Marvel Comics Presents #101-108
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Gene Colon
Inks: Al Williamson
Colours: Kelly Corvese
Letters: Michael Higgins
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Original publication date: April 1992
You know that we do it together. In our case, that means podcasting about Excalibur with super-smart friends, and in Nightcrawler and Wolverine’s case, it means spending a relaxing weekend in Bavaria, taking in a few shows, fighting/helping monsters, and sharing a romantic horseback ride under a pinkish moon. Well, maybe relaxing isn’t the right word… but we stand by the romance 😉 Comics and medieval studies scholar Dr. Christopher M. Roman, author of the forthcoming book Queering Wolverine, takes us on a trip through queer readings of Logan and Logan/Kurt in and around Marvel Comics Presents #101-108, “Male Bonding.”
On queer Wolverine:
“In terms of ‘queering Wolverine,’ I’m interested in his body. If we go with the premise that superhero bodies are supposed to very hot and sexy, curvy, spandex-ed and ‘whole’—much of the time, Wolverine’s body is not that.” -Chris
On queer mutant bodies:
“Wolverine’s excess can be very queer. He often flows outside the borders of his body. He’s often punctured, tattered, engorged—and naked. People love to draw him naked. Even though he’s supposedly ‘ugly.’” -Chris
On queer community:
“There are three different groups of outsiders in this story. The mutants, the monsters, and the circus performers. And it made me think about queer community, in terms of—who is allowed to be visible, and who has to hide.” -Chris
On queer moments:
Chris: “The coming out of the water scene struck me as particularly sexy, with the flowing and merging, and then the hug.”
Anna: “And they each make an orgasm face while screaming the other’s name.”
On queer themes:
“For me, this story feels queer in the ways it heavily thematizes many-layered identities, disguise, and performance. It opens with Kurt performing a trapeze act while disguised as a clown with his mutant-ness and his superhero costume hidden underneath.” -Anna
On intimate moments:
“The opening narration, which is very insightful of Kurt’s journey, is in Logan’s voice. To me, that is really, really intimate.” -Andrew
On queer coding:
“So-called ‘straight’ stories often appropriate queer themes and language to express homosocial bonds, which can lend itself quite easily to parody. It doesn’t take much for ‘just guys doing guy stuff’ to feel very gay. But it’s hard to judge intentionality here. Are the chapter titles signalling intentional queerness, or are they supposed to be funny because Kurt and Logan are ‘actually’ straight?” -Mav
On queer sensuality:
“A lot of Kurt/Logan slash fiction talks about their sensuality towards each other. Stories talk about Kurt’s fur and smell, and Logan’s appreciation of that as a mutant with heightened senses. Fanfiction’s not canon, but comics also play up the sensuality of their bond.” -Chris
On shame vs reflection:
“I’m sensitive about the word ‘shame’ applied to Kurt primarily because of how some 21st century stories have foregrounded religious sexual shame he didn’t have before. But I like meaningful moments of self doubt, and to me this is that. Kurt doesn’t want to be someone else here. He just wants to be accepted for who he is.” -Anna
Want more Christopher Roman?
You can find him on Twitter (@ProfessorWolvie), and look for his book from Routledge, Queering Wolverine, sometime next year! (We can’t wait!!)
In the meantime, you can check out some of his thoughts on Wolverine and gender in the article “Queer kinship in Chris Claremont and Allen Milgrom’s Kitty Pryde and Wolverine,” published with Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics!
And as usual:
You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and on her podcast with Andrew and Michael Hancock, Three Panel Contrast (@3PanelContrast).
You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun).
You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast).
Worth the whole episode for Andrew’s horse analogy at the start.
In total agreement over how Wolverine is wasted in the Krakoa era, there is so much story potential in the new status quo but it just feels like the same old, same old Wolverine fight fests for the character. And I totally miss his mentorship of other characters.
And I am mentioned in dispatches, totally honoured!