Comics Features

Thursdays With Patrick: Going Green

He’s lean, he’s green, and he’s on the scene like a sex machine. Thursdays With Patrick turns its focus on Locus, Class Comics’ resident bug boy!

Character: Locus
Appears In: Locus, Boytoon Adventures, Felinoids, Rapture, Meaty

The adventures/misadventures of Locus can be found on the CLASS COMICS WEBSITE!

Warning: Very much not safe for work!

In all of Camli-Cat’s trials and troubles, one thing remains constant…or as constant as it can be: his love for Locus, a hustler/smuggler with a buff bod and checkered past. Locus is on the run from his own people, the insectile Sektans, for refusing to comply with their cultural and sexual standards. Branded a fugitive and a deviant, the Sektans are hunting him down to return him home and force him to do his duty, even if it kills him (and it probably would). Hooking up with Cam’s crew, he forms an instant bond with our favorite felinoid, one that even survives a near-constant shifting from on-again, off-again, and on-and-on-and-on again.

However, as intertwined as Locus’ story is with Cam’s, the two of them couldn’t be more different. It’s not just a species divide, but an array of opposites. Cam’s home was destroyed and he was sold into slavery, while Locus was a son of wealth and privilege. Cam is searching for his home, while Locus is constantly trying to outrun his own. Cam’s seemingly cocky demeanor is a mix of pseudo-sincere naivete and cunning manipulation, while Locus’ cockiness is simply the pure product of a swelled ego. Most importantly, though, Cam is fully in touch with his sexual being, having grown up in a society that prized individual sexuality. Locus, however, comes from a society where sexuality is culturally hard-wired from the moment of birth by a fascist (and quite possibly insane) dictator.

100% pure cockiness, not from concentrate.

Camili-Cat’s story has as its focus the power of sexuality and the power it can give an individual once it is accessed. Locus’ story takes an entirely different approach to the same topic. In Sektan society, sexuality is used to oppress, not to empower. It’s a form of control, not a form of pleasure. Locus’ crime is refusing to return to Sekta Prime and deposit his seed in the Queen Mother’s hive. Since Locus is gay, which itself is a crime under Sektan law, and refuses to take part in the traditions of the “hatchers,” he runs. That the authorities would chase him across the galaxy shows how much they respect the power of sexuality, even as they exploit it to keep the masses down. Locus is a sexual rebel, and he’ll never, ever be any good.

To be sure, Locus is something of a bad boy. He’s not above pimping himself out, and he’s done more than his share of questionable things in his time. However, like most bad boys, Locus actually does have a heart (or should I say hearts) of gold. If Han Solo was turned into a muscular, half-insect alien, he would pretty closely resemble Locus. And of course, like most bad boys, Locus hides that part of himself…except from Cam.

On Sekta Prime, bug squishes you!

Locus’ stories feature a great deal of contrast. His encounters with others, such as the inhabitants of the world of Suktamimus, are intricately engineered, featuring bizarre creatures, and are strangely hypnotic. It’s a thing that I had previously thought was only produced in Japan. Meanwhile, his interactions with Cam are softer, sweeter, and full of an intense and tangible affection. In a flashback in Locus #1, it’s revealed that it was Locus who helped Cam become free when he purchased Cam at a slave auction. In return, Cam showed the flippant playboy Locus what true devotion and love was. Even when they argue or have the occasional (and temporary) break-up, it’s clear that the mutual bonds of love, respect and admiration are present.

Camili…I just met a cat named Camili…

One of the most interesting things that Patrick Fillion explores in Locus’ story is the use of sexuality as a cage. Cam has shown us how sexuality can be used as a weapon, but Sektan society takes it to a whole new level. Homosexuality isn’t just discouraged but criminalized. Heterosexuality isn’t the norm, it’s the law, and nobody comes out of Sekta Prime a virgin. Aside from references to the Queen Mother, Fillion hasn’t shown us any Sektan women yet. Cam’s story featured several female felinoids by comparison. It’s quite possible that the male-to-female ratio in Sektan society is highly skewed toward the male side, and Sektan society began to mandate the “hatching” ritual out of fear of dying out, and this slowly developed into a rigidly codified social structure. 

Insects are highly organized creatures, with developed hierarchies and social systems. Since Locus is stepping outside of the established pattern, he’s a threat to the entire system. That he’s a threat because of his sexuality is a potent metaphor for how many parts of society still view gay people in the real world. Just like the real world, as well, there are vehemently antigay Sektans who secretly like their bug boys on all fours. If Locus’ story seems much darker than Cam’s, it’s because Locus’ situation is a much stronger parallel to the real world. Cam shows us the potential and the power of sexuality, but Locus reminds us that those who are afraid of that same power will stop at nothing to extinguish it.

Talk about a buzzkill.

In fact, Sektan society seems to be one of the only places in the entire Fillion-verse where sexuality is NOT a fluid and permeable structure. Locus seems to have no trouble attracting attention from males of virtually any species, from the many-tentacled yolon to the human Captain Jung and his mates Disco and Flamer. It’s not a coincidence that Locus is often seen with a “Yeah, you know you want me” smirk, which in his case is almost completely justified. Sektans seem to be the only race mostly immune to his charms. It’s a very sharp contrast to the exploits of Fillion’s other heroes, and in a way, it’s almost jarring. It gives Locus’ story a distinct weight, because there’s more at stake than just Locus’ freedom. What’s really at stake is the future of male sexuality.

The Fillion-verse is alive with male power, something reflected in the seemingly limitless potency of his protagonists. In Rapture #2, this is brought into brilliant focus with a full-panel shot of a captured Locus that’s a tribute to an iconic Tom of Finland image. It lays out the full spectrum of male sexuality, from its beautiful strength to its inherent vulnerability. Like Tom, Patrick’s men are icons of a kind of liberation and freedom from cultural norms and standards. Locus raises this idea to a supertextual level, making that freedom an act of willful defiance. Locus is all about free love, baby, and the Man (or in this case the Bug) won’t keep him down.

Tom would be proud. Locus, maybe not so much.

Beyond all this, Locus’ adventures are simply thrilling to behold, the scenes full of an intense level of detail and precision. Fillion has gone all out with his groupings and pairings, and I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of his panels defy at least a couple laws of physics on a routine basis (I’m a writer, Jim, not a scientist). Locus himself is a gorgeous creature, and it’s clear that Fillion loves to draw him. From his green skin to his proud antennae, he’s certainly the most exotic of Fillion’s cover boys. That, of course, is part of his appeal. The Locus books certainly feature some of Fillion’s most bizarre and unusual situations and characters—and that’s admittedly not for everybody—but at its heart is a compelling and resonant story of sexual liberation that’s extremely relevant in today’s tumultuous culture.

Bug boy biceps bulge beautifully.

Calling: Outcast
Abilities: Strength 7C, Agility 8B, Intellect 5D, Willpower 6D, Edge 2, Hand Size 4, Health 25
Powers: Pheromones 3, (Limit: Pleasure only) Body Armor +1
Skills: Boxing, Brawling, Escape Artist, Fast Exit, Marksmanship, Assessment, Manipulation
Equipment: 2 Pistols +4

JOHNNY M is a frequent FBOTU contributor and firmly believes that Locus shot first.<a href="; title="imageimage