This podcast is part of the LGBTQIA+ Fantastika Graphics Symposium.
Join the discussion on discord (https://discord.gg/yTJe8JsWcG) or on our zoom webinar on 20 Nov 2021. See fantastikajournal.com for details.
Background music by scottholmesmusic.com
Podcast by: Ibtisam Ahmed
Queer History in Marvel’s Voices Pride:
Archive and Reclamation
Marvel Comics has not had overt LGBTQIA+ representation until recently in large part due to its adherence to the Comics Code Authority until 2001 which prevented most characters from being openly queer. Despite this, the use of metaphor, subtext and, in some rare cases, rejection of the Code has created a rich, but complex, history of queer characters and narratives. In 2021, the company released Marvel’s Voices Pride, an anthology of different writers and artists taking this history and reframing it through the lens of the queer experience, centring on both old and new characters.
In this podcast, I look at the anthology as a form of queer history, acting simultaneously as an archive of struggle and a reclamation of formerly suppressed narratives. With the creators all being part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well, the stories feel authentically intersectional. In addition to actively rejecting erasure of bisexual, asexual, trans and non-binary lives, it also deals with trauma, immigration and refugee status, misogyny, racism, disability, body politics, and other multiple marginalisations.
By touching on some of the narratives in the issue and by reflecting on the queer identities of the creative team, I argue that the anthology fulfils an empowering function by speaking truth to power and offering meaning in absences – both key aspects of historical storytelling from marginalised perspectives. As such, I view Marvel’s Voices Pride as part of the wider tradition of queer history, and a vital addition to the LGBTQIA+ canon.
About the Speaker: Ibtisam Ahmed (he/him) is the Policy and Research Manager at LGBT Foundation, and has recently submitted his PhD thesis at the University of Nottingham. His work is included in The Politics of Culture, Ancillary Review of Books and Imagining the Impossible. He is also a member of the Beyond Gender collective and a former co-Director of the London Science Fiction Research Community.
Disclaimer: The information and ideas in these podcasts are the property of the speakers. Fantastika Journal operates under the Creative Commons Licence CCBY-NC. This allows for the reproduction or transcription of podcasts for non-commercial uses, only with the appropriate citation information. All rights belong to the author.
The views expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fantastika Journal and its editorial board.
This podcast edited by Kerry Dodd