Marvel Comics

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Variant cover by Marko Djurdjevic for 'Astonishing X-Men #51'

Marvel Comics is an American publisher of comic books and related media.

LGBT Representation

May contain spoilers

This section is super-duper under construction and incomplete.

Starting in 1954 and lasting until the rules on depictions of homosexuality were relaxed in 1989, Marvel and other comics publishers were forbidden from openly depicting LGBT characters by the Comics Code Authority. Following the relaxation of the rules, however, a growing number of LGBT characters and storylines have appeared, including:

  • Arnie Roth, a childhood friend of Steve Rogers (Captain America) was strongly implied to be gay in a remarkably progressive series of stories published in 1984, when the Comics Code Authority still held sway and open depictions of homosexuality were forbidden. At one point, Arnie is captured and brainwashed into self-loathing homophobia and Steve tells him, "Arnie, listen to me: no matter what words they force out of your mouth, you know the truth! You are not a freak! You're as good and decent a man as I've ever known! They can't corrupt your love for Michael with their lies any more than they can corrupt my love for Bernie! Do you hear me, Arnie? They're the pariahs! They're the disease! They-[1]" Later official character biographies confirmed that Arnie was gay, although the label was never used in the comics themselves.
  • Canadian superhero Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar) became one of the first openly gay superheroes when he came out in Alpha Flight #106 in 1992. In 2011, Northstar was shown kissing his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu for the first time and in 2012, the two were married in "Astonishing X-Men #51". Northstar has also mentored gay teens Anole and Graymalkin.
  • Wolverine was depicted in a relationship with Hercules in an alternate universe in X-Treme X-Men #10[2]. It was also implied in Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1 that Hercules had sex with Northstar at least once in the main Marvel universe (616). However, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has stated that in Hercules is straight in 616, drawing criticism from LGBT advocates[3].
  • Other LGBT X-Men characters include Bobby Drake (Iceman), Karma, Phat, Vivisector, Bloke, Mystique, and Destiny. Writer Peter David has also confirmed Rictor and Shatterstar's bisexuality in his blog.
  • Teddy Altman (Hulking) and Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) shared their first kiss in Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade #9, also published in 2012.[4] Fellow Young Avengers members David Alleyne (Prodigy)[5] and Kid Loki[6] are confirmed bisexual either in the comics or by the writers, and America Chavez (Miss America) is lesbian. Although his sexuality is unconfirmed, Noh-Varr has experimented with men, and the sexuality of Kate Bishop and Tommy Shepherd has also been questioned either in comics or by fans.
  • Max Modell, a mentor of Peter Parker (Spider-man), is gay and married his partner Hector in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #1. Peter gave a moving speech at the wedding: "Max Modell's one of my heroes. Scientific pioneer. Founder of Horizon Labs. And all-around good guy. And this is going to sound selfish, but... seeing him tie the knot with his partner Hector... being welcomed back into his extended family, for this moment in his life is one of the best moments in mine."
  • Angela and her companion Sera, who is a transgender woman, were confirmed to be in a romantic relationship in Angela: Queen of Hel, but Marvel received some criticism from LGBT fans and allies when Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso responded to a question about Angela's sexuality with the statement that "We're not looking to put labels on the character or the series"[7].

Related Links


  5. Young Avengers Volume 2, Issue 9

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