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Is An LGBT Superhero Film Far Off?

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Comic book fans had lots to rejoice about yesterday when Marvel Studios announced its upcoming slate of new films. In addition to sequels for the critically and commercially successful Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy films, Marvel is making history with its first film led by a black superhero, Black Panther, and its first anchored by a female, Captain Marvel.

ThorIt’s just the latest move coming out of comic book culture, where publishers have been redefining mainstream heroes as a more diverse bunch. Many of the familiar (straight, white, male) characters — most of which got their start decades ago — are being joined by a growing number of heroes that reflect a richer representation. In addition to the female Captain Marvel, Marvel’s also recently started publishing series focusing on a female Thor, a black Captain America and a wildly successful book based on a Muslim American teenager, Ms. Marvel.

This surge in inclusivity extends to LGBT characters as well. From lesbian crimefighter Batwoman to young mutant Benjamin Deeds, there’s a growing number of queer mainstream characters that could become the next Batman, Wolverine or the Flash, conquering the box office or leading a television series.

“As pop culture goes, it's never been hotter to be a geek,” wrote Jono Jarrett, a founding board member of GeeksOUT, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBT inclusiveness in the geek community. “Politically, across the world queer visibility and acceptance are on the rise—or where it's not, it's being challenged like never before.”

With this momentum on and off the page, could it be long before we see an LGBT superhero take the spotlight on the large or small screen?

Learn more about the state of queer characters in comic books today, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Is An LGBT Superhero Film Far Off?" »


Marvel's 'Astonishing X-Men' Married Gay Characters Northstar and Kyle Face Deportation Issues Caused by DOMA

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We've been covering Marvel's Astonishing X-Men and its examination of the marriage between Canadian Northstar to American Kyle Jinadu since late last year.

In its recent issue number 59, written by Marjorie Liu, and pencilled by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, the narrative continues to unfold about the Northstar, a Canadian, trying to stay in his husband's homeland, in a city they both call home.

These are problems imposed on them by the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

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Flashback: 'Gay Comix' Clobbered The Closet In 1980

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Marvel Comics writer John Byrne has previously said he always planned to make superhero Northstar, introduced in 1979, gay, but that corporate and cultural forces kept him in the closet until 1992.

Up to that point, Northstar's sexuality had only be hinted at, often in a denigrating manner, like when his twin sister implicitly sneered at Northstar's ambiguous relationship with an older male mentor: "You - of all people - dare to judge my love life."

It would be another twenty years before Northstar, sometimes neglected by writers for years on end, finally found happiness and married his husband in a high-profile affair attended by a who's who of Marvel superheroes. (DOMA is threatening to derail that happiness.)

Howard Cruse, Bob Ross and the other LGBT comic creators behind Gay Comix didn't have to chart such a slow course. They hit the ground running in 1980, the year Gay Comix #1 hit the underground newsstands. Of course, Gay Comix never had nervous publishers or media-driven boycotts to worry about. Nor were they dealing with super-powered heroes for children. Gay Comix was made by adults for adults to explore the waters of a changing and often sexually-charged America that, from today's perspective, looks in many ways like a distant memory.

Finding back issues of Gay Comix is a task for serious collectors, but some issues have been collected in anthologies like Robert Triptow's Gay Comics and individual editions can be found online if you look hard enough and there may even be copies at your local library. But anyway you can find Gay Comix, you should, because they're a unique look at 20th century gay life that deserve as much recognition as other heroic gay comic characters.

(Click on the images above to get a closer look...)


Is Gay 'X-Men' Marriage Already On The Rocks?

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The latest issue of Marvel's Astonishing X-Men came out last week and recently wedded couple Northstar and Kyle Jinadu do not appear to be experiencing marital bliss because Northstar is constantly trying to save the world. That can put a strain on things.

The men only married a few issues back, but it seems the series' writers may be plotting a breakup — or at least an emotional test — over the next few months. Movies don't typically show meaningless scenes and neither do comic books and Kyle hopping on his computer the moment Northstar seems like some "ManHunt" foreshadowing or something.

Pop the image out for a closer look at Northstar and Kyle's latest scene.


'Astonishing X-Men' Artist Mike Perkins Selling Gay Wedding Art On eBay

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Comic fans celebrating the recent marriage of gay X-Man Northstar and his boyfriend may be interested to know that Mike Perkins, the artist who drew the historic edition of Astonishing X-Men, is currently auctioning pages from that issue over at eBay.

There are multiple pages available, but as Bleeding Cool points out, the one seen above is getting the most bids. Current highest bid: $284. What a bargain.

See what the full page looks like AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "'Astonishing X-Men' Artist Mike Perkins Selling Gay Wedding Art On eBay" »


Gay 'X-Men' Fans Will Marry On The Same Day As Hero Northstar

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Some comic fans are so inspired and thrilled by gay X-Man Northstar's marriage to his boyfriend that they're using the occasion either renew their own vows or tie some fresh knots. Unfortunately, not all the nuptials will be recognized.

Via Bleeding Cool:

Collectors Corner in Baltimore, familiar to Bleeding Cool readers, are celebrating their own gay wedding as two longtime customers renew their vows for an event in-store to celebrate the release of Astonishing X-Men #51.

Midtown Comics are hosting a private same sex wedding in their Downtown store in Manhattan

And MaximuM Comics of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada are taking it all one step further, featuring five gay couples in one store and six in another getting a “commitment ceremony”, as gay marriage is not legal under state law, though it does now allow same sex unions.

The staff at both shops will be fully tuxedoed, wedding cakes, flowers and gift bags are on the way, with money raised going to AFAN Aid for AIDS NV.

Marvel's evidently quite confident Astonishing X-Men #51 will be a hit: they're releasing it one day earlier than the rest of the titles due next week.

You can see the first few pages HERE.


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