Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, became comics' biggest gay superhero last week — again, but also for the first time, because nothing is ever simple in superhero comics. In a scene by Brian Michael Bendis and Mahmud Asrar in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #600, the older of two Bobby Drakes (from two different points in time) acknowledged his gayness to the other, younger Bobby. The younger Bobby had previously come out in a very similar scene in All-New X-Men #40 back in April, also by Bendis and Asrar. (Both scenes involved an unsolicited confrontation, an intrusive Jean Grey, and an acknowledgement of teammate Angel's good looks.)
While I have a few problems with how all of this was executed, from Jean's willingness to violate people's privacy to Marvel's willingness to taunt readers with an inexplicable six month delay between the two coming out scenes, I think that how Bobby came out matters much less than the fact that he came out at all. It's an especially welcome step forward coming less than a week after Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso fumbled the coming out of another Marvel character.
The mythological demigod Hercules is bisexual. How you feel about that fact doesn't change the fact; the myths of antiquity have told us that Hercules loved women and men alike. Lustfulness is at the core of his character, and Hercules' appetites aren't limited by gender.
Like many ancient myths, and like much of history, Hercules' stories have been bowdlerized by those who think same-sex relationships are sinful. Audiences introduced to the character through the Disney cartoon, the Kevin Sorbo TV show, the Dwayne Johnson movie, or the Marvel comics have good reason to think the character is heterosexual, because that's all they've ever seen. But that doesn't make it true. Hercules is bisexual. To deny that fact is to participate in the erasure of same-sex relationships on the grounds of a narrow and prescriptive morality.
Marvel will launch about sixty new #1s in the four months after the end of Secret Wars according to a series of interviews with Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso this morning. Set eight months after the events of the current storyline, the new titles will feature an all-new Hulk, and a Wolverine who may or may not be the resurrected Logan.
First-look promotional art by David Marquez suggests that both the Miles Morales Spider-Man and the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman will take their place in the Marvel Universe alongside the Peter Parker and Jessica Drew versions. The promotional art also confirms that Sam Wilson will remain as Captain America, and the female Thor (whose identity was recently confirmed) will keep her hold on Mjolnir.
In an interview with The Telegraph's Radhika Sanghani, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso offered some insights into how he regards the superhero comic industry's treatment of female characters -- and his own intentions towards diversity.
The interview is chiefly noteworthy for confirming what already seems apparent from recent changes in Marvel's line-up, namely that Marvel understands and is responding to demographic changes in the marketplace. "We believe there's an audience of women out there who are hungry for this [product] and we want to make sure they get it," said Alonso. "This is affirmative action. This is capitalism.”
Since news first broke of DC Comics' plan to relocate its entire operation from New York City to Los Angeles, industry insiders have expected some high profile staffers would not only choose to leave DC Comics but actually make a jump to rival Marvel rather than move West. That scenario came true with DC editor Will Moss' migration to Marvel earlier this year, and now Marvel's announced that longtime DC staffer Mike Marts is joining the company as a new Executive Editor.
It was never a matter of if, but when Peter Parker would come back. A year ago this week, Marvel launched Superior Spider-Man, a classic mind-swap story that saw Doctor Octopus switch minds with Peter Parker, then proceed to take over both his personal and heroic life. It was a pretty standard mind swap premise, but with a bit of a twist: shortly after Doctor Octopus forced the switch, his body -- which was now occupied by Peter Parker's mind -- died, seemingly giving the villain a final victory over his hated rival.
But it was never meant to last, of course. And today, Marvel has announced the anticipated return of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, with a new era for the character beginning in April's Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, marking the return of the flagship title for the publisher's most popular hero.
Thumb through DC Comics' new releases this week and you'll find the above image -- a teaser for the upcoming Batman: Eternal weekly series -- in the back pages of a good many of them (all the books I saw, in fact).
I had to look up the artist who drew it. It's Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok, but it could just as easily be Tony Daniel, David Finch, Guillem March, Ivan Reis, Adrian Syaf, or a handful of other current DC artists. Like it or not, this is, with a few exceptions, just how DC Comics look now.
Saturday afternoon's Marvel panel was billed as an Inhumanity panel, but most of the announcements were for new Marvel solo books, and there was almost – almost – news about the future of the Ultimate Universe. But not quite.
Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort took the lead, joined by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Ultimates editor Mark Paniccia, as well as writers Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dan Slott.
Marvel has published its fair share of zombie comics over the years, but now it can claim to have a one written by the father of the modern zombie genre, none other than Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero.
The Romeo-penned Empire of the Dead, which will feature art by Alex Maleev and a variant by Arthur Suydam, who also provided covers for the various Marvel Zombies mini-series, will debut in 2014.
It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on .
To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you.
To activate your account, please confirm your password.
When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.
It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://comicsalliance.com using your original account information.