Tag Archives: X-Men

Fame Day: Sir Patrick Stewart

There are just so many reasons to love Sir Patrick Stewart.

He gets into the Halloween spirit, for one.

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There Are Not A Lot Of Synonyms For “Teleport”

If any of you saw X2 [known internationally as the more sensible X-Men 2] I’m sure you remember the following scene starring the very talented Alan Cumming as the mutant Nightcrawler:


The YouTube uploader’s choice of music aside, I think we can all agree that a) that was awesome, and that b) we all like watching people teleport. If we look back a little more recently to the 2006 fever dream that was X-Men: The Last Stand we see that the bamf-ing blue mutant was not actually present among the plethora of mutants presented. Continue reading

Shame Day: Sexual Standards

asdfasdI’m double-posting today, so this week’s Shame Day is a little late [I try to update the blog before noon] but is brought to you by a topic I haven’t addressed much as of late: the wonderful world of comics.

Yesterday it was announced by various comic book news outlets that the newest title out of the Marvel NOW! line of books would be X-Men, written by Brian Wood and illustrated by Olivier Coipel. An X-Men title is certainly nothing new, but it is when the entire cast of said title is female.

Wood was interviewed in an article by USA Today, and had the following things today about the characters he’s writing:

Wood also promises to bring a lot of relationships, love and sex into the book, “in the classic X-men way — the way it used to be.”

He wants to challenge the double standards that have been in superhero books for years, where Wolverine can sleep with anybody but if a female character does it twice, she’s promiscuous, which Wood sees constantly online.

“To everybody’s credit, these people are often shot down immediately for being sexist and unfair, but that is a very common thing,” Wood says.

“We’re just going to do it. We’re not going to worry about that. If Kitty or Rogue has basic human bodily urges, tough luck (to those opposed). To me, that’s as much of the X-Men as anything else.”

It is certainly not news that this double standard exists, and I’d been thinking about this for a while due to my having watched most of Season 4 of How I Met Your Mother this past Thursday. It didn’t take more than a few minutes of watching Barney Stinson before it occurred to me that:

Barney Stinson is pretty widely known to be both a prolific and successful womanizer. He sleeps with women the way most people go to work: five times a week, maybe six to get in some overtime. He’s admittedly a painfully funny character, but also one that is congratulated for his sexual prowess.

Now take a female character and put her in Barney’s shoes. Thankfully, times are certainly a’ changin’, and I can actually point to one half of the roommates in Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23, Chloe. She is a person who treats her sexual partners with just about as much respect [if not less] than Barney Stinson, and the show has for the most part done a great job not demonizing her for it.

The fact of the matter is that in most cases Chloe would be dubbed a slut. Is there a male equivalent for the term in the English language? An article I found on The Independent explores this very question, and ends up admitting that words like “roué” or “swordsman” or “playboy” all work as far as describing what I’ve mentioned, but don’t really “convey much sense of moral contempt and several of which are tinged with admiration.”

What I’m pointing an accusatory finger at this Shame Day is the fact that we hold as a culture a sickeningly obvious double standard. I’m not one who particularly praises rampant sexual promiscuity, but I certainly hope that I if I did I would be able to hold both with an equal amount of esteem.

This post is to shame those who give the Chloes of this world the finger with one hand while high-fiving the Barneys with the other. It’s also to give the bit of credit where it’s due to Brian Wood and to all others who realize how it is we view men and women, and who go out of their way to work against that.

As a parting note, it’s nice to know that even the characters within the comics have noticed this:

She-Hulk #17 (Vol. 2). Written by Dan Slott, illustrated by Rick Burchett.

Storm and “Black Hair”

This is somewhat of a continuation off of yesterday’s Fame Day post, concentrating particularly on the Marvel character Storm. Kris Anka’s design for the weather-wielding Ororo Munroe harkens back to her appearance in the 80s [seen on the right].

Keeping consistent with most changes to beloved comic book characters, the mohawk was met with both praise and scorn.

Trawling the comments section of the ComicsAlliance article on the topic, I came across two guys who were very interested in not just the style of her hair, but the state or quality of it as well.


Earlier on Scafin commented about wanting to see Storm’s hair in its natural state. In following up with my reply to his thoughts  [and with a slight miscommunication as to what I meant by “black hair”] he said:

I don’t mean color, though. I really want to see her with white, afro-textured hair. I understand why she was given relaxed hair when she was introduced, as that was the norm back then, but the ubiquity of relaxed hair has declined since then.

The thing is, Storm as a character has always had straight, white hair. The fan-run Marvel Database tells me that she’s descended from “an ancient line of African priestesses, all of whom have white hair, blue eyes, and the potential to wield magic.” That answers Scafin in that the character has never had “black hair.” It’s part of who Storm is now [having been depicted as a young child that way] and to retcon that many years of portrayal would fare poorly with fans.

This leads to another question, though, which is why Storm was designed this way at all. This comment on an article about Storm’s marriage to the Black Panther had the following to say about the character’s creation:

I’m going to break this down as quickly and efficiently as possible, so we can concentrate on the more important aspects of the comment.

  • People are upset about the marriage because Marvel didn’t lead up to it well enough. In other words, they weren’t invested, and that’s adding to the fact that marriages in comic books typically do not work [see Peter and Mary-Jane in “One More Day.”]
  • That this is the sexual domination of White over Black when one of the very first relationships Storm gets into in the comics is with Forge, a member of the Cheyenne people. He was not, and still isn’t, white.

David Brothers, a blogger on staff with ComicsAlliance, agreed with part of what Africa had to say, commenting on the same article:

I liked Hudlin’s run on Panther. It was one of the precious few times that Storm actually felt like a black character, instead of a fetish object with blue eyes and perfectly straight hair.

This is in stark contrast to the article he wrote for Marvel a year earlier titled “A Marvel Black History Lesson Pt. 1.” In it he has more than a few good things to say about the heroine, which can be summed with these words:

If Gabe Jones stood for reality, Black Panther for ingenuity, Robbie Robertson for integrity, The Falcon for equality, Luke Cage for self-awareness, and Misty Knight for unadulterated cool, Storm was the combination of all of their traits and more. She was the daughter of a Kenyan princess and a photojournalist from Harlem, and therefore a direct link from African Americans and the continent known as “the Motherland.” She was powerful on a world-class level, refused to allow anyone to be her master, and commanded a massive amount of respect from all who knew her.

Taking into account Brothers’ apparent conflict in viewing the character, I
personally come away from this with the knowledge that Storm is more than just eye candy, she is a strong [in terms of power and character] heroine on par with many of her peers.

While Storm having straight hair may have been a product of the time she was created in, that in no way affects who she is as a character. Marvel has the right to maintain consistency in how she is portrayed, and has other characters who are better examples of having “black hair.” While the event of her marriage had its flaws Storm remains someone who has both strong ties to Africa and one of the most prominent black superheroes of all time. The straightness of her hair should in no way detract from that.