entertainment

Marvel criticised for naming first ever non-binary superhero 'Snowflake'

The groundbreaking character's tone deaf choice of name has sparked anger in the LGBT community.

2020-03-20

Marvel Comics' announcement that they're set to introduce their first ever non-binary comic book superhero has been met with criticism after it was revealed the chracter is to be called 'Snowflake'.

The comic book brand announced this week that upcoming comic The New Warriors will introduce non-binary teen hero 'Snowflake' and their twin, 'Safespace'.

In recent years, the term 'snowflake' has been used as a derogatory way of describing 'politically correct' youngsters who challenge society's underlying prejudices, while a 'safe space' describes an event or setting where prejudicial language is discouraged.

Speaking to Marvel about the new sibling heroes, writer and creator Daniel Kibblesmith said: “They’re hyper aware of modern culture and optics, and they see their Super Heroics as ‘a post-ironic meditation on using violence to combat bullying.’

“It’s this idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don’t see as derogatory. [They] take those words and kind of wear them as badges of honour.”

He continued: “The connotations of the word ‘snowflake’ in our culture right now are something fragile, and [Snowflake] is a character who is turning it into something sharp.”

Despite the historical significance of Marvel introducing a non-binary hero for the first time, many in the LGBTQ community have accused the comic book giant of inadvertantly mocking gender non-confirming people through the choice of names.

Genderqueer model Rain Dove encapsulated many LGBTQ peoples' anger, telling Attitude: "Safe spaces are something we still need. We're not ready to reclaim them because, people – especially trans people – are still dying.

"And we are still processing those traumas, thats why we value safe spaces."

While Snowflake and Safespace's co-creator Luciano Vecchio identifies as queer, Dove urged Marvel to do more to engage with the LGBTQ community while creating characters that provide a rare opportunity for representation.

"You need to create this with us, don't do this alone", says Dove. "I think you are interpreting a lot of experiences you haven't lived.

"You have the chance to do something historical, please don't waste this opportunity."

Meanwhile, comic book YouTuber Faust, who identifies as non-binary, says the name Snowflake is "unnecessary, and just insulting" to non-binary people.

They tell Attitude: "[Non-binary people] want Marvel to do better, and honestly, I think that’s where our issues come from.

"We want non binary characters, but we want ones that represent us, and as a collective, I think most people find these characters insulting."

Faust adds: "I do think this situation comes from a position of over-eagerness.

"LGBTQ people in our own circles are constantly taking back slurs that are used against us, and I think Kibblesmith, the writer behind new warriors saw this, and for some reason decided that that could mean we want to take back any and every insult, which isn’t the case, at all."