Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love, X-Statix: Myles and Billy Bob

The bookworm with a savage subconscious Myles Alfred and the rich boy pretending to be trailer trash Billy Bob or Phat. Two immiscible characters who slowly moved closer in the pages of the original X-Force run from Milligan and Allred.

Originally seen as pure hints, Phat's awkward response to Bloke, the original openly gay member of the team, a stray look here and there, some suspicious references, readers welcomed the big 'outing' scene in the final X-Force storyline with little surprise.Milligan quickly turned the the tables on that by revealing the boys' 'sinister plot', a smokescreen to protect their manlihood from the gnawing thoughts inside:

Billy Bob's secret thoughts when he's (temporarily) fatally wounded mirror the reader's questions, and hit reply with lots of nerve

Only after Edie's passing does the built-up sexual tension and confusion escalate (probably mixed with the fear of mortality) and the two boys reveal their true feelings. This page from Duncan Fegredo (X-Force #129) features the first homosexual relation (or at least post-coitus) in a Marvel comic. I've of course bought the original art and it adorns my wall.

Myles and Billy Bob's relationship didn't go any further, as they realised they were both gay, but not in love with each other. Their relationship was merely their way of helpnig each other come to terms with their true sexuality.

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