The New Warriors
Try again, Marvel!
Marvel Comics has released the first visuals from an upcoming new comic series that’ll reboot an already established superhero team. Back in 1989, the hero team the New Warriors appeared in The Mighty Thor #411. Throughout the years, the team has included some notable names from the Avengers and the X-Men like Nova or Firestar. But the latest iteration of the team includes some new faces and some LGBTQ representation. Though, LGBTQ readers are not exactly happy about it.
While the comic reboot, by Daniel Kibblesmith and Lucciano Vecchio, includes some of the iconic team members, there are a few new faces to the group. This is because the comic’s story sees the passing of a new law, the Kamala’s Law, which makes it so underage heroes have to work under the supervision of mentors. This then brings a certain set of twins under the guidance of the New Warriors.
Snowflake & Safespace
Since Marvel released information about the new team members, most have been talking about Snowflake and Safespace. The two are psychic twins with differing powers. Snowflake creates and throws snowflake-shaped objects at people. Meanwhile, Safespace creates pink force fields to protect people.
“Snowflake and Safespace are the twins,” the comic’s writer said in Marvel’s announcement, “and their names are very similar to Screentime; it’s this idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don’t see as derogatory. [They] take those words and kind of wear them as badges of honor.”
“Safespace is a big, burly, sort of stereotypical jock. He can create forcefields, but he can only trigger them if he’s protecting somebody else. Snowflake is non-binary and goes by they/them, and has the power to generate individual crystalized snowflake-shaped shurikens. The connotations of the word ‘snowflake’ in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.”
“Snowflake is the person who has the more offensive power, and Safespace is the person who has the more defensive power. The idea is that they would mirror each other and complement each other.”
While the comic’s creators intended for the characters’ names to be ironic on purpose, the names have still come off as tone-deaf to comic fans. Frankly, the names and character concepts come off as straight/cis-gendered people’s ways of seeming hip and inclusive. But the misguided idea of making polarizing terms like “snowflake” and “safespace” as “badges of honor” is a nice idea in the writers’ room and a polarizing idea in the execution. For comic fans and LGBTQ people, these new character reveals came with confusion and rejection.
I really can't tell if this is legit supposed to be a positive portrayal, or what…
It seems like they just named them after the top trending words on Twitter for attention.
— Skepticᵀᴹ (@ArmouredSkeptic) March 18, 2020
Is this for real? …not sure if I’m excited for the representation, or offended by the character’s name
— Kacey (@KaceyPink_Blue) March 18, 2020
Marvel had the opportunity to break ground with the first non-binary superhero and they named them "Snowflake."
— J-CUB (@JAKUJR) March 18, 2020
Don’t get us wrong, we like that Marvel Comics tried. After all, LGBTQ representation is important. And, we’d much prefer the creation of new characters that slowly rise to fame than the changing of established characters into LGBTQ people (like the current Wolverine/Cyclops situation). That said, the execution on Snowflake and Safespace was unfortunate at best.
Try again, Marvel.