Queerly Geek

Enigma            Peter Milligan’s The Enigma confronts society’s expectations about identity.  The Enigma, narrated in the first person, tells the story of 20-something Michael Smith. Smith meets Titus Bird, the writer of the superhero comic book The Enigma, the story of a man with omnipotent powers who adopts the identity of a superhero. Smith runs into the Enigma, who reveals that he is an emotionless being, unfamiliar with concepts of right and wrong.  Enigma take Smith on life changing adventure where Smith is challenged by how consciously he is aware of himself.  His experience with Enigma reveal a deeper understanding of his, and the reader’s, place in the world.

In a twist at the end the narrator is revealed to be a lizard, that had been gifted human consciousness by Enigma, and the lizard is attempting to explain its new awareness to other lizards.  The other lizards though are unable to comprehend the story they are being told because their own knowledge of self and the world is limited.  The lizard’s interaction with Enigma mirrors Smith’s, who too has been changed and grown from experiences with Enigma, and finds it difficult to explain to friends.

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Queerly Geek



ultra_freex            When I was younger I was such an avid follower of everything X-Men that I fell for almost any comic that contained the letter ‘X,’ regardless of where the letter fell in the word.  That’s how I became acquainted with Malibu’s Freex, a group of teens with powers are hunted by a corporation.  The Freex were close enough in concept to the X-Men that it spoke to me, and unlike the adult X-Men, the Freex were closer to my age, and better reflected my current emotional reactions and problems.  Also, unlike mutants the Freex’s powers had a younger adult feel, being designed to create an even playing field amongst the characters; a cheerleader with deforming skin tendrils, the computer geek that can manipulate technology becomes a hero similar to a high school quarter back, who himself has lost his popular standing because of powers that change him into a large silver blob-creature.  Additionally, Freex characters needed one another in a more somber manner than the X-Men.  The Freex only had each other but mutants were plentiful enough to form multiple groups, X-Factor, X-Force, Excalibur, Wolverine, , etc.  I longed to be friends with the X-Men and their super-hero soap opera, but The Freex were my reality.