Today The Advocate, our sister publication, had the honor of exclusively debuting the pages of from a moment in gay history: the first ever gay wedding depicted in an American comic book. The nuptials of the Marvel character Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle (why are there so many gays named Kyle?), was depicted today in Astonishing X-Men #51 — the choice of publication for this event should be unsurprising to anyone who follows comics, since The X-Men are historically an envelope-pushing bastion of underdog elevation. Northstar, after all, came out in 1992, well before Will & Grace was must-see primetime viewing.
Peebles talks to several of the responsibles involved in this edition, including Astonishing X-Men writer Marjorie Liu:
“I find a useful way of evolving a character is through his or her defining relationships — and what's more defining than a relationship with someone you love?" Liu says. Tackling this story was especially a challange for her, because "this was a special situation given that gay marriage, whatever your view, is an issue that affects a huge number of people in the United States and elsewhere.” Talk about staying current.
There are other high-profile gay superheroes, like DC Comics’ lesbian Batwoman and the recently-out Green Lantern, or at least the new version of him since DC entirely restarted its canon storyline.
Daniel Ketchum, associate editor at Astonishing X-Men hopes the wedding will elevate Northstar’s profile enough to warrant a solo series for the character.
"I can have a pitch ready by the end of the day. Spoiler alert: Storm and Dazzler will be recurring guest stars,” says Ketchum, clearly excited by the prospects of this topic. Aside from this exciting prospect, the big question for Northstar is how the marriage will change his character and relationship.
“They’ll have to figure out the extent of those changes and how to navigate that territory... all while coping with the usual X-Men-related shenanigans," Ketchum explains. While it seems fairly low-key, this response is quite invigorating: a popular and gay comic book character will be regularly depicted navigating his world-saving adventures alongside those of his relationship, making him as normal as any other married, mutant superhero comic book character. Now there's a storyline I'd like to see more of, and I'm probably not alone.