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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stan Lee on Iceman being Gay

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 18/11/2015, Stan Lee: Publisher branded Spider-Man 'the worst idea'

Stan Lee: When we started these new books, we started getting fan mail written in crayon. A little bit later the fan letters were written in pencil. Then they started coming written in ink. Then they were typed.

And we knew we were reaching older and older readers, and that made us so happy.

When I go to a comic book convention, men with beards come over to me and they have their grandchildren with em and they say, "Gee, I loved reading those stories and now my little grandson loves em." That's a very satisfying thing to hear

Host: They also of course keep up with the times. And this year we had, I think it was this year, that we had the news that Iceman had come out as gay, is that right?

Stan Lee: *pauses* *laughs* I wasn't involved in that. That may have been after I stopped writing the books.

I didn't really have any gay characters, or if they were gay, I didn't play up the fact that they were gay.

I wasn't aware of it.

I wasn't aware of my, err, characters' sexual proclivities.

In fact, your telling me that is the first that I had heard that Iceman, is Iceman really gay?

Host: Had you not heard that? It was in the New York Times last week but I think-

Stan Lee: I don't read the magazines anymore because my eyesight isn't that good and the print is so small. So people just tell me what's happening and as I say this is the first time that I learnt that Iceman is gay.

Wow. I never knew that.

I don't care what happens as long as they tell good stories.

Why is it important to know comic book characters' sexualities?

As Emma Frost tells him, "What does that have to do with this?" Perhaps this is a nod to the irony of this even coming up as an issue.

As Kirby's biographer evaluates the situation,

he saw the decision as more cynical. “The problem is when you have a character who’s been handled by so many different writers and editors over the years, people find little nuances and seize upon them, and editors say, ‘We need an event this month. Who can we maim, or kill, or out, or marry in order to create an event?’” Evanier said. “And that doesn’t always result in a bad comic book. But it’s arbitrary.”
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