We Interview: Comic Book Queers: Legacy: Brett Mannes: Part 2: “...a lame attempt at charisma."
Brett Mannes, from the amazing Comic Book Queers: Legacy is back back back again for part two of our interview with him! If you aren’t familiar with CBQ: Legacy, this interview starts out with a great run down of what it is. Probably should have re-ordered the questions to make that one go first—too late now. Enjoy!
In part one, we dove into the LGBTQ+ as a community, DC books for X-fans, and The Magicians. In part two, we dive deep into the history of CBQ: Legacy and how Bryan Singer ruined the X franchise at Fox.
What’s a short summary of the actual legacy party of CBQ Legacy?
The original Comic Book Queers started in 2006 with two wonderful guys — Erik and Stevie. Stevie, in particular, was very special. He was the constant as the show brought in multiple hosts (including me and EvilJeff) over its nine years. When I asked to reboot the show in 2018 (with the Legacy moniker), Stevie graciously gave it to me.
Adding “Legacy" was just a way to separate it from the original show and position it as a different but related thing. But then Stevie passed away. He was stricken with cancer and left us last year. So now, the Legacy part of our name has a new meaning.
We do this show to honor Stevie’s legacy. He was an OG gay geek. He was a pioneer at bringing people together. Anyone he touched, including me, was brought into a community. There would be no show, no community, without Stevie.
As an X-Fan, I find it difficult to separate the Singer stuff from his films. How do you handle the troubled past and mysterious future of X films?
It sucks, doesn’t it? Because Bryan Singer is garbage. I typically cannot separate the art from the artist. (I can’t listen to Michael Jackson anymore.) But I wind up watching my two favorite X-Men films because, to me, it’s the X-Men. It’s those characters I’ve loved since I was eight. It’s not Singer. It’s Jean and Logan. I’ll watch X2 and Logan. The others I can leave behind. Plus, there’s always Deadpool 2.
As for the future of the X in the MCU, I think we’ll see a tease of mutants in Phase 4, but no real mutants until much later. I’d love to see MCU mutants created by The Snap. Like, life adapted to such a sudden loss by mutating. I’d also love it if the first two mutants we meet are Storm (in Black Panther) and Logan (in Shang Chi). Then, they’d be the two characters to eventually take us to Xavier’s.
We plan on doing an “MCU predictive analytics” episode soon in an attempt to figure out what the future of the MCU — and the X-Men on screen — look like.
“I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to desperately try to win them over with a lame attempt at charisma."
If there were a reality show about your life, what would it be like? And what would your Real Housewives-esque tagline be?
Hahaha. Wow. I think it’ll be a dark comedy about a bumbling idiot gay nerd who tries really hard to portray a cool exterior. I see a lot of “Jim and Pam from The Office” look at the camera. There would be a lot of background or implied marijuana use too. For a tagline, I’d go with “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to desperately try to win them over with a lame attempt at charisma."
What media are you excited about right now?
I’m super excited for Hickman’s X-Men run.
I just moved to New York City this year, so I am diving into as much musical theater as possible. Be More Chill and Hadestown are some of my recent favorite shows and cast recordings.
And there have been some incredible short-form comedy out like Tim Robinson’s I Think You Should Leave on Netflix (I used to work around Tim at The Second City in Chicago and he is the funniest man on the planet.) and At Home with Amy Sedaris. Anything that is smart at being stupid is my jam right now.
Reboots. How do you feel about them?
The show you are interviewing me about is a reboot, so I should tread lightly. I hate the idea of starting over and doing the same thing.
I like the notion of taking what a property is inherently about and doing something different in that context about that thing. I think that’s why I’m excited about Hickman’s run. It seems like new storytelling but very much steeped in what makes the X-Men great.
I also like redoing something but updating it or changing the voice to reflect modern times. DC’s Flintstones reboot book was great at that.
And, I’m super excited to see what the upcoming TV reboots of All in the Family and The Jeffersons sound like today. I mean, Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker?! C’mon!
Truly, I can’t wait for their MCU/X talk.
This part is Hickman-heavy. But, so is my internet search history.