Fantastic Fangirls Podcast # 3: X-Men First Class

The Fantastic Fangirls all have a long history with the X-Men movies and comic books, so we didn’t want to let the hype over X-Men: First Class go by before we share our opinions in the form of a podcast.

Topics of discussion include homoeroticism (or lack thereof), the necessity of every female character in the movie appearing in her underwear, that time Cyclops lived on a shrimp boat and, of course, Anakin Skywalker.

You can listen or download here, or you can find the podcast on our itunes feed, where you can also subscribe or leave a review. Thanks for tuning in!

  • Just want to clarify my sort-of-quoted positions: I have _not_ seen X-Men: First Class yet so I don’t have an opinion about it being slashy or not. However as Sigrid pointed out, I usually don’t see the homo-eroticism that she does. There has been at least one big exception though I don’t remember particularly what it was.

    And if I get mentioned a third podcast in a row do I get a credit as “Not-Appearing-In-This-Podcast”? 😛

  • Caroline

    I think you’re exempt from the next one since Sigrid wasn’t part of it. (Though I think Anakin Skywalker DOES get mentioned for a third time in a row, and you are at least as important to our existence as he is!)

    As far as the larger point, all I personally wanted to get across is that I think different readings all across the homoeroticism spectrum are totally subjective and valid. I don’t want to force a particular reading on anyone but I’m not going to tell them they can’t have it either. Which might be beside the point, I don’t know.

  • Several years ago I would have argued that point, but I have since grown up a bit more and I think it’s an important point to make. I have come to think that subtext is nearly as often intentional as it is not and in many cases it can be hard to discern for those of us who do not view the world through slash goggles.

    At the same time for those who are willfully oblivious (which I have been on occasion) having a subtext pointed out can actually make some media experiences make a whole lot more sense when the subtext *is* intentional. IIRC Sigrid had to point out what was going in Hot Fuzz of all things, though in my defense I don’t think we had gotten to the late night movie watching scene yet.

  • Caroline

    I’m not sure I think intention *controls* — if only because I’ve had people find subtexts in my own fiction writing that I didn’t think i was putting there (not about, or not exclusively about, sexuality), and besides, for a movie like this which has multiple writers, is based on years of comic books, and involves actors interpreting roles that in some cases were memorably created by other actors — WHOSE intention could be controlling, anyway?

    But there certainly are times when the intention is there, whether it’s to signal an unstated relationship, to tweak audience expectations about a relationship, or even just to use romantic and seductive story frameworks to create a metaphor. So for all these reasons I think it’s a legitimate basis for discussion.

    And are there are always going to be some people going, “I see two hot guys, time for yaoi fun times regardless of whether there’s basis in the text or not”? Sure. I don’t think that surface reading invalidates more serious discussions though.

    And having said all that. . . I’m not even sure how relevant any of it is to the X-Men film that was actually made? I personally think it would have been fascinating to see the filmmakers play with Xavier/Magneto as a canonically sexual or romantic relationship, but I didn’t expect that to happen for a variety of good and bad reasons. I could have done without the Magneto/Mystique kiss, though, because it unbalances the text/subtext nature of the competing relationships. Plus, ya know, Mystique is the one who IS canonically queer in the comics (canonically bi-, but still — unless she kisses Destiny in the sequel, I stand by my gripe).

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  • This was great to listen to – like Sucker Punch, X-Men First Class was a movie I had a lot of mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I cared more about the Charles & Erik relationship than I cared about most movie relationships I’ve seen recently, so I found that very compelling. But most of the problems that you all pointed out so eloquently in the podcast have harshed my squee. I’m so disappointed that no one in the production of this movie pointed out the fail of using civil rights parallels while killing/evil-sidelining all the characters of color.

    I just realized I still have the Thor and Green Lantern podcasts to listen to. Off to download those!