Transrealities

September 19th, 2017

About fifteen years ago, I had the idea to write a comic script about a shapeshifting superhero, and in particular to have that superhero be trans. Perhaps they could be one gender in their secret identity, and another as their superhero identity?

Thankfully, a trans friend quickly persuaded me that this would be a really, really, really bad idea and that I should instead not do that, and do literally anything else instead, because I am a cis man, and I’d have ended up writing the most grossly offensive thing possible, in the name of “dealing with the issues” and performative allyship.

However, I’ve been very surprised that in the intervening years, especially with gender being an increasingly controversial topic, no-one in the superhero comics world has decided to do exactly that, or something very like it. It’s all too easy to imagine the angry twitterstorms as some cis man called Mark or Nick attacks all the “trolls” who “abuse” him by asking him “why are you doing this bad thing?”

Thankfully, we now have the first serious attempt to present a trans superhero, and rather than being that kind of hateful pseudo-wokeness, it’s actually rather good.

First, an apology that this post is so much later than the first six. Sadly, I had an arthritis flare-up that made it painful for me to type more than a sentence or two at a time, and which also made me too fatigued to even think for more than a week. The perils of chronic illness.

Still, my hands are working – more or less – now, so let’s have a look at the most-loved story (or to hear many people talk, the only loved story) of season twenty-two.

While widely reviled as one of the worst things Doctor Who ever broadcast, Timelash is in fact a masterpiece of postmodern avant-garde art…