Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Can be Your Hero, Baby: Enrique Iglesias’ Ballad for Gay Comics

This is kind of random, but I was asked to write a satirical piece on the subject of heroes for a non-work related project. Here's what sprang forth from my brain:

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Most of us think of heroes—the people kind, not delicious Italian deli sandwiches—as role models. They save lives, they influence and inspire people, and a lot of times they can do badass tricks like shoot lasers out of their eyes. But it’s important to remember that sometimes a hero might not appear in the form of a tough guy. Sometimes he might just want to kiss away your pain and pump gas for Jennifer Love-Hewitt wearing a knit cap even though apparently it is hot enough not to wear a jacket. Heroes are funny that way.

I am speaking of course, of noted troubador and brooding, be-moled Spaniard Enrique Iglesias, who, even though he is famous for boning Anna Kournikova, apparently wrote his famous single “Hero” for a dude named Simon Baxendale, according to the world’s most trusted news source, Wikipedia. Did anyone else know this? It certainly calls into question lyrics such as “Would you tremble if I touched your lips?” Perhaps even more gay is the fact that in June 2007, Iglesias performed the track during a set at London gay club that was actually called G-A-Y.


With this information in mind, we can look at “Hero” not as a cheesy pop ballad intended to get high school sophomores to second base in the backseat of their mom’s Tercel, but rather as a tender anthem for all of the gay comic book characters who died terrible, gruesome deaths because of this country’s rampant homophobia. A short list in memoriam lifted from Perry Moore's website (imagine an Academy Awards-like montage and try not to cry):

Northstar, the first gay male hero to come out in the Marvel Comics Universe. Northstar is killed in three different realities and is later resurrected as a murderous zombie assassin.

Ice, lesbian member of DC’s superheroes Justice League International. Murdered. Last seen by her teammates in Hell.

Bloke, first openly gay member of Marvel’s X-Force/X-Statix. Killed on his first mission.

Karma, lesbian member of Marvel’s New Mutants. Possessed by villain The Shadow King. Kidnapped and disfigured. Reappeared as grossly obese, too fat to move on her own. [Ed note: the ladies here can all attest that this is a fate worse than death]

Captain Metropolis, the ultimate loser/wimp of the “Watchmen” graphic novel series. Revealed to have gay relationship with Hooded Justice. Later decapitated in car accident.

Thank you, Enrique, for defending the right to be out, proud, and illustrated.
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