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Gender and the Superhero Narrative$
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Michael Goodrum, Tara Prescott, and Philip Smith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496818805

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496818805.001.0001

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Faces of Abjectivity

Faces of Abjectivity

The Uncanny Mystique and Transsexuality

(p.180) Faces of Abjectivity
Gender and the Superhero Narrative

Dorian L. Alexander

University Press of Mississippi

Raven Darkholme, also called Mystique, first appeared in Ms. Marvel #16 in 1978, beginning a long career in Marvel comics as a character of suspect alliances and shadowy glamour, a complex mixture of anti-hero and villain. Across the various X-Men lines, Mystique has maintained numerous romantic and implicitly sexual relationships with both male and female characters. The majority of these relationships are presented as heterosexual, although her homosexual relationship with Irene Adler, also called Destiny, is usually portrayed as the most longstanding and genuine. Consequently, Mystique is commonly read as bisexual, although this aspect of her character is explored to varying degrees depending on the writer and largely ignored in the X-Men film franchise. The nature of her specific mutant powers, however, require a queer reading of an entirely different sort, one that has not yet been discussed in the existing literature concerned with the X-Men comics.

Keywords:   Gothic, LGBT, Sexuality, Monstrosity

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