Much of the literature on fan fiction sees slash fiction as transformative because of its imposition of a queer framework on heteronormative texts. While I do not disagree that this is one way fan fiction can be transformative, it is a mistake to believe that slash is inherently more transformative than het or gen fic just because of its queering of canon.Emily Regan Willis, Fannish discourse communities and the construction of gender in “The X-Files”
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In translation studies, many of us are working on enlarging the field to not only include conceptualizations of translation that go beyond traditional, Eurocentric variations on literal meaning transfer. (…) Even if one doesn’t think of writing fan fiction as a form of translating, it’s hard not to agree that it constitutes a retelling.
Translation theorist André Lefevere (1992) argues that most people know most of what they know about canonical literature because of rewrites, not because they’re intimately familiar with the source texts. Lefevere includes anthologies, criticism, adaptations, and of course translation as rewritings. To this I would add fan fiction.
Shannon K. Farley, Translation, interpretation, fan fiction: A continuum of meaning production
The relationship between slash fan fiction and comics fandom is problematic not only because of the shift of medium from source text to fan text but also because of the shift of fan community. Comics fandom is often viewed as consisting of heterosexual white men and comics are often explicitly marketed to them, excluding and othering the rest of the audience. Comics fandom online subverts this expectation of audience because the majority of fan authors and creators are women. While canon plots privilege action and conflict, and the problematic depiction of women characters in them is so obvious it hardly need be discussed, comics fan fiction reverses these trends: stories privilege emotional arcs, and female characters are depicted as more recognizably human even when they are secondary to the male characters.
Comics fan works thus become completely transformative because of the shift in both fan space and fan audience: texts that are homophobic become homophiliac, authors and readers who are male become female, and that which had previously been other becomes the new norm. For these reasons, the fans are not just aware but indeed hyperaware of their own identity as subaltern and subversive practitioners.