Marvel and DC Comics show their pride this June
The two publishing powerhouses in the comic book industry (Marvel and DC) reveal two monumental moments in both comic book and LGBT history that will drop in June, just in time for Gay Pride Month.
Marvel revealed Tuesday the two-page cover of "Astonishing X-Men" #51, featuring the previously announced wedding of the first openly gay superhero Northstar to his long-time boyfriend Kyle. Northstar and Kyle's story has been developed in recent years on the pages of "Uncanny X-Men," "X-Nation" and "Alpha Flight."
The buzz around the wedding has already circulated through various news circuits, including the Huffington Post and ABC's The View.
What is most monumental about this occasion isn't that it's a gay wedding (Kevin Keller of "Archie" married his boyfriend Clay in February of this year and "Stormwatch's" Midnighter and Apollo have been married since the 90's.) The most monumental aspect of this wedding is the historical context in which it's happening, with President Obama recently announcing support for gay marriage.
"When gay marriage was legalized in New York state a year ago, we immediately began discussing how that reality could be reflected in the Marvel Universe, as so many of our characters and stories are based in New York City," said Daniel Ketchum, co-editor of "Astonishing X Men" in an interview with MTV News.
With marriage equality a hot button issue this election year, Ketchum notes, "In my opinion, Marvel comic books are at their best when they're exploring the real world through the super hero metaphor…It's that level of authenticity, that emotional truth, that makes a Marvel comic a Marvel comic."
On the other side of the multi-verse, DC Comics has announced that one of its mainstream superheroes will come out as gay.
While DC has a number of openly gay or bisexual characters, this coming-out story will come from one of DC's most iconic characters. Co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed at the Kapow comic convention in London over the weekend that this character has been previously portrayed as heterosexual and be reintroduced into the DC universe as part of last year's reboot.
Early rumors of a lesbian Wonder Woman were quickly squashed as DC's senior VP Courtney Simmons disclosed
that the character in question will be male. In speaking to the reported "iconic" status of the character, this narrows down the list to Batman, Superman, Aquaman and Green Lantern.
The emergence of gay characters and storylines over the past few years has been noted and applauded by LGBT advocacy and watchdog organization GLAAD.
"DC and (archrival) Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years," said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD. "They are recognizing how the world is evolving."
Article by Danny Bernardo for ChicagoPride.com and the GoPride.com Network.