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#1 Edited by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok I found something interesting on http://www.therainbowhub.com/hercules-is-a-missed-opportunity-for-a-bi-lead-in-the-marvel-universe/

About Hercules and iceman.

When looking at a list of gay or bi male superheroes, I notice a lot of characters that would be classified as “twink” in common queer slang. A twink can be defined as a thin, attractive young gay or bi man, who usually dresses fashionably and has no body hair. Think Northstar or Wiccan. On the other hand of the spectrum is the “bear”, which is a burlier, more conventionally masculine gay or bi man, who typically has chest hair, and there are loads of body types and slang terms in between. But sadly, Marvel (especially) and DC’s queer male superheroes have stuck with very slim, effeminate looks with the notable exception of Midnighter, who is broad, muscular, and actually has chest hair to go with mohawk and some stubble.

Another LGBTQ male character who could have added some body diversity was Marvel’s version of Hercules. He made his first real Marvel appearance in the Jack Kirby drawn Journey into Mystery Annual #1 where he and Marvel’s main mythological hero, Thor, fought each other to a standstill. In the 1970s, he was on the shortlived Champions team, and he had several minis and guest appearances in Thor and Avengers-related titles into the 21st century.

In 2008, the regular Incredible Hulk series became Incredible Hercules. It was co-written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and ran for 29 straight issues. The series concluded with the Hercules Fall of An Avenger mini that revealed Hercules had a sexual relationship with Marvel’s original gay superhero Northstar and possibly its first superhero period, Namor the Submariner. Also, in the fan favorite X-Treme X-Men series, Hercules had a relationship with an alternate universe version of Wolverine, who was the governor of Canada.

Hercules was an easy opportunity to have a queer male lead and actually sell comic books. He’s been one of the Western world’s top heroes for millennia, and his adventures have been told in everything from Disney cartoons to Brett Ratner films. He has been written as everything from a comic buffoon to a tragic figure in Euripides’ play Heraclides where the gods manipulate him into killing his wife and children.

Even more importantly, historically he’s always been bisexual. In the famous myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Hercules abandoned the quest when his young armor bearer and lover Hylas was kidnapped by water nymphs. Hercules also had a romantic relationship with Iolaus, a Theban warrior, who helped him kill the Hydra. There is a creepy factor in this relationship because they were half brothers, but Iolaus did give his name to a shrine where male lovers worshiped together. Basically, the famous Roman writer Plutarch (whose Lives supplied the plots of the Shakespeare’s plays Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra) sums up Hercules’ sexuality by saying, “And as to all of the loves of Hercules, it would take too much time to enumerate them…”

From his portrayal in mythology and in Pak and Van Lente’s Incredible Hercules, Hercules is the polar opposite of the mostly monogamous Northstar, Hulkling, and Wiccan. He forms both emotional and sexual connections with men and women. Whether this is because he just likes to party, is immortal and lonely, or another reason is up to the writer, and there are tons of ways stories featuring him can be told from light, action-filled buddy stories to serious explorations of his semi-divine psyche. (I prefer Herc’s comedy side unless he’s being written by Euripides.)

Unfortunately, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso curtly denied Hercules’ bisexuality in his weekly interview column at Comic Book Resources. He didn’t even acknowledge the in Marvel Earth-616 canon sequence in Hercules: Fall of Avenger #1 and refused follow-up questions stating that Hercules was only bi in an alternate universe and flat out declaring him “straight”. This is bi erasure plain and simple.

In the past, Marvel has turned subtextual queer relationships into text, such as Loki, who has slept with a variety of genders and species in Norse mythology, being both bisexual and genderqueer in Al Ewing’s Loki Agent of Asgard; writer Gerry Duggan stating on Twitter that Deadpool is pansexual, and writer Kieron Gillen declaring that none of the Young Avengers were straight by Young Avengers #15. The Deadpool one is more played for comedy in Duggan and Posehn’s run and doesn’t explore his pansexuality in depth (I read all 40+ issues and annuals and recently found out that he was pan via Tumblr.) But it was nice baby steps in diversity.

However, in the last year alone, Marvel has lost a lot of their good will by either erasing or fridging bisexual characters. First, there is Iceman, who was outed as gay by Jean Grey in a recent issue of All-New X-Men. Marvel had a chance to make one of the original X-Men bisexual, but instead opted to present him as gay using language typically used to marginalize bisexual people In the recent Runaways series, writer Noelle Stevenson made fan favorite Pixie openly bisexual, but then was killed brutally in Runaways #2 even though there were a bunch of straight characters to fill the Hunger Games quota. This killing felt like a classic comic book fridging because the only purpose of the death was to motivate her girlfriend, Jubilee, who will most likely continue to be straight in the mainstream Marvel universe post-Secret Wars.

And now with a line in an interview, Marvel has lost a golden chance at a bisexual male lead, who is boisterous, masculine, and not about to get married to a random human. (Sorry, Northstar.) Plus upcoming Hercules writer Dan Abnett has a history of writing interesting, badass LGBTQ characters with the lesbian couple Moondragon and Phyla-Vell in his cosmic Annhilation Conquest series and could possibly explore his sexuality in a compelling manner.

On a more personal note, as a more “traditionally masculine” queer man with body and facial hair, it’s been hard for me to connect to characters like Northstar, Wiccan, Bunker, and even Hulkling and Apollo. The first queer superhero I really felt similar to was Prodigy in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers. Sadly, he only made a few appearances, but got to be adorable and nerdy as well as kiss Hulkling, hop dimensions, and discuss his bisexuality at great length. He also had a lanky body type and was in the middle of the “twink”/”bear” spectrum between Northstar and Hercules showing that there are spaces between in queer male body types that the Big Two has barely touched upon.

Midnighter also fits in the middle of this spectrum even though he is much more muscular than me personally. He also represents a kind of “power fantasy” ideal for some queer readers than straight readers have experienced for years with Spider-Man or The Flash. He’s a character who can win a fight before it begins while still being awkward in his relationships and having a romantic side. This is a role Hercules could fill for the Marvel Universe as a hero as strong as Thor, who happens to be attracted to both men and women.

Straight men have had Superman since 1938, straight women have had Wonder Woman since 1941 so why can’t queer men have at least one super strong hero, who can do feats that we can only dream of. (Laying in his arms. Oops.)

But not content to merely dash the hopes of queer comics fan hoping for at least one of the 60 upcoming All-New Marvel comics to have a hero like us, editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and PR person Chris D’Lando decided to retweet an image posted by a GamerGater poking fun of these very fans. (This has since been deleted from Alonso and D’Lando’s accounts.) This painful image is an example of a privileged straight man punching down at fans like me, who found refuge in the LGBTQ metaphors of characters like the X-Men or actual LGBTQ characters, like the Young Avengers.

It’s poor behavior for a company that claims to espouse diversity in their comics, but can’t find the time of day to give more than one LGBTQ character a solo title (Thank goodness for Marguerite Bennett and Stephanie Hans’ Angela.) or even have a single black creator write or draw one of their upcoming All-New Marvel titles until Black History Month in February.

In contrast, DC has six titles with LGBTQ leads (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Harley Quinn and Power Girl, Hellblazer, Midnighter, Bombshells), with two of them –Hellblazer and Midnighter- written by bisexual creators, James Tynion IV and Steve Orlando.

And it’s for this and number of reasons that for the first time in my five years of reading comics, I can say I prefer DC to Marvel. (Actually, Image and BOOM!, but this is a big deal for a guy with a 4:1 Marvel to DC ratio as far as action figures go.)

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#2 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

So what do you think ?

Oh bonus question. How come nobody ever calls hulk by his first name ? His full name is Robert Bruce banner. But everyone refers to him as Bruce Banner. I noticed lots of people doing that in fiction now. Like man-bat's real name is Robert Kirkland Langstrom but people just call him Kirk Langstrom... Oh in arrow nobody calls Dinah lance they call her laurel lance ? Laurel is her middle name. I know it's stupid but it really bugs me.

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#3 Posted by _Mongul (1855 posts) - - Show Bio

Nobody cares.

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#4 Edited by Monarch_Chronicle (2869 posts) - - Show Bio

eh Hercules actually makes sense tbh, i would think most gods dont see gender as something important

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#5 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

So what do you think ?

I think that's a very very long OP

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#6 Edited by deactivated-5a04a566e9ae3 (12864 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, marvel needs their hot leather daddy equivalent to Midnighter. That could have been Hercules, but I guess Marvel is content to perpetuate the stereotype that all queer men are twinks.

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#7 Posted by Incursion (1510 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly I can't a story with gay(mainly male) characters it's just to far out for me. No offense

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#8 Posted by Ostyo (14103 posts) - - Show Bio

PowerHerc probably disagrees.

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#9 Posted by kgb725 (18409 posts) - - Show Bio
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#10 Posted by deactivated-5a04a566e9ae3 (12864 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly I can't a story with gay(mainly male) characters it's just to far out for me. No offense

Damn, you must be reading some boring stuff if a gay character it too crazy for you.

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#11 Edited by Rpgesus (5380 posts) - - Show Bio
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#12 Posted by Stahlflamme (5694 posts) - - Show Bio

The idea is simple you can sell twinks to girls and bears to gay men, what is the bigger demographic? That being said DCs first action with MIdnighter was erase his marriage including child. The Batwoman debacle was worse than anything marvel has done recently and bi-sexual woman in main-roles tend to be so that you have kinky female on female sex so that you can sell it to a male readership.

Oh, and Kieron Gillens Young Avengers is an offensive piece of crap. He believes sexuality to be pure choice as he stated before and it really tells. Between lines like "Since when are you gay." and the fact that every LGBTQ character he writes has a logical reason they have to immediately tell you to justify their relationship. Loki, species; Noh-Varr, species; Miss America, from paradise island; Prodigy, his powers did it; Sara, transwoman from a matriachal society; And he outed most of them in the last issue where it couldn't harm his sales anymore. Yes, he was afraid YOUNG AVENGERS readers would have a problem with more LGBTQ-characters. Gillen only writes LGBTQ-characters, because he thinks with that he is ahead of his time and somehow matters. And what important roles did Hulkling, Wiccan or Prodigy have beyond their sexuality. Hulkling and Wiccan were solely motivated by their relationship and could only do anything via deus ex machina involving their relationship. Prodigy, who was only in the series, because Gillen wasn't allowed to use Patriot, could break them up and rekindle their relationshop however he pleased and never affected the story by being smart, just by randomly making out with a villain. Also an all queer superhero team is seggregation. You know when Hulkling and Wiccan were treated like any other member of the team and sexuality didn't matter? Can't have that all about sexuality and they can only be on an all LGBT-TEAM. Every time I think of this book I'm about to throw up and having people use it as an example of good or positive depiction of LGBTQ-characters only make it worse.

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#13 Posted by BlackWind (9790 posts) - - Show Bio

I always thought Hercules was bisexual.

I refuse to acknowledge this BS they throw on Bobby.

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#14 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio
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#15 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

Found this to.

Also, a lot of fans have been curious if the character's sexuality -- it's been strongly suggested Hercules is bisexual, and in "X-Treme X-Men" an alternate Hercules was in a relationship with Wolverine -- will play a part in the series. Is there any insight you can provide at this point?

Alonso: Hercules and James Howlett's relationship in "X-Treme X-Men" took place in a unique alternate universe, similar to how Colossus was gay in the Ultimate Universe, but is straight in the 616. Same goes for Hercules here.

[Editor's note: Marvel declined a follow-up question on this subject.]

Though the Hercules in X-Treme X-Men was from an alternate universe, it has also been recently implied that the main Marvel Universe's Hercules' sexual partners weren't limited to just women either.

Read more at ONTD: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/97183963.html#ixzz3iZ6QWUvN

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#16 Posted by Kokemabb200 (3400 posts) - - Show Bio
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#17 Posted by Rpgesus (5380 posts) - - Show Bio

They should make stan lee gay

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#18 Posted by Truth_Teller (2100 posts) - - Show Bio

@rpgesus said:

They should make stan lee gay

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#19 Posted by Kokemabb200 (3400 posts) - - Show Bio

@sprior93 said:
@incursion said:

Honestly I can't a story with gay(mainly male) characters it's just to far out for me. No offense

Damn, you must be reading some boring stuff if a gay character it too crazy for you.

Not really, everyone just has different things that they like or consider appropriate, and what some people think is normal isn't normal for others, I might love eating goat but many people wouldn't even consider trying it since it isn't in their wheelhouse or what they're used to.

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#20 Posted by w0nd (6803 posts) - - Show Bio

the time paradoxed bobbys sexuality for the sake of it lol

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#21 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

I found this on a different site...

Marvel chief Axel Alonso has spoken: Hercules is not bisexual in Marvel’s 616 universe. That time Hercules and Wolverine were in love? Alternate dimension. A uniquely queer dimension where hypermasculine hardbodies could be queer and in a loving, long term relationship.

HERCULES IS STRAIGHT, he shouted from the rooftop of Marvel’s New York office. Our Hercules didn’t abandon Jason and the Argonauts because his boyfriend Hylas died. He just wanted to go to the beach. And Iolaus? Yeah, he loved the guy — but no homo — they were just friends.

HERCULES IS STRAIGHT, he said with a sneer. In our uniquely straight 616 universe, he only pines for women, not Northstar, or Logan, or other male Canadian hotties. I mean, obviously. Don’t be ridiculous. Also, please stop asking about Deadpool. He’s not BI bi — just experimenting.

So Marvel’s Hercules is straight. Well, fine. (She said angrily.) I’m sure many a straight reader is relieved to have reclaimed this good time bro, this goofy bit player from the Bisexual Agenda. Straight Hercules, after all, was the default characterization of Marvel’s interpretation of the classical Greek hero for decades. Years more of Straight Hercules would have gone down without sugar, had Marvel not dangled positive bisexual representation in front of us and then snatched it away like a cruel prank. Had Axel Alonso not felt the need to reassure straight male readers that — no homo guys — there will be no homo in the new Hercules ongoing.

A statement had to be made: HERCULES IS STRAIGHT. Don’t get your hopes up, queer fans. Let no expectations be raised — this one is ours.

But yet, Hercules is ours, Marvel. You and Disney and Kevin Sorbo and starched-up men possessed of the most fragile sense of masculinity, took him from us.

It’s a wonderful thing, being able to look into the past and find yourself represented in ancient tales, and the Western heroic tradition, so often trawled for comic book inspiration, is full of queer and non-binary people, fictional and real. It’s a wonderful thing, being able to look into the past and find yourself represented in ancient tales, and the Western heroic tradition, so often trawled for comic book inspiration, is full of queer and non-binary people, fictional and real. But you wouldn’t know that, for all the blinding straightness (and for that matter, whiteness) that gets passed down to us through children’s tales, so concerned with modeling a WASPy, straight masculinity.

Classical Hercules, patron god of both virility and young children, strength and hard-earned wisdom, lover of women and men, was an enduring and popular figure. So too has he been a popular subject of modern adaptation, but so often straightwashed: a one-note strong man with family problems and a love of wrestling wild animals.

In Hercules the Legendary Journeys his relationship with Iolaus is strictly platonic. Too racy for the Sunday afternoon crowd, I guess, though Xena and Gabrielle eventually got their kiss.

In Jason and the Argonauts, his lover Hylas still dies and Hercules is still overcome by grief, but there is no homo in this 1953 film, just brotherhood.

In 2014’s Hercules, with Dwayne Johnson, we had a rare non-white Hercules, but still straight, still serially monogamous.

In 2013, Marvel Comics garnered some good press for revealing that firstly, Hercules was bisexual (Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1) and had been with Northstar, and that secondly, in at least one universe, he was in a long term relationship with Wolverine (X-Treme X-Men).

Do you know how delightful this was? Marvel’s Hercules is a particularly fun and accessible interpretation of the character: adventurer, philanderer, lover, and friend. Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s The Incredible Hercules (2008-2010), followed by Hercules: Fall of An Avenger and Prince of Power, brought him in from the cold, back into mainline Marvel stories. The series was funny and sweet and action-packed, its Hercules is friend and mentor, trusted comrade and sweetheart, and oh, bisexual. YES.

But two years later, in 2015, Marvel’s Hercules is once again straight. Maybe a bi Hercules would be a harder sell in one of Marvel Studios increasingly paint-by-numbers big screen adaptations. Maybe bi Hercules, like Black Widow, just “wouldn’t sell” in toy form. I can’t quite parse logic of this big announcement; only corporate defensiveness comes through clearly.

As, Marvel and DC, and increasingly Image, compete for “diversity dollars” with their rainbow avatars, hip hop covers, and heavily publicized new LGBTQ and PoC characters, we are blessed with a comics landscape that’s more diverse than ever before — on the surface. The comics industry is still run by the same spandex boys club whose sincerity I can’t help but question. Well, how long will Sam Wilson last as Captain America? How long was Batwoman able to keep up an engagement to her girlfriend before it was overturned by editorial fiat? How many LGBTQ power players are there in comics publishing and distribution? Will Marvel ever hire a black woman for a creative role? I mean, damn. How can I believe in the goodwill of these companies when every good thing eked out from their agenda can be snatched back on a whim? These decisions speak of convenience, not committment.

“You had your time with bi Hercules. Now we want him back.”

Hercules is straight? Hell no he’s not, Marvel, not in your universe or any others.

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#22 Posted by Flumox56 (2301 posts) - - Show Bio

Hercules being bisexual I think makes sense, (After a few drinks I can Imagine he would F##k anything), As for Iceman ?, I do not like it, To be clear I have no problem with Gay or bisexual characters, What I do have a problem with is established straight characters suddenly being wrote as Gay or Bi (Or vice versa) just to suit some agenda of Marvel's or Disney's.

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#23 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio
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#24 Posted by kcomicfan (4690 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree. Marvel missed a massive opportunity to make hercules Bisexual.

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#25 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

You know I must have read this a couple of times now and I can't figure out if herc is straight or bi ? It's like the writers can't make up there minds ?

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#26 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

@flumox56: you know I was thinking of the herc and northstar thing. What if northstar tryed to slip herc a micky and that's why northstar had that look on his face ? Or like juggernaut and she hulk maybe the herc that was with northstar was from a different universe ? I know it's grasping a straws but it's still something to think about.

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#27 Posted by 106me (3732 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, what the f*** is this? Nobody gives a damn about this s*** anyway.

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#28 Posted by Noone301994 (22169 posts) - - Show Bio
No Caption Provided

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#29 Posted by Flumox56 (2301 posts) - - Show Bio

@kid_omega_prime:

Not too familiar with the Herc and Northstar thing, Though I doubt Herc would care even if he was roofied as long as he had a good time, Then again ?.

I am more familiar with the Bobby Drake thing, and the James Howlett & Hercules storyline from X-Treme X-Men.

No Caption Provided

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#30 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

@flumox56: this herc is from a different universe not the 616 universe. I'm ok with original characters from different or alternate universes just not when they mess up existing characters.

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#31 Posted by VMole (749 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel's Hercules =/= Classic Greek Hercules

There's no issue here, no idea why anyone would care so much.

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#32 Posted by bflynn316 (2663 posts) - - Show Bio

So many people are asking who cares while they are literally surrounded by posts by people who evidently do care. Just because you don't care about an issue doesn't mean nobody does.

Anyway I agree with the general consensus that characters' sexuality shouldn't be changed. I think Iceman shouldn't be changed to be bi just like Hercules shouldn't be changed to be straight. Keep them as they were, it honestly makes the most sense like that. Ancient greeks didn't have the concern about sexuality that we have, so Hercules probably should be bisexual. And if they needed a new major bisexual male character, they should create one rather than changing the already defined backstory of a character.

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#33 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (18984 posts) - - Show Bio

This people needs to get a real life.

There is a bunch of LGBT people that suffers real life problems and this people are pissed that Hercules is heterosexual.

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#34 Posted by deactivated-5b3daad020468 (2228 posts) - - Show Bio

people are putting wayyyy too much pressure on characters to gay all of a sudden. If a character is straight then they're straight. Don't change a core element of a character because a bunch tumbler radicals are banging down your door. The Exception is an alternate universe.

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#35 Edited by GreatCaesarsGhost (3952 posts) - - Show Bio

I have no problem with Herc being bi. I mean, then again, that almost never ever happened in ancient Greece. >___>

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#36 Posted by bflynn316 (2663 posts) - - Show Bio

I have no problem with Herc being bi. I mean, then again, that almost never ever happened in ancient Greece. >___>

You're being sarcastic right? Because ancient greeks were famous for their bisexuality.

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#37 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio
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#38 Posted by RetconCrisis (5593 posts) - - Show Bio
No Caption Provided

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#39 Posted by Ryagan (5193 posts) - - Show Bio
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#40 Posted by _Mongul (1855 posts) - - Show Bio

@retconcrisis: Whatever happened to that show?

They always aired the episode where Megatron poops on everybody and the restarted from the first. Never got to finish it :(

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#41 Posted by RetconCrisis (5593 posts) - - Show Bio

@_mongul: The show finished, but I guess they never finished it whenever it reran. You can probably find a place to stream the episodes you didn't see somewhere on the Web. It gets good, in my opinion, it's a really fun show and the scale gets huge by the end (planetary).

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#42 Posted by bflynn316 (2663 posts) - - Show Bio

@kid_omega_prime: I thought you said in your original post that 616 Hercules is straight?

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#43 Posted by Kid_Omega_Prime (3550 posts) - - Show Bio

@bflynn316: I know but someone said that he was bi becuse he was with northstar. Then someone said that was just a joke snowbird said then someone write to the writer that did the issues and the writer said herc and northstar did do it. So I starting looking up different sites then I found this little number. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/marvels-diversity-problem-continues-as-once-bisexual-character-hercules-confirmed-straight-10435249.html

Marvel's diversity problem continues as once bisexual character Hercules confirmed straight.

Marvel’s universe has often been criticised for portraying its heroes primarily as straight, white men.

When they do change a characters it often causes controversy – for instance when they decided to make Thor a women and Iceman gay – and they’ve done it again by making the once bisexual character, Hercules, a heterosexual.

Throughout the comic book series “X-Treme X-Men”, based in alternative Marvel universe, the character has a relationship with Wolverine.

Then, in the mainstream Marvel during in Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1, it is strongly implied he had a relationship with Northstar, an openly gay character. Hercules is also listed on Marvel Wiki's Bisexual Characters list.

Observers wondered if his open sexuality would continue in the new Hercules series, but Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso told CBR that he will definitely be “straight” in the future.

"Hercules and James Howlett’s relationship in 'X-Treme X-Men' took place in a unique alternate universe, similar to how Colossus was gay in the Ultimate Universe, but is straight in the 616. Same goes for Hercules here."

Fans have been quick to point out that Hercules being bisexual was a very natural progression for the character, especially considering he is inspired by Greek Mythology, where Hercules was bisexual.

READ MORE: ORIGINAL X-MEN CHARACTER ICEMAN OUTED AS GAY

MARVEL BRANDED 'SEXIST AND AGEIST' FOR CASTING MARISA TOMEI AS AUNT MAY

Elsewhere in the interview, Alonso celebrated diversity in the staff behind the Marvel comic books: “We are always looking for the best new talent — male, female, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Straight, Gay.

“We are experiencing a lull in African-American writers at this moment, but it is temporary. We will be announcing new series very soon that will prove that. I’m talking about new voices, familiar voices and one writer whose voice is heard round the world.”

CBR noted that they had further questioned Marvel over Hercules but they refused to comment. We have also reached out for comment but are yet to get a response.

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#44 Posted by LeeSensei (442 posts) - - Show Bio

@bflynn316: Hercules was alread straight. Him being bisexual was the retcon.