Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Misleading Facebook Page Not Happy With DC, Marvel re: Teh Gays


Last week, 48K And Some Change Moms (er, sorry, meant 1,000,000 Moms) decided the very public beatdown they received at the hands of JC Penny, Ellen DeGeneres, and scores of people who don't give a shit about what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes, wasn't enough. They have now decided to attack DC Comics and Marvel Comics re: their recent announcements regarding gay characters within their respective universes. DC announced they were going to have a longtime character outed and despite my personal opinion, it appears Earth 2's Green Lantern is their man. On the Marvel side, Northstar, the first mainstream character to come out of the closet (as a member of Alpha Flight in '92, now a member of the X-Men), is marrying Kyle, his longtime partner.

Hilarity could quite possibly ensue.

If the "Christians" who form 1,000,000 Moms (in quotes because the last time I checked, Christians were about love and acceptance and following the example set by one J. Christ, not judgement, hatred, and intolerance), thought Ellen's fans were slavishly devoted, wait until they start running into comic book fans. If you step between a geek and his/her object of affection, you're in a world of fucked, ladies (I keep wanting to steal Loki's line to Black Widow during her interrogation of him during The Avengers, but I'm trying to be the better person and play nice). Gays are the object of scorn, ridicule, and derision. Guess who else fills that description?

(Worst. Protest. Ever.)

We geeks know from being put down and patronized based on what we love. Scouting the message boards and Facebook pages and blogs, I've already seen several, if not most, of those sites are either supporting Marvel's and DC's decisions or just apathetic because the storylines don't affect the titles they themselves read. If you'll look at the Facebook pages of Marvel and DC, you'll see a lot of talk about this topic, mostly from those who are adamantly opposed to those doggone gays with their kissing of other dudes and being all fabulous and whatnot. But if you look really close, you don't see a lot of the anti-gay people actually talking about specifics of the two storylines; they're making general statements such as "If you go through with this, I'll never read another one of your comics again" or "If you go through with this, I'll boycott Warner Bros. (owner of Marvel)/Disney (owner of DC)" or "How can you put out this smut in a publication read by children?"

Keep that last one in mind, I'll get to it in a minute.

What this leads me to believe is that various groups such as the 1M Moms, the American Family Association, The Organization of Christians Determined to Get Rid of Gays Because They Make Us Uncomfortable and We're Jealous of Their Stable Relationships While Our Own Marriages Were Built on Sandy Foundations (OK, I made that last one up. But can you imagine?) sent out desperate e-mails to their membership base telling them to descend upon any and all comic-based Facebook pages, blogs, message boards, et. al., and voice their outrage.

I would like to explain to these individuals why their promises of boycotts and whatnot aren't going to work. Alright, if you're an extreme right-wing homophobe who believes in smaller government except in the case of it's none of your goddamned business, listen up. Remember the Ellen deal? The one with JC Penny? Remember how they were threatened with a boycott if they let that terrible, awful LEZ-BEE-IN Ellen continue to represent them? 'Member that? How'd that work out? Not so good, huh? Well, JC Penny is normally the kind of company that would crumble immediately given that kind of public pressure and the threat of negative publicity. Normally, a company such as that would pay Ellen off, give some horseshit reason why they changed their minds, and the "good Christians" could sleep easy in their bed of righteousness, knowing they kept another one of them queers from, I don't know, making their kids want to wear dresses, cook desserts, and come up with a divine paint scheme for the dining room.

Well that didn't fucking happen, did it?

So on the wrong end of a pretty good ass-whippin', you're going to attack the entertainment industry? You know, the industry that has a LOT of homosexuals within it? Do you honestly think for a nanosecond that Disney and/or Warner Bros. is going to give two shits what some backward-ass, small-minded tit such as yourself thinks about their product? A product you don't even fucking buy to begin with?

Now let's go back to that comment I made earlier about the children who read comics. These aren't your father's or grandfather's comics, folks. Take a good look at the graphic at the very top of this article. The idea of having your child exposed to mind-numbing violence or the complete sexual objectification of women is totes acceptable in your book, but the very idea of two men shown kissing or living happily in a committed relationship is what sends you over the edge? What the fuck is wrong with you? How is one OK and the other isn't?

(Yeah, what he said.)

Here's the down-and-dirty fact behind all of this: it's not that the characters are gay, it's that the characters are gay men. Where was the outcry over Batwoman or any of the other lesbian comic book characters? Where was the outrage 20 fucking years ago when Northstar originally came out? It didn't exist because Northstar came out around the same time DC killed Superman and Northstar was pretty much gay in name only. And as far as the gay women go, they're still created in a manner that provides titillation for men. I mean, c'mon; hot broads dressed in skin-tight spandex making out? Guys literally pay to see that shit online. But the idea of two men (MEN, dammit) kissing or acting in any manner that is believed to be anything other than masculine is an absolute anathema to these people.

The best part of all this is the absolute hypocrisy employed by those who are against gay marriage in general. I posted a pic here the other day that was awesome in its hilarity. The same passage of the Bible that says two men together are gross and not cool is also the same one that says no tattoos. Oh, but there's more. Leviticus also says women can't leave the house without their heads covered or that a woman who loses her virginity prior to marriage is fucked, both literally and figuratively, in the eyes of the Almighty. So how many of those 1,000,000 Moms were pure as the driven snow when they said "I do"? How many of them are dressed in accordance with the Bible when they leave the house every day? How many of these pious, nosy, can't-keep-their-noses-out-of-places-that-dont'-fucking-concern-them women have a cute little tattoo somewhere on the temple God is loaning them until they're called home?

And let me explain something else (I was raised Baptist, kids; I can preach ALL day long, canIgetanamen?), in the eyes of God, a sin is a sin is a sin. What that means is that the sin you're protesting against doesn't make the sins you commit OK. For example: the fact you're against homosexuality doesn't mean it's OK to drive 15 miles over the speed limit every day because the Bible states that you must follow the laws of man (Romans 13:1-2). Laying with a man as you would a woman, according to the Old Testament, is wrong, but you know what else is wrong?

  • Wearing clothes made of more than one fabric.
  • Shaving or getting a haircut (I personally love this one since the people who gave me shit at church when I was a teen about my long hair had scalp-bearing crewcuts. See you in Hell, assholes).
  • Growing a variety of crops in your field instead of just one.
  • Marital infidelity.
If you care to read more, click HERE.  But shit, Kurt, I hear you saying...those things are HARD. Or just out-and-out fucking ridiculous. The stoning queers thing is so much easier. Besides, that's Old Testament stuff. It's the NEW Testament that matters.

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." John 14:15 (New Testament). Pretty sure that means ALL of them, not just the ones that are easy. And if you read HERE, there is a case to be made that the New Testament describes same-sex relationships and is pretty OK with it. Finally, and this is the big one, Jesus loved us ALL. Not just the folks who were right all the time and rubbed it in everyone's face; He loved the sinners, the gamblers, the whores, etc., too. In fact, he gave the latter a little more attention because he felt like they needed it.

So for all of you hate-filled "Christians" who want to attack DC and Marvel or worse, attack the homosexuals in reality who have enough shit to deal with because of people like you, maybe you need to read your Bible, especially the teachings of the Son of God, a little closer. I may be wrong in my support of marriage equality and the acceptance of homosexuals as fellow children of God, but I'd rather err on the side of love rather than be "right" in subscribing to judgement, hatred, and intolerance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today's Edition of "Know Your Bible Verses"

Yet another great example of how ignorance, hatred, and an amazing lack of understanding when it comes to irony tend to go hand in hand.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Will DC Make Tim Drake Comics' Newest Gay Character?

(Tim Drake, the third Robin, seen here in his current identity as Red Robin. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Homosexual heroes in the world of comics is nothing new. Neil Gaiman has incorporated gay characters in his books, Northstar of Alpha Flight "came out" in 1992 (although basically in name only since his sexuality was never really mentioned), and Bunker of the New 52's Teen Titans, Karma of the New Mutants and many others have been openly homosexual in the pages of our favorite comics. There have been some very strong and award-winning stories featuring gay characters in mainstream comics, such as X-Force mainstays Shatterstar and Rictor, and there have been absolutely fucking brutal stereotypes that should be erased from existence, such as the reboot of The Rawhide Kid.

As I was reading through my Twitter feeds this morning, I saw DC Women Kicking Ass posting about the possibility of former Robin/current Red Robin (Yummmmmm!) coming out as a homosexual. Current co-publisher of DC Comics Dan Didio has stated in the past in an interview with the gay-oriented magazine The Advocate that DC would not "turn" an existing character gay, but would create an all-new character, like the Teen Titans' Bunker, that gay fans could identify with from the beginning.

However, Didio and DC has apparently done an about face. According to an interview with Bleeding Cool, he said they are about to re-introduce an existing character who will become the company's most prominent gay character. The ladies at DC Women Kicking Ass publicly considered the possibility of Drake coming out of the closet and they have spent the remainder of the day discussing/debating the topic with the droves of people who have commented on the original post.

The Rictor/Shatterstar storyline earned a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book, despite Rob Liefield, the creator of the characters, saying he would reboot the characters if he ever had the chance (way to keep an open mind, dickhole. Go back to drawing big-titted heroines and leave making the world a better place to others) and Drake being "outed" would be just as big, if not bigger given his affiliation with Batman, arguably DC's (and possibly all of comics') most popular character.

Therein lies the problem.

The relationship between Batman and Robin has been questioned as far back as the two have been partners (crime-fighting partners, assholes; you know what I was talking about). Dick Grayson was the Robin most folks have identified as being Batman's, ahem, Boy Wonder if you catch my drift (NOW you can be a pervert). Grayson went on to become Nightwing, a great hero in his own right. Jason Todd followed and was thought to have been killed by the Joker and later resurfaced as Red Hood. Drake became the third Robin and, later, Bruce Wayne's adopted son, so I don't think there has been any serious belief that Batman and Drake have ever been anything other than a crimefighting duo and that's all.

However, Drake being introduced to the world as a gay character, despite all the positives, would create a very serious distraction. Grant Morrison recently stating he believed Batman was gay certainly can't help DC's decision, if Drake is truly the character they're planning to out. Tim being a homosexual would do little more in the mainstream than refuel all the "Batman and Robin are gay" comments and jokes. It would be a hit for the late-night comics, it would turn into fodder for the homophobes and idiots who know nothing of the comics or the storylines. DC has garnered a ton of positive press for its relaunch of the New 52 and I'm not sure they want to run the risk of tarnishing that by dealing with the jackasses who would turn a great decision into a cheap line of dick jokes.

The sad thing is, Drake really would be a perfect character for the storyline. He's an extremely interesting, three dimensional character who has been popular since his debut more than 20 years ago. During the Batman/Bane storyline, he became one of the strongest characters at DC. He's young and identifiable with teen readers and with his being an orphan and then adopted, he already has appeal to those who have struggled through their adolescence. Making him gay would see Tim Drake as a hero who would give hope to real-life teens and young adults struggling with their sexuality, especially now in a political landscape that seemingly wants gays to have the same social standing as blacks in America throughout the 19th and 20th century and Jews during the Third Reich.

It's important that there be a character, even if it's not Tim Drake, to be held up as a role model and a gay hero that doesn't just confirm all the effeminate, swishy stereotypes (again, see The Rawhide Kid). Seeing a gay hero on the pages of a mainstream comic can not only provide gay youth with inspiration and assurance that they are not "living in sin" or "making a lifestyle choice" or bad people, it can provide education to those that believe those aforementioned comments.

I applaud DC for making this decision and I really hope that it's Tim and I thank DC Women Kicking Ass for creating this debate.

For more information on gays throughout comic history, check out this Wikipedia entry.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Don't Enter The 81st Annual Writer's Digest Writer's Competition


Stop typing and step away from the, er, outdated typewriter. Granted, the deadline for the Writer's Digest contest is tomorrow and I'm just now submitting my entry, but don't bother entering; I got this shit sewn up. Here's a little taste of what I did. In all honesty, I'm pretty proud of it, be it good or be it shite. It's the first bit of fiction I've written in a long time and get me writing again. Here's the first couple of paragraphs. Enjoy.

The moment he entered his home, Bob knew the ghost was gone. 

Over the past four weeks, the ghost had always welcomed Bob home, whether in the evening when he came from work or Saturday afternoons when he returned from Mother’s or Sunday mornings after church. The ghost was a voice Bob had grown accustomed to hearing and now that it was gone, Bob was saddened and confused. 

Bob waited at the door another moment, hoping the ghost would speak. Perhaps she (the ghost’s voice had a decidedly feminine character to it) was playing a game. Or busy. Bob had no previous experiences with ghosts, so maybe today, the third Thursday of the month, was when they ran their errands. A smile touched his lips as he thought of the ghost at the spectral grocery store. Maybe the ghost was at the ethereal DMV. 


Once the contest is over, I'll post the story in its entirety. Or not. If the judges mail it back with a brown smear on it because it was so terrible they wiped their respective asses with it, I probably won't make it public. Probably. But I might anyway. Because I'm a masochist like that.

Monday, May 7, 2012

When Did Batman Turn Into Iron Man?

(Batman: Then & Now)

I love Batman. Always have, even in my younger days, when I first started reading comics and was a Marvel guy. While I was collecting X-Men in the late 70s, early 80s, I was reading Batman. The X-Men had some great storylines at the time focusing on some of the personal aspects of the characters, but Batman was dark and gritty. Joker and Two-Face were evil on a level a normal person could understand. No super powers, they would kill you up close and personal. They were a "real" evil. While the X-Men were battling galactic-level super beings on the other side of the universe, Batman was fighting baddies in the streets. He had no super powers other than his genius mind and his money.

Sound familiar?

It should. That same description could also apply to Iron Man. Tony Stark, along with the Avengers, are riding a wave of massive popularity thanks to the record-setting movie (which was fucking spectacular, thankyouverymuch) and one of the comments repeated throughout the movie (don't worry, it's not a spoiler or anything) is that Stark is just a guy in a suit. No, Tony Stark is a guy in suit of armor that, granted, he designed and built, but could probably work just as well without him, at least the version in the movie. Regardless of the movie, in the comics (which is canon), his armor is a miracle of modern technology and it is Tony's courage and genius that powers the suit.

Bruce Wayne isn't just a guy in a suit. He's the goddamned Batman. He didn't need anything other than his utility belt, the Batmobile, the Batcave, and Alfred. Yes, he had an unbelievable, multimillion dollar computer lab/car garage within the Batcave. Sure, he had a little bit of anything and everything on that utility belt. But his costume was just that--a costume. The Dark Knight Detective didn't need a billion-dollar suit of armor.

That changed along the way.

As examples, I'm going to use my two favorite Batman storylines: Bane/Broken Bat and Hush. In the Bane storyline, he wore his old-school costume. When he fought Firefly, he wore a thermal costume with a kevlar helmet because he knew going in the battle would require it. For the rest of the story, it was just his normal costume. In fact, once Batman was "broken" by Bane, the term "cape and cowl" was used ad nauseum by Robin, Alfred, Azrael, etc. to describe what made Batman the threat that he was to the criminal element. To the shitbags on the street, they didn't know/care if it was Bruce Wayne or Bruce Springsteen, all they knew is that the guy wearing that costume scared the piss out of them.

Let's move to Hush. The story opens with Batman attempting to rescue the son of a millionaire businessman. Bats was in the dark and underground, but had a HUD (heads-up display) in his mask/helmet like, you know, that Stark guy or an X-Wing fighter. After rescuing the aforementioned child, he takes off through the Gotham skyline after Catwoman who had stolen the ransom money (just read the damned book if you want to know more and haven't read it; I'm not going to go through the whole thing here). His line gets cut, he falls 'x' number of feet to the alley below where he fractures his skull, suffers some internal injuries, and is generally fucked up beyond repair.

Cut to a bunch of alley-dwelling ne'er do wells realizing THE Batman has just fallen in their midst. As they surround our hero and attempt to remove his mask, vents automatically open on the mask, spraying gas on the would-be identity discoverers. And how did he survive the fall to begin with? The fact that his "costume" was able to absorb the impact.

Now granted, as a billionaire, I'm sure he's going to do anything and everything he can to make his suit as offensively and defensively powerful as possible, but come on. If you Google "Batman vs. Iron Man," that's actually a thing now. Because they are both genius, billionaire playboys who fight crime in highly-advanced suits of armor and people who are curious as to who would win (Cracked.com has their opinion on the matter). Batman has become the Wolverine of DC Comics; it's impossible to defeat him. Example: Batman has beaten Super-fucking-Man. More than once. Seriously? Seriously??

Wolverine was created to be indestructible. He has a mutant healing factor, super senses, unbreakable adamantium bones and some wicked-ass claws. Batman's just a guy, a guy who used to get his bell rung from time to time back in the day. That's what made his stories so compelling. His HUD wasn't able to assess the situation within nanoseconds and communicate with his suit to provide him the perfect weapon to end the confrontation. He was a card-carrying badass in a costume who was able to use a little bit of tech and a whole lotta fist to beat his opponents, not an X-Man and not Iron Man.

Now having said all that, Batman is taking a pretty serious beating at the hands of the Court of Owls in the current storyline in all the Bat-titles, but it's still not the same as the gray-and-blue costumed Batman with the yellow logo on his chest. Comics are fantasy, not real. I get that. But where Batman is concerned, it's getting harder and harder to suspend disbelief. Perfect examples of what I'm talking about is Nightwing and Batgirl. Great heroes and great comics with realistic storylines that don't need a $1.2 million monthly budget for costume maintenance.

There's no way they can return Batman to the old days because one, that would be stupid. Why would he voluntarily give up impregnable armor for spandex? And two, the storylines have advanced too far. The villains he's facing are far worse than the occasional scuffles with Harvey Dent and his gang of wannabe mobsters. Check out the New 52 Justice League issues 1-6. Dude's facing some pretty serious villainy there.

To conclude my rambling bitchfest, I know things change and progress has to move forward. But what made Batman so great was the believability. That has slowly, subtly disappeared over the years. Nightwing is awesome and a great hero in his own right and a more-than-worthy successor to Batman. But he's not Batman. Batman is Batman and while he's arguably the best-written character in mainstream comics right now, it would be nice to have some of the reality mixed back in with the fantasy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Another One of Those Awesome Hitler Videos

In addition to being a comic book/metal/comedy/Star Wars/Harry Potter/etc geek, I'm a big fan of the NHRA. If you are as well, this will be spectacular and hilarious. If not, well, I don't know what to tell you. Watch anyway.


A genius who tried to make his world a better place left this world Friday. So many people undeserving of the gift of life continue to draw breath and drain the energy of those around them while good people leave us far too early. Adam Yauch aka MCA and the Beastie Boys were the soundtrack of my youth and I'm sure that is the case for many others. More important than the groundbreaking music he made was the work he did with the Free Tibet movement and his desire for us all to live together in peace.

"MCA's in the back 'cause skeezin' with a whore!" -Adrock, "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn"

Skeeze with that whore, sir.

If you would like to make a donation to cancer research via the American Cancer Association, click HERE.