Mainstream media hype hit. Protests came and went. All because a man proposed to the guy he loved. The man is an X-Man. The wedding is the week in Astonishing X-Men #51.
Northstar and Kyle Jinadu tie the knot in New York City just days before many American cities are celebrating gay pride. To the non-comic book reading world this may seem radical but the X-Men have always broken barriers with socially relevant stories and characters.
Marvel’s first openly gay hero, Jean-Paul Beaubier proposed to his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu in issue #50. Creative team Marjorie Liu, Mike Perkins and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talked about the landmark issue on Marvel.com.
“The Marvel Universe has always reflected the world outside your window, so we strive to make sure our characters, relationships and stories are grounded in that reality,” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Editor in Chief. “We’ve been working on this story for over a year to ensure Northstar and Kyle’s wedding reflects Marvel’s ‘world outside your window’ tradition.”
“The story of Northstar and Kyle is universal, and at the core of everything I write: a powerful love between two people who have to fight for it against all odds,” said writer Marjorie Liu. “This is the quintessential Marvel story, one that blends the modern world with the fantasy of super heroes in order to tell an exciting story that begins with a wedding—and continues in ways you can’t imagine.”
“As a long-time fan of the X-Men, it’s not only a true honor to be part of such a historically significant story but also a complete joy,” said artists Mike Perkins.
Northstar was born in Quebec and a member of the Canadian team Alpha Flight when he premiered in Uncanny X-Men #120. John Byrne wrote and drew the Alpha Flight original series and hinted as Jean-Paul’s sexual orientation. It wasn’t until 1992 when Northstar came out in an Alpha Flight #106 by writer Scott Lobdell. Northstar was recruited by Professor X to join the X-Men. Cyclops asked Jean-Paul to join the team when they moved to San Francisco. Kyle manages Northstar’s winter sports event company. The couple have been together since 2009 and recently moved to New York City after Wolverine invited Northstar to be part of his new school for mutants.
As a longtime X-Men fan it’s amazing to see how the story of mutants has evolved with the political and cultural times. When Northstar was first introduced in the 1980′s it was against editorial policy to have a character be gay. Northstar’s coming out in 1992 was controversial. Now we’re about see the wedding of a gay hero. Maybe Northstar will appear in a future X-Men movie?
Astonishing X-Men #51 arrives with two variant covers. Marko Djurdjevic created an intimate cover as Jean-Paul and Kyle embrace. What I think is more symbolic: the Create Your Own Wedding Album cover by Phil Noto. It’s important that Jean-Paul and Kyle’s ceremony in featured on the same page as Storm and the Black Panther, Reed and Susan Richards and other famous Marvel couples on their special day.
Northstar and Kyle’s relationship is just one element of Marjorie Liu’s early run on the book. The mystery woman behind the new Marauders, Warbird’s potentially lethal attraction to Iceman, the return of Karma and Cecelia Reyes are all intriguing reasons to enjoy the book.
Mutants are the evolution of the human race in the comic books. This week’s wedding is a sign how humanity is evolving to greater equality. The fight for equality is far from over. A comic book wedding may or may not change someone’s view on marriage equality. Seeing an openly gay superhero get married with the support of one of the world’s most popular teams may give someone hope that it does get better.