I started watching Killjoys yesterday and it is legit my new favorite show. 

I’m only on episode three so I’m assuming things will get HORRIFIC, but I’m basically in love with Dutch. I also love that she’s the main character and a badass capable of basically destroying everything. 

I do wish the show had more WOC and some canonically queer characters, but I’m hoping that I’m just not seeing them because I’m legit only ten minutes into episode three and anything can happen. 

But seriously, it’s a sci-fi show about bounty hunters. It’s like Cowboy Bebop but better and with a biracial Black woman as the main actress. 

Gosh!

A rambling post on race and the X-Men Franchise

The X-Men franchise kind of proves how allegories for
oppression often fall flat when it comes to being cognizant of stuff like
racism. The in-world oppression that the characters do face is serious and
important, but the series itself is terrible at handling or recognizing
intersectional identities and the realities of life as a marginalized person with a mutation.

In fact, the thought that inspired me writing this little
post was looking at how of Black mutants in the United States where the original
comic series  and the first film in the
new franchise (that kills off the one Black guy (Darwin) in the first film and
has Afro-Latina mutant Angel sexualized and then killed off in between films) was
set.

Think about it: The X-Men franchise largely uses mutants and
mutantdom to show characters dealing with racism (as in they are hated for
being mutants and not “regular” humans)–

And yet, the series at no point actually and consistently addresses
how the reaction to mutants in the franchise would be incredibly different when
you looked between white mutants versus mutants of color.

The series focuses mainly on white mutants (especially men)
as the most oppressed and lacks intersectionality. That’s how we end up with
“mutant” as a racial slur in Rick Remender’s Ultimate Avengers #5. Because there is a serious lack of oversight
and knowledge of intersectionality involved when it comes to crafting the
X-Men.

Yeah, all mutants would be feared and hated to some degree.

That’s a given
because well… if humanity still can’t handle being cool with people with
different skin colors, they’re not going to be okay with people who can read
minds or turn into giant blue furries or absorb your energy with a touch.

But what happens when the people of color that white humans
already hate turn out to have those superpowers as well?

What happens to queer mutants?

Okay.

The franchise uses allegories to stand in for everything.
EVERYTHING. But it’s such a shallow peek at what diverse mutants would go
through and experience. We don’t actually get to see regular images of diverse
mutants being represented well and with their mutanthood existing alongside
their race/sexuality/gender. You know… because intersectionality is so hard for us.

Also: it’s not like the mutant gene skips racists (or any
form of bigot considering that it clearly doesn’t skip people that hate
mutants). So you’d absolutely have racist mutants with like tentacles who have
accepted that they’re different and that’s okay, but fuck that brown kid who
can levitate because that’s not ~normal~.

But nah, let’s pretend that the mutant gene or w/e brings us
all together and erases the fact that there are some people who would just
straight up use their mutantness as a weapon to hurt other marginalized people.
How about the fact that different ethnicities would embrace (or reject) their
mutant kin differently and we don’t get to see that?

I also hate that for the most part, race is kind of a
nonissue in the X-men franchise.

I don’t just mean
racism right (though yeah, it’s a reality of not being seen as white where you
live) but acknowledgement of race or celebrations of race. The x-men franchise
hinges on this weird colorblind ideology where being a mutant is supposed to
trump everything else and I’m sorry, it wouldn’t. It couldn’t.

Being marginalized on one axis doesn’t mean that you’d be
amazingly welcoming to someone who’s marginalized on another axis. It doesn’t
mean that your other aspects of identity stop mattering the way I feel the
X-men franchise keeps trying to push.

I don’t want to see trauma porn (a la OitNB) in order to
inform people that racism exists, but a seriously nuanced version of life might
be like for a mutant of color: the good and
the bad.

Like I get that we’re stuck in a cycle of grimdark and edgy
in the comics (that has all too infrequent breaks), but I would fight someone
for the chance to read a slice of life comic centering on the experiences of a
mutant of color that has a visible mutation rather than a near endless line of
white (and whitewashed) characters being framed as ~the most oppressed person
ever~.

Cool things coming up for Patrons in July

If you’re looking for writing that talks about or focuses on characters of color and diversity in the world we live in and the media we consume, here’s what’s up on the schedule for my Patrons in July (You know… in case you want to become one of them). 

On the nonfiction side, for $1+ Patrons, we’re going to have another post in the Urban Fantasy 101 series and another Letter to the Author (likely Nalini Singh about her worldbuilding and characters). I’m also hoping to have a working first draft on my post that looks at queer coding the Joker and how it’s often tied into homophobia, but that’s not guaranteed.

For fiction, we’ve got two cool stories coming up for $5+ Patrons. The first story takes us back to the heroes and villains of Comet City (”Super-Villains (Not So) Anonymous” from last month) when a young hero bites off more than she can chew when she tries to take a villain on all on her own.

The second story for the month, is a fluffy and probably NSFW romance between two sirens in Ancient Egypt.

One thing that I’m also going to start in July is a little drabble series called “Asra, Katan, And The Quest For Uninterrupted Time Alone” that provides little sneak peeks at the characters’ lives and evolving relationship following last month’s “Breaking and Entering”..

And lastly, for $10+ Patrons, chapter three of Adventures in Accidental Demon Summoning will be live near the end of the month.

There will also be a couple of snippets of works in progress and a podcast episode about worldbuilding in my main universe. 

Whoo!

So if you want to get some cool content that deals with diversity and diverse worlds (all of the stories this month focus have at least one character of color in main roles) while supporting a queer writer of color… 

Support me on Patreon today!

My kingdom for a Bond-of-Color

I’m not going to call myself a James Bond expert or anything so very trite, but I did spend most of last year (and a huge chunk of this year) both having intense opinions on the James Bond film franchise to anyone that would listen and writing an in-depth article series for The Mary Sue about the movies. It’s pretty fair to say that I get the film franchise better than the average non-Bond blogger.

That’s why I’m pretty uninterested in the idea of casting yet another vaguely attractive white guy in the role.

Continue reading →

Okay so I’m like 90% sure that one of y’all lovely and creative people did a really neat looking mockup of John Boyega as James Bond and I’d love to share it in this article I want to post about how Bond doesn’t need to be white – however, I suck at remembering who did what so I can’t freaking find the image. 

If you’re the creator of that image and you’re cool with me sharing your image on my blog, lemme know?