Well, that got interesting.
The internet is abuzz with a recent comic page that has some pretty homoerotic language. The now iconic comic page appeared in a recent issue of Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #2.
The comic series sees Ghost Rider telling stories about his exploits and adventures with other Marvel superheroes. While the series is presented with fanfare and fun to remind Marvel fans of comic stories from the past, the storyline is much darker than it first appears.
In telling these stories, Ghost Rider is rewriting and retconning some of Marvel’s actual history and many fans suspect it will lead to catastrophic results for the continuity of some of our favorite heroes.
But again, the story is presenting itself as a light and funny adventure, and the second issue starts off exactly that way.
The comic begins with the below anecdote from Rider about his friend Spiderman. The webbed hero was struggling against longtime nemesis Venom and came up with a creative way to stop the fighting. Namely, taking off his clothes and egging the Venom symbiote into taking over his body. Only, the situation takes a weird turn.
Many on the internet have responded differently to this quick panel. Some have expressed excitement and amusement from it, some have expressed a different kind of excitement…, and some of have expressed disgust.
Well????? I’m waiting for venom to pound Spider-Man
— damian lovebot (@gothamtwinks) April 4, 2019
In terms of the latter reaction, there have been calls of this page being queerbait or making jokes out of gay people and situations.
“Something about the “subtext” (although in this example it’s not exactly subtle) is kinda sexy,” said one Twitter user in response to Gay Star News’ coverage of the comic page. “The secret of it or something.”
“Definitely bait but I’m in the minority that actually loves gay bait,” wrote another.
But is it queerbait? As one reader finely explains, its more about funny wording and poking fun at the superhero genre.
“I don’t think this is in the realm of gaybaiting. It’s self-aware – the implied homosexuality is immediately called out by an observer, highlighting the fact it’s a joke,” another reader said.
“This doesn’t attract gay fans, nor does it try to – instead it’s a crack at the superhero genre in general, and a joke over the fact the terminology used to describe physical violence has a large overlap with sexually explicit statements.”
If you want to check out the scenario, and the rest of the comic issue, for yourself, you can purchase Cosmic Ghost Rider Destorys Marvel History #2 here.