Fans all over the internet were disappointed yesterday when X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer tweeted a photo from the set of the movie showing Iceman actor Shawn Ashmore sporting a full beard. Iceman, one of the Marvel Universe's most prominent gay characters, has always been depicted in the comics as a twink, but it seems like the version of Iceman in this X-Men sequel will be, at best, a cub, perhaps transitioning fully to a bear.
"It's outrageous," remarked Robert Pruitt, a long-time X-Men reader and Iceman fan. "If Sony wants to introduce a bear into the X-Men movies, why not create a new character rather than ruin a perfectly good twink. Iceman should be smooth and chiseled, as his "iced up" form accentuates."
The pushback signifies an evolution of the usual fanboy grumbling over the changing of characters' race and sexuality in comics and their related properties. Normally, fanboys will become indignant when a black actor is cast in the role of a white character, when a fan-favorite character is cast as not Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or when a previously straight character is revelead to be gay in a hastily devised publicity stunt. But this brewing Iceman controversy represents the first time a character's gay subtype has caused a divide within the gay community itself.
"I just don't think that bears, or cubs for that matter, have any place in comics," said Larry Brown, a comics blogger who has written several pieces complaining about inaccurate portrayals of fictional characters' sexuality. "It's immoral. I respect the traditional definition of gay comic book characters. What's wrong with that?"
"You can't just come along and expect to change thirty years of Iceman tradition with one movie," he explained. "It just doesn't work like that. People aren't ready to accept Iceman as a cub."
"Iceman should be young and completely hairless," Brown concluded, somewhat ironically. "As God intended."
It seems we have come a long way in the fight for gay stereotype equality, but we still have a long way to go. If you're interested in learning more about
Oh yeah, and the pic shows motion capture thingies on his face, so he'll probably ice up in the movie, as if anyone cares about that.