Thursday 11 January 2024

Comics Wrap-Up - Baron Something-or-Other

Title: Comics Wrap-Up. Background: lined notebook style with sppech bubbles containing heart symbols

It's Thursday, it is 2024 and this year better behave I swear, and this is Dora Reads - so let's get some comics-y superhero-y goodness!

What If... They Were In A Fanfic AU?

Series 2 of Marvel's What If...? dropped over consecutive days on Disney+ at the end of December.

I've seen about 4 episodes, and am more convinced than ever that these things are written by fanfic writers they corralled off the street. (Science Bros. Just saying.)

My highlight so far is What If... Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?

...This Die Hard rip-off should not have been this good. 

Maybe it's because I haven't actually seen Die Hard, who knows? (Please, don't come for me.) 

But yeah, I loved that episode.

I wasn't particularly fond of What If... Iron Man Crashed Into the Grand Master?

...Felt like more could've been done with it, y'know?

What If... Peter Quill Attacked Earth's Mightiest Heroes? was kind of lacking, to me.

Like, much as I loved seeing Bucky there, the writing around his plot points wasn't the strongest.

...And the thing with the raccoon toy was disturbing, tbh.

Child Peter Quill with glowy eyes
Via Giphy

What If... Nebula Joined the Nova Corps? was pretty damn decent, though.

I mean... cyberpunk-noir with Nebula.

That's all it needed really!

Hopefully there's some good stuff in the episodes I haven't seen yet, too.

Echo and Indigenous Voices

I haven't had chance to watch Echo yet (I mean, in fairness, I haven't finished What If...?, y'know?) so no SPOILERS - please and thank you.

Marvel's marketing machine is truly up and running for it, though, so I thought I'd highlight this feature-thingummy talking about the behind the scenes collaboration with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Warning: mild flashing images

The Nightcrawler News

OK - this news is for the really nerdy-nerds. 

Especially the Queer ones. And the ones who love X-Men. And specifically the ones who adore Nightcrawler.

...So, me. Basically.

Anyway. A very significant piece of comics canon has finally been established via retcon.

(Fandom notes:

Canon is the 'official' part of the film/book/comic series/whatever.

Retcon is where parts of the canon are rewritten, with the retconned version becoming canon going forward.)

The short version (trust me - this is the short version,) goes something like this:

Once upon a time there was a beautiful blue baby mutant with a tail named Kurt (...the mutant was named Kurt, not the tail. The tail wasn't sentient, and, as far as I know, did not have a name 😅)

Chibi Nightcrawler
Via Giphy

Kurt, known as Nightcrawler, could also teleport with a BAMF! noise. Because he is awesome.

After many adventures - including time as a fully-fledged member of the X-Men - it was revealed that Kurt was the son of another famous blue mutant named Raven, better known as Mystique.

Mystique, one of the most famous and morally grey characters of the X-Men franchise, is explicitly Queer, with her long-term partner and wife being Destiny.

For a long time, Nightcrawler's birth parentage was Mystique and whichever male character we'd decided was involved at the time (OK, it was Baron Something-or-Other, and later a demon named Azazel, but same diff.)

But that wasn't the intention of the original writer.

See, Mystique is a shapeshifter. And she does not restrict herself to shifting solely into the shape of a woman.

And legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont wanted Kurt's biological parents to be Destiny and Mystique - in one of her male forms.

Of course, that wasn't really 'acceptable' within the comics code, and more explicitly within Marvel, at the time. So the final story wasn't written that way.

Now, in X-Men Blue: Origins, the record has been set straight (...or, Queer, as the case may be.)

Destiny and Mystique did the deed when Mystique was a man one night, and made themselves a baby.

So now, finally, we know the truth - Kurt is the child of Mystique and Destiny.

And the Queer canon that should always have existed has been cemented into place.

The Johnathan Majors Verdict

Warning: this section discusses domestic abuse and racism

Johnathan Majors, who played Kang in the MCU (Marvel universe,) has been found guilty of assault against his girlfriend, and subsequently has been dropped by Marvel.

There's a lot of issues at play here, including abuse and racism. Not least because Majors, a Black actor, also alleged abuse committed against him by the same girlfriend, who is White.

I'm not really qualified to make a judgement about the specifics here, but given the verdict I don't see that Marvel really had a choice but to drop him, from a PR perspective if nothing else. 

Whether that would be the case if he was a White man... is a valid question, though wouldn't necessarily mean he shouldn't be dropped.

Shameless Self-Promo

If you like the way I feature all the superhero-y comics-y goodness, why not follow my blog on Feedly?

What's your opinion on the latest series of What If...?

How about Echo?

(No SPOILERS please)

Did you know about the Nightcrawler canon?!

Talk to me! 😀💬

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  1. I am very curious to watch Echo! It seems as if Marvel are doing good things in way of education on Indigeneity, we'll see if it carries through!


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