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Top Ten Tuesday: Marvel Superheroines

This week’s Top Ten is dedicated to the #WeWantWidow movement. Black Widow being excluded from many of the toy tie-in and retail ad campaigns for Avengers: Age of Ultron had many fans wondering why anyone would consciously make such a ridiculous omission. This just further underlines a persistent issue the geek community has had with female representation in leading roles and on the retail shelves. Only one confirmed major studio film with a superheroine as the lead character is on the horizon. We want more!

So let us know what you think of our Top Ten. Are there any of your favorite Marvel superheroines we should have put on this list? Who would you take off?

Also take a look at the Black Widow flashmob staged around the world for #WeWantWidow.

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ICYMI: This Week in Costume Reveals!

This week treated us to some highly anticipated costume reveals! First, director Bryan Singer gave us a taste of X-Men: Apocalypse on Thursday. Check out this photo of Jubliee, played by Lana Condor, and Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner, that he posted to his Instagram account:

Fun second day with @sophie_789 @lanacondor #JeanGrey #Jubilee #XMEN #XMenApocalypse

A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on

Then Friday gave us a first look at Casey Jones from the upcoming Michael Bay-helmed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel. Bay posted this photo of Stephen Amell all decked out to his Twitter page:

Special shout out to the fan who crashed the Suicide Squad set dressed as Deadshot! The Internet exploded with the reveal of Will Smith in Deadshot’s street clothes and further squeed thinking the fan was actually Smith. In spite of some telling costume faults (where’s his eye?), “Deadshot” was confirmed to be just a fan in costume who was later removed from set. Check out Smith from the set and compare the unnamed fan’s rendition of Deadshot’s iconic look:

 

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Review of All New X-Men #40

The original X-Men, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel and Beast, have been yanked forward through time in a fruitless attempt to correct the errors of the modern-day X-Men. The original five teenagers are now stuck in a time far ahead of their own. They’ve ventured into space, met their future selves (with the exception of Jean Grey) and traveled between alternate dimensions. But now they’re back home, on Earth, in this place outside their time.

Utopia, the Promised Land for all mutants, has fallen, leaving it susceptible to scavengers. A group of unnamed looters comes upon the island in hopes of finding implied treasures: weaponry, advanced technology, anything that can be sold on the black market. Before they are able to search the island they are blown up by a shadowy figure.

The panel cuts to the teenaged X-Men, having just returned from a space adventure and enjoying some hamburgers. Some banter, some relish in the burgers, but the most notable occurrence is Jean Grey’s conversation with Iceman. If you have been paying attention to the internet at all then you’ve already seen the panel.

How disgraceful of Jean to out Iceman before he was ready. Curiosity and the power to read minds does not give her that right! Even as his friend, her responsibility starts and stops at providing emotional support on his terms. It is her selfishness that drives her to confront him, as though everything that happens on the team must filter through her first. If Iceman wanted to stay “in the closet” until he felt comfortable then it was his call to make. Maybe he hasn’t had the time to fully comprehend how he feels about men? The time they came from was far less open to gay men; it was a time before the “It gets better” PSA, a time before characters in media could just be gay without a scandal attached to it. It would be perfectly understandable that Iceman did not feel comfortable expressing his sexuality.

iceman-jean2Iceman then goes on to make a point: the present-day Iceman isn’t gay and he dated plenty of women, including Kitty Pryde. Jean counters that present day Iceman didn’t date women very well.

This feels like a gross misunderstanding of what it means to be gay. Over the course of the history of the X-Men, Iceman dated a few women. Unfortunately, one turned out to be a cloud. Yes, a literal cloud named Cloud. He also dated Opal, Mystique, and Polaris. None of those relationships ended well for different reasons. Some were a touch evil and a few were already engaged to be married (AHEM, Polaris). None of these things in themselves are proof that anyone is gay. Making bad relationship choices is simply one of the many hazards of growing into a fully formed adult.

It is not a matter of whether or not Iceman is gay. He is, end of story. The handling of this development was simultaneously disconcerting and triumphant. Marvel stayed true to the plight of homosexuals in our society. Worried that they will be ostracized, some feel the need to hide who they are until they are adults. The irony is that Bendis chose to mirror this social struggle using the young Iceman rather than have the adult Iceman finally come out on his own terms.

There is also something to be said about outing an already beloved character. Yes, readers accept Northstar as being gay and Mystique as a bisexual. However, both of those characters were established as such earlier on in the continuity. The outing of Iceman serves a reminder that as we loved him as a character before this issue, we should continue to love him. His sexual preference changes nothing about his character. Whether or not this social relevance was executed purposefully or by happenstance doesn’t matter. It’s there, it’s relevant, and how people react will be important.

Unaware of what’s going on with his teammate; Angel is sorting through his own angsty relationship. He finally admits to Laura that he loves her and that he is terrified of ending up like the present day Angel. They have a sweet moment, they kiss, and all is well in the lives of the young X-Men.

Back in Utopia, SHIELD Agents are readying their crafts to land. They received an earlier transmission stating there may be some unregistered mutant energy, and have come to explore. Before they even have a chance to touchdown, their aircraft is destroyed.

This is an obvious twist. Clearly there are mutants still calling Utopia home, and in true Marvel form they will most likely become the next “gray area” villains: mutants trying to find a home in a world that doesn’t want them. My prediction is a long drawn out battle with SHIELD and the young X-Men, resulting in a new Brotherhood, thus bringing the X-Men full-circle.

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