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Submitted by Ronald Byrd

A large, inhuman-looking mutant, Mickey Tork began his career as a vigilante in San Francisco; because he initially had multi-colored skin, he went by the codename of Rainbow. As his powers developed, he gained the ability to change his skin color, with gray evidently his natural color, although he prefers a bright pink shade when in action. After two years of activity with a “kill rating of six per mission,” Mickey, now known as Bloke, was recruited for the public super-team known as X-Force, located in New York City, where he hoped to achieve “fame… money… a place in history and the opportunity to put a four-hundred pound guy like me on the cultural map.” Unfortunately, Bloke perished during his first X-Force mission, slain while protecting an informant in the South American nation of Bastrona.

It is known that Bloke had an unnamed male lover, possibly a fellow mutant, who had pointed ears and red, pupilless eyes; his homosexuality gives Bloke’s wish for “a place in history” as an X-Force member a deeper meaning. His lover was never seen again.

For such a short-lived character, Bloke was given a surprising number of stereotypical gay traits; in addition to originally operating out of San Francisco and literally being “pink,” he was stated to have “impeccable taste in soft furnishings” (i.e. interior decorating) and a “penchant for musical theater and pumping iron.”

Bloke possessed superhuman strength and a level of physical invulnerability, although the latter was not sufficient to enable him to survive heavy helicopter artillery. He was also able to change his skin color at will to blend into his surroundings. Bloke first appeared in X-Force #117 and was confirmed gay in #118.

Not long after this issue Marvel published the controversial Rawhide Kid mini series, and received backlash from conservatives and the religious right. This kiss may have been the last between two gay men in a Marvel comic until Rictor and Shatterstar kissed in X-Force #45.

© and ® of Marvel Comics. Used without permission. Created by Peter Milligan.

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