X-Factor Goes Gay
By Noah Michelson
It's been almost two months since Rictor and Shatterstar sent the comic world ablaze when issue no. 45 of X-Factor ended with the two characters entwined in a gay kiss cliffhanger. The following issue did not touch on the subject of the kiss except a panel showing Rictor and Shatterstar continuing to tongue wrestle as their fellow teammate stood to the side to allow them some "alone time." In this month's issue, Rictor and Shatterstar continue on their quest, and even the first time you see them in the issue Rictor has his arm around Shatterstar, and no one seems to question or think anything of it (but I guess when there are time traveling mutants attacking humanity, there are bigger fish to fry).
Since the kiss there has been outrage from very few people, but Rob Liefeld, the creator of Shatterstar, was quoted as saying: "As the guy that created, designed and wrote his first dozen appearances, Shatterstar is not gay. Sorry. Can’t wait to someday undo this. Seems totally contrived.” Peter David, the current writer of X-Factor says that the editors at Marvel are completely supportive of the Rictor and Shatterstar relationship, and one hopes that this all won't be reversed in the future, and the gay kiss won't be wiped from Marvel memory. Some others voicing their opinions are the readers themselves. In the letters page of the newest issue, three letters are printed pertaining to the kiss. Two of the letters being very supportive, and one from someone who described the kiss as "YUCK!" and goes so far as saying he ripped up the comic and sold all his back issues.
If the relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar continues on this path, and it is not re-written as Shatterstar being a Skrull or something along those lines, then what we would have would be the first gay mutants in the X-Universe to have a stable and positive relationship just like any straight characters, and while this may be a stretch, the Rictor and Shatterstar relationship could be looked at as an allegory for the current fight for gay marriage. No one in the X-Universe even does a double take when they see Rictor and Shatterstar together because there are larger problems at hand, and even though there are no Sentinels or time-traveling evil mutants in our world, there are greater things to worry about than what consenting adults are doing in the privacy of their own homes and comic books.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
Previously > Spidey's Jazz Hands Get Shut Down