Posts Tagged ‘Marvel’

That Thing That Happened In Young Avengers #8

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

youngavengers8Today is Lynda Carter’s birthday. Happy birthday, Lynda!

Yes, I know it’s her birthday. I know she’s a good and kind person. I know she played Wonder Woman and made every little tyke want to spin just like her as she turned into Wonder Woman. Yes, I know it’s a travesty that Warner Brothers has yet to make a Wonder Woman movie, let alone a second TV series. Yes, I know Wonder Woman deserves a second title and that almost no one knows how to write the character, especially (insert name that rhymes with tryin’ bazzajello) according to some people. And then there’s more talk about Emma and Jean and X-this and X-that. Yes, I like Lynda Carter and Wonder Woman and Emma and Jean, just not to the same degree lots of others seem to like them. I am a little tired though of X-things.

And I want to talk about something else. Something else gay that happened in comics. Today. In Young Avengers #8. Yes, Billy, Teddy, Kate, Loki, Noh-Varr, America (Chavez), and David (Prodigy) are still trying to get back home to good ol’ home, aka Earth 616, stopping for some killer Korean barbeque (that makes me want to eat at Woo Lae Oak again) before traveling to several not nearly so much fun or tasty other dimensions with black hole headed, dominatrix garbed killers in pursuit, followed by a world filled with adorable Pikachu critters reciting demiurge (which is ever such a complicating and curious word that has bad feelz about it) and Loki does a little dance, and then they all quite unintentionally land in the dimension of the thing that claims to be Teddy’s mother. Quick! Jump to another dimension! Oh noes! Teddy and Prodigy don’t make it and the rest end up in a place where they’re confronted by someone Loki done gone and did wrong big time. That won’t be pretty! Speaking of pretty or not, Noh-Varr has a beard. Looks kind of hot. Alas, four color fantasies do not come to life and even if they did, I could be Noh-Varr’s daddy, no, literally, and well, you know they’re all magnets for trouble and I’ve sworn off drama anyway. Oh, yeah. Drama. There will be much of drama to be had. Teddy and Prodigy stranded together in Mother’s dimension. Kieron, I turned the second to last page and was shocked to see that cliffhanger! Totally did not see this coming! Never would have guessed this would happen! Thank you for being able to surprise me! Aw, there is going to be fallout from this! No, I won’t tell you what happened and spoil it for you! Did you want Sixth Sense spoiled for you? Oh wait, you were how old when that movie came out? What about when Talia revealed herself in The Dark Knight Returns? No spoilage still! Go find a copy! You’ll believe a xxxx will mess things up!

Meanwhile, Scott Lobdell did not have Bunker exclaim “Caramba!” over in Teen Titans.

Young Avengers #1

Friday, January 25th, 2013

youngavengersseries1“Style > Substance”
Kieron Gillen
Jamie McKelvie
Marvel $2.99

“Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes…” David Bowie

Finally here it is – the first issue of an ongoing Young Avengers series that has been the once upon a time dream and hope of some readers in the years since the teen group mid-wifed by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung ended its “season two” way back when. A hope that seemed unlikely considering factors that have plagued past appearances. You know
the litany so I’ll pass on more elaboration.

So the creative baton passes to writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie. Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave in Katmandu you know the pair is responsible for the cult and critical hit Phonogram (Rue Brittania) and The Singles Club followup of several years ago under the Image banner. McKelvie has done some odds and ends at Marvel and almost certainly other projects that I can’t find under my present time constraints. Over at Marvel Gillen took on the task of making Loki turned into a teen into an interesting and conniving lead in a run of brother Thor’s original Journey Into Mystery home. Wanting to get a little head up I read the first collection of his Loki. Thank you, public library! My ignorance of events leading up to JiM made some of the plot points confusing but Gillen revealed a far more interesting Loki than the adult version ever seemed to me. I came away with hopeful feels for the series.
(more…)

Gays In Comics For November 21st

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Astonishing X-Men writer Marjorie Liu seems ready to explore how DOMA and US immigration affect gay and lesbian citizens, specifically gay and lesbian married couples in which one spouse is a US citizen and the other is not. In AXM #56 Kyle Jinadu-Beaubier (as Kyle and Jean-Paul are going by now) arrives at their New York apartment to find two officers with questions about Jean-Paul’s legal status in the United States. As has been the case in real life with disregard for being a law abiding person, the Immigration agents aren’t in the least impressed with Northstar’s powers or fame or record of opposing villains. All that matters is discerning the legality of Jean-Paul’s presence inside the country. When this situation arises for bi-national couples the emotions and stressful situations that arise from it are threatening and terrifying. But can a real life matter like this be handled in a superhero comic without trivialization or not turned into a soap box sermon? With some writers I’d have doubts, but Liu’s plotting, dialog, and characterization so far in Astonishing makes me think she has the ability to pull it off with finesse.

In X-Factor #247 Madrox and Layla follow through on their idea from last issue and have flown to Vegas where they’re married by an Abraham Lincoln impersonator. Peter David’s plot involves his usual skewed and wacky hijinx with a bloodthirsty paranormal entity that may or may not be the ghost of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. And then just as the happy couple snuggling under the hotel bedcovers one of Jamie’s dupes unexpectedly pops up. Let’s hope the next issue comes out on December 5th because I don’t want to wait a month to find out what happens!

Gays In Comics For November 7th

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

This past week was a bonanza for gays and lesbians in comics. Much less so for bisexuals, and neither the cliched hide nor hair was seen of any transgendered or transsexual characters in comics. By my count, by which I mean of the comics I bought and read since last Wednesday there were six comics! There’d have been seven if Rictor or Shatterstar had appeared in X-Factor, but no. Peter David’s story was all about Pip. Pip the Troll, so it was a good week for trolls in comics, especially if you’re looking for tips on how to pick up women despite (or because of your looks. Oops! Thanks to Steven L, there’s an addition with Storm Dogs #1 from Image. According to Steven, one of the crewmen is gay and is shown talking to his boyfriend before going on a mission. So this makes for seven comics with LGBT characters in one week!

Green Lantern (no, not Hal. Allan.) gets his mad on after nearly (for the story’s sake) being manipulated by the Grey and nearly seduced by the memories of Sam’s life and presence. Any lingering hope that Same was somehow still alive shoould be dashed the turn of events in Earth Two #6. Even the resurrection of Sam as a villain or a new wonder taking up the name Obsidian (thank you, Maxine!) would provide interesting ground for future plot developments, but it looks like dead is dead in the New 52. I doubt Allan will remain neutered, I mean single, for long, and now that I think about it, Robinson killed off David Knight very early as an unexpected move before passing the mantle on to brother Jack in the Starman series, and that title was — is — one of my favorites.

Post elimination of magic in the Buffy-verse the world is a little less wonderful in some less subtle ways. Rainbows have only two colors, singers’ voices are flat, and sweet Judas! Coke doesn’t taste the same anymore! So Willow says so long to Buffy for the time being and takes it upon herself to bring magic back into the world. In order to do that she travels to a dimension where it still exists in the hopes of opening a channel. Five minutes after making the jump Willow’s quest gets off to a bumpy start with her fighting a monster-sezed, hungry worm creature with fangs and meets an ugly horned cuss of a shaman and then there’s the talking caterpillar. Willow Wonderland is a 5 part mini series written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Brian Ching.

This month sees the final issue of Avengers Academy with #39. Christos Gage’s scripts were consistently enjoyable. I picked this series up about half way through just as Striker was coming out and I found Striker’s spotlight in issue #5 to fill in the gaps of his backstory for me. Gage did an outstanding job of making Julie Power (aka Lightspeed) Striker’s mentor/ confidant. The Academy kids and the Runaways sort of tussled for a two issue story, with the most notable outcome of that misunderstanding being Julie and Karolina Dean agreeing to go on a date. Thankfully that happened in this swan song. Sadly, just a few panels. Striker gets a lot more panel time with Veil helping him to get ready for a date with another teenaged boy. Jonathan, the boy, was so impressed with the Avenger in training after watching his “It Gets Better” video that he tracked Striker down to ask him to be his high school prom date. Striker is understandably having trouble coping with the facial scars he recently received. That is until Jonathan and his gentle nature are able to get past Striker’s hard shell, and everything starts to become right with the world. Things are wrapped up and end mostly on high notes. Where will Striker and Julie go now? Gage’s thank you and sign off letter gives not a single clue. Maybe a guest spot in Young Avengers at some point before an extended stay in limbo?

Aunt Johnny Woodall is Terry Moore’s other lesbian character in Rachel Rising. She’s not nearly as glamorous as Katchoo or Francine, but she’s a quirky and caring character in her own right who just happens to be a mortician leading a very private life. Aunt Johnny suffered terrible injuries in a car wreck that was caused by the malevolent spirit who was one of many women murdered after witch accusations were made. She’s malevolent because she was, in fact, a witch and is bent on getting revenge on the town even if a couple hundred or so years have passed. Aunt Johnny just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Johnny looked like she might be a goner till this issue where we see her in the early days of a possibly difficult recovery.

Greg Rucka creates a little twist in Stumptown #3 when he reveals Mim Bracca kept her love life secret after the media turned her life into hell after some family screwups went public. Who’s Mim? She’s the talented guitarist for a band named Tailhook. Private investigator Dex Parios, the bi lead of Stumptown, became involved when she accepted Mim’s case to find her guitar, and there’s always trouble to be found when Parios gets involved. When Dex isn’t getting into and out of trouble she’s caring for her younger brother Ansel who has Downs.

Finally, Midnighter survives the attack by Etrigan the Demon in the unlucky 13th issue. The rest of the Authority become involved, giving writer Peter Milligan a reason to show Engineer becoming more power hungry and barking questionable orders since assuming leadership. Apollo and Midnighter express their mutual concern for each other in a few stolen moments while the rest of the team throws their best at Etrigan. After the fight ends in a stalemate, Engineer shows how, ahem, authoritarian she can be when she prohibits any close personal relationships between members – which only means Apollo and Midnighter. Midnighter’s decision seems out of character to me – and Apollo – but reaction is based on the pre-52 Midnighter’s history. Then again, maybe this is the first step in an extended ploy to stop the Engineer from becoming power mad.

Gays In Comics For October 3rd

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

New Comics Wednesday this month gave us by my count four titles with gay characters: Earth Two #5, Stormwatch #13, Avengers Academy #38, and Life With Archie #23. After the mixed bag of zero issues that was September for DC books, James Robinson and Nicola Scott continue with the punch up between Alan Scott, Hawkgirl and the other wonders and themenace that is the Grey and its avatar Grundy. Robinson illuminates the metaphysical aspects of the Green Flame empowering Alan by letting his astral form venture into the Grey where he encounters a vision of recently deceased Sam. Is Sam an illusion conjured by the Grey to delay or destroy him, a possessed underling of it, or will some other  well worn comics trope like rescuing a dead character from some kind of not really dead state of being be invoked? Wouldn’t that be the first instance of “dead-not-really- being-dead” for the new DC? Robinson did say Earth Two stories would have magical/ mystical elements to them. As much as I’d have liked Sam not to have been killed, I’m unsure if I want characters coming back from the dead. Using this scene as the obligatory cliffhanger draws out the answer for another month and DC’s website is hyping this by including this image from the story on its landing page as of today’s date.

In Avengers Academy #38 Striker learns not to obsess about his recently acquired facial scars from a talk with X-mutant Anole during a football game between the Academy and some X-Men after the recent world nearly went to hell in a hand basket give us your dollars extravaganza that will shake up the Marvel Universe yet again. You remember Anole, right? No? One of the characters featured back in the second volume of New Mutants and floating around to make the rare appearance since as far as I know. Anole good-naturedly Striker that green skin, scales, and a “Popeye arm” hasn’t kept him from having great dates, off panel for sure, but great dates all the same and better than mine which all seem to happen off-reality. Christos Gage makes a meta textual comment about well meaning straight friends and token gay comics characters by having a couple of Striker’s teammates persuade him to line up against Anole. Anole remarks: “Let me guess. You’re the only gay kid in class….They mean well. Once they figure out your type is, they might even help you meet a nice guy.” Maybe the two of them can hook up – off panel of course since November’s issue is the last of the series. We can hope Striker gets picked up by another series…just like Anole.

Peter Milligan shows what a date for Apollo and Midnighter (AKA Andrew and Lucas) is like when they go for drinks in what either isn’t a gay bar or is a lot rougher than any I’ve been in in Stormwatch #13. Proving he has brains to go along with those muscles, Apollo becomes suspicious of Midnighter’s motives for picking this particular bar but then Midnighter is a bit annoying while calculating out loud probabilities and all during the first ten minutes of their date. Turns out Midnighter used to patrol the area before joining Stormwatch and confesses that he could never find out what the cause of the especially nastiness in the area was, and he’s been itching to return to the area since getting involved in Stormwatch’s hijinks. Let’s just say the date goes from rocky to a really bad night when Etrigan the Demon is unexpectedly turns up with such an ugly mad on that he dispenses with rhyming (thank you, Milligan!). Cue cliffhanger!

The folks at Archie continue to surprise with Kevin Keller. With the latest installment in Life With Archie #23 the surprise comes mainly from the way the other characters act and interact with Keller and the incident of Clay having been shot while stopping a robbery. That way being not a bit different at all. No spoilers, but what happened with Midge in the second story took me by surprise. One day the impact of Archie having a gay character in a solo book who’s also featured in the future storyline of another series where he’s married to a man will wear off me. And for those concerned about Clay’s fate, well,  SPOILERS!!!! you can breathe easier. Especially you, Mr Orts.

A Fortnight Of LGBT Characters In Bed (Or Not)

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Marjorie Liu wrote a scene of Northstar and Kyle in bed with some really good dialog. Yes, Northstar and Kyle in bed! Take that, One Million Moms! Honestly, the scene amazed and brought a smile to my face! Northstar who for the longest time seemed like a celibate turd and then ridiculously hung up by Chuck Austen’s asinine decision to write him with unrequited love for Bobby Drake.

Wonder Girl went nuts when something called her “silent armor” possessed her and she knocked the snot out of Bunker. Yeah, “silent armor”. I know. Kid Flash whisked Bunker away to some cut rate motel off the Jersey Turnpike where Bart and Solstice watched over him as he recuperated…in bed, but presumably alone since Bart seems to have the hots for Solstice because everyone deserves to be loved. But Bart can do any number of things at super speed so….right, only in my head. Meanwhile in the rest of Teen Titans #12, Wonder Girl is confronted by her ex-boyfriend Diesel who has his own “silent armor” and isn’t very happy about being dumped. What was Golden Age Etta Candy’s catch phrase? “Woo Woo!!” Lobdell recently titillated (or tried) readers by revealing that Bunker’s boyfriend out of his coma would be introduced in September’s zero issue. Woo Woo!

Hartley Rathaway decides to become the Piper and goes on patrol in Flash #12. Putting on his costume again has led to arguments between Hartley and boyfriend David Singh so they probably won’t be seen in bed together for at least a little while though I’d like to see a pouting David.

Kate and Maggie are having a lovers quarrel too in Batwoman #12. She doesn’t (yet) know that Kate is running around Gotham at night as Batwoman or one hell of an argument would erupt between them. Still, Maggie isn’t stupid and Kate is only human so the secret will come out soon enough. Kate won’t be in Maggie’s bed till she tells the truth or at least a very convincing lie. Thank god Maggie doesn’t chomp cigars like she did way back when John Byrne created her.

Clay Walker, Kevin Keller’s husband in the future set Life With Archie, stops an armed robbery and gets shot in the effort in the lead story for issue #22. Archie Comics amazed people (except for certain demos for which it created aneurysms) by introducing and embracing a gay character. What are the odds that Kevin and Clay will ever be shown in bed?

Stormwatch guest stars in I, Vampire #12 because of the vampire/ zompire kill fest in which Andrew Bennett is involved. Apollo discovers that he’s immune to vampire bites. Alas, no time for bed room stuff.  And why is Andrew running around fully dressed when Mary’s wardrobe is body paint?

With This Ring…

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

After all the teasing and hype and after all the set up in issue #50 that led readers to think Kyle would soon become collateral damage, Jean-Paul and an unmaimed Kyle were married in a simple ceremony on a beautiful day in Central Park. No villains were in sight to crash the wedding or reception. Marjorie  Liu wrote some heartfelt scenes and dialog for Jean-Paul, Kyle, and Aurora. Their vows were touching and believable. The reception looked like awesome fun and even Wolverine was charming. All in all, a perfect wedding. Thank you, Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins for hitting all the right notes.
God help Karma though.

Astonishing X-Men #50

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Marjorie Liu
Mike Perkins
$3.99
Marvel

By now the news of Jean-Paul’s proposal to boyfriend Kyle and their upcoming marriage has been so heavily reported that you might wonder how much more the internets could stand. In the next 24 to 48 hours I fully expect to learn via American Family Association email update the organization will urge a letter writing campaign either to Marvel or Disney. And so it goes there.

What of the story though? Liu spends time advancing a standard fare plot in the aftermath of the Marauders attack on Wolverine’s X-Men band. Standard is not intended to be an insult. Hero and villain dustups are de rigueur, just as abandoned warehouses, spies and mysterious organizations, and mind control are. I’m sure there will be some twists and turns in this area before the story’s finish. My exposure to Liu’s writing before her start on this series is minimal, because in all honesty, I detest Daken. However, Liu impressed me with her comments about Daken when she appeared as a panelist a couple years ago on Andy Mangels’ Gays In Comcs at Comic-Con. I had no doubt she thoroughly enjoyed writing the manipulative, amoral, omnisexual Daken. She seems to be equally enjoying the various characters here, but not surprisingly, the bulk of her pleasure so far is with Northstar and Kyle separately and as a couple.

And that’s what you’re interested in right now, isn’t it? Sure, there’s a good scene with Wolverine, Natasha Romanov out of her Black Widow togs, and War Bird, who I can’t figure out why she’s in this cast. There is some amusing dialog between Natasha and Logan and from and about War Bird. I have a similar dislike for Logan, and it’s certainly fun to see him sipping from a dainty tea cup. Likewise Iceman (and Gambit) giving Jean-Paul relationship advice in light of Chuck Austen’s unfortunate decision some years ago to write Jean-Paul with an unrequitable crush on Bobby. Gambit: “[Kyle] probably doesn’t feel like a priority in your life.” Bobby (in response to Northstar asking what he should do): “I dunno. Keep it simple — Get him something nice. Make him feel special.” How Jean-Paul makes the leap in his mind from “get something nice” and “make him feel special” to marriage proposal.

The next we see the guys it’s a glorious day in Bryant Park, except Kyle is having a frustrating time trying to deal with the near impossibility of getting their apartment equipped with wi fi so he can do his job managing Northstar’s imaging and merchandise brand. Funny, I’d forgotten that bit. And from out of nowhere (well, it would’ve been out of nowhere if this hadn’t been teased since March), Jean-Paul – nervous to the point he looks like he could hurl yet managing a sheepish smile – pops the question on bended knee to Kyle. It’s meant to be incredibly romantic and it is, but Kyle shocked! You can see it right there on his face! There’s no mistaking the way Perkins drew it. If only Jean-Paul’s motivation had been right. Surprise, Kyle saw right through it! You should’ve just talked to him and not your teammates! And now there’s anguish and tears and walking away and then there’s Northstar flying around a bucolic countryside feeling sorry for himself so badly. Poor thing accidentally knocks some sense into his own head. Will it be too late though? Much to Northstar’s horror, Kyle has been put in danger by a mystery villain for that mysterious organization alluded to in the second paragraph. Will he make it through the gauntlet of his mind-controlled teammates in order to save Kyle. Well, sure, because next month we have a wedding! How Liu and Perkins will do it is what counts!

Northstar hasn’t been a character I cared much for, even in the early days of the initial Alpha Flight series. At the time if I had wanted arrogant I could have visited my father. Now the Ultimate Northstar was a different matter, but that poor sap is dead. My chilliness regular Northstar began to warm when Matt Fraction put him in Uncanny X-Men #508 where we first saw Kyle and I liked how Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente wrote him in the last Alpha Flight. Progress was made from a conceited ass to, well, much less a conceited ass and a sense of mutual love was evident. That’s something I thought I’d never see in Northstar, let alone having an on panel boyfriend. Now in the space of three issues Liu has advanced Northstar, and Kyle by extension, so quickly it feels almost as if she’s the one with super speed pushing him along. I’m happy she’s doing it, ecstatic that a writer is putting a character through emotional growth – even though I have to remind myself that this vulnerable Northstar is the same character I once didn’t much like. To complain about the rapid pace Liu is subjecting Northstar is almost baseless, isn’t it? I’ve become so inured to super decompression with plots and such.

For many fans this pace and the proposal and marriage may be problematic. Not every gay or lesbian person I’ve talked to over the years is in favor of gay marriage, simply because from a belief that we shouldn’t have to ape heterosexuals in order to have validation. You ask me – and I know you haven’t – I’m in favor of marriage equality. It seemed like an impossible dream growing up in a small town nearly in the center of Illinois. Gays and lesbians should at least have the legal capacity to marry if they choose. And there will be those fans and non readers who will wail and gnash their teeth at this direction regardless. God bless their little hearts. I’m going to take Liu, Alonso, et al at there word that their motivations for doing this is genuine because I want to believe that the comics industry is truly beginning to appreciate its too long neglected LGBT readership.

Colossus

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Contributed by Terence W. Ng

Please note this profile is for the Ultimate version of Colossus. The character’s 616 version is not gay.

In the Ultimate universe, Piotr (Peter) Rasputin originally worked in arms dealings for the Russian Mob to support his family in Siberia, but eventually left after he was recruited by Xavier to join the X-Men. Dissatisfied with the X-Men after several missions and carrying feelings of exclusion by the other team members, he eventually left. Cyclops and Marvel Girl pursued him, whereupon he gave them the aforementioned reasons for leaving, to which Jean Grey protested saying that he actually left because of his attraction to an undisclosed teammate. He quickly dismissed them. However, he returned when the X-Men needed his help to save a Russian submarine that sank in the ocean.

For a long time, it was hinted that Colossus was attracted to Wolverine. The two worked on missions together and Colossus often supported Wolverine during battle. During the Return of the King arc, Colossus tells Wolverine that if they do not survive, he wants to tell him what is in his heart, though Wolverine tells him, fully aware of what it is, that he should best leave that unsaid.

In issue #31, the X-Men attempt to stop Magneto who is blowing up power plants in an attempt to destroy humanity, and they have all been defeated and are under Magneto’s power. Colossus is pinned to the ground due to his organic-metallic body, but when he sees that Wolverine’s life is threatened by the master of magnetism, he slowly makes his way towards Magneto, who taunts him, and finally overcomes his powers, landing a devastating punch to the stomach and head to the very surprised villain. As his freed teammates watch on in shock as Colossus pummels Magneto into the ground, he yells that no one lays a hand on Wolverine before sending Magneto flying into a wall with an uppercut to the chin. His perseverance allowed the other X-Men to defeat magneto and save thousands of human lives. The whole event lent even stronger evidence to the idea that Colossus had a crush on Wolverine.

In issue #47, Colossus first meets Jean-Paul Beaubier (introduced and outed as a gay mutant in New York in #46), having spent the night watching over him in the hospital after he was shot by the mutant-killer Mr. Sinister (he survived due to his mutant speed/reflexes). Jean-Paul’s first response to Jean Grey is to ask whether or not Piotr is single. This humorously causes Piotr to immediately shift into his metal form (getting hard) as a smiling Jean Grey drags him away telling the “stud” that they have work to do.

The two do not meet again until the Magnetic North arc where Polaris has been framed for murder and Emma Frost’s team of mutants, of which include Jean-Paul as Northstar, try to break her out of a government facility. The X-Men try to stop them before they can reach the facility to avoid a government debacle, but run into conflict with the Avengers who want to use the X-Men to their advantage.

When Marvel Girl reports that Northstar is headed their way, Piotr responds with surprise, asking if he is indeed coming. Jean Grey comments that this isn’t prom and he should remain focused. He is knocked out by an impatient Havok after a moment of confusion from a conflict of interest after being given an offer by Northstar to join their side,. Northstar is left to comment sadly that at the end of this, at least Havok will get lucky tonight for saving Polaris, his girlfriend.

During the entire run of the Ultimate series, Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) and Piotr have been close friends. There have been awkward moments for Piotr such as when Kurt comments that if all the girls start going out with the guys, soon they’ll have no girls left to date, leaving Piotr to brood in silence.

After the whole Magnetic North debacle, it is revealed that Jean-Paul and Piotr have been communicating via email and phone, as Piotr is shown talking to Jean-Paul over the phone, discussing the previous battle. In this issue (#65), after hanging up, Piotr informs Kurt that Jean-Paul invited him to go to the Homecoming Dance with him. He states that if a person such as Kurt does not have to hide himself, then certainly he should not have to either. Shocked, Kurt reacts badly and teleports away leaving Piotr in silence. Later on, the two spend some time together to check on an injured teammate, leading to an uncomfortable moment for Kurt when they hide in the closet to avoid being seen by a nurse.

Kurt, who constantly despairs because many girls do not find him attractive, fails to notice that Piotr certainly finds him attractive, though he is focused on Northstar. The evening culminates in a discussion between the two in which Piotr professes that he is the same friend Kurt has always known. Kurt coldly responds that he wonders if it wasn’t that he just did not know his “friend” so well up until now. The jagged relationship between Kurt and himself obviously hurts him as he also spends the aftermath of this conversation outside and alone, thinking in silence. Whether or not Kurt will come around has yet to be seen in the series. The Homecoming festivities are interrupted when the Brotherhood of Mutants crash onto the scene, and a fight breaks out. Hopefully, the much anticipated, by me at least, Homecoming dance appears after the battle is won.

Colossus’ powers are basically the same as his powers in the 616 Universe. He has incredible stamina, endurance, strength and invulnerability. He has survived nuclear blasts, Cyclops’ kinetic eyeblasts, Wolverine’s adamantium claws, temperatures hotter than the Sun and extreme cold, without being harmed. He also has the hand to hand combat skills and strength enough to defeat other powerhouses such as Ultimate Thor, and Ultimate Iron Man and can lift over 100 tons. The two main differences are that his body no longer has the segmented plates like in the 616 Universe, instead becoming entirely smooth metal. The other difference is that Colossus’ eyes do not turn to organic metal whereas his 616 counterpart’s eyes do. In metallic form, Colossus does not need to eat, drink, or breathe and can survive in the vacuum of space. He retains his characteristics as a trusting, caring, and gentle soul, though his attachment to the arts in the 616 Universe has not been replicated in the Ultimate series.

This version first appeared in Ultimate X-Men #1 and is confirmed gay in Ultimate X-Men #65.

Marvel’s Other Gay Kiss

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A good chunk of Astonishing X-Men #49 by Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins is taken up by a requisite rock ‘em, sock ‘em, stomp ‘em super mutant bash. Fights give fans what they want at least some of the time, but Liu uses it here for another reason, one that you already know if you’ve read Bleeding Cool or any number of comics forums or Facebook posts. Northstar’s regular guy boyfriend Kyle is figuratively sitting on the sidelines relatively safely while Jean-Paul and the rest of this X team punch it out on the streets of New York with a Marauders crew and rushes out to watch so he can be near Jean Paul. True love can lead people to do things that in retrospect we realize are just damned stupid. And why shouldn’t he? Everyone needs a little excitement in life and apparently Kyle needs a little more after recovering from his “Stepford Wives I’ve only got four toes now I hate you, Jean-Paul”style Unity brainwashing incident from the recent mini-then-ongoing-then-”canceled” Alpha Flight series. Liu’s decision to have Northstar refer to Kyle as “babe” in last month’s issue surprised me as being out of character. Here’s this arrogant prick of a character – a trait that lots of readers love and mostly bores me to tears – calling his boyfriend “babe”! And yes, Matt Fraction and the editorial gang still deserve props for Kyle and the whole relationship and Tim Fish for his really sweet short story, especially after that sad and still not yet forgettable doomed crush on Iceman from Chuck Austen’s run. Now you can’t get that out of your head either, can you?

If “babe” created a “wha-huh?” reaction with me then I was not really prepared for the cognitive dissonance that followed Northstar saying (and thankfully not shouting from a cover) “Kyle…I need you.” and “I love you. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you.” It goes on with a confession about being selfish, which heaven knows he has been, but to say it? Is this the same Northstar? Apparently so, though such an emotional outpouring after years of prickery would probably arch the eyebrow of any therapist in the real world. But that’s just it – we’re talking about comics characters that endure years — decades — of soap operatic upheavals in personal lives or little change at all depending on the whims of writers and staff on top off numerous catastrophic events and still retain their sanity, let alone have never lost control of bodily functions out of fear. So huge leaps forward in characterization are required (or a whole other route if it doesn’t sit well with you) by Liu and editors if Jean-Paul and Kyle are to have Marvel’s first same sex marriage in the June issue. And let’s stress the big if since Marvel is being coy while working the hype machine. Does anyone expect Logan to wed Gambit or Cecilia Reyes? June is the first anniversary of marriage equality in New York state (yes, they could return to Canada, too) and also Gay Pride month. I really want these two guys to marry because it seems to be good character progression and I think Liu is capable of exploring it in exciting and insightful ways. Plus, I can’t deny anticipating the outcry from One Million Moms after another same sex marriage in comics. And while all the attention is on Northstar and Kyle, I hope Liu has plans to flesh out Karma’s life too.

Now the way Mike Perkins drew one of Marvel’s most important same sex kisses is a whole other matter…