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Anole by David Yardin

David Yardin Anole

Artist David Yardin always brings his best to the characters he draws and this portrait of young mutant Anole is no exception!  Anole’s Wikipedia entry is an interesting read because it covers in continuity stories as well as behind the scenes information.  Although he is known as one of the few openly gay characters in the Marvel Universe, his creators (Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis)  intended to have him commit suicide after not finding acceptance.  Editorial nixed the idea and had them rewrite the issues.

I’m so glad that that old trope was discarded because popular culture needs more positive role models for gay teens, not less.   Subsequent writers and artists have made Anole’s sexuality just one more aspect of a multi-faceted character, although they have not shied away from incorporating it into the narrative.  In an interesting twist, Anole’s community (before he came to the X-Men) had no problem with him being gay or a mutant until anti-mutant hysteria spreads to his town, creating problems for the young man.

Just as the writers have invested in making Anole multi-dimensional, David Yardin’s artwork depicts a realistic look at the character.  Make sure you check out David Yardin’s artwork on his Deviant Art account!

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…I thoroughly dig Anole. He’s one of the more “realized” young X-folks, in my opinion, he has the most character and personality….I love the interactions between he and Santo, and we’ll see how long it is before the two are more than just friends. (okay, that’s my own projection, but whatever)

    It is sad, and somewhat ironic, to hear that they had planned for him to kill himself, though, in light of the news from Texas regarding a 13-year-old who shot himself last week because of taunting about his orientation. Maybe in a way it could have brought attention to this unfortunate subject? (not to say that I’m not glad that Anole is still around)

  2. Suzene

    Editorial’s decisions during the new New Mutants run (as opposed to the new old New Mutants book currently on the stands) were weird regarding what was acceptable. I remember DeFilippis and Weir expressing some frustration over the fact that they had to hint around Anole’s orientation during their run (I’m still not sure if “They didn’t even want us to say that Northstar was gay!” was a joke or not), and the idea that teenage suicide was considered too heavy a subject for a title about mutant kids seems particularly odd considering what they decided the book should turn into later.

    Nonetheless, the above is still my favorite incarnation of Anole (kinda obvious, given that it’s my commission, but still…). On the shallow end, I enjoyed this look a lot more than the fugly, asymmetrical design they went with later. On the characterization end of things, I really liked the relationship hinted at with Northstar during the D&W run. There are very few instances in mainstream comics of a young gay or lesbian still getting a grasp on their sexuality having a LGBT mentor to help them navigate their orientation (the only one that comes to mind is Northstar’s relationship with his foster father/mentor, in fact), and I was very put out when it was decided that their student/mentor bond should be sacrificed on the alter of angst.

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