Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Coming out in comics 4: Rampage

Note: this series is being expanded to cover all scenes featuring gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.  It doesn't have to involve the character formally coming out, but will probably go for the earliest instances of their sexuality being made evident.  Even if I have to extrapolate from the text or consider subtext.

OK, this one isn't explicit but when I first read it I thought it was obvious the character was gay. On my second reading it didn't seem quite so cut and dried, so maybe I'm projecting. See what you think.

The scenes in question come from the Peter David* Supergirl run, specifically, from the first trade. Kitty Faulkner - alter ego Rampage - is a scientist who has been framed for thieving money. She has been framed by her assistant, Christine. These next few scans show Kitty finding out what Christine has done, changing to Rampage and then attacking Christine.

So, nothing explicit there, but Kitty's words, her facial expressions and her reaction indicate to me that there is something else there. The backstory I've invented is that Kitty and Christine were working closely together, Kitty started falling for Christine and they went on a few dates. Kitty's feelings were real, Christine's feelings weren't and she was using and exploiting Kitty in order to steal the money. They are in the early stages of a relationship, they've probably slept together a few times and Kitty thinks it's serious. Kitty is definitely gay and Christine probably is.

Whaddya all reckon? Gay or straight?

*Yes, I am aware that Peter David is a bit of a prick. But I've decided I can't ignore all his work forever, and I do rather like some of it. So as long as you keep in mind that he thinks America has no racism because Obama is President, I think we'll be on the same wavelength.


Anonymous said...

PAD, for all his flaws, is very, very cool when it comes to including queer characters in his work. I can't see that as anything other then what you suggested.

notintheface said...

Neither. I think she's most likely bi, since she was also briefly a love interest for the Will Payton Starman in STARMAN (the volume just prior to James Robinson's legendary Jack Knight version.)

Saranga said...

notintheface: good point. I Haven't seen rampage anywhere else but i did debate as to whether to give the bi option.
I think I decided against it because I had no evidence in the text as to whether she also liked men. Certainly it didn't feel politicised the way some gay characters can be i.e., the coming out scenario is made into a big statement. Instead, this reads to me more as if Rampage just likes people and it's incidental as to their gender or sex.
Maybe it's a cop out that I didn't include bi as an option, esp, since lack of visibility of gay characters is one of the the things I whinge about.
I think i justified it by saying that this particular instance is a same sex relationship therefore terming it (the relationship) as gay or lesbian is allowable.