By MATT MOORE
Wedding bells will ring this summer for Marvel Comics’ first openly gay hero, super speedster Northstar, and his longtime boyfriend.
The New York-based publisher said Tuesday that Canadian character Jean-Paul Beaubier will marry his beau, Kyle Jinadu, in the pages of “Astonishing X-Men” No. 51. That’s due out June 20.
Northstar revealed he was gay in the pages of “Alpha Flight” No. 106 in 1992, one of Marvel Entertainment’s first characters to do so.
Ten years later, in 2002, gay characters Apollo and the Midnighter were married in the pages of “The Authority” published by DC’s Wildstorm imprint.
Since then, numerous comic book heroes and villains have been written as gay, lesbian or transgender _ from DC Comics’ Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, to Hulkling and Wiccan in the pages of “Young Avengers.”
Comics, as a medium, have embraced gay, lesbian and transgender characters, including the introduction of Kevin Keller by Archie Comics. Comic strips have done likewise.
This month, cartoonist Tom Batiuk is writing about a gay couple trying to attend their high school prom in “Funky Winkerbean,” a move that has divided the fictional community.
For Marvel, the upcoming wedding is a way to further embed same-sex issues in its contemporary universe.
Author Marjorie Liu, who is writing “Astonishing X-Men,” said the decision to have the pair marry was appropriate.
As for the event itself, Liu said the wedding will take place in New York City, where gay marriage is legal, but given that Northstar is on the X-Men, it remains to be seen if the event will be trouble-free.
Follow Matt Moore at http://www.whosay.com/mattmoore.
Marvel Entertainment LLC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.
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