OK, for those who don't already know, plug your ears...

but Professor X has died at least once before....yup, in the very pages of X-men in about 1967 or so.

How he died isn't terribly important, but it left the recent graduates with a loss of identity and direction, and they wandered aimlessly for a while. (Who are we kidding, Jean and Scott started shacking up, away from his disapproving eyes...Angel, well, he could aford whatever he wanted to do....and Bobby and Hank...well, let's just say that Bobby tried to convince everyone that he was interest in Zelda and hung out with a guy who was mishapen and talked in 10 sylable words for kicks...ok?

For those of you who weren't around for this, we present the first four pages of X-men #46, "The End of the X-men" (and life would never be the same, right?)

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Pretty much any group that's been persecuted and disenfranchised could easily latch onto the X-Men as a metaphor for their lives, and certainly the gay community qualifies. 

As far as the Legion goes, I think it's something of an opposite reaction, as while the 30th century isn't exactly a utopian society, it does represent people of all races and colors co-existing peacefully.  Additionally, in the Bronze Age, several of the characters entered same-sex relationships.  So it's not surprising that the gay community would latch onto the team and it's premise.



Kirk G said:

"And there's the fact that X-Men, like most team books, has always had a substantial gay following."

 

Say, WHAT?

Where did you get that from?

Well, once again, I was 8.  What I was looking for in a comic wasn't what the X-Men were giving me.  And I quite liked the Legion and the Titans at the time.

I think something else that turned me off was that the powers of the various members weren't well explained at the time I read my first X-Men comic.  It was fairly obvious what Cyclops, Iceman and Angel could do, but Beast and Marvel Girl were kind of mysteries.  Heck, I didn't even know until the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe came out that Beast had super-strength, and that wasn't until the mid-1980's.

If you think about the history of the original X-Men, the only one that's really not much different from his 1960's incarnation is Iceman--true, he's more powerful now, but not much else has changed.  The best thing to happen to the Beast was becoming blue and furry, Jean's caught up in a revolving door of "she's alive now--no wait, she's dead--no, wait...", and Angel's had umptillion changes of direction and focus and the writers still don't know what to do with him.

Oh, and Cyclops is a supervillain now.

I really think that at the time, the creative teams at Marvel didn't have much idea of what to do with the characters, and that showed in the stories.


Dandy Forsdyke said:

That's too bad. I think I was drawn to the X Men because I liked the Teen Titans and they were the nearest thing to them. Funny, I thought the New X Men were more like the Legion of Super Heroes who I was also a fan of.

Dandy Forsdyke said:
"That's too bad. I think I was drawn to the X Men because I liked the Teen Titans and they were the nearest thing to them. Funny, I thought the New X Men were more like the Legion of Super Heroes who I was also a fan of."

I could see the comparison with the LSH. Most of the time about 2 dozen characters & the casual reader has difficulty identifying most of them. LOL! I kid but I love the LSH. I am still disappointed I didn't vote on the new leader.

I kind of saw the X-Men more like the Doom Patrol in that both were teams of outsiders trying to be accepted by the general public but the DP had more out there kind of abilities & weren't generally hounded by the public.

OK, I'll buy that first line, that any group or inidividual that has felt persecuted and disenfranchised could easily identify with the X-men as a metaphor...and yes, the gay community might qualify.

 

It was the second part that threw me.  The statement that "like most team books, it had a gay following."

I was trying to figure out how one would determine that team books had a gay following. It just seemed a hellova leap! The only thing they could draw from in the 60s was sales  and distribution figures, and I don't ever recall being asked at the drug store counter nor the newsstand if I were gay when I bought anything.

Randy Jackson said:

Pretty much any group that's been persecuted and disenfranchised could easily latch onto the X-Men as a metaphor for their lives, and certainly the gay community qualifies. 

As far as the Legion goes, I think it's something of an opposite reaction, as while the 30th century isn't exactly a utopian society, it does represent people of all races and colors co-existing peacefully.  Additionally, in the Bronze Age, several of the characters entered same-sex relationships.  So it's not surprising that the gay community would latch onto the team and it's premise.

 

If I had to guess, the way that Marvel and DC figured out who was buying their books was from the letters they'd receive.  That's how Marvel discovered that as many college students were reading their comics as young kids, and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to find that they had tons of unpublished letters from gays back then. 

I'd never heard the suggestion that many team books had large gay followings, but I would imagine that there was a great deal of appeal in the camaraderie that would be missing from comics like say Superman or Spider-Man

Kirk G said:

It was the second part that threw me.  The statement that "like most team books, it had a gay following."

I was trying to figure out how one would determine that team books had a gay following. It just seemed a hellova leap! The only thing they could draw from in the 60s was sales  and distribution figures, and I don't ever recall being asked at the drug store counter nor the newsstand if I were gay when I bought anything.

Still seems suspect to me.

I can see a person writing in and saying, "We here at Empire U dig your comics the most."

But I don't see a person saying, "I love the Avengers, and, oh yeah, I'm gay."

 

The only time I thought I might have picked up on that vibe with either in Avengers #69, when Clint picks up the leather harness to become Goliath II (and that WAS commented upon in a letter's page) and later when Byrne and Claremont dressed up the Back Queen of the Hellfire Club in domninatrix costume.

And then again when Byrne obviously made Northstar gay and came out about it.

I once thought there might be a connection between dressing in a colourful super hero costume and cross-dressing. Both are often done as a disguise or playing a certain role usually in secret.

There's actually an interesting story possibility there; a man who dresses as a female crime fighter (a reverse Golden Age Red Tornado if you will) - in a mask and a wig who'd know! And it would certainly make a great secret identity.

There was one like that back in the Golden Age.  I'm not remembering the name right now...oh, that's right Madame Fatale.

Dandy Forsdyke said:

I once thought there might be a connection between dressing in a colourful super hero costume and cross-dressing. Both are often done as a disguise or playing a certain role usually in secret.

There's actually an interesting story possibility there; a man who dresses as a female crime fighter (a reverse Golden Age Red Tornado if you will) - in a mask and a wig who'd know! And it would certainly make a great secret identity.

Okay, let's get this thread back on track: The death of Professor X.

"Are you Professor X?"

"Yes..."

"BLAM!!!"

"Augh!"

".......I think he's dead..."

"No, I'm not...!"

: )

Yeah...I don't think Cyclops should have killed him.  Of course, I don't think Cyclops should be a supervillain now too.

Kirk G said:

Okay, let's get this thread back on track: The death of Professor X.

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