(this is the result of me rewatching the Wachowski sisters' 1996 film Bound) Image descriptions in ALT
AU where sex worker!Dream and handyman!Hob scheme to fuck over the mafia together and eventually drive into the sunset with $2 million they successfully steal, which, of course, is just the plot of the film
Scene of their first eye-fuck meeting in the lift of the apartment building:
Near the end of the story (after the chaos Dream and Hob caused resulted in the deaths of the mafia boss and his son), man who launders money for the mafia and who will get framed by Dream and Hob, makes the lethal mistake of underestimating the twink sex worker he's been controlling, gets shot, and dies in a puddle of white paint, lol:
Finally the pair gets away with everything and literally drives into the sunset:
The end. :)
I enjoyed drawing the leather jackets.
(Posted on AO3 as well)
sooooo Miles Morales:
doesn't flinch or react with distress when bitten by the spider. Almost as if something sharp puncturing his skin is not startling or distressing as it definitely is for most people. As if it might be routine or something he is used to, perhaps. Like for example, doing injections on himself regularly.
is startled by suddenly being taller and says "I think I hit puberty". He's almost fifteen. Dialogue afterward further implies insecurity about his development, and thereafter has lines where he pretends he's done with puberty to people his own age, feeling uncomfortable about the attention he draws by seeming new to puberty. Puberty is typically reached before that age in boys and his voice is clearly broken/breaking by how he can pitch it down... but he's also inexperienced with how he can potentially use his voice, as seen in the scene with Uncle Aaron, so it's still new too. So 'I think I hit puberty' is an odd statement for someone his age, right? Unless it's been delayed until recently or presently and is still new rather than something he's been in for (based on the average age it starts) maybe 2-3 years now if he was cis. For example, by medication designed to delay puberty, like puberty blockers... which can be injectable, like T can be. And the number of potential reasons to prescribe blockers to a boy who is 14-15 is quite small, that's well past their use for precocious puberty. hmmmmm i wonder whyyyyy
is uncomfortable at his new school because the people around him don't truly know him or connect to him. He is trying to be himself there, and is clearly shunned for it until he meets Gwen, the heavily trans-coded character. There are several possible components to this; class and wealth, cultural and social background and how social interactions are very clearly established as different, race. None of these prevent potential queerness from being a part of it too. If he was a trans boy, the people around Miles who he grew up with would know, and as his walk through them at the start shows he is clearly on good terms with them and well-liked. So if he was trans, we have on the one hand "i am seen as a young trans man and loved and respected in my community for it", and on the other we have "i am a stranger and none of them know me, and I don't know how to fit in with them, and they don't know I'm trans.". His first friend is Gwen... the trans girl. And then Miles has to hide his identity as the new Spider-Man from the world around him. Which hurts him. Like how being stealth often hurts and isolates trans people by keeping a part of ourselves hidden.
says before getting his hand stuck to Gwen's hair, "You're new right, we've got that in common." and Gwen replies, "Yeah. That's one thing.". On the level of the film in isolation she's talking about the fact that they're both spider heroes and Miles doesn't know this yet. But the second film blatantly ties her being Spider-Woman to a very clear and direct allegory of being transgender. Even in the first film she is regularly framed with trans pride colours around her (e.g. the shot of her drumming in her spoken introduction, almost all of her shots in the first section of the credits), only a little less intensely than how they are used to that effect in the sequel. They're both new, they're both spider heroes, and the latter of these two is a trans allegory in the sequel, a sequel that, despite its messy production and lots of changes, was clearly expected in broad strokes during the production of the first film (hence the last scene and the stinger after the credits). At their age they're not just new to school, they'd be new to transition, new to their new genders. It is entirely possible that the strong trans coding was wanted from the start and left for the sequel because queerness is very hard to pitch to a company right off the bat especially in media for a low age rating (see Korra, She-Ra, The Owl House, this franchise would not be an outlier for intending queerness and only putting it in openly once they have enough of a foothold to not get turned down before even starting production). The creators likely wouldn't say that publicly because it could damage Sony's reputation and *that* would have consequences for their own careers since they work there, so a lack of confirmation doesn't mean anything either way. We have to look at the films together to interpret these intentions.
shakes hands with Gwen and they call each other friends, while the background is soaked in pink and blue. I don't think that's an accidental choice since they very obviously know what those colours can be used to indicate as shown by the sequel. Blue is behind Gwen, pink is behind Miles in the shot and because of the angles he is facing towards the blue side and she is looking towards the pink side, and both colours of light are touching them as highlights. Blue, a colour nowadays associated with boys, literally *behind* Gwen in the frame, while pink is literally in Miles's background in the shot as they look towards the other colour. Gwen wears white, Miles wears black, the former being the centre stripe on the typical trans flag and the latter as the centre stripe on the Black trans flag. As they shake hands before moving forward with their lives, they are looking towards the colours of their gender as presented in the events of the film (girl Gwen, boy Miles) despite their visual background being the opposite colour. Visual storytelling exists; with the context of the second film making Gwen's transness so blatant this is a not very subtle "bonding over their shared experiences and leaving their assigned genders behind them as they move towards their futures" image. See below because i am not making this up I'm literally just describing the shot with the same very basic colour symbolism the creators used so prominently in the sequel:
looks to role models for how to be masculine (Aaron) and how to be Spider-Man (alt-verse Peter) when the latter is, again, tied to an allegory of transness across the film franchise. Yes, teenagers look to adults as role models for gender, but paired with all the above there can absolutely be a trans angle to that desire for guidance on how to be yourself.
has to make a leap of faith in order to be Spider-Man. No-one else can tell him he is or is not Spider-Man, or that he is or is not ready. He just has to take the leap of faith and do it. And he does take that leap, and he does do it. And, again, transness and being a spider hero are linked extremely strongly through the visual and spoken storytelling in the sequel. No-one can tell you you're trans or not, you just have to live it and it starts with a leap of faith and acceptance. This is not subtle if you so much as lightly wave a trans lens in the vague direction of this movie.
Weaker and less overt trans coding isn't the same thing as it not being there at all. Even if a character canonically looks at the camera and says they're queer, directly, cishet audiences will ignore or deny it. This is a visual storytelling medium; all I'm doing is interpreting the visual storytelling and picking up on some potential implications based on what I know about the sequel and it's more direct trans coding and what that says about its creative intentions.
Miles Morales is transmasc.
That thought occurred to me less than ten minutes in and the rest of the film to follow only strengthened it. I genuinely will ignore anyone who says he's cis, that would make the film worse by detracting from its themes of identity and weakening its symbolism and subtext and actual text. Not every story is improved in narrative and thematic terms by the main character being trans, but this one absolutely is because it ties in so strongly with the narrative and themes on every level.
I haven't seen Across The Spider-Verse yet but like... the first film stands on its own as a less overtly-coded trans story, but still a trans story.
Author intent doesn't necessarily match audience interpretation. It's very clear that the people who made the second film intend the audience to interpret Gwen as trans. If you turn that lens on the previous film, there is absolutely space to interpret it like this. Even if the creators initially intended for Gwen to be trans but not Miles, that doesn't really matter when you look at the films they ended up making.
I'm honestly not even joking with this post, not even with the interpretation of why the spider bite doesn't produce a significant response from him. Nothing prevents Miles Morales from being able to be a trans man. And him being trans only adds to the themes and imagery and character arc of the first film.
I will not be entertaining argument on this topic. I am autistic about this and therefore my interpretation is correct. (okay that last sentence is a joke but seriously i am actually correct about this. don't be upset. it's okay for you to think he's cisgender, it's okay to be wrong. 😇)