’ve all been cloned (who HASN’T been cloned?)!” “They’re all mutants!” (who ISN’T a mutant?) “They’re all orphans!” (who ISN’T an orphan?) “They’re all legacy heroes” (who ISN’T a legacy hero nowadays?)! “They’re all by the same artist!” (too obvious) etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these themes. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond the covers. The connections will ONLY have to do with connections in the actual comic books (so no incidental connections like “they share the same last names of Vice Presidents,” etc. Now, if the three characters were each named Gerald Ford, that’d be another story, as that’d no longer be incidental).

If you come up with an answer that works outside of what I intended, I’ll give you credit (well, provided I think it fits, of course).

One more thing – if there are floating heads on the cover, ignore them! They don’t mean anything! Same thing with corner boxes!

If you think you know the answer, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Don’t answer in the comments. This way, people who check in at different times of the day can still get credit for answering it correctly!

Here is an archive of all the past cover theme games, plus their answers. Before each new installment, I’ll post the answers to the previous week’s game.

Good luck and enjoy! Continue Reading »

Committed: The Sublime Variant Covers of Penguin Classics Graphic Deluxe Editions

042215_chrisware_voltaireComic books aren’t the only publications who dabble in variant covers. Novels often find an entirely new audience by repackaging and reformatting the covers and sometimes even the content (e.g. the Harry Potter books are a good example of this, by creating fun covers with large type which appealed to children, and more elegant covers and smaller type for a more mature audience). A few weeks ago I stumbled on an instance of prose fiction dipping a proverbial toe into the world of sequential art and the results are pretty spectacular.  Continue Reading »

Remember to Forget – Daredevil’s Team-Up With Uri Geller

In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are best left completely forgotten.

Today, based on a suggestion by a few folks (most recently reader Valentijn), we take a look at Daredevil’s team-up with Uri Geller.
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Thoughts on All-New X-Men #40 and Whether Flawed Characters are a Sign of Flawed Writing

Today, Marvel releases All-New X-Men #40, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mahmud Asrar, a comic that contains a major event in the lives of one of the time-displaced teenage members of the original X-Men.

This event has drawn a good deal of praise from fans, but also a lot of criticism. I’d like to take on one particular piece of criticism, so read on to see what I’m talking about (SPOILERS for All-New X-Men #40 ahed!).
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Jem and the Holograms #2 Advance Review

jem2 Next week is the release of the second issue of the Jem and the Holograms series from IDW, written by our own Kelly Thompson (co-plotted by Sophie Campbell) and drawn by Campbell and M. Victoria Robado. I thought that Campbell and Robado did an excellent job on the first issue (I reviewed it here), but they took things to a whole other level with this second issue, as Campbell and Robado tackle what is likely the number one most difficult aspect of this comic, namely “How do you translate music to a written work?” Their answer is through a series of carefully orchestrated panels by Campbell that are bursting with vibrant colors by Robado. One of the strongest tools that a comic book artist has is how they lay out a page. How they lay the page out can literally determine how you read it, and here, Campbell’s designs take control of your eye and forces you to follow along with the “music.” I especially like how Campbell eschews traditional panel arrangements and instead has panels essentially created from the characters themselves, the blended nature of the design also achieves the aforementioned “driving” force. As powerful as a job that Campbell and Robado do on those pages, though, they would only stand out as awesome-looking set pieces if they weren’t sandwiched around a compelling story with interesting characters. Luckily, that’s just what happened in this issue!
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The Great Comic Book Cover Homage Streak: Week 134

It occurs to me that it seems like many comic book covers are homages. Which is fine with me. I have no problem with it. It just made me think, though, how long could I go before I hit a week where NO new comic book was released that had a cover that was an homage to something? Let’s find out! Here is an archive of all the cover homages featured in the streak so far!

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Comic Book Six Degrees: Batman to Bartman

I name two comic book characters. You then have to connect the two using only shared appearances in comic books (official appearances in comics only – no cameos like Terry Austin sneaking Popeye into the background of a panel and no outside comic book appearances, like cartoons and the like). You have to do so using less than six comics total. Covers and pin-ups do not count – only actual appearances in the same comic book story (so it doesn’t count if they each appeared in separate stories inside the same anthology). Mythological characters, public domain characters (other than public domain comic book characters, they’re free game) and real people (by the way, unless a fake name is used for a real person, like Ronald Raygun or whatever, you can use the person even if they are not officially named in the comic) are unique to their own comic book appearances (so DC’s Thor is different than Marvel’s Thor, DC’s Ronald Reagan is different from Marvel’s Ronald Reagan, etc.). But a licensed character is the same in all of their various comic book companies (so the Marvel Red Sonja is the same as the Dynamite Red Sonja) and approved appearances by a real person can go across comic book companies, as well (so, for instance, you can use Marv Wolfman from his Teen Titans appearance to connect with Marv Wolfman in his Fantastic Four appearance – you just can’t use modern appearances by Jack Kirby from one company to connect to Jack Kirby appearances from Marvel Comics, since obviously Kirby can no longer give approval for his appearance). Approval tends to be the key.

Last time was Carrie Stetko to Ms. Michael Tree. Frank W. was one of five people who got it in three moves. Here is how Frank connected the two…

Carrie Stetko was in Oni Press Color Special 2001 #1 with Madman
Madman was in War of the Independents #1 with E-Man
E-Man was in The PIs #1 with Ms. Tree

Frank’s challenge is…

Batman to Bartman

This is the last installment of Comic Book Six Degrees that we’ll be having for the foreseeable future, so feel free to just give your answers in the comments section, since there won’t be a “winner” this time around. I think we just sort of ran out of novel connections, as so many of them turn on the same couple of books (War of the Independents #1, for example), so it sort of became “Who in War of Independents #1 can we use this week?” Which is fine, but I figure three years is long enough for this game. So it is time for us to try something new.

So feel free to make a suggestion for a NEW type of game that we can play every week. I’ll probably just do some Test Your Comic Knowledge quizzes for the next couple of weeks as placeholders while I figure out the new game, so if no one else comes up with something, I’m sure I’ll figure something out, but at the same time, I’m certainly open to ideas!

Thanks to all of you for supporting Comic Book Six Degrees over the last few years!

What I bought – 8 and 15 April 2015

EPSON MFP image

All of our religions but the Judaic and the Greek think more of us dead than alive. (Joseph Heller, from Picture This)
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She Has No Head! – Print vs. Digital

In the spirit of the “defining superheroes” column (which in case you haven’t guessed is about my favorite column ever for the wonderful dialogue it created and the surprisingly low number of jerks that showed up to that dialogue) I wanted to pick your brains about Print and Digital comics.

Before I open this up to comments, thoughts, rants, etc., I want to give you a general state of where I’m at on this thing, my concerns and interests going forward, and what spurred me to talk about this today.

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Cross-Hatchings for April 2015

The usual bits and pieces. Mostly just cool links and things. Continue Reading »

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So, Did Daredevil Kill a Hooker or What?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, we look at how Daredevil was wracked by guilt over his role in the death of a hooker. But did she really die? Let’s find out!
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Fabian Nicieza’s Five Favorite Superboy Issues

Fabian Nicieza is re-visiting the Zero Hour DC Universe with his Convergence: Superboy series (the first issue came out earlier this week). As Fabian looks to the past for the writing of this new project, I thought it would be interesting for him to look back at his history with Superboy as a reader. So here are five of Fabian’s favorite issues of Superboy (both Clark and Kon-El). Everything from this point on is Fabian’s recollections of five of his favorite Superboy issues.
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