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The Insufficient Homosexual

Stories from a man who fails to meet media expectations of what it means to be gay:
white, frivolous, over sexed yet sexless, shrill, single, stylish, a clown, unimportant, et al.


07/16/2003

<prior or next>


Superman made me gay




Fighting her innate nature to hoard things, my mother spent an afternoon cleaning out part of her garage. As a result, I have been given a box of my old books and comic from when I was young.

There were a couple of old beat up Dragonriders of Pern novels and even a few Xanth books as well from when I was a teenager. Yes, I was that kind of nerd. Most of the books were from when I was even younger however.

There seemed to be several from an old scholastic program where if you bought a few books, you ended up with several freebies. Probably a publisher’s way of cleaning house while looking good for helping with schools. Although if this was the case, no one seemed to be paying much attention to what was being given out. How else do you explain giving a sixth grader copies of the China Syndrome, The Tamarind Seed, or The Amityville Horror. A title that probably was the first and final time I ever willingly read a horror novel. Over the decades, references to glowing piggy eyes have lost their ability to freak me out, although at the time…shudder.

Among the loads of worn, torn, damaged, and otherwise unprotected comic books in the box was a copy of El Pajaro Loco, a Spanish language version of Woody Woodpecker, that I probably picked up one summer visiting relatives in Mexico. Flipping through it now, I find it odd that while I loathe Woody Woodpecker, he somehow isn’t overly vile in Spanish.

Most of the comics were standard superhero fare however, including several issues of Spiderman, Captain America, and Fantastic Four, proving that maybe I wasn’t an atypical boy. Then again, mixed into all that were a few random, torn Gold Key science fiction titles, including a couple of issues of the Six-Million Dollar Man and a coverless issue of Magnus the Robot Fighter, where our miniskirted hero finally manages to defeat the evil magic using robot planet Malev-6 (huh?).

Also in the vein of unusual and possibly telling, there was an issue of Action Comics where Superman pals around with Vartox, another ridiculously powerful hero from another world. Vartox seems to have been visually based on the Sean Connery character from Zardoz. So it appears that at 12, I was reading comic books with muscular, balding, mustachioed, hairy chested heroes who thought nothing of flying into battle while wearing an open brown vest, yellow/black thigh length boots, and snug bikini briefs (brown in front and yellow stripped in back).

Maybe I wasn’t so typical after all.

I know that I owned several issues of Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes, but none of them seem to be in the box. Maybe they are in the untouched part of the garage. The legion was an interesting title. In those days, the oversized group of strangely named young teen heroes fought crime and evil in the far future of the 30th century while wearing little more than glorified bathing suits.

Saturn Girl wore a outfit consisting of a bright pink bikini top and bottom with matching long gloves and thigh length boots. An interesting enough choice of clothing for fighting the good fight, then again, there was Cosmic Boy. He wore manly black gloves and boots, and a not quite so macho skintight topless unitard that left his upper chest and shoulders bare, he was perhaps not so strangely a favorite of mine. Sadly, I still like that costume.

I liked Element Lad as well, a young hero who was rumored to be “that way.” Which may help explain his skintight spandex outfit featuring a large green arrow pointing straight up from his crotch. I remember that the costume was eventually replaced with an equally tight fitting pink and black thing.

Years later, the writers and powers that be at DC Comics eventually allowed him to be an openly gay (bi?) adult man, but that all is a moot point now, since the entire series was revamped/restarted/revised. The story has been started over again and characters are once more all young teenagers.

I don’t know if any of the gay and lesbian characters have remained so. I haven’t bothered reading the series in a while, so at this point, I’m not even sure if Element Lad is even still alive, which would be a bit sad, since I’ve always had a soft spot for the guy.

But that is now, back in the seventies the comic was little more than a melodramatic space soap opera with rather interesting art. I’m probably misremembering, but I seem to recall a recurring theme were the covers would feature our young heroes lying on the ground, costumes torn in strategic places, unconscious and helpless before whatever villain they were fighting that issue. Considering how skimpy those outfits were, those tears in their clothes were very strategically placed.

Of the things in the box, the geekiest had to be an issue of the Superman Family. This series was an anthology of stories featuring Superman’s secondary characters. There would be a short story about Supergirl fighting crime, Lois Lane solving a crime, or Jimmy Olsen stopping crime, or Nightwing and Flamebird (Kryptonian versions of Batman & Robin) battling crimes.

The issue in my box included a very strange and disturbing story featuring a tale of the nerdy blue suited Clark Kent titled: SUPER-DISCO FEVER. In it Clark has been chosen to judge a disco-dancing contest. Getting distracted during the contest, he uses his x-ray vision and sees a crook planting explosives under the stage. Oh no! What can our hero do? If he changes into Superman, people will discover his secret identity! If he does nothing the bombs will go off and everyone will die! Well, presumably not him, being invulnerable and all, but everyone else will be blown to smithereens, and isn’t that just too high a price to pay to keep his secret?

Clark realizes that there is only one thing he can do. He must dance!

He joins the contest himself and while doing the hustle and other dance steps, uses “super vibrations” to disarm the bombs, thus keeping his secret identity secret, and saving the day! All is well once again on the dance floor!

If I was reading stuff like that back then, its no wonder I’m gay.

More later,

nico



By the way, just cause, some more random superhero stuff:


legionnaires and more in bondage.

All things superman

even more things superman

legion writers dis their characters



folks who really hate cosmic boy

glbt comic fan site which includes a nice little list of queerish characters

and of course, there's always my link page


<<freak::::The unmistakable odor of the hygienically challenged>>

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