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Saturday, December 12, 2015 

BBC acted like Iceman's a real person, but Stan Lee also disappointed

A couple weeks ago, the BBC interviewed Stan Lee, and let him know that Brian Bendis technically altered Bobby Drake. Well, not exactly. If what UK Metro's saying is correct, they acted like Iceman's a real life human, and simultaneously acted as though this had to be done:
Marvel Comics chairman Stan Lee didn’t know that one of his own superhero creations was gay.

Bobby Drake, AKA Iceman, was created by and artist Jack Kirby and made his first Marvel appearance in The X-Men #1, September 1963, but in April 2015, in issue 40 of All-New X-Men, writer Brian Michael Bendis decided it was time for him to come out.

On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lee was informed of this character’s sexuality, and was pretty surprised to hear it.

‘You telling me that, is the first I’ve heard that Iceman is gay, is Iceman really gay?’ he asks. ‘I don’t read the magazines anymore because my eyesight isn’t that good and the print is so small. As I said this is the first time I learned that Iceman is gay.’

Stan added: ‘Wow! I never knew that. I don’t care what happens as long as they tell good stories.’
Now it's bad enough that such a rock bottom TV and radio network's taken such a fawning, illogical approach. But at this point, I think it would be ill-advised to say I'm not disappointed with Lee for predictably sinking into that "diplomatic" mentality of yore, refusing to say if he sees anything forced, overbearing and superfluous about this, or letting the BBC's hosts get away with insulting his intellect. I'd like to think he's joking. But somehow, I get the feeling he's not entirely saying that in jest, and it makes him look ridiculous. The paper and channel are certainly to blame for acting like a veteran writer and publisher doesn't know his own creations. I guess Kirby didn't know what his own creations were like either, did he? Lee probably hasn't read any of the products with his creations in a long time, hinting at another sad problem with various writers of the past: they don't care about their own products, let alone what others produced. That's partly why, when asked what he thought about One More Day, all he could say is that it was a "creative idea", no matter how badly it all turned out, which is pretty much going to be the same situation with Iceman too.

In fact, if Sony had turned the Spider-Man movies into a "diverse" swamp, there's every chance he'd speak in favor of that too, which means he doesn't think for himself. And that's a shame. Certainly he's got a lot in his past career to admire. And sometimes he has indicated he realizes the mistreatment of Mary Jane Watson does no favors for anybody. But he's otherwise stuck firmly to a mentality from the 1950s that demands you not speak negatively about your past workplaces, and it's made him look absurd. It's regrettable he won't defend his own creations, in contrast to Roy Thomas, who was willing to do that even for characters he didn't create.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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