Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum Page of 10 Next >>
Topic: Jim Shooter’s views on homosexuality in comics (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Aleksei Green
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 20 July 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 640
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 9:25am | IP Logged | 1  

I have read interviews with various creators that Jim Shooter would never allow any portrayal of homosexuality in Marvel comics when he was editor in chief.  I would appreciate John Byrne's comments on this. I know that Shooter did the infamous Hulk story where Bruce Banner was nearly raped by a man at a YMCA. This would indicate homophobia on Shooter's part.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Keith Elder
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1975
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 9:55am | IP Logged | 2  

I know that Shooter did the infamous Hulk story where Bruce Banner was nearly raped by a man at a YMCA. This would indicate homophobia on Shooter's part.

I don't think that conclusion necessarily follows, just like a story involving a black criminal doesn't always mean the author is racist.  If you said "may indicate", I'd agree.

But I imagine that, if Shooter did have a policy of no homosexual portrayals in comics, that there were plenty of economic reasons for that.  It may have been a business decision, not a personal one.  Lots of companies played it very conservative back in the 80's... and comics had even more a reputation as a children's medium than they do now.


Edited by Keith Elder on 10 September 2007 at 9:56am
Back to Top profile | search | email
 
Mikael Bergkvist
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 23 April 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1851
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 3  

"This would indicate.."

Communism, witchcraft, homosexuality, or whatever else one would like to suggest or accuse someone of in a non-specific way.
Nothing good has ever come from a sentence that started like that.

Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 92674
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 9:57am | IP Logged | 4  

No comment.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andrew Kneath
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 2275
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 5  

I have read interviews with various creators that Jim Shooter would never allow any portrayal of homosexuality in Marvel comics when he was editor in chief.

... I know that Shooter did the infamous Hulk story where Bruce Banner was nearly raped by a man at a YMCA.

Well obviously the man at the YMCA was not a homosexual!

Back to Top profile | search
 
Victor Rodgers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 December 2004
Posts: 3508
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 10:02am | IP Logged | 6  

I know that Shooter did the infamous Hulk story where Bruce Banner was nearly raped by a man at a YMCA. This would indicate homophobia on Shooter's part.

****

This reminds me of this letter I read in Prime. In an earlier issue Kevins powers had given out a long way from home. So he hitched a ride with a guy who turned out to be a pedo. Somebody sent in a letter saying how offensive and homophobic I still find the letter very odd. How somebody would get offended at a child molester being shown in a negative light.  

Back to Top profile | search
 
Fred J Chamberlain
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 30 August 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3263
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 10:27am | IP Logged | 7  

I read that issue of Hulk magazine as a kid (What was that...77/78? I'd have been 10ish) and though I was sickened at the thought of the rape and Bruce's response was that of repulsion, I didn't see it was homophobic. In fact, it struck me as a very close call to an incredibly violent and violating crime.
Back to Top profile | search | email
 
Bruce Buchanan
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 14 June 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4798
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 8  

I have read interviews with various creators that Jim Shooter would never allow any portrayal of homosexuality in Marvel comics when he was editor in chief. 

***********

I don't think this indicates anything, other than Shooter was being careful, as Keith says.

Homosexuality still is a controversial subject for some people. That was even more true 20 years ago when Shooter was EiC at Marvel. Introducing such a controversial subject in what was still largely a kids-oriented medium could have offended many parents.

I can't blame an editor for wanting to avoid that kind of trouble and I would caution against trying to read too much into Mr. Shooter's motives.

 

 

 

Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
Kevin Brown
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 May 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5604
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:21am | IP Logged | 9  

No comment.

*******************

My admiration for you just increased.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 92674
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:25am | IP Logged | 10  

Gimme a week. I'll fix that!
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 92674
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 11  

BTW --- one thing on which I will comment. Shooter described the YMCA scene to me before he did it, and stated that "Banner is so scared, he does not become the Hulk!"

Talk about forcing the character to serve your story!

Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Hunt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2007
Posts: 297
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 12  

why does homosexuality need to be in comics ?

It almost seems that in modern comics, there are more new heroes that are gay then there are new heroes that are Mexican -- and I sure know there are more Mexicans in this country then gays.  On that note -- there are more proportionately more gay super folk then Asians, Blacks, Indians, Middle Easterners, etc then there should be to be a fair representation of homosexuality.

C'mon -- BatWoman is gay ???   Since when.

Colossus is gay ??? Since when.



If Shooter did try and edit the material coming from his gay, or gay friendly, staff -- so that the material would be recieved by the mass of the reading public (who were/are mostly NOT gay) - good for him.  That's a responsible editor looking out for his sales figures.   Where does "homophobia" come into it?  If 95 of 100 readers are NOT gay - why publish gay stories.  I'd rather lose 50% of my gay readership with those numbers - than 50% of my NOT gay readers.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Hunt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2007
Posts: 297
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 13  

Talk about forcing the character to serve your story!


*****************


You mean serve the story of RAPE -- that is what he was afraid of (Banner) -- getting raped.


I still fail to see homophobia in an anti-rape story.



edit:
(I've never read the Hulk story, by-the-way)


Edited by Michael Hunt on 10 September 2007 at 11:34am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Joe Hollon
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12032
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 14  

What issue did that happen in?!?!?!
Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 92674
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 15  

why does homosexuality need to be in comics ?

Okay! As the creator of the first Gay superhero, this one I can answer.

There need to be Gays in comics because there are Gays in real life. No other reason. Same reason, in fact, that there are Blacks in comics. Asians in comics. Women and children in comics! The population of the fictional world should represent the real world.

That's why I created Northstar -- I felt the Marvel Universe needed a Gay superhero (even if I would never be allowed to say it in so many words in the comics themselves), and I felt that I should create one, rather than retrofitting an existing character.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Mietus
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9707
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 16  

Without retrofitting an existing character? Not trying to stir up anything, JB,
but I just want to clarify -- I thought you decided to make Northstar gay
when you were given the assignment to do Alpha Flight as a comic, and that
it hadn't occurred to you when you created him in X-Men. Was I mistaken?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Christopher Alan Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 October 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2787
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 17  

Colossus is gay? Are you serious?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Victor Rodgers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 December 2004
Posts: 3508
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:44am | IP Logged | 18  

Banner being too scared too turn into the Hulk seems odd. I mean the rush you get from anger and the rush you get from fear are basically the same. I would think scared Banner turns into the Hulk faster than pissed Banner.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Hunt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2007
Posts: 297
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:44am | IP Logged | 19  

I agree (with you, JB) -- I guess my question should be more "how many gay superheroes do we need?"

to which the answer could be the same -- "as many as is representative of the public"


Which leads me to my point about Shooter -- he may be a homophobe - or he may be a good editor looking out for sales figures.   I tend to think this scenario is NOT a "chicken/egg" thing -- being a good business man doesn't mean you're making decisions based upon personal bias -- but it is cool when your good decisions reflect positively on your personal beliefs.


Back to Top profile | search
 
Michael Hunt
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2007
Posts: 297
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:45am | IP Logged | 20  

Colossus is gay? Are you serious?



YEP -- in Ultimate X-Men -- him and Northstar are banging each other.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Bradley Dean
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 March 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 517
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:46am | IP Logged | 21  

Without retrofitting an existing character? Not trying to stir up anything, JB,
but I just want to clarify -- I thought you decided to make Northstar gay
when you were given the assignment to do Alpha Flight as a comic, and that
it hadn't occurred to you when you created him in X-Men. Was I mistaken?

-------------------------

John, the answer to your question is in the Byrne FAQ, http://www.byrnerobotics.com/FAQ/listing.asp?ID=2&T1=Que stions+about+Comic+Book+Projects#106



Edited by Bradley Dean on 10 September 2007 at 11:50am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 92674
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:49am | IP Logged | 22  

Without retrofitting an existing character? Not trying to stir up anything, JB, but I just want to clarify -- I thought you decided to make Northstar gay when you were given the assignment to do Alpha Flight as a comic, and that it hadn't occurred to you when you created him in X-Men. Was I mistaken?

When Alpha Flight first appeared, none of them had any background.* It is true that I have said Northstar was "Gay from Day 2", in that he was not conceived as Gay -- but none of them were really conceived as anything. They were created or presented (a couple pre-existed, from my fan days) to be a team that could survive a fight with the X-Men.

When they got their own title, I started coming up with backstory. That's how Walt came to be divorced, Heather was "revealed" to be from a big family, Michael had a daughter and. . . Jean-Paul became Gay.

This is, I think you will agree, a very different thing from "outing" the Beast, or Colossus, or Iceman. That's what I mean by "existing characters". Characters that have long established backstories.




*Actually, I knew Jean-Marie was a split personality, tho there is no hint of it in the first appearance.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Next!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 92674
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 23  

I guess my question should be more "how many gay superheroes do we need?"

Somewhere between 6 and 10%.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Mietus
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9707
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:53am | IP Logged | 24  

 John Byrne wrote:
That's what I mean by "existing characters". Characters
that have long established backstories.


That's what I figured, based on what was on the FAQ (and thanks, Bradley --
that was, in fact, what I was referring to), but I wanted to clarify. Thanks, JB.
Back to Top profile | search
 
David Ferguson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 6707
Posted: 10 September 2007 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 25  

I don't think there is an over representation of gay heroes. There are no more than a handful and how many superheroes are there? Hundreds? Thousands?

Edit: JB made my point.

Edited by David Ferguson on 10 September 2007 at 11:56am
Back to Top profile | search
 

Page of 10 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login