Geeks OUT Creator Spotlight: Olivier Coipel

My name is Chris Allo and I want to welcome you to our ongoing Geeks Out Creator Spotlight.  We’re going to be focusing on all of the fantastic LGBTQ+ creators that inhabit the wonderful universe of comic books and graphic storytelling.  This feature will be a place where we get to know some of the brightest and most talented queers who put out comics.  I will be talking with writers, artists, colorists, letterers, editors and publishers.  I want the world out there to know that Queer creators are out there, crafting quality work, telling stories that matter and are a force that won’t be ignored.  I hope you enjoy the spotlight.

Fist up is one of the superstars of the comic industry, Olivier Coipel.  Coipel has worked for both Marvel and DC.  He has worked with some of the biggest writers in the industry.  He rebooted the Legion in Legion Lost with Abnett and Lanning and with Brian Bendis he depicted the decimation of the mutants in “House of M.”  With Jeff Johns he helped to set up the Avengers for the modern age. He visually re-invigorated the God of Thunder, Thor with, J. Michael Staczynski, and depicted the Unworthy Thor with Matt Fraction.  And most recentlyy he co created a new mythos of magicians and crafted some new rules for magic with Mark Millar on the “Magic Order” for Image/Neflix. Hope you enjoy the interview…

Geeks OUT: You started in animation? How was that experience? Any specific projects you worked on?

Olivier Coipel: Yep! Started first doing Animation as an assistant, first for Amblimation in London, for a movie called Balto, then moved to LA to work on The Prince of Egypt and The road to El Dorado for Dreamworks. That was an exciting experience for a lot of reasons, many on a personal level, but also meeting and working with so many talented artists.

Poster for Balto (1995)

GO: How did you transition from animation to comics? Did you have an interest or love in comics?

OC: My first love was drawing, then comics. Working in animation wasn’t really a goal. As a kid-slash-teenager, what I was dreaming about was doing comics. Superhero comics. I was reading them, drawing them… when the opportunity came, it felt logical for me to leave animation to work in comics. At the time when I was working in LA. I was going to San Diego Comic Con. So at some point I prepared a portfolio with some personal drawings and a few pages featuring the X-men to show it to some editors and got the job!

Avengers vs X-Men #6 art by Olivier Coipel (2013). Inks by John Dell and colors by Laura Martin.

GO: Are there any specific pages, covers or pieces of art that you are really proud of or that you love? I know you did that huge piece of all the Asgardians for Marvel. That is one of my favorite pieces.

OC: Thank you! That was quite a piece I‘m very happy with. Difficult for me to go back and try to remember, it as always related to the feeling, the struggle you had while creating that page-slash-cover… usually I can only think of the recent ones. I’d say the covers for the Magic Order #2 and #5, but I’m also happy with my first issue of Spider-verse… some of my first legion pages because I remember what I went through in my head at that time. And of course some of the Thor pages.

Spider-Verse #1 (2014) art by Olivier Coipel

GO: One of your most recent comics projects, The Magic Order, written by Mark Millar, is currently being developed for a series at Netflix. How did you end up connecting with Mark on for this project?

OC: With Mark, it has been a long time (that) we were talking of collaborating on a project. But right after my exclusive contract at Marvel ended I contacted him to check if he was available. I was surprised to get a quick answer! He had that new thing going on with NETFLIX, and told me about The Magic Circle (as it was called at that time) that he had in mind and wanted to develop. They already had a character bible, but told me to change or tweak whatever detail and character I wanted. The biggest change I did was on Madame Albany (leather/vinyl thing again), and changing the main couple to an “interracial” couple (I hate that term by the way).

The Magic Order #1 art by Olivier Coipel (2018)

GO: When it comes to comics, you’ve primarily done work for hire projects at the big two but now you’ve done co-creator owned projects with Millar on the Magic Order. Are you going to continue on more creator owned comics in the future, or is there a chance we’ll be seeing your work on some more mainstream characters you haven’t had the opportunity to draw yet?

OC: I still wanna do creator owned project as well as working again with the “classic” editors at Marvel, DC, Valiant, etc. The market has evolved, and we can do both. My love for some of the superheros I grew up with is still the same.

GO: How has being LGBTQ informed your work?

OC: It doesn’t. Well I don’t think it does It’s not something I keep thinking about while drawing stories; Of course I love drawing male bodies. Spiderman swinging around, legs up (laughs). But I also love drawing female bodies, animals, birds…anything that has organic shape. Maybe in that sense it did. Although I did once in a while, in my career, squeeze (in) a few clues here and there, but just like a game.

GO: As someone who has worked in mainstream comics, what do you think the future of LGBTQ representation looks like there?

OC: I would hope that it wouldn’t be a thing to get a LGBTQ character the main role in a story, but there is still a long way to that. But I wanna see things positively. Things are moving forward, slowly, but moving.

GO: What can LGBTQ creators do to maximize our representation in the industry?

OC: I’m not very comfortable with that question, as I have to admit personally, as a POC, I feel concerned about the representation of POC as much as their sexuality. I can’t focus only on one aspect without thinking about the other. But to answer your question, visibility is the key. Putting more characters in there, you don’t need to play the drums or anything when you have one single character who‘s revealed as being LGBTQ. But just by putting more of “us” out there.

House of M #1 gatefold black-and-white cover by Olivier Coipel (2005)

GO:  Who is your favorite existing LGBTQ character?  Why?

OC: Again I didn’t really care about that aspect back then. My favorite characters didn’t really have sexuality. At least I wasn’t thinking about that aspect. Even today, would I feel different to one fictional character because he’s been revealed as LGBTQ character? Depends on how it is written. One character that comes in mind is Midnighter. Just a badass character, and I guess the leather thing (laughs).

Art by Olivier Coipel

GO: Any hints as to what you might be working on now that The Magic Order is done?

OC: Nope, not yet. There’s a few possibilities, but none have been decided yet. Doing covers for now.

Chris Allo twenty year career in comics and former Talent Manager for Marvel. Avid X-Men fan and proponent for all comic creators

BONUS: Transcribed Geeks OUT Podcast Interview

Olivier Coipel (left) with Kevin Gilligan (right)

Geeks OUT’s Kevin Gilligan: Hey everyone, it’s Kevin Gilligan with the Geeks OUT podcast, here live-to-tape at New York Comic Con. I’m sitting here with the amazing artist Olivier Coipel. You may be very familiar with his work especially if you read Marvel Comics. He is here from Portugal visiting us. Olivier, one thing I try and ask everyone, is what are you getting down and nerdy with? What are you consuming in pop culture? What are you reading? Watching? Any video games that you’re playing?

Wonder Woman #750 (2019) variant cover by Olivier Coipel

Olivier Coipel: Yes. Oh, right now? Do you mean like right now?

KG: Right now.

OC: Right now I just bought a Playstation 4. So I played Spider-Man, Uncharted, and, what else… God of War. Just when I have time. And right now, with comics… nothing!

KG: So what you’re saying is you’re busy!

Batman and Harley Quinn art by Olivier Coipel (2013)

OC: Yes, very busy. You know, when you work, and you have kids, you don’t have time to enjoy. You know, when I have a break, I just enjoy a glass of wine and watch TV.

KG: Yeah, understandable. What shows do you watch with your partner?

Olivier Coipel on Instagram

OC: Pose. It was an advantage for me from the first season. This thing is, you’re not used to it being on TV, or mainstream television. Even with the LGBT community out there in comics, with that kind of thing. We don’t talk about that kind of stuff. So that’s why I really like it. That’s one. And the other one I’m watching is The Handmaid’s Tale. I really like it.

KG: Nice. I’ve watched Pose obviously, but Handmaid’s Tale I can’t bring myself to watch quite yet. It’s a little too real.

OC: Yeah, at this moment.

KG: But I imagine, being in Portugal, it’s a little easier to watch from afar what’s happening in this country (laughs)

Legion Lost (2000) art by Olivier Coipel. Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Inks by Andy Lanning.

OC: Well, I’m from Italy. I don’t think it’s just coming from the states. It’s everywhere now. The world is getting into extremism. People are exploited. Working class everywhere, in the states, I see it in New York, in France, in India, everywhere, the working class are desperate and they are trying to find a new direction.

KG: Yeah.

Sketch by Olivier Coipel (2017)

OC: Sometimes it leads to extreme choices.

KG: Yeah, we do see that here in America, and unfortunately people love to find a scapegoat. So in terms of comics, which would you say is your favorite LGBTQ character? Right now there’s a lot in terms of–

Silk (and Peter Parker) art by Olivier Coipel (2017)

OC: I would say Northstar!

KG: Northstar?

OC: Yeah, I’ve always liked him, as a kid, so I would say him. I think since then he’s been copied. I’m going to think about him right now.

KG: Okay, well Northstar was of very significant importance in terms of being one of the first gay heroes in Marvel comics.

OC: I would say Meat Cake. It’s comics, right? (Laughs).

KG: Who are some of the artists–any kind of artists–whose work inspires you?

OC: Oh, there’s a lot. It’s difficult because there’s a lot, but the first ones were Moebius, Mark Silvestri, Urasawa and Pluto who else… there are so many! Especially now. Because I stuck around, and everyday I discover artists who inspire me a lot. I mean, I don’t know them, personally, and some of them are not even published, but there’s a few, many many now on Instagram, who are killing it. I mean, they inspire me a lot. The problem is I don’t remember their names. 

KG: That’s fine, that’s okay! So as someone who has worked on mainstream comics, what do you think the future of LGBTQ comics looks like in comics?

OC: Future representation? You know what, I’m not even sure we’re there yet. Even if you have a few characters here and there, it’s more like a very short process. I mean, a very short (impact?). Like an announcement or something. So I don’t think we’re quite there yet. In the future we’ll need more LGBT characters. But not like making it an announcement or anything. Just like, making it a more… LBGT characters should be among straight characters and everything. There should be no more “we need to make an announcement about this.” We’ll get there once it becomes quote unquote “normal.” We don’t need to make any specific thing about it, you know? Like if the story, or even if you just see a guy kissing another guy, it doesn’t have to be the main focus of the story. Just like, part of the normality of it, you know?

KG: It’s just like, part of the colors that are being painted, yeah. What can LGBTQ creators do to maximize their representation on the industry?

OC: As a creator? Like the writers or artists?

KG: In both respects.

OC: I could only talk about myself, but I have little power for that. I just try, sometimes, to put in the background stuff like that, some clues about the gay community. It could be an equality sign, or two characters in the back. Only people who pay attention would notice. But I think as a writer, they have more power, you know? To create characters, to stop thinking about straight people, or even white people. Diversity is everything. It’s not only about the gay community, or being Asian or black. Stop thinking about everyone random being white and straight. Start trying to think beyond that. Making more characters. Like I said before, you don’t have to treat them by the fact that they’re gay or not. Just make them gay! It’s easy! It doesn’t change anything. I don’t think it would change the storyline. I mean, maybe some details. It doesn’t have to be something focusing on that. It’s hard, because the imagination of writers are strengths, and it’s hard I guess to think beyond that. We need us to think beyond that. We need more representation. So it’s up to, not just the writers, but maybe the readers. I don’t know. But it’s up to everybody. When it comes to writers, I try to tell them “think beyond that. Think outside of your box.” I guess that’s the only way to do that. Trying to talk to them. And on my side, giving some little clues for characters on the back.

Art by Olivier Coipel, commissioned by Elias Delgado (2005)

KG: Well I mean, I know there are some writers who do seek out feedback from artists that they work with. They’ll collaborate with them and say “what do you think of this character?” And they’ll write in terms of, if there’s a new character who doesn’t need a thousand people to sign off on. You know. I know it’s a little easier in indie comics to be creative. You’re creating a world, instead of playing in an established sandbox. But yeah, I agree in terms of, these are conversations that should be had with creative staff in terms of like “hey, maybe reflect the world that exists around you!”

OC: Well, but you know, in the states, people are living in their own communities. So it’s hard! It’s up to us. I don’t know any LGBTQ writer or something like that, but it comes from us first. We can’t expect other people to think of their world, and us, being quiet waiting for them to do that. It’s up to us to try to change things. To bring better things. The thing is, I don’t know any, many, LGBT writers.

KG: Well, there are a good handful of LGBT writers. We have Steve Orlando at DC Comics, also James Tynion IV, who is now going to be writing Batman.

OC: Oh, right.

KG: In December, I believe. But even with Marvel, Tini Howard, who just became an exclusive writer with Marvel. She is writing the miniseries Death’s Head, and is doing the Savage Avengers I think. I think that’s the title, I may be misquoting. [Greg’s note: Savage Avengers is written by Gerry Duggan. The book he’s describing is Strikeforce]. But in the team she has of Avengers, they’re kind of the behind the scenes… not Wetworks of Avengers, but handling things that are maybe so camera-ready of the Avengers. That is a team with Angela, who is a lesbian character, and Thor’s sister.

OC: Yes, yes.

KG: It also has Wiccan, from the Young Avengers.

Avengers: Siege art by Olivier Coipel

OC: That’s right, yeah, yeah!

KG: As well as some more (mainstream) like Blade and a few more like Spider-Woman.

OC: Blade is gay?

KG: No, Blade’s not gay, but he’s on the team, as part of the characters who are there. But you know, Tini and Steve, they always try to have queer elements in their stories. But it exists, there are people who are doing it, but I feel like the onus is also on straight creators, and straight writers, to open up their, you know–

Ultimate Comics Avengers #3 (2010) cover art by Olivier Coipel

OC: Yes! But like I said, I can’t force someone to change their mindset about something. The more we are visible, the more there will be writers writing about gay characters. The world needs to see that, and maybe it will be more natural for them to think about LGBTQ characters, you know? So maybe it comes to us first, to show more, to be more visible, and then people will start to think more about us.

KG: What are some of the projects you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of?

OC: It’s always difficult, because I’m never proud of my project. I’m always more proud of my latest one. Because I’m very critical about my work. I like to be critical about my work, because i’m very precise. I see the bad stuff and how I could’ve been better. So I would say now it would be The Magic Order. I was inking myself with an inkbrush. So that’s the one I’m most proud of.

KG: I understand that, and being a creative person, writer, actor, being like “oh, that was terrible!” You know? “Oh, but it was funny!” Yeah, but I’ve met myself, and I know it could’ve been better. But I think that’s sort of the sign of a good artist.

OC: It’s a motivational thing. When I do something, I always want to do better. So, yes, maybe, it’s going to help me be better next time. I don’t know, you always want to do your best, and you always want to have fun doing it. It’s like trying to fix stuff, you know?

KG: I will say, I really enjoyed Magic Order. Also has some queer elements to it, as well as some very fun character designs, especially with the quote-unquote “villain” characters. So I really enjoyed that, and just wanted to say that. What is one character in comics that you would love to redesign? What is one that you’re sort of like “oh, they badly need a redesign,” or one that you would really love to tackle?

OC: One I really want to do, one I’m always thinking about, is Storm. Storm has always been my character. Even if she’s not gay… I don’t think the committee likes that. I don’t think she needs a redesign. Maybe a new costume, from me. I’d like to do that.

X-Men (2013) #1 cover by Olivier Coipel

KG: I mean, I would not say no to that! (Laughs)

OC: Well she’s difficult. I’m not sure of the direction I would take. I think she needs a total 90% change of direction… We always see her being a tough, angry black girl! We need to change that a little bit.

KG: She’s always like the tough black girl, or the regal quality… a queen. There was a little bit of harkening back to her punk days.

OC: Yeah, but it was just aesthetically. Back in the day, when she was punk, there was something behind it. She was going to be fully processed, she needed to change everything, you know? There has to be a meaning for bigger impact. Last time they did it, there was no storyline behind this, so it was just like “okay, bring back the punk look.” But even the costume wasn’t punk. So it was like, they didn’t try. I don’t think it had the impact that it should’ve had.

KG: I sort of asked you this before, but we weren’t recording. How has New York Comic Con been for you so far this year?

OC: I don’t have a voice.

KG: (Laughs).

OC: I don’t have any voice anymore. I have a headache! I hope it won’t kill me to be there on Sunday. So it’s great. Awesome. 

KG: So how can people, beyond seeking you out in comics… you mentioned your Instagram page. How can people find you on social media?

OC: Instagram! I don’t use Facebook anymore. I mean, I’m still on Facebook, but I’m tired of talking bullshit. So I’m mostly on Instagram. And I put my personal work too. I do watercolor, and live drawings. There’s a lot more than comics on Instagram.

KG: And that’s Olivier Coipel on Instagram. C-O-I-P-E-L. Excellent. Olivier, thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and I hope you have a good rest of New York Comic Con in your day and a half left!

OC: Yes!

KG: And safe travels back home to your family in Portugal!


We here at Geeks OUT want you, the reader, to know more about who we are. To help with that, we’ve started interviewing members of our board so you know what makes us tick. Here’s our sixth interview!

Who are you and what do you do for Geeks OUT?

I’m Jayson Bennett and I’m the Outreach Committee Chair for the board. 

How did you first get involved?

I attended the first Flame Con with my roommate who was volunteering. I’ve been volunteering since NYCC that year and haven’t looked back. 

What makes you geek out? 

Well I’m a veterinary medical professional so I regularly geek out about science and animals. But in the Lands of Fandom I geek out for Marvel Comics (Xmen specifically), Science Fiction movies/TV, MMORPGs and Fantasy novels. 

What book/tv show/comic/etc are you enjoying now?

I’m currently reading the Nate Temple fantasy series and the Schooled in Magic series. 

Who do you ship? 

I ship Wiccan and Hulking. Their story is one of the better representations of young adult queer love in main stream comics. 

What was your introduction to geekdom?

I’d say my introduction to geekdom was probably watching late night TV with my dad and Saturday morning cartoons. We’d watch things like reruns of Elvira’s Movie Macabre, Star Trek (original and TNG), Batman and numerous “so bad they’re good” scifi movies from the 50’s-80’s. And I was obsessed with the He-man, Thundercats and Silverhawks tv shows. 

On Being the (Second) Drag Queen in the Marvel Universe

My Interview with Actor Terrence Clowe

Photo courtesy of

Earlier this month, Marvel announced it will be expanding its podcast offerings to include several scripted programs and nonfiction shows. This makes sense, given the success they’ve had with their Wolverine podcast, which won the Webby Award for Best Original Music/Sound Design and the iHeartRadio Award for Best Scripted Podcast. Wolverine: The Long Night ran from September to November in 2018. The second season, The Lost Trail, premiered in March, with weekly episodes from July to September 2019.

The Lost Trail’s third episode, “The Cold Blooded,” contained a nice surprise for LGBTQ X-Fans. It introduced the character of Flamingeaux, a drag queen compatriot of Logan whose as good with a gun as a one-liner. Joking about him being grumpy and calling the titular mutant “Lo-Lo,” Flamingeaux proves to be a resourceful ally in the fight for mutant freedom with hints of a rich backstory.

Actor Terrence Clowe performed the voice of Flamingeaux, and, though he only appears for a few minutes, he leaves a distinct impression, and not just lipstick smears on “Lo-Lo”’s cheek. I contacted Mr. Clowe via email to see if he’d like to share more about the role, Flamingeaux’s place in the wider Marvel Universe, and what it’s like to be the (second) drag queen in the X-Men canon.

How did this role come to your attention? What was the audition process like? Was there anything in particular that attracted you to the role?

I initially received the audition through my manager. It was a bit daunting at first as they requested me to record two scenes and to prepare a song in the style of the character.

The character description was as follows: A drag singer who performs in the French Quarter of NOLA. In another life, he was a private security guard in a conflict zone abroad. But he left that behind. Now he’s a beloved performer who fashions himself as an advocate for oppressed people of all stripes. Fiercely loyal to his friends. Singing ability a plus.

So you see, I had no idea it was for Wolverine!

Having a background in musical theatre, I was up for the challenge and excited to audition for my first podcast. I had heard that podcasts in general were becoming more popular, but unless you are submitted through your representation and granted an audition it is pretty impossible to get in and be considered for roles. So, just getting an audition, I felt like I scored! LOL

I chose It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls as my song which I sang (down a few octaves) and envisioned myself performing in my favorite Drag Bar, the now-defunct Xes Lounge. I have to admit, recording it with my voice over coach was a ton of fun. The monologue resonated with me on a personal level, especially in light of our current political climate where so much division is being promoted and accepted. I found it moving and poignant. It was key to create these imaginary relationships and experiences through improvisation on my own so that once it came to recording there was a clear understanding of the text. Guess it worked out alright!

How similar and different was it to auditioning for a tv or film role? What was the recording process like?

In general, I prepared the same as I would auditioning for any role in any medium. Although it is voice over, having to define the wants and needs of the character were the same. I study with a fantastic coach, Anthony Abeson, who is big on identifying references to the past and character relationships so I put that to work. The recording process was thrilling. In most of the VO work I’ve done, I was confined to the recording booth and movement was impossible as you were hooked up to headphones in front of a microphone. Here, we were in a large booth were we were blocked and choreographed. It was so cool. During the fighting scenes I was literally hurling myself on the floor. During Flamingeaux’s on-stage performance, I was actually moving and dancing, and I entered my dressing room to meet Wolverine tossing a pair of high heels to the floor as I spoke of “getting out these heels.” I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Are you a fan of the X-Men or Marvel movies? Did you do any research to prepare for the role, like read any comics or watch any movies? Did you do any research into drag, New Orleans, or espionage?

Yes! The recent Black Panther movie is my favorite to date. Once I found out the project was Wolverine, I did some online research into the character and watched Hugh Jackman do his thing. I must admit I got distracted by his beauty most of the time. LOL My husband is also a huge fan so we generally go and see the new Marvel movies as they are released.

Hugh Jackman in Logan

I have dabbled in drag for different roles. Most recently for a TV movie titled Eye for an Eye starring Lew Temple from The Walking Dead. The release date hasn’t been set. I also love RuPaul. I remember seeing him perform at a club in the East Village back in the 90’s when I was at NYU called The World and thought he was so magnetic. I envisioned Flamingeaux having a bit of his flair onstage.

Wolverine has been depicted in a same-sex relationship in the past, though this was dismissed as having been in an alternate universe. Do you think it’s a possibility that Flamingeaux and Wolverine would be a couple? Did you intend to imply that? Or is this just wishful thinking on my part?

Hmmmm…it’s fun to think of a relationship as a possibility, but I felt they were only extremely close friends. I envisioned a situation where Wolverine had Flamingeaux’s back early on as he perhaps came out while on security detail and encountered homophobia. This created a bond that led to an undeniable trust where we now see Wolverine seeking his help and Flamingeaux willing to fight on his behalf.

Richard Armitage voices Wolverine in Wolverine: The Lost Trail. Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema

I was disappointed Flamingeaux didn’t appear again for the rest of The Lost Trail. Do you think we’ll see or hear Flamingeaux again? Would you return to the role, maybe in a tv show? Would you like to see the character depicted in a comic?

There was talk of it happening, which is one of the reasons he didn’t die during the confrontation [with Weapon X later in the episode]. I would love to see him in one of the franchises on screen, and YES I would certainly be available! I think it would be cool to see him have a life in the comics as well. He is such an interesting character with a luscious background, but I think ultimately seeing him again would be up to the fans.

Earlier this year, Sina Grace introduced the character of Darkveil in Iceman, vol. 4 #4, “seemingly Marvel’s first drag queen superhero,” according to the Marvel fandom wiki. Had you heard of this character? While there’s obviously plenty of room for two drag queens in the Marvel Universe (and hopefully many more in the future), do you have any concerns that people might consider her too similar to Flamingeaux or vice versa? Why or why not?

Frankly, I was not familiar with Darkveil. I personally think the more LGBTQ representation there is the better. Seeing these characters that are comfortable in their own skin kicking ass is amazing. I say the more the merrier. The commonality between the two of course is drag but I think fans will be able to clearly distinguish the two because their personalities and backgrounds are so unique.

Darkveil. Artwork by Sina Grace

Where can we see/hear you next?

Thank you for asking! I am in my first Christmas movie, A Christmas Movie Christmas premiering on October 27th on UPtv, Dish188, Direct TV338 7pm Eastern and 4pm Pacific. I play the role of Mr. Peterson and Scrooge in an endearing story of a woman who loves Christmas movies and gets magically transported into one.

Wolverine: The Lost Trail is currently available on Stitcher.

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Powers of seX

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s super-sized episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Eric Green as they discuss the X-Men’s new status quo, the new trailer for the Galaxy Quest documentary, and celebrate The Batman’s new Catwoman, Zoe Kravitz, as our Strong Female Character of the Week.



KEVIN: New trailer for Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery
ERIC: New trailer for Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary



KEVIN: Star Trek: Short Treks, The Terror: Infamy, Batwoman, Nancy Drew, Titans
ERIC: Drawlloween / Inktober, Alice Isn’t Dead, The Haunting of Hill House (book), Always X-Men



The Batman adds Catwoman



Archie Comics releases special comic strips for National Coming Out Day



New trailer for The Imagineering Story coming to Disney+




New trailer for Lady and the Tramp live-action remake
New trailer for Disney’s Jungle Cruise
• New trailer for Onward
• New trailer for Klaus
• New trailer for The Turning
• New trailer for Rattlesnake
• Venom 2 adds Shriek
• Studio Ghibli library coming to HBO Max



• Jim Henson Company developing Webtoon’s Lore Olympus into animated series
• New trailer for Lost in Space season 2
• New trailer for The Outsider based on a story by Stephen King
• New teaser for Marvel’s Runaways
• New trailer for Rick and Morty season 4
Kevin Feige gets a new promotion at Marvel



Joker one-shot reveals a Batman kink
• DC set to reveal Superman’s identity



• KEVIN: Zaddy Cable
• ERIC: Krakoan X-Men Orgy

A Look Back at Sina Grace’s run on Iceman.

Back in June of this year, Sina Grace shared a blog post about his experience working at Marvel. The post has already been subject to plenty of media coverage and online discussion, including on the GeeksOUT Podcast. For those of us familiar with the historical treatment of marginalized voices in publishing, the experience he described is equal parts frustrating, familiar, and disappointing. With that new context in mind, I decided to take a look back at his acclaimed run on Iceman.

Before I dive in, I should cover some of the history for those who didn’t the saga from the beginning. The Iceman solo series came about after the problematic outting of Iceman (aka Bobby Drake) in the All-New X-Men #40 back in 2015. The issue has become the subject of widespread criticism due to the way it was handled. In the story, a time-displaced younger version of Bobby Drake was prodded to admit that he was gay by his teammate, the telepath Jean Grey. After coming to terms with it, the young Bobby then confronted his present day older self. This left the adult Bobby Drake of the present day timeline to grapple with a reality he had been hiding from for his entire life. This is where the solo series picks up.

Thawing Out — Collecting Iceman (2017) #1-5 by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson, Ed Tadeo, and Rachelle Rosenberg.

The first volume of Iceman dealt with a lot of familiar queer themes. It centered around Bobby’s already strained relationship with his mutantphobic parents, where he tried to make peace while trying to figure out the best way to come out to them. There was also some nice awkward conversations with his ex-girlfriend Kitty Pryde, and a storyline where he tried to rescue one of his students from the charming and deceitful Daken. Bobby’s efforts to smoothly navigate his new reality as a gay man did not go as planned, but the messy results lead to some raw and powerful character moments. It was refreshing to see who Bobby was beyond his projected overconfidence and affinity for dad jokes. 

Absolute Zero —Collecting Iceman (2017) #6-11 by Sina Grace, Rober Gill, Ed Tadeo, and Rachelle Rosenberg.

The second volume opened with Iceman and his friends mourning the death of Black Widow, which occurred during the Marvel Secret Empire event. The series of events took Bobby and his friends to LA, where he met Jonah and ended up going on his first date since coming out. The story hits all of the beats of a first love story nicely, with the added complications of Bobby’s X-Men lifestyle thrown into the mix. This volume also ties up some of the loose ends from the first volume; namely the storyline with Daken and Bobby’s former student Amp. Daken’s actions ended up making a mess of things, but the second volume ultimately shows some important growth for Bobby’s character.

Amazing Friends —Collecting Iceman (2018) #1-5 and Uncanny X-Men: Winter’s End by Sina Grace, Nathan Stockman, and Federico Blee.

The original run of Iceman was canceled after 11 issues, but was renewed for 5 more in 2018. The third volume picks up after yet another timeline reset of the Marvel Universe. There is now only one Bobby, who has absorbed the memories of his younger self and gotten himself a new Iceman costume. The main arc of the story dealt with the Morlocks, an underground group of mutant misfits who are unable to pass as human and live beneath the streets of New York. It also featured an excursion with Ema Frost where Bobby helps her rescue her gay brother, a team up with Spiderman and Firestar that pokes fun at the perils of superhero dating, and a face-off with classic X-Men villain Mr. Sinister. This collection also introduced the new drag performing mutant Darkveil (formerly known as Shade) to the Marvel canon. The closing issue also saw Bobby finally confront Jean Grey about the way she outted him and why it was wrong. 

Reading through the series, I was reminded once again how refreshing it is to have queer stories in set among familiar worlds and characters. While it would have been nice to see an Iceman story that wasn’t so tied up with the ongoing Marvel canon, Sina Grace’s run tells a unique story about an omega-level mutant learning to be emotionally vulnerable for the first time. The themes and situations may not be new, but their context within the popular X-Men franchise is.

For many of us, Bobby Drake has been coded queer for quite some time. I can remember how validated I felt while watching X2: X-Men United back in 2003, just months after I had come out of the closet myself. When Bobby’s parents asked him if he had tried not being a mutant before ultimately turning against him and his friends, it hit close to home. It was the first time that I could recall seeing my own experience represented in a mainstream film.

The X-Men have always been layered in queer themes. From the ostracization of a group of people rejected by their own families, to portraying the fears of mainstream society as a villain. I don’t think it’s what Jack Kirby and Stan Lee intended when they created the series back in 1963, but the queerness is right there it’s premise. That’s a big part of what makes it so disheartening to read about Sina Grace’s experience with Marvel. Stories like this are important and uniquely empowering. I want to see more of them, and I want to Marvel do better.

Can We Agree to Boycott Bryan Singer?


In 1997, Bryan Singer was accused by three underage extras, including a 14-year-old, of filming them nude for a shower scene in Apt Pupil. In April 2014, Singer was accused of drugging and raping Michael Egan in Hawaii at a party when Egan was 17 years old. In 2016, actor Noah Galvin alleged in a Vulture interview, in a quote that was eventually pulled, that Bryan Singer “likes to invite little boys over to his pool and diddle them in the fucking dark of night.” On December 7, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed a lawsuit against Singer for allegedly raping him in 2003 when Sanchez-Guzman was 17. This is an incomplete list.


When the first X-Men film was released (2000), I was still mired in a Christian worldview that bristled at the idea of gay subtext in popular media. Friends of mine, who had flocked to see The Matrix the year before, were refusing to see X-Men because the director was gay (though both directors of The Matrix have since come out as trans). Another friend likened Magneto’s plan to transform unsuspecting humans into mutants to “the Homosexual Agenda forcing its lifestyle on people” and corrupting our nation’s youth. They also objected to all the foul language.


It was a long, difficult road to my self-acceptance, but when I acknowledged that I was gay, I was able to enjoy that film and the second one on a whole other level. Bryan Singer became someone I could respect and admire. I thought he was someone young gay men could be inspired by. Instead, he was preying on them.


I was crushed when he was accused in 2014. Not just because of what had happened to Egan, or because one of my heroes had fallen, but I knew this somehow lent credence in the minds of my old friends to all their ideas about the insidiousness of homosexuality. “Gay men are child molesters or victims of child molestation” is a common refrain in that world, and here was further proof, as far as they were concerned.


When Egan dropped his allegations, I breathed a sigh of relief. If I’d bothered to learn more than that simple fact, of course, I would have had to face the hard truths I’m facing now. Like that the allegations were dropped on a technicality, or the reality of how traumatizing such court battles can be for victims. Eventually, some of Egan’s former lawyers apologized to two people he accused, and he was sentenced in 2015 for fraud. That this accuser might not be entirely credible does not mean he cannot be a legitimate victim. I turned a blind eye and went on my willfully ignorant way.


The other great lie the Christian Right loves telling about the gay community is that we’re a shadow network that conspires to corrupt children, covers for pedophiles, and take down politicians or preachers who try to stop us. Turning a blind eye to behavior like Singer’s practically validates such thinking. Kevin Spacey tried to take advantage of the gay community’s largesse by coming out of the closet as a way of hiding his admission of guilt in regards to sexual assault. Thankfully, other gay celebrities were not going to let him “hide under the rainbow,” as comedian Wanda Sykes put it. Nor should we let Bryan Singer try to do the same.


The gay community should be a welcoming place where people are free to be their best selves. Singer took advantage of that feeling, of his status and privilege, and turned it into something nefarious. He has irrevocably damaged the young men he has coerced and violated.


The day after Sanchez-Guzman’s accusations, the USC School of Cinematic Arts said it will remove Singer’s name from its Division of Cinema & Media Studies program known as the Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies. But more must be done. After being found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl (whom he knowingly intoxicated), Roman Polanski lived in a Swiss chalet and won a Best Director Oscar. He might finally be facing consequences for his actions; we must hope such a reckoning takes place for Singer.


But what about his movies? Can we still enjoy them? This is more than separating art from artist. This is being complicit in a pattern of criminal behavior that destroys lives just so that we can have a few good X-Men movies. What message do we send to victims of abuse when we continue to enjoy the fruits of their abusers?


I can’t do that anymore. And none of us should. I’m not going to host bonfires of X-Men merchandise or beseech my friends to denounce Singer. I’ve written favorably about work he’s produced, but no more. He might be nothing more than a producer on X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but I’ll be skipping that too. I’ll never enjoy another piece of art that his hands have touched. Because admiring the art while loathing the artist allows us to enjoy what we want without considering the human cost, the harm done by the people who have made this art. If an attempted rapist creates something beautiful, we need to be strong enough to recognize it as ugly.

The Best and Worst Time to Be an X-Fan

The X-Men hold a special place in the heart of every queer geek. And for good reason: the metaphor for outsiders scorned for being different who draw power from those differences is obvious enough, but we are now at a time when there’s always a comics storyline or video game or movie to serve as a touchstone, regardless of our biological age. Could the best time to have been an X-fan have been the very beginning, when the Civil Rights metaphors were fresh and new? They were popular even then.

Image result for x-men #1

Sure, it’s worth half a million dollars now. But did you like them before they were popular?

For a lot of us, the best time to be a fan of the X-Men was in the 90s, when the cartoon aired on Fox. Objectively one of the better animated adaptations of a superhero property, it’s now painfully dated (which adds to its appeal, at least for those who grew up watching it). One of the best superhero arcade games came out the same year it premiered, and I still look for it anytime I visit a beercade. (I recently had to fight two co-workers over getting to play as Storm. No one wanted to be Dazzler.)


On the other hand, between Legion and Logan, perhaps now is the best time to be an X-fan. They both garnered an unprecedented level of critical acclaim for superhero stories (though no Emmy nominations for Legion, which is practically a crime against Aubrey Plaza and several directors). My husband even loved Logan, and tells me that Legion is very popular in Thailand. He shared a 10/10 review that he roughly translated as, “I have no idea what’s going on in this show, but it’s great.”

Image result for legion tv show

After we saw Logan, he asked me about “the guy who looked like Voldemort,” and was answered with a detailed history of Caliban, an explanation of who the Morlocks were, and a long rant about how criminally underused Storm is. (I’m lucky he thinks I’m cute when I get like this.) All of this helped me appreciate the film on another level, because it didn’t feel the need to pander to any nostalgia or shoehorn in any fan service. ComicMix wrote back in April that “X-Men has become too old, too bloated, and is crippling itself under its own weight in continuity.” And if you got mad at my husband or me for likening Caliban to Voldemort when they’re obviously two very different characters, maybe you also would have appreciated being pandered to.


This illustrates why it’s also possibly the worst time to be a fan of the X-Men. The franchise really does threaten to buckle and collapse. Fan expectations are higher than ever, but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of enjoying great art, we’re nitpicking over devotion to storylines and character designs that are sometimes several decades old. I’ve read on Twitter about how Logan ruined the goodwill of First Class and Days of Future Past. (For the record: No, it didn’t. That was one of the many, many sins of X-Men: Apocalypse.) I’ve known some fans who gave up on Legion before it began because it lacked the main character’s gravity-defying haircut from the comics.

Image result for slim jim mascot

Is this the Legion you wanted?

We can’t let our nostalgia blind us to what deserves attention, and we can’t let what has gotten our attention to allow us to become smug toward people who don’t know any better. I understand the frustration of discovering new fans. We were there for the missteps and the rebranding, and now that our patience and diligence have paid off, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and trying to force us out! But this is all the more reason to be patient. Why be the reason they stop enjoying something?


We can’t ignore the quality of what’s right in front of us. Never before has there been so much great work, and hopefully it will inspire more. The Gifted premieres later this year, and The New Mutants will be released in 2020. The reception of those will probably be divided too, but I appreciate the bold decision to make the latter a horror movie. Such experimentation should be rewarded, not hamstrung by fan expectations; it’s the best way to create and inspire new fans of what could become but never should be a worn-out idea.


So maybe the best time to be a fan of the X-Men is the future.