Northstar’s upcoming wedding in Astonishing X-Men next month and the reintroduction of a gay Alan Scott Green Lantern inspired my story X Marks Diversity – which looked back at how the X-Men have always been groundbreaking when it comes to characters of different races, cultures, religions and sexual orientation.
I made a glaring omission. As I was reading today’s Axel-In-Charge column on Comic Book Resources CBR’s Kiel Phegley reminded us that current Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso was editor of the Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather. This Marvel MAX series relaunched the Wild West hero as open and flamboyantly gay drew criticism from anti and pro gay groups more than a decade ago. This led Alonso to remind us of two other gay heroes.
“There are plenty of gay characters in Marvel Comics that fly under the radar. Take Phat and Vivisector, for instance: teammates on the [Peter] Milligan/[Mike] Allred X-Force/X-Statix series that were also lovers. I don’t remember them provoking any controversy and I don’t think Rawhide Kid paved the road for them or any other gay characters; the opportunity was always there. Whenever you create a new character, the details of their interior or private life – stuff like their sexuality – will at some time become relevant.”
Northstar’s proposal is Marvel history now. Alonso revealed how recent events affected the storyline.
”Our best stories reflect stuff that happens in the world outside your window. When the Twin Towers fell, we did the Spidey black cover issue [“Amazing Spider-Man #36”]. when New York State legalized gay marriage, we wondered how Northstar – an openly gay super hero who’s in a long-term monogamous relationship – would respond to that development.
The world outside New Yorkers’ windows is one where gay marriage is recognized. But remember: For Northstar and Kyle, getting married is just the beginning of the story – the easy part. Marriage isn’t about the week’s vacation in Tahiti – it’s about the weekend trip to the K-Mart. A year from now, who knows – we could be looking at the historic divorce issue!” [Laughter]
For more of today’s column – a Friday must for me and I recommend for Marvel fans- here’s the link.
I complete forget this mutant couple and this X-Force reboot from two gifted creators! The title was so different at the time – I always thought of it as an X-Men book by Vertigo.