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«Lewis Call “That Weird, Unbearable Delight”: Representations of Alternative Sexualities in Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men Comics [1] What does ...»

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Hopkins, Patrick D. "The Lure of the Normal: Who Wouldn't Want to be a Mutant?" XMen and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant XVerse. Ed. Rebecca Housel and J. Jeremy Wisnewski. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. 5-16. Print.

Iatropoulos, Mary Ellen. "Defining Joss Whedon's Disability Narrative Ethic: The Impairment Arcs of Lindsey McDonald, Bennett Halverson, and Xander Harris."

SCW5: The Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, 12-15 July 2012. Lecture.

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Tauris, 2008. Print.

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Len Wein. Dallas: Benbella Books, 2005. 171-82. Print.

Mollow, Anna. "Is Sex Disability? Queer Theory and the Disability Drive." Sex and Disability. Ed. Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow. Durham: Duke UP, 2012. 285Print.

Morrison, Grant and Frank Quitely. New X-Men. New York: Marvel, 2001-04. Print.

Morrison, Grant. Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville can Teach Us about Being Human. New York: Spiegel & Grau,

2011. Print.

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Rubin, Gayle. "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality."

Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality. Ed. Carole S. Vance. Boston:

Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984. 267-319. Print.

Rucker, Rudy. Wetware in The Ware Tetralogy. Rockville, MD: Prime Books, 2010. Print.

Serlin, David. "Touching Histories: Personality, Disability, and Sex in the 1930s." Sex and Disability. Ed. Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow. Durham: Duke UP, 2012. 145Print.

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Titan Books, 2006. 134-52. Print.

Thomas, Calvin, ed. Straight with a Twist: Queer Theory and the Subject of Heterosexuality. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 2000. Print.

Vary, Adam B. "Mutant is the New Gay." The Advocate 963 (23 May 2006): 44-45. Print.

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Whedon, Joss. "Joss Talks Astonishing X-Men & Firefly for UGO." Fireflyfans.net. Web.

25 Aug. 2013.

Whedon, Joss, and John Cassady. Astonishing X-Men Omnibus. New York: Marvel, 2011.

Print.

Whedon, Joss, Drew Goddard, and Georges Jeanty. “Wolves at the Gate: Conclusion.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, no. 15. Milwaukee, Oregon: Dark Horse Comics, 2008. Print.

Wolk, Douglas. Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What they Mean.

Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2007. Print.

–  –  –

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

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