Collecting stories featuring LBGTQIA+ characters from across the Marvel Universe. This graphic novel includes Marvel Voices: Pride, Incredible Hulk 420, Astonishing X-Men 51, King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling, America Chavez: Made in the USA 1, and material from Marvel Voices 1 and United States of Captain America 1.
I enjoyed this collection more than the previously reviewed Women of Marvel one. Mostly because this book featured longer stories. Full issues like Incredible Hulk 420 which dealt with one of Hulk’s former sidekicks dying of AIDS. Astonishing X-Men featuring Northstar’s wedding. Northstar was the first Marvel comics character to come out as gay and in this issue he is also the first to be married. Other stories featuring America Chavez and Black Cat star heroes down with the alphabet but that’s not the driving force of the story. Much like a heterosexual hero doesn’t have to always have stories about their sexuality, these stories aren’t driven by exclaiming “I’m gay”, “I’m lesbian”, or “I’m bi” in every other word balloon. It’s part of the character but not all the character.
There is an amazing story featuring Titania and “She-Hulk” that might be the best story that villain has ever had. Marvel’s first trans woman debuted way back in Marvel Comics Presents #151 and comes back here in a smart story where she teams up with Daredevil. Some of the Runaways appear and that’s really a series I have to sit down and read eventually.
Finally, as much as readers saw early X-Men as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement it has to be seen as a leading comic for LBGT acceptance. A world that hates and fears them. Fear of being hated even among the hated. Just getting one more label attached. The X-Men books broke this ground with Mystique and Destiny and now there are so many relationships in the mutant world. The isle of Krakoa is a place to be yourself and not worry about the hate of the outside world. If you look closely you can even see comic’s biggest throuple enjoying themselves.
Even allies will enjoy these stories because they’re just good comic stories. Fun characters, emotional moments, and reasons to care. If you’re a long time comic reader, the metaphor of acceptance should have worked its way into your brain by now. The only reason comic fans should complain about dates is when a book is late.