Genderfluidity in Marvel Comics is a complicated subject. Historically, it constitutes most of, if not all, non-binary representation in Marvel’s comics. Yet all of Marvel’s genderfluid characters seem to have similar characteristics that have become clichés on the way genderfluidity is portrayed in superhero fiction. These characteristics are :
- Shape-shifting, or at the very least a physical and/or biological change to express the change in gender
- Some kind of story reason to explain why their gender changed
- Portrayals where characters have one “main” gender, and another gender they only take on rarer, more specific occasions (whereas real-life genderfluid people often oscillate between more than the binary male/female genders)
Some characters like Mystique or Jacob Gavin have also been described as genderfluid by fans, and while I do not want to invalidate the way these characters have been interpreted by fans, their actual portrayal in-universe doesn’t match the definition of genderfluidity. Despite the changes their bodies go through, they seem to identify to one specific gender (Mystique only taking on other gender identities as a disguise, and Jacob Gavin actively seeking to go back to their initial body and the gender they were assigned at birth).
Check out Part 1 of Trans Representation in Marvel here: https://www.comicbookherald.com/a-guide-to-trans-representation-in-marvel-comics/
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