Unpacking the Transphobia in 'Airboy' #2
Airboy is a four-issue miniseries written by James Robinson and illustrated by Greg Hinkle, and published by Image Comics. Its premise is that Robinson and Hinkle, portrayed as fictionalized versions of themselves, are tapped to revamp an obscure Golden Age character. Robinson suffers writer's block, which hanging out with Hinkle doesn't help; the two of them wind up injecting, inhaling and eating the equivalent of a small pharmacy and go on a bender. When they awaken, they find that the creation they were tasked to revamp, Airboy, has sprung to four-color life, and he sees much wrong with the world – possibly rightly, possibly wrongly. So far, so good. It's metafiction, but speaking as someone whose shelves groan under the weight of Grant Morrison and Terry Pratchett, there's nothing wrong with a good metafiction that blurs the line between creation and creator. But there's a dark side to blurring that line, and that dark side is that it makes it difficult to tell where the fictional character ends and the real person's opinions begin – and that's lent an odious air when the opinions ventured in the narrative are wrongheaded and harmful.