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tales of the gay gunslinger

I was going to write something about Marvel introducing their gay gunslinger comic, The Rawhide Kid, but Chris captured the essence of my problems with this comic, in typical Chris manner:

My favorite quote from the article, by the way, is this:

Brian Reinert, Marvel's public relations officer, said that Marvel has always been "interested in tapping into stories that are relevant today." He expects the reactions to this comic to vary.

Although many readers will accept the new sexuality of the Marvel hero, Reinert expects possible negative responses from people who don't accept homosexuality and readers who do not want to see a change in their beloved character.

For starters, there's absolutely nothing "relevant" about how they're handling this character. And second... THE RAWHIDE KID IS NOBODY'S "BELOVED CHARACTER." HE'S A PIECE-OF-SHIT THIRD-STRINGER THAT NOBODY'S WRITTEN A STORY ABOUT IN TWENTY YEARS. I laugh, indeed, I laugh.

And that's why I let it slide that he hasn't had a spare second to hang out with me since my wedding. He makes me grin.

Jim Treacher, who also makes me grin, weighs in on the gay gunslinger also.

And yes, Jim, your margins are still screwed up. Would have answered that on your blog but you're a silly man who asks questions that need answering and has no comments.

(Insert Aquaman is gay comment here)


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Hoping to tap into that extensive market of adolescent boys who are secure enough in their sexuality to disregard the opinions of their peers, Marvel Comics has announced they are introducing the first openly gay character in a comic book. The characte... [Read More]


I thought about commenting on this as well, but then ... well... didn't. They have a chance to portray a gay character as just like any other character, but instead they go for the cheap shot jokes and ridiculous stereotypes only.

I hear his sidekick will be a fried chicken and watermelon eating black man who always says "Hey, Ra'hide, let me axe you somethin'."


Marvel's teaser on the comic:

THE STORY: Get ready to slap leather! That loveable red-headed scamp is back! And no one handles a hot rod like the Rawhide Kid!

How lame.

Aquaman isn't gay. He's just very aware of his feminine side.

I'll get comments as soon as I can afford to hire a bouncer. I also have e-mail, if anybody needs to get in touch with me.

The comic will suck, some people will complain, maybe Alan Keyes or somebody will write an editorial, whatever.

he he he... uh... He said the gay comic book would suck... kewl...

Why does Marvel keep doing stuff like this? I mean, it was bad enough that in the hundred or so issues it took for Alpha Flight to admit that Northstar was gay, one of the writers went and declared that the character was half-fairy (making his mother an Asgardian elf). At least that was unintentional. But their first gay title character can't just be someone whose name and concept invokes not one but two members of the Village People. No, he has to be one big gay joke. They may as well have renamed him The Ass Bandit.

And is anyone else weirded out by the strong NAMBLA overtones of the artwork Jim posted?

Yes. The "log" pictures are quite disturbing.

Don't make me whip out comics history on y'all.

1) The Northstar "half-fairy" thing was rumored to be an edict from 80's editor-in-chief Jim Shooter that "there are no gays in the Marvel Universe" (even though the character's creator had been dropping hints for years).

2) The comic where Northstar "came out" was one of the lamest, most embarrassing comics ever. He's recently joined the X-Men and is being written a little more coherently.

3) There are plenty of gay characters at Marvel, mostly in the X-Men related comics.

4) The Rawhide Kid starred in two miniseries in the recent past, Blaze of Glory (2000) and Apache Skies (2002). They're both good if you like the Eastwood/Leone style. He's not PARTICULARLY gay in them, but he doesn't get the girl either.

5) Despite the claim of the CNN piece, the first gay TITLE character in a comic was probably the Desert Peach (1987), a comedy about Rommel's gay brother (think "Hogan's Heroes" crossed with "La Cage"). Though there was a superhero in the 40's who was just a guy in drag (Madame Fatal).

6) Yes, I do feel shame for even knowing there was a "Madam Fatal."

I've still got Jim Byrne's original run on Alpha Flight. When I first read them, I was like 12 or something, and didn't get it. Having gone back and reread them shortly after hearing about Northstar being outed (10 years ago?), it was blatantly obvious that, yeah, Byrne had intended the guy to by gay from the get-go.

The half-elf thing was, IIRC, something one of the half dozen or so post-Byrne writers came up with, and someone after that retconned it out.

I stopped reading X-Men several years ago, and even the new creative teams haven't been enough to lure me back in yet. I did hear about two minor characters being outed as lesbians, and I think one other lesbian character being introduced. I also have some vague recollection of a very minor male character being gay, but can't recall who. (There's probably a research paper in the making about why it seems that gay characters in scifi/fantasy mediums such as comic books or TV shows are predominantly female.)

Blaze of Glory I'd heard of but never picked up, and I'd heard that the Rawhide Kid was presented as homosexual in it (I've no idea if this was something done for that series or if it was something done before; the character has been around since the 1970s IIRC). But that does raise another question.

Blaze of Glory was clearly a strong enough seller to get a sequel, so there does appear to be some sort of market for comic books doing generally serious Western stories. So why did Marvel feel the need to go the gay camp route with this book?

say it isn't so!!!
And all this time I just thought he was into shark leather and watersports