Thursday, January 30, 2014

Something Seems to be Missing from this Motion Picture

        Earlier this week, nerdom was granted an additional look in to the much anticipated (and in this author’s case, agonized over) X-Men: Days of Future Past as EMPIRE Magazine released 24 different covers revealing the cast, in all their mutant-y glory, in order to promote the film, which opens May 23rd 2014. Although the film is already beginning to show a plethora of  problems (most of which I won’t be going into), the following article seems to confirm that one of the issues I have been having with this franchise since the first X-Men’s release in 1999 will continue persist.

What has me upset is this quote in particular: “While there seems to be little chance of explicit LGBT romance in this entry, one can hope Singer (Bryan Singer, the film’s director) will be more inclusive in his already-announced sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse. Although the comic, through all its various story arcs, broke boundaries for featuring Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual characters, the film have yet to include a single LGB identified character. Well, that’s not completely true, some of those characters have been in the films, such as Mystique and Colossus (Ultimate X-Men), just without their LGB identities. I don’t believe that the X-Men franchise should continue to be praised for its “nod at queer fans in the audience” when it could be doing so much more.

I do, however, believe that the underlying issue here is that the mainstream movie industry just is not were it needs to be. I believe that mainstream comic book industry has been outpacing the movie industry for years, which is truly unfortunate because it is through these films that a large segment of the population gets their only glimpse at these incredible characters and story arcs. The X-Men comics, in particular, have undergone a pretty intense transformation in an effort to be more inclusive; after all, the mutants of X-Men were always intend to represent all the segments of the population who were ever seen as being “different.” Here are just a few of X-men’s most recent developments:

            Personally, I love X-Men because it features bisexual characters, which I feel are constantly underrepresented in movies, books, and television. X-Men’s Mystique and Rictor are still open to being hot messes, however, the X-Men movie franchise’s straight Mystique is still open to being a hot mess for entirely different reasons (Come on Mystique! Where did your clothes go!?!). I find X-Men's inclusion efforts to be a positive step forward and I am excited to see X-Men’s cast of LGBTQ identified characters expand and diversify. X-Men continues to question societal norms and what it mean to be labelled as “different” and I for one am glad that LGBTQ community can be a part of that inquiry. I just find it incredibly sad and unfortunate that this aspect of the comic book seems to consistently get left out of the film adaptations.   

            There is much work to be done with regard to how LGBTQ identified individuals are portrayed, or in this case, excluded by the mainstream movie industry. Let’s hope that some of that work can be accomplished before X-Men: Apocalypse starts production!

<3 Mylo

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