Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar) is technically the first openly gay character in the Marvel universe. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Byrne says he always meant for Northstar to be gay; he just wasn’t allowed to say so due to Marvel editor Jim Shooter seeing an openly gay character as a “political position” and the Comics Code Authority.
Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar)
If you’ve never heard of Northstar, that’s probably because you’ve never read Alpha Flight. Alpha Flight’s Canada’s premiere superhero team, government-run like all those socialist programs in Canada. 😉 And Northstar’s their requisite snobby French-Canadian champion skier turned superhero. Okay, you might’ve also heard of Northstar from this little title called X-Men where he also appears. Continue reading “Queer Comic Characters: Northstar (Oct 23rd)”
Until 1989, the Comics Code Authority banned all mentions of homosexuality and definitely all openly gay characters. Jim Shooter, Marvel editor-in-chief in the 1980s, had a “No Gays in the Marvel Universe” stance and in the 1990s, all solo features with gay characters had to be labeled as “Adults Only.” Thankfully, as of 2006, current editor-in-chief Joe Quesada says this policy’s no longer in effect.
Unfortunately, Irene Adler aka Destiny died in Uncanny X-Men #255, which was published December 1989. She has not be resurrected.
Irene Adler (Destiny)
Irene is a blind mutant precognitive, born in Austria. During her adolescence, she filled 13 volumes with her future predictions called “The Books of Truth.” After this, she went blind. Though throughout her lifetime, Irene continued to make many accurate predictions. Continue reading “Queer Comic Book Characters: Destiny (Oct 10th)”
Spoilers for Wolverine: First Class #12 by Fred van Lente and Scott Koblish
This title should really be called Kitty Pryde: First Class as Kitty has been its main character since the beginning. Though Wolverine’s name on the cover sell more comics. This is my biggest and only real complaint with the title, which say a lot given my hypercritical nature and my general blah toward Wolverine.
(Okay, I also have a side complaint to Marvel’s marketing division: Wolverine and Cyclops fight over…Kitty?! as a sub-headline for the preview makes me ill. Seriously, Kitty is a teenager in this series. This actually reads: Two men in their 30s fight over…an underage girl. Think about that.)
I’m sad that Fred van Lente is leaving the title and #12 is his last issue. (Peter David will be picking it up, but I won’t be following.) Though I suppose if one wanted to go out on a high note, issue #12 encapsulates everything awesome about van Lente’s run and gives it an nice, but open-ended cap.
Kitty and Wolverine have been off on (largely) their own adventures as Wolverine trains her to be an X-Man. (These stories take place during Claremont’s famous run of Uncanny where Wolverine as mentor to Kitty first appears.) Wolverine’s interactions with Kitty have always brought out the “human” side of Wolverine and allowed for audience identification with both characters. van Lente is perhaps the only current Marvel writer who I think really knows how to write Wolverine. Too many writers only focus on one aspect of Wolverine’s personality and take that aspect and run it to the extreme. He’s really much more well-rounded than just being an angry Canadian who likes beer, killing, and Jean Grey. (Though he’s that too.) van Lente remembers this.
van Lente also takes the character of Kitty and plays her as a complex teenage girl, who shows hints of the strong leader we all know she grows up to be. Kitty’s training isn’t as harrowing or traumatic as others’ (see Magick, Darwin, or Pixie), but instead it’s fun, thrilling, dangerous, and, above all else, a learning experience. The X-Mansion is a school for mutants, if school included a lesson on how to kick ass or take down a Sentinel. van Lente also steers clear of making Kitty a Mary Sue as a Wolverine fanboy might or Claremont and Whedon did. Or bringing some “nudge, wink” romantic plot to it. It’s so refreshing to see a story about a platonic relationship between a male and female character, even when they’re brought together through life-threatening peril.
Koblish’s art has also been refreshing in that Kitty actually looks like a teenage girl. She’s a little gangely and awkward. But you can always see how determined she is through her face. Continue reading “Goodbye, Wolverine: First Class. You were a good one.”
Spoilers for Wolverine #70 by Mark Millar, Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and Wolverine: First Class #10 by Fred Van Lente