I hold Marvel's gay characters in special affection. I love them because they're Marvel characters -- flawed, freaky, forever young. I love them because they're gay characters; they live and love and fear and lust like I do. That's an aspect of fiction that I never got to enjoy when I was a kid.
But, reader; I worry. These characters are currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight, but what if it's only a passing beat? What if these characters -- and their lesbian and bisexual cohort -- only exist as a temporary corrective to the medium's, the genre's and the publisher's past shortcomings? What if the desire to make that correction passes, and the gay characters fade away?
Teddy Altman and Billy Kaplan - the Young Avengers' Hulkling and Wiccan - shared their first on-panel kiss in Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade #9 this week. It's a big moment for fans of the characters; an awwwww-inducing, infinitely rebloggable image seven years in the making...
The most recent issue of "X-Factor" ended with two male team members, Shatterstar and Rictor, making out. While we'll have to wait till next month to find out whether they're gay, bisexual, or it's some sort of mind-control plot point, consider writer Peter David's track record of supporting gay characters in comics -- and the lesser-known fact that writers planned for the pair to hook up back in the mid-90s...
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