Hot on the heels of DC’s announcement at Kapow Con that one of their existing characters would be reintroduced as gay (read about it here), Marvel took to ABC’s The View today to announce that Astonishing X-Men’s Northstar would be tying the knot with his long time boyfriend, Kyle. The engagement is set to take place in Astonishing X-Men #50, penned by Marjorie Liu with art by Mike Perkins, which will be released tomorrow, and it looks like the couple will have a lovely June wedding in issue 51 (or as lovely as superhero weddings get, so expect plenty of drama and unexpected violence).
Marvel is fully committing to the wedding spirit and revealed in their press release that participating stores will be hosting wedding parties in honor of Northstar and Kyle’s joyous nuptials. There will even be a “Create Your Own Wedding” blank variant cover.
Same sex marriage is a hot button issue these days, especially in the US, and the fact that two major American publishers, Marvel and DC, are taking steps to diversify their characters in terms of sexuality is a sign that public opinion is evolving. It’s a natural progression for Marvel, whose teams of mutants and misfits have always been intended to reflect the experiences of marginalized groups in our own society. As Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, said in their press release, “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. 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.”
Northstar, also known by his civilian name Jean Paul Beaubier, was Marvel’s first gay character and remains their most prominent. Although Chris Claremont and John Byrne introduced the character in 1979, the company (and the Comics Code Authority) only allowed writer Scott Lobdell to openly state Northstar’s sexuality in 1992. Now, twenty years later, Northstar will finally have the chance to say, “I do.”
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