I never understood why no one cared about the blatant homoeroticism in superhero-comics - men in colorful skintight costumes, fighting and wrestling with each other, their muscles bulging, the sweat dripping… You listen to Streisand and like Abba? Pfrrrt. But idolizing men in tights? That’s a-okay. Straight as fuck. Couldn’t get any more hetero.
Anyway, my theories about the sexual subtext in Marvel/DC-books received a healthy boost this week, when I found out about “Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-creator Joe Shuster” by Craig Yoe. It was released on April First, so for once I’m not talking about books your father or grandfather read (or mother/grandmother). For those going “Haha, April First, Michael so dumb”, it’s not a joke. You can buy it on Amazon and Amazon is always right.
Rather than showing Batman and Superman chasing the chocy starfish, The Fetish Art… chronicles the forgotten years of Joe Shuster after his legal battle with DC. Not receiving any copyright royalties, Joe tried his luck as an illustrator for pulp comic books like “Nights of Horror”. Lois whipping Clark, Clark whipping Lois, torture, murder and Jimmy Olsen smoking a reefer. It’s the whole meal. Sure, the characters don’t go by these names, but you can’t deny the striking similarity between Clark the slave and Clark the nerd, working for the Daily Planet.
Things took a turn for the worse, when a series of real-life murders committed by the “Brooklyn Thrill Killers” were linked to stories found in the pulpy comic books. The government’s anti-comics crusade went into full swing and subsequently forbid the publishing of such sordid tales of lust and depravity. But go ahead and read it for yourself, at 17 bucks it’s not that expensive, and comes with an introduction by Stan Lee.