Jul 6, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 862: Crash and Burn #3, 2016


As I had hoped in my review of the first collection of Crash and Burn, I was able to pick up the next couple of installments at June's Panel One Festival. And it's just not enough!! The story continues to intrigue, though today's comic is far more action oriented than character oriented. This is not to say there isn't character development here, but much of it focuses on our focal character, Cora, and the things she's had to deal with in her life. A new character, a metahuman, is also introduced, a potentially disruptive influence on the group, and someone who, apparently, was not on the ship (officially) when it crashed.

Oh, and there's a giant insect.

But what really grabbed me about today's issue was a single moment where the metahuman, Ash, who is described in the official notice as "Highly Persuasive," is attempting to beguile Cora. Cora's response: "I'm Ace." And then she moves on and that's it. But this is a highly significant moment. I noted in my earlier review that there was all kinds of queerness going on in the series. It's called a queer space opera, for goodness' sake. But asexuality is one of the more invisible queer identities, little talked about or acknowledged even within the community. As someone whose child identifies this way, I'm sensitive to depictions of Ace people in media, as they're generally quite negative or clownish. If you need an example, look at someone like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. I remember at one point my son saying he wasn't going to watch the show anymore as he'd come to realize that much of the humour that came from the character of Sheldon was laughing at his asexuality, and not at the sexualities of any of the other characters in the show.

And, sadly, I can't think of a positive depiction of Ace people in media. Perhaps the most recent incarnation of Jughead Jones in Archie comics, where he's been specifically identified as Ace. Though apparently the Riverdale creators decided not to carry that over into the show. All of which is to say that seeing a badass lady in charge who is also asexual in this comic was amazing. Amazing.

We'll see where the story leads us tomorrow, though if you can't wait, do have a look at the Crash and Burn website and give the comic a read. And maybe buy something from these two wonderful creators.

To be continued.

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