Wow, Uncanny Avenger’s # 5 identity theory throwdown just keeps getting murkier. I was intrigued by the idea of some mutants desiring a ‘post-mutant’ world as some minorities view or work towards what they see as a ‘post minority world. Of course we all want to see a day when we’re not given third class citizenry status due to our skin, sexuality, gender identity, choice of belief. Some of course though see the very idea of a post anything world as a utopian fairytale at best, an ignorant, willful denial of your roots and identity assimilation at worst.
Since comics are still stories played out issue by issue, I’m hoping this story is the start of an ongoing debate by characters with a range of feelings within the comic. Other mutants would obviously be pissed at Havok’s words. Some would agree with some aspects of moving beyond a mutant-centric identity, but think he went too far in his full disdain of it. Havok is in a self-reflective funk though. That happens when you’re suddenly the mutant figurehead of a whitewashed group formed to put a happy face back on human/mutant relations. Seriously: 1. In a brave, new world of X-Men and Avengers on one core team, every current team member is white (Havok, Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, Rogue, Scarlet Witch.) When Red Skull, Marvel’s defacto Nazi villain, has a more diverse team, that’s kind of, really flat out bizarre. And it’s not an attempt at ‘varying people that come together to oppose the gay community metaphor.’ 2. These feelings of self loathing, anger, and guilt can come from your older brother, Phoenix possessed and taking Magneto as his new role model, blasting your mutual former bald mentor to smithereens.
Rick Remender’s “hobo piss” response to the critcism though? Stupid. Also incentive to Marvel to get more diverse writers, how about, yesterday? I loved Remender’s dark humor tinged and bleak deconstruction of the warrior ideal in Uncanny X-Force, but his work on Uncanny Avengers has been shakier, and now this. If you’re going to set up wellstones for minority readers, as a white, straight, male writer, you better educate yourself. That goes for Marvel as a whole:X-Men used to be representatives of minorities in a New York city that didn’t want to talk about the reality of minorities. Now they are super powered mutants existing on an East Coast of the United States being constructed and led by minorities, with an African American President and multiple non-white politicians, gay marriage in City hall, and diverse families of every race, faith, sexuality, sexual identity, and political ideology being the path makers. Marjorie Liu writes Astonishing X-Men, Kelly Sue Deconnick writes Captain Marvel…and please world, tell me if I’m forgetting anyone else! Comics are not just read by white guys anymore, they need to be created more than just white guys too.
Seeing more of the panels though, with Havok “hating” the “divisive” word ‘mutant,’ I’m uneasily reminded of this: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/my-ex-gay-friend.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Don’t become a de-power fanatical, “ex-mutant” Havok! Jubilee can coach you through many “gee, being a mutant is rough…but woah, cool exploding powers that are a symbol of vibrant individualism!” sessions.
For an acknowledged queer point of view on the issue, see this: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=44697