Colossus: X-Man, Super Hero and Rampant Homosexual

In an effort to reach out to a newer, younger audience, Marvel has spent the last few years updating its now somewhat venerable characters, and have started their stories over from scratch in a new series of “Ultimate” titles. Thus far they have developed an Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates (updated Avengers), Ultimate Iron-Man and Ultimate Fantastic Four. These new titles have proved a great success, and I have enjoyed them thoroughly.

The quality of the writing has been excellent, and the willingness Marvel has shown to use these new titles as a means of tackling head on some of our society’s touchiest subjects is something to be admired. That they have approached many of these issues with an obvious liberal bias is something I have admired even more. Of particular cathartic value was the scene in Ultimate X-Men, where a naked and groveling President Bush was shown cowering on the White House lawn, as Magneto instructed him to “clean his boots.” However, in addition to poking fun at our Commander-in-Chief, they have tried hard to weave a message of tolerance into their stories, and have attempted to instruct their young readers to both question established authority and to be skeptical of biased media reporting.

The Ultimate X-Men title has probably been of the greatest value in this regard, and as anyone who has seen the movies will know, Marvel are drawing many parallels between the persecution mutants face, and the ordeal that gay people encounter in our society – especially during puberty. This theme has been taken even further in the comic books, and they recently developed an entire story arc centered on the tribulations of a teenager who is not only a mutant, but also gay. The compassion displayed by the X-Men toward this kid, and their utter contempt for those that would discriminate against an individual because they are “different” in some essentially superfluous way, is certainly a good example to any teenager. Marvel didn’t stop there, though, and they have added a gay X-Man to the team: Colossus. Not in an overt or showy way, mind you, which is a good thing, since the impression it gave was that the other X-Men don’t care that Colossus was gay, and that his sexuality is not a big deal.

I think Marvel has been very brave to tackle these issues in the way they have; it certainly wasn’t something that they had to do in order to sell comic books, and they are opening themselves up to potentially damaging criticism from the Christ Nazis. It actually surprises me that they haven’t received more heat than they have, especially given the ridiculous furor over Sponge Bob’s supposed role in the “Homosexual Agenda.”

The liberal’s greatest weapon: pop culture, remains sharp and potent, and I find it encouraging that even under the Right’s rabid onslaught, it continues to be uncompromising. Until conservatives develop a sense of humor, we will continue to have an advantage in this area, and with Episode III coming out in a couple of weeks, there is plenty to look forward to.

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