otoh the return of people claiming that Wiccan and Hulkling were ‘reduced’ to nothing but ‘gay’ with no other characteristics in Vol. 2 may actually give me the motivation to do a break down of their arc - particularly Teddy’s arc - in V2 and how in character & in continuity and in depth it was… à la that America Chavez series of posts I did a few months ago.

(And also I mean more femme guys in comics wouldn’t be the end of the world - not that B&T were remotely overtly femme but it’s not uncommon to get more comfortable in your skin between 14/15 and 18/19 so who cares if they were)

cause ffs if you really think their arc was about being gay characters instead of about relationship dynamics and communication and what happens when the two boys in a relationship are:

(1) a child prodigy who was absolutely certain he had his life planned out until his dream career blew up in his face & literally killed some of his friends & who feels personally responsible for and guilty about absolutely everything that goes wrong & now is depressed, unmoored and unsure about what to do with his life now that he doesn’t have the Avengers as specific role models and

(2) a stoic, selfless to a fault (and yes it is a fault) boy who has literally lost everything but his boyfriend and instead of communicating his needs and/or pain, basically sublimates all his angst into his relationship. (Which is why we love him. And which is why he is Samwise Gamgee. But also why he is susceptible to Loki’s malevolent scheming. Which isn’t about mind control it’s a ~metaphor~ for losing yourself in a relationship and how Teddy in the absence of his mother and in the absence of superhero-ing doesn’t have a defining role that isn’t Billy’s boyfriend.)

If Billy and Teddy were a perfect superhero boyfriend couple, who are they when they are not superheroes and who are they independently of each other? Teddy’s anxieties & plot focus on the latter and Billy’s anxieties & plot focus on the former. Ultimately they end the series both boyfriends and tentatively once again superheroes but this is not nothing, people.

Plus they’re still enthusiastically nerdy and flirty and cute.

I will turn this into a properly laid out structured explanation / point by point argument with panels and screenshots and stuff later this week, I swear.

phoenixyfriend asked:

Songbird

Nowhere Fast by Incubus

All his life Teddy has searched for an identity, and each time he thinks he’s found one it’s taken away from him. The rug pulled from beneath his feet. This time he wants something permanent, something real. Something not contingent upon another person.

Without his mother around he is no longer a son. That’s one identity that was robbed of him way too early. He tries not to be bitter but it’s difficult. 

He’s glad he still has Billy, is still a boyfriend. That’s something that won’t be taken from him any time soon. Billy is about the the only thing in his life which makes it bearable, makes it worth living. He loves Billy, knows that Billy loves him as well. But. That’s still hinging his life on someone else.

Being a superhero was the first thing, the only thing, that he’d ever done for himself. The first skin that fit him as his own. It was amazing, even all of the downsides and giving it up felt like cutting off a limb. He did it to please Billy, but he doesn’t think that’s a good enough reason. He needs this. Needs to be someone of his own, not just Billy’s boyfriend. He understands why Billy doesn’t want to anymore, Teddy too feels guilty about Cassie, but quitting is not what she would have wanted.

Teddy doesn’t know who he is, who he’s going to be, where he’s going to end up. All he knows is that Billy will be besides him when whatever it is happens. For now though, being Hulkling again will help him to be a person. A good person. A person of his own. It’s enough for now.

Send me ‘Songbird’ and I will put my music on shuffle and come up with an AU based on the first song I hear.

especially given that Teddy is a damn shapeshifter who never got to meet his actual parents, who lost the only mother he knew the day he found out a major piece of his identity, has no connection to Skrull or Kree anything except like…meeting the Super Skrull and Xavin and Noh-Varr, and who has always struggled with questions of identity & insecurity.

back in middle or high school literally shifted from nerdy to more jock-ish to fit in with people and then pretended to be superheroes to get the approval of Greg (?) despite the fact that he was being used. Teddy is not a guy with a textually strong sense of self or a strong support network, you know? He defines himself relationally - so even though he’s physically strong and more visually dominant and places himself in a caretaker role, he’s also developed his sense of self through being a Young Avenger and being Billy’s boyfriend literally since they were 14 or 15. He’s never been single and confident really - he found the broken Avengers mansion with Greg and met Billy soon after (if not earlier)

Contrast with Billy who has the Kaplans and Wanda and (on and off) Tommy. Billy who told Wanda when he was being beaten up for being nerdy and gay before he had powers still never had a problem being different from others - other people had a problem with him being different. That’s a fundamentally different approach to this stuff. Billy is slighter but more brazenly IDGAF about other people’s bullshit. That comes with control issues & the belief that he can fix everything & paralysis / depression when he can’t. When you’re a reality warper, that’s one hell of a god complex.

ETA: Billy’s powers manifest when he wants to defend someone ELSE - he can’t / doesn’t need to defend himself against bullies but he stands up for other kids even his goddamn activation of his X gene or whatever he is now that Wanda isn’t a mutant anymore is all about protecting others / taking on responsibility / martyr complex. Like there isn’t a direct line from this to the difference between his reaction and Tommy’s reaction at the end of Children’s Crusade re: if bad guys or Billy are responsible for Cassie & Jonas’ deaths and whether they should keep Young Avenger-ing & also leads directly to the all or nothing overcompensation attempt to save Teddy’s mom from another dimension & the things would be better if I ceased to exist mindset later in V2. Dude is all about overachieving, guilt, depression & thinking in extreme binaries of success/failure, etc. etc. overidentifyingwithBillyKaplan dot tumblr dot com

and like Teddy’s support network is Kate who is off with Clint having adventures at the start of YA and Billy who is still shell shocked and guilt-ridden and whose one rule to assuage his guilt stops Teddy from doing the one thing - heroing - that is the central non-boyfriend part of his identity. Who else? Were he and Eli ever close, really? Tommy? Both of them are gone by this point anyway.

like, how is any of this stuff about being gay or out of character or not entirely logical extensions of these characters existing in the shadow of Vol. 1 and the Children’s Crusade and the family and friends they’ve lost and the totally intense kind of co-dependent way their relationship developed.