Gay X-Man Rictor, An Illustrated History


By Andrew Belonsky

How did a suicidal, self-hating mutant become a gay hero?

UNCANNY X-MEN 270 (1991): The first time I saw Rictor. I was smitten.

NEW MUTANTS #95 (1991): A big crossover special saw Rictor and his fellow mutants lose their powers. This brought him and gal pal Rahne closer.

NEW MUTANTS #97 (1992): Losing his powers makes Rictor realize he appreciates who he is. Considering his relations with wolf-like teammate Rahne, though, it's clear he wasn't completely comfortable quite yet.

X-FACTOR #84 (1992): Rahne and Rictor's relationship continued into the 1990s...

X-FORCE #16 (1992): ...But when Rahne and Wolverine turned on the team, it became clear that Rictor had feelings for new member Shatterstar, as well. Oh, and Rictor got his powers back.

X-FORCE #19 (1992): Rahne left the team, which gave Shatterstar and Rictor time to get to know one another. (That other wolfie type character is not Rahne; it's another furry heroine, Feral.)

X-FORCE #34 (1994): Shatterstar's devotion to Rictor was shown in the mid-90s when he helped him save his troubled family in Mexico. Rictor was soon written off of the series, appearing only sporadically over the next few years.

X-FACTOR (v3) #1 (2006): After being off screen for many years, Rictor was brought back into the fold when current writer Peter David rebooted X-Factor. Rictor, now sporting a shorter hairdo, had again be depowered and finds himself back on the ledge. Team leader Jamie Madrox talks him down.

X-FACTOR #14 (2007): Twenty years after his first introduction, Rictor finally admitted in a backhanded way, that he's gay. And Madrox lets Rictor know he knows.

X-FACTOR 45-46 (2009): Finally, after nearly two decades fighting side-by-side, Rictor and secret crush Shatterstar locked lips, becoming the first mainstream male comic book characters to do so. Writer Peter David would go on to win a GLAAD Media Award for his portrayal of Rictor and Shatterstar's romance.

Rob Liefeld, the writer who created Shatterstar, balked, and claimed at the time he would one day undo the character's sexual development, “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.”