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I’m A Star!

Art by Andy Schmidt
Art by Andy Schmidt

Note: This piece was previously posted before the great hacker attack in March 2009.

François Peneaud, who runs The Gay Comics List site, sent an email Friday night to ask if I’d read Quesada’s comments in the new New Joe Friday column. I hadn’t and was a little surprised.

You’ve probably heard about the little “LGBT rating” flap that happened recently. Well, the short version of it is it’s now no longer in effect. Quesada put such a spin on the topic that he nearly turned into Wonder Woman. Marvel’s EIC said “…fortunately this question has been raised again and it’s given us the opportunity to spark some internal discussions…” and that “there is no longer any policy.” He also pointed out that Freedom Ring is the star of MARVEL TEAM-UP.

Bearing that in mind, I decided it was time to put my personal dislike of the character aside and ask Freedom Ring (AKA Curtis Doyle) to comment. Mr. Doyle was understandably reluctant at first to take my phone call. It took several phone calls before Marvel’s previously mostly unknown super-star answered.

“Hi, Mr. Doyle? Joe Palmer from Gayleague.com here. Is this a good time for—”

“Palmer, huh? Didn’t you write a bad review of Marvel Team-Up #21 back in June?”

“Well, yeah, about that…”

“Thanks for starting to call so early. It was an excuse to go to the Happy Sunrise Diner for my favorite pancakes and maple syrup. You’re lucky I’m in a better mood now.”

“Right. Well, thanks. And speaking of better moods, how does it feel to be an out gay character and star of Marvel Team-Up?”

“What do you mean ‘star of Marvel Team-Up’? The comic is canceled after October. Is this some twisted way for you to get on my good side?”

“No, no. You don’t know? Joe Quesada said it himself over at Newsarama’s New Joe Fridays. He said it twice. It’s just there hasn’t been much, you know, fanfare about it.”

“What?! Quesada said I’m a star? Woo hoo! That rawks! I’m a star! A star! I told Jeffrey! Maybe now he’ll believe me!”

“Yeah, that’s what he said! It caught me a little by surprise, too. Hey, how’re things going with Jeffrey?”

“Jeffrey? Well, you know, I was in a coma for a few weeks after my spine was broken when I fought the Abomination. My neighbor Troy—he’s a Skrull that was sent here to spy on Earth—he said Jeffrey came to visit me while I was unconscious. He hasn’t been around a lot since. S’okay though! When I came home I discovered I could use this ring to walk again! And let me tell you! There’s a lot more this ring can do, too!”

“You think you two will get a chance to have that date again?”

“Maybe. He wants to go to these restaurants with two-hour waits! How does he even hear about those places? Me, I’m happy to bring my own maple syrup along.”

“So, can you give me any hints about what happens in the next issue?”

“You know, before this whole Quesada “he’s a star” thing I wasn’t sure. Now that I think about it, I’m certain Robert Kirkman has me beating Titano up with the Abomination!”

“Titano? DC’s super-ape from the 60s Superman comics?”

“Not Titano! I mean Titannus! Wait! Iron Maniac! That’ll impress Jeffrey! Hey, never mind him! I got a better idea! You know Northstar, right?”

“Sure, I know who he is…”

“Okay, here’s how you make up for that bad review. Hook Northstar and me up! He’s a total hottie with that bad ‘tude!”

“What? Are you crazy? The last I read, Northstar was still messed up in the head from all of that Hand business, and broke out of some SHIELD facility with the help of ‘The Children,’ another wacko cult.”

“You saying you won’t set a date up for us?”

“What about Jeffrey?”

“Jeffrey really likes older guys. You should go out with him.”

“Uh, thanks, but I don’t live anywhere near New York.”

“If you don’t grab him, he’ll just fade away and be forgotten! Not me though! See, there’s big things ahead for me after the big smack down in Marvel Team-Up! Northstar gets deprogrammed and we pair up and take the comics world by storm!”

“At least you’d be Northstar’s first boyfriend.”

“What? You’re saying Northstar’s a virgin?”

“No, I’m pretty sure he’s messed around with another guy’s junk and all that, but nobody knows. I mean, yeah, he had this crush going on for Bobby Drake, but Bobby ain’t in to being gay for pay or play.”

“We could be Marvel’s Apollo and Midnighter!”

“Right.”

“I’m countin’ on you to make it happen, Palmer! You owe me! I’m a star! I’M A STAR!!”

And with that our conversation ended.

Update: Freedom Ring is still dead and Northstar finally has a boyfriend!

May 7, 2009
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