«Lewis Call “That Weird, Unbearable Delight”: Representations of Alternative Sexualities in Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men Comics  What does ...»
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Astonishing received the comic book world's highest honor, the Eisner, as Best Continuing Series of 2006.
Peter embodies, and Kitty disembodies, what David Serlin has called the "potentially queer boundaries of the tactile" (161). Peter and Kitty are queer straight people, a category enabled by the radical inclusiveness of the queer. See Thomas’s collection Straight with a Twist: Queer Theory and the Subject of Heterosexuality.
Kitty and Peter can literally dissolve into one another. There are precedents for this in late twentiethcentury science fiction. SF author Rudy Rucker imagined a drug called "merge," which permits lovers to dissolve their bodies into intermingled pools of liquid (Rucker).
The final panel in this scene shows Kitty's outstretched, open hand. Interestingly, the Open Hand is also the name of the Breakworld's ruling political party, which suggests that their brand of tyrannical, nonconsensual political domination is the very antithesis of "actual happy."
Whedon says he grew up reading X-Men comics during the Claremont era, "as much as I can say I've grown up"; for him, writing the book he grew up reading is a "grave responsibility" (Whedon, "Joss Talks").
Grant Morrison says that Claremont gave the X-Men "an added twist of S/M role play" (Morrison 242).
Carol Cooper reminds us that during Claremont's famous Dark Phoenix saga, Jean Grey also had a "wildly liberating, S/M-flavored involvement" with the Hellfire Club (198).
Scott's language seems to allude to Frank Quitely, the artist who worked with Morrison on New X-Men.
Quitely's pseudonymous name is a spoonerism of "quite frankly."
Roz Kaveney points out that Whedon's Emma sounds a lot like Lilah Morgan (211). More importantly, she acts like Lilah Morgan. Just as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce benefitted from a DS relationship with Lilah (Call 171), Scott benefits from his DS relationship with Emma.
Whedon is not the first comic book writer to make this argument. When William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman in the 1940s, he presented her as a sexually dominant woman, and he suggested that