This week we have a special edition of The Comic Fanatic. We’ll be wishing Northstar and Kyle a long and happy marriage, and go into a bit about why it’s a big deal.
Astonishing X-Men #51 features X-Man Northstar’s wedding to his longtime boyfriend, Kyle Jinadu. This is the first homosexual marriage in Marvel history, and I have to say, Marjorie Liu did a very good job of writing it. It felt like every wedding I’ve been to, felt natural and not out of place. It was fun seeing all the different X-Men pitch in and help decorate, and Beast did an excellent job of officiating the event. And I’m pretty sure every active X-Man showed up, regardless of their location (y’know, the whole Phoenix thing going on). Must have called a truce with the Avengers to have it. Even X-23 and Jubilee showed. Nice reference to Liu’s previous (excellent) run on X-23. Regardless of your stance on the topic at hand, this is a very well done issue, and very heartwarming.
Now, onto the elephant in the room: gay marriage in comics. Does it belong? Think of the children! Showing to men kissing could scar them for life! Y’know, unlike the violence they see on the news and TV everyday, right? But still the question remains, should current events affect comics? Or should they be an entity to themselves, a place to get away from the real world. Marvel has answered that for us already. The world they reside in, Earth-616 is supposed to be our real world, thus things that happen in our world, should impact the Marvel heroes.
[quote]“When gay marriage became legal in New York State, it raised obvious questions since most of our heroes reside in New York State. Northstar is the first openly gay character in comics and he’s been in a longterm relationship with his partner Kyle so the big question was – how would this change his relationship?,” says Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso. [/quote]
Quote from Rolling Stone. This isn’t the first time events from the real world. During the tragedy on September 11th, 2001, there were many tributes in Marvel comics, as well as comics of superheroes helping out clear the rubble and saving lives. None of the pictures were as moving for me as this one of Spider-man. Very simple, yet very effective.
That picture still gets to me. This isn’t the only time the two worlds have collided, but it’s one of the most memorable. With as big of an issue LGBT rights is nowadays Marvel needed to address it, one way or the other, as not doing so would be the same as a condemnation that Marvel doesn’t care about LGBT rights. And I believe the way the handled it was well done. They took an established homosexual character, who had been dating someone for three years and took that relationship to the next step. It makes sense. They gave it to a very good writing/drawing team and the end result is an enjoyable comic that addresses the issue, but still doesn’t feel out of place. What does feel out of place is the wedding actually goes off without a hitch. This is still a superhero comic. Quentin Quire even addresses this in the comic:
[quote]I’m telling you, we won’t even get to the ceremony… Have you ever heard of a super hero wedding that wasn’t crashed by aliens or…I don’t know…Six-breasted, two-headed, amazon women wearing nothing but thongs? – Quentin Quire[/quote]
Classic Quire. I think he got away from the point and started daydreaming, but still. Usually Marvel weddings get crashed by some big bad. In this case, the big bad only loomed on the moon, and the wedding was allowed to go off without a hitch.
DC also addressed the issue as well, by making one of their characters (the original Green Lantern) retroactively gay. A good idea, but not well implemented. Retcons are very messy, especially one like this. I do applaud DC for taking steps to acknowledge their support of the LGBT community, I don’t feel as this was the best way, and they could have taken a page from Marvel.
Reaction to the wedding has been mixed, as one would expect. Look any any discussion thread or forum or article comments (like the Rolling Stone article above), and you’ll see some intelligent discussion, and probably a good amount of congrats being sent to Northstar and Kyle. And of course, this being the Internet, you’ll find a great deal of some of the most hateful things you’ll ever read, from people on both sides of the issue (although a great deal does come from hypocritical religious fundamentalists). I for one am appalled that this issue has gone on for this long and there’s so much hate.
I would simply like to wish Northstar and his new groom a long and happy marriage. Cheers!