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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Sex is shaking up the comic books world!

Sex is shaking up the comic books world!

July 18, 2014 10:10 IST

Sex is shaking up the comic books world!

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Sex and gender have taken centre stage in the comics business. Here's how!

Iconic US comic book character Archie Andrews may have died a noble death while protecting a gay friend, Kevin Keller, from an assassin's bullet.

But his heroic act doesn't seem to have impressed the Singaporean government that has banned the latest edition (#36) from all its libraries.

Even though the rule is hardly enforced, in Singapore, much like in India, gay sex is illegal and according to the censors' guidelines, 'themes or depictions of alternative lifestyles or deviant sexual practices should not be featured'.

This includes 'homosexuality, group sex and sadomasochism'.

So out went Archie, even though he is as straight as an arrow and in different universes is married to two different women (yeah get your head around that Singaporeans).

Needless to say, thousands of Singaporeans weren't particularly tickled by the idea and openly protested against the ban.

But Archie isn't alone.

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Image: Archie Andrews finds himself banned from Singapore for... and you'll have to sit down for this... saving his gay friend!


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Giving the comic book Archie Andrews company in the banned books section in Singapore are... erm... two gay penguins.

You read it right -- gay penguins.

Roy and Silo -- the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who famously hatched a chick (named Tango) -- had become heroes of a controversial children's book (and eventually a play called): And Tango Makes Three.

Released in 2005, the book has faced the Singapore's National Library Board's axe after it announced a ban and ordered to destroy all existing copies.

And Tango Makes Three isn't the only book to be pulped.

Two other children's books -- The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption and Who's In My Family: All About Our Families both of which involves same-sex couples have been banned by the National Library Board.

Needless to say, the Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, has come under severe criticism.

But Singapore's Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim has justified the action, suggesting that a majority of the Singaporeans accept and support teaching children about 'conventional families'.

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Image: And Tango Makes Three is one of the three other books that has been banned by Singapore's National Library Board.


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Meanwhile back in the US, comic book fans are still coming to terms with the fact that the new Thor will be a woman.

Not Thorina or She-Thor or Thorette... just Thor.

In its latest spin, the comic book giant Marvel, will re-launch the popular hero (immortalised on screen by the British actor Chris Hemsworth) as a woman.

The move is a bold one and comes at a time when women superheroes have been largely sidekicks or just sexed-up female versions of their far popular male counterparts (read: Supergirl and Batwoman).

Bold as it may be, in the recent years, women have been playing important and at times central roles in superhero movies.

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Image: Are you ready for the new Thor?


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Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence) was at the heart of the plot of X Men, Days of Future Past.

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has played a significant role not just in Iron Man 2 but also in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the yet-to-be-released Avengers: Age of Ultron.

And then there is Wonder Woman who is set to make her big screen debut in Batman V Superman.

While it is safe to say that it will be a while before we see an all-female superhero (superheroine?) cast anytime soon, it is evident that the days of the Damsel in Distress will be behind us soon. 


Image: Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow has become an important fixture in the Marvel universe.


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