Wednesday, 22 April 2015

BOBBY DRAKE - STRAIGHT AS A DIE...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Let me tell you about my pal, ROBERT - or BOBBY as he
was called by those who knew him.  Bobby usually hung about with
another group of friends, but they let me share in their exploits from
time to time.  Bobby was slightly...different to most boys and attended
a special school.  In fact, so did his four friends, SCOTT, WARREN,
HANK and JEAN.  I knew them from when I was about eight, 'though
they were all slightly older than me - teenagers actually.  Not that it
mattered much, as they never held my junior years against me.  At
some stage we drifted apart and I lost track of them.  I later
heard a rumour that Jean had died, but I was never quite
sure whether she actually had or not.

Today I heard that Bobby came out as gay, which surprised
me.  He always seemed interested in girls and even had a girlfriend
called ZELDA.  I suspect that the Professor at the special school he
used to attend has convinced him by devious means to issue this claim,
in some kind of PC/PR attempt to make the place seem more inclusive
of different types of people.  Or perhaps it was the company he works
for.  However, the Bobby I knew was as straight as they come and,
to me, he always will be.  I don't care  what he or anybody else
says - he's not gay.  Never was, never will be.

BOB HOPE once joked that he didn't mind homosexuality
being legal, just so long as it didn't become compulsory.  Poor
Bobby.  It seems he's become the latest victim in the PR assault to
transform the world into a place that reflects the tastes, desires and
whims of a small percentage of the world's population.  It appears
that tolerance isn't enough for them - they won't be content
until they achieve total world domination.

Sounds like a job for the X-MEN.  The original X-Men, that
is, as their creators intended them to be.  Which wasn't as pawns
in the hands of those who have scant respect for the characters'
history they so cavalierly abandon in pursuit of their aims.

 

29 comments:

TC said...

Another cynical marketing ploy and publicity stunt disguised as an attempt to promote "diversity."

And no respect for continuity. The character has been shown dating girls in the past. Or was that a ruse? If so, why? The X-Men were already outcasts anyway, because they were mutants. If Bobby were gay, he would have no need to hide it from his teammates.

Kid said...

That's what annoys me the most, TC - the lack of respect for continuity. It also shows that Marvel has no respect for longtime readers, regarding us as redundant, and whose 'connection' to the characters we grew up with as something to be trampled on.

Phil said...

I would love to be outraged but I couldn't care less in this case. Yes, it's annoying from a continuity perspective but it isn't essential to his character. If it was Spider-man whose relationships with women is essential to his character, or Superman, who has a long time girl in Lois, then that would be different. For Iceman...eh. If you can name his old girlfriends without cheating...then it matters to you. For a casual X fan like myself...I don't see how it affects his stories one bit. He's still the same in character and action and looks the same and is still a human male and not a frog or female or Skrull. I mean I don't even remember if he ever went on a date in the comics but then I stopped reading X-men way back when Werner Roth was the artist. When I read the Byrne stories Iceman was long gone.

Kid said...

I'd say it was extremely essential to the character, Phil, because it affects who he was and is. His and Hank's double dates with Zelda and Vera are some of the best-remembered scenes from those early comics and the fact that Marvel are now saying he was never really interested in Zelda in 'that' way is a kick in the teeth to readers. I'm really starting to get fed-up the way this sort of retroactive PC 're-evaluation' of long-established personalities is imposed on some characters.

Doc68 said...

Have you actually read X-Men recently Kid? The situation is not that... straight forward, no pun meant. This Iceman it appears is from an alternative time stream. The Iceman of the current 616 is still straight.

Buuut even if that wasn't it, many gay peeps are in denial for years before they come to terms with their real sexuality. Some even get married before they admit to themselves they're living a lie.

In the end, if you read X-Men then tolerance is what it's all about and you know there's no harm in Iceman being gay. No harm at all.

Kid said...

No, I haven't read X-Men recently. I'm going by the reports I've read on a few sites about the situation, which didn't specify that it's not the same Ice Man. Ice Man from an earlier point in time, I think, but still the one we know. Remember when Stan Lee used to joke about needing a score card to keep track of the characters? Seems like that's now actually the case.

No harm being gay? Perhaps, perhaps not, but that really depends on what kind of society you want to live in. Tolerance is something different from acceptance, approval, or promotion, and I just wish that comics would stay clear of such issues. We're talking superheroes here, and I find such themes like the current one tedious in the extreme.

It's not my fault, it's the way I was born. (Hey, that should work, eh? It seems to for everyone else these days.)

Phil said...

Kid. I have no idea. I stopped reading Xmen so long ago. I gave up after Phoenix died the first time. And stopped the originals right after...oh..the Sentinels appeared. So I have nothing invested in Iceman as a character.
Though I recall he was an amazing spider friend on tv.

DeadSpiderEye said...

It's like Star Trek TNG, we all know Worf and Ryker were gay but they insist on retconing Geordy as the woofta. Here it's Cyclops, an obvious nine bob note if ever there was one.

Kid said...

I gave up before Phoenix died, Phil, but came back for X-Factor when the original team were reunited. Jean Grey was resurrected, and the Beast was restored to human form.

******

Apparently, a lot of people thought Kirk and Spock had something going on. Seems Sulu did also, but I'm not sure who with.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Nah, there're no gays in the original Trek, least of all Sulu. He's a lady slayer with so many notches on his bedpost his bunk collapsed. Although -- I think the squire of Gothos might be a bit suspect but I'm absolutely certain, that other than instance, there's no gay appeal in Trek at all and that, the episode: Who Mourns for Adonais is only popular because of its riveting drama and nothing to do with that guy with his shirt off.

Doc68 said...

As Phil said it doesn't affect your enjoyment of the stories. Anyway if you're not reading the comic it doesn't affect you at all!

Kid said...

H'mm, I dunno, DSE. Kirk seemed to lose his tunic a lot over the course of the run. And that glint in his eye when he looked at Spock...well, just saying, that's all.

******

It would affect MY enjoyment of the stories - which is why I wouldn't read them. So, in that sense, it does affect me. Maybe they'd sell more comics if they went back to simple superhero stories, rather than trying to influence readers in a contentious area.

John Pitt said...

That was a good scene in the movie when Bobby had to "come out" to his parents about being a mutant. It is so difficult living in the closet. I had to "come out" many years ago as being OCD and it was such a relief afterwards instead of constantly trying to hide it, because of the embarrassing shame. So if you are gay or in any way different from the majority, my advice is come out of the closet.

Doc68 said...

Marvel have never shirked from doing controversial stories now and then. Spider-Man drug story, Panther vs the Klan? Why not this?

If it influences readers in a good way why not? Teaching tolerance and acceptance is good, not bad. Would you prefer a Marvel universe where there are no gay characters or where they're hardly ever mentioned? Or where considered opinion is given to homophobic characters for balance? What would be your ideal situation?

Someone had to say it said...

He prefers to be called Bobby, not Robert, Rob, or Bob, he runs around in his pants and in his first appearance he's twirling around an ice pole like some pole dancer. Not gay at all.

Kid said...

My advice, JP, is, if you're gay, build a bigger closet and give the rest of us a break.

******

In the instances you refer to, Doc68, there's a general consensus that racism and drugs are wrong. There's yet a difference of opinion on the matter of homosexuality, which is why comics should leave the topic alone. And while tolerance is a good thing, promotion of a contentious lifestyle and saying that it should be 'accepted' is not something that comics need to be concerned with. My ideal situation is where the readers can believe a character is gay or bisexual if they want, or not, if they don't want to. Then everybody's happy. Now, go on - sign your real name.

******

SHTSI, I'd never thought of it that way. However, to the pure, all things are pure - so you've got a dirty mind.

Colin Jones said...

Ret-conning characters is nothing new though - Peter and MJ's 20 year marriage was wiped out of history (now THAT'S what I call an insult to readers), Nick Fury is black and Aunt May is quite trendy these days. I never liked the original X-Men so I can't say I care that much - I agree it's tokenism but Bobby Drake is hardly one of Marvel's A list characters. Marvel probably thought it was okay to do this without causing any major upset.

Kid said...

As far as I know 'though, CJ, PP's & MJ's marriage wasn't simply ignored - they disposed of it as some part of a deal Peter made with the Devil (or something). Marvel should never have had them marry in the first place. How can geeky, teenage readers relate to a guy married to a super-model?

DeadSpiderEye said...

When I used knock around comic related events it was all anoraks and dandruff. I think the scene's changed since then, more female readers are evident and they're more open to -probing- issues of sexuality than fellas. I have made efforts to engage with the contemporary US scene but it's all, Facebook and references to the -happening- scene which are bit narrow in appeal. I think it's more if a Marvel than DC problem, The Batman still seems pretty hard core.

I wouldn't be too bothered about the iceman thing, even if I did read X-Men because, if I were to make an assumption, I'd guess this episode would be lip-service to the prevailing moral ascendency. That's nothing new, Marvel have done it before, the anti-drug thing, reds in Slobovia, that kind of stuff. If you really wanna see them butcher an established mythos, see what they've done to the FF, forget Johnny Storm, Reed looks like he is spotty teen, flippen 'eck!

DeadSpiderEye said...

BTW, I think they should've made Matt Murdoch gay, then we wouldn't have to fast forward through that awkward scene with Affleck and Garner (what were they thinking?) or they could've had him getting it one with Foggy, at least that would've been a laugh.

Doc68 said...

That is a totally different Nick Fury. No retcon took place.

Why should gays build a bigger closet Kid? What's wrong with them being out and proud? They can't affect you and fictional gay people definitely can't hurt you. Why let it bother you? Laters.

Kid said...

Dunno about that, DSE - Jennifer Garner. H'mm, I feel a Babe of the Day coming on.

******

You'll need to explain the Nick Fury reference to me, 'cos I'm not sure where he fits in to this. Why should gays build a bigger closet? 'Cos then they'd have all the space they need to get on with it, and the rest of us wouldn't have to put up with their constant whining about how discriminated against they are. The only discrimination I see is for, not against them. Tiny minority - major attention seekers. What harm can fictional gay people do me? Well, for a start, they can sour my childhood reading experiences by being retroactively slotted in to past continuity. Whether it's making straight characters gay, white characters black (or vice versa), I want the characters I read as a kid to remain as they were when I first experienced them.

Now, why are you so concerned by what I think? It can't hurt you. Why let it bother you? Sooners.

Dougie said...

Firstly, I thought the mutant label and the attendant hysteria in the MU had an accepted gay subtext since, off-hand, about 1983/4 at least.

Secondly, the idea that a sci-fi character might discover their alternate self has a different sexuality is an interesting intellectual flourish. I'm not sure if it adds very much to a comic book story about a boy who turns into ice.

Thirdly, in spite of the mutant/gay metaphor, there have already been several gay characters in X-Men comics: Karma, Northstar, Ultimate Colossus. It seems such a non-event.

But as a "revelation", it runs contatry to over 50 years of "history".

Kid said...

And it's that last bit in particular that really gets my goat, Dougie. Also, I just find the whole gay thing enormously tedious. If they didn't make it an issue, nobody else would.

Phil said...

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2015/04/24/knowledge-waits-the-possible-hints-over-the-years-that-iceman-is-gay/
A history of Iceman since the 60s. And his evolution.

Doc68 said...

With respect Kid if you find the whole gay thing so enormously tedious why do you keep devoting postings to it on your blog?

My Nick Fury comment was in reply to Colin Jones.

Kid said...

Actually, your tone shows no respect whatsoever. However, to answer your question (and thereby accord it more courtesy than it deserves), I'd have thought it was obvious. On a blog about comics, on a topical news item regarding comics and concerning an established comics character, I post about it on my blog to let those who may be interested in the matter know about it (if they don't already) and inform them exactly how tedious I find these efforts to push homosexuality to the top of the agenda yet again. And as you so obviously find my postings on the subject so 'enormously tedious' why do you keep responding to them?

Colin never mentioned Nick Fury, so I still don't understand the reference.

Doc68 said...

I never said your postings are tedious. I find them interesting but puzzling.

Kid said...

You may not have said, but that's what comes across. Puzzling?

Right everybody, let's have a contest. How long do you think it'll be before the inevitable insinuation rears its head? The winner gets the satisfaction of being correct.

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