Tag Archives: #Marvel Comics

Spider-Men #1 hits stores today!

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Color by Justin Ponsor
Letter by Cory Petit
Cover by Jimmy Cheung

$3.99 / 32 pages

Published by Marvel Comics


Avengers VS X-Men Launches In New York – And All Over The World!

Original post: http://geek-news.mtv.com/2012/04/04/avengers-vs-x-men-launch-midetown-comics/

 

The most surprising thing about Marvel Comics’ launch of Avengers VS X-Men in New York City? Given the fighting focus of the book, you’d expect things to be coming to blows… But nope, this wasn’t a Civil War, it was more like a Civil… Thing that was civil*.

For those of you not up to speed, Marvel’s mega-giant-humungo-Event would normally have gone on sale on Wednesday, April 4th – but due to an early shipping time, the Publisher was able to start parties all over the country (and even internationally) at 8pm on Tuesday, April 3rd. To spice things up a bit, they released Avengers and X-Men variant covers of the first issue, with stores having to choose a side before receiving one or the other

It’s a fun idea, of course, and part of the draw for fans to the event: who are you with, The Avengers, or The X-Men? But maybe part of the reason the Midtown Comics launch – ostensibly the flagship launch for Marvel Comics – was so subdued: because they own three stores, Midtown was able to toe the line, and sell both variant covers. And in fact, a rough poll of the crowd showed that they were evenly split, too, with most people falling on the side of just being excited.

The crowd at New York’s Midtown Comics stretched down the block at 9PM.

Don’t get me wrong: this wasn’t fans going through the paces, buying comics because they wanted to keep up with what was going on in Marvel’s superhero universe. The first fans showed up at Midtown at – no joke – 8am in the morning on Tuesday. And though it had only grown to an even dozen by 11am, according to one Midtown employee, by 5pm the crowd swelled to a capped-off amount of 200.

That’s the joy of having a big, reliable comic book shop like Midtown Comics, of course: if they build it, they will come. I don’t think I’ve attended a launch at Midtown that wasn’t packed to capacity quickly and efficiently. Littler comic book stores in non-metropolitan areas like New York have to do a lot more than post on Twitter and Facebook to motivate their base, and this might be what was missing. I kind of wanted to see an Avengers and X-Men themed bake-off, or some back alley fighting. Here, everybody was happily hanging out with their friends, and calmly waiting in line to pick up a copy of the book.

So sure, from the perspective of a reporter looking for something insane to happen I could hang this event recap on, I was sorely disappointed. But I was, really, the only one. Chatting with Midtown’s Thor Parker, he told me that they were briskly selling out of the book – a big question of course, as the 250,000+ copies “sold” of the first issue are actually sold to retailers, and still need to actually end up in the hands of fans – with most fans buying at least two copies. Parker also noted that the (totally freaking awesome) Skottie Young variant cover, featuring X-Men and Avengers babies duking it out, would probably be the first version to go.

Avengers VS X-Men for everybody!

Also a nice bonus for fans? Though John Romita Jr couldn’t make it to the signing at the last second, artist Andy Kubert brought a special gift to make up for the absence: a splash page from the EIGHTH issue of Avengers VS X-Men, pencilled by Kubert, which doesn’t hit comic book stands until July. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it looks like a few months day the road this book doesn’t turn into “Avengers Love X-Men” if you get my drift.

And for Marvel’s Arune Singh, who I also chatted with briefly, they couldn’t have been happier with the excitement from fans, and the reactions to those who have actually read the book. He, and the rest of the marketing team basically had nothing to do but hang out and enjoy the signing, while Midtown took care of the rest. From Ryan Penagos – Agent M if you’re nasty – happily snapping pictures of AvX exclusive hats, to new host of Marvel’s The Watcher Lorraine Cink excitedly chatting with the signing crew of Kubert, as well as Editors Nick Lowe, Tom Breevort, and Axel Alonso, the Marvel crew was in full force, but, like the fans, being surprisingly confident, calm, and composed. Heck, they even ordered twenty-five pizzas for the fans waiting on line, which makes waiting since 8am worth it, right? RIGHT?

Marvel’s Lorraine Cink does her wrap-up speech!

If there’s a reason for all of this calmness, it’s that Marvel doesn’t have a whole lot to worry about with Avengers VS X-Men. The first issue is a solid, fun kick-off to an event, with the fireworks sure to come in the next few issues (and if the issue eight splash is any indication, will continue for several issues beyond that). And the Infinite Comic – a digital experiment by writer Mark Waid, and artist Stuart Immonen – is stellar. If Marvel wants to get more readers back to their comics, Infinite Comics, not motion comics (or even the DVD bonus feature AR app) is the way to do just that.

Midtown, as I’ve mentioned, is always efficient in their events, keeping things moving briskly along, and being pleasant to the fans. One of the big changes they implemented this time around? Pre-selling the comic, so fans just had to bring vouchers in, pick up their books, get ‘em signed, and be on their way to reading the book. That, if anything, is a great metaphor for what Marvel has going on for AvX: they’ve pre-sold the book. You know what the concept is from the title, you know as a comic book fan that you’re going to be into it, and what they deliver is fun.

Agent M snags pics of the exclusive AvX hats.

Does it need to deliver month after month, and not end up in some sort of deep continuity hole like most events seem to do these days? Oh, sure. But as long as the Avengers keep punching the X-Men, we have a feeling fans reactions will keep the fighting on the inside of the book, rather than the outside.


Avengers vs. X-Men Launch Party

What’s up everyone, your nerdy fanboy Austin here with an update for Avengers vs. X-Men. Here’s a complete list of retailers participating in the massive and monumental event that is AvX. This right here is the link to a pdf file that Marvel.com released yesterday giving you guys the address and the name of the comic shop that will have the event: http://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/i/pdf/AvXEventTable_complete.pdf

 


Marvel Reports First-Day Sell Out for AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #0

 

Marvel announced Wednesday that Avengers vs. X-Men #0 has sold out at Diamond on its first day of release, potentially signaling similar news to come over the next few months during the course of the 12-part, biweekly event series.

 

As usual, a sell out at the distributor level means that copies may very well still be available on store shelves.

“Having Avengers VS. X-Men #0 sell out the same day the book goes on sale is phenomenal,” said Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso in a statement. “The excitement level around this event has been monumental, and now fans can finally experience the story that we’ve been waiting years to tell.”


WHEN TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR: “AVX” – THE TELEPATHIC ADVANTAGE?

Imagine facing an enemy you couldn’t lie to; an enemy who knows exactly what you’re thinking and can also manipulate your thoughts. That’s what you’re up against when you confront the mutants of Marvel Comics’ X-Men, whose ranks include some of the most powerful telepaths in the world. Confronting daunting challenges is the precise reason the Avengers, another premier Marvel super team, came together in the first place, and this April that’s just what they’ll do as they take on the X-Men in a battle to decide how best to save Earth from the threat of the destructive cosmic entity known as the Phoenix.

That battle will be chronicled in “Avengers Vs. X-Men” a 12-issue miniseries by an all-star team of Marvel creators. In today’s edition of WHEN TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR, CBR’s in-depth look at “AvX,” we take a look at the X-Men’s seemingly telepathic advantage over the Avengers. What are the X-Men’s telepaths capable of? What kind of strategic advantage do they give the X-Men leader, Cyclops? And how will the Avengers work around and fight back against the mental might of their adversaries? Helping us answer these questions and more are Senior Editor Nick Lowe who’s in charge of the X-Titles, and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoortwhose office oversees the Avengers titles.

Because we can read your minds, we know that are some of you who are just joining us. In that case, welcome! Feel free to get caught up on our previous installments where we look at the role team loyalties will play in “AvX,” the conflict’s four “generals,” and the “heavy artillery” members of the X-Men and the Avengers.

Tom Brevoort: The Avengers have had a few over the years, characters such as Moondragon — but telepathy really hasn’t been a regular part of their arsenal. As for the X-side, I think that comes from two interconnected things: Jean Grey and her status as not only a founding X-Man but as the lynchpin of probably the book’s best-remembered storyline, and the fact that Chris Claremont was a heavy SF reader during a period where numerous authors were exploring the idea of telepathic and telekinetic powers and how they might plausibly work within a SF context. Chris adapted, adopted and improved on a number of those ideas as he wrote “Uncanny X-Men.”

With mind-controlling mutants like Emma Frost on their side, will the X-Men have an advantage in “AvX?”

Nick Lowe: Let’s read between the lines, here. It’s because the X-Men are the best.

Telepathy in its most basic form is the power to send and receive thoughts, which is a useful communication tool with a number of strategic uses in battle. What kind of advantage does it give Cyclops and other characters in terms of communication and coordinating troop movements?

Lowe: It certainly doesn’t hurt. Cap and the Avengers know going in that the X-Men have this advantage, so you’ve got to think they’ve got some defensive planning in place to keep Emma from just shutting their brains down. And the coordination helps, but you have to remember how training centered Cyclops is. You can’t go more than an issue of X-Men back in the day without Cyclops drilling his team in the Danger Room and that hasn’t changed. He’s always training his crews and they operate like well oiled machines. No one does as much teamwork as the X-Men (heck they have well-known moves like the fastball special).

Telepathy also allows a person to reads the thoughts of others, which makes it a useful to gather intelligence. Of course, many mutants have a personal code that keeps them from reading the thoughts of others. How would a conflict like “AvX” affect that code? Are there some heroes that won’t have qualms about reading the thoughts of Avengers once things heat up and get tough?

Brevoort: I think it depends entirely on the individual character. My expectation is that the Avengers and the X-Men both are going to comport themselves as heroes, no differently than they’ve ever done. That said; the stakes they’re fighting for are so important that they will push our heroes to the wall in terms of what they will and will not do. And certainly some of the X-telepaths have used situational ethics to guide their actions in the past. Of course, keep in mind that Tony Stark has a lot of experience in building tech to protect himself from telepathic intrusions or attacks.

Lowe: Tom is right (yeesh that felt weird coming out of my mouth) about how the X-Men are going to behave. They’re still heroes. And like I said before, Cap would have to be an idiot not to have something in place to defend his team from this on some level. And he’s no idiot.

Powerful telepaths have another morally gray ability, the ability to erase and control minds. This begs the question, when things get tough will there be some X-Men tempted to use this ability? Or is this seen as a last ditch “nuclear option?”

Lowe: This would not be something Cyclops would be down with unless there were no other option and even then — but, and sorry to repeat again, the Avengers need to have some sort of plan for this.

Brevoort: Again, I wouldn’t think this would be an easily-used option if it were ever seriously considered at all. The X-Men haven’t done this sort of thing even to their most ruthless foes, so I don’t think they’d be inclined to do it to guys they know are heroes but whom they happen to be in contention with.

We’ve talked a bit about how effective an ability telepathy is in general, so let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about how effective it is against the Avengers in particular. Are there any Avengers who have a natural immunity to telepathic and psionic powers?

Brevoort: Iron Man’s armor has been proofed against telepathic attacks in the past. The Vision’s android mind is such that it’s anybody’s guess whether a telepathic strike would do him any harm. A telepathic attack on the Red Hulk is likely to just make him angrier and more savage, so if it didn’t immediately take him down it would likely make things worse. There are a few other examples, but they’re mostly the exceptions — for the most part the Avengers are no more protected from a telepathic assault than anyone else would be.

How aware are the Avengers in general of the strategic applications of telepathy? Can we assume that leaders like Captain America are aware of what telepaths can do and are ready and able to work around them?

Brevoort: I’d say it’s a certainty — especially since there are present and former X-Men among the Avengers’ ranks, who would be likely to disclose that information even if Cap wasn’t already aware of it.

Lowe: They definitely know it.

The X-Men may have an advantage in the area of mental powers, but the Avengers have three of the greatest scientific minds on the planet in Tony Stark, T’Challa, and Hank Pym. How easy would it be for these guys to whip up something that makes them and their team mates resistant to telepathic powers?

Brevoort: Given that we’ve seen Tony at least do this before in the past, I’d say it’d be relatively easy. Doesn’t mean that it’ll work, though, or be 100% proof against a determined X-Man digging down deep and fighting for a legitimate cause.

Lowe: It’s not going to really matter in the end as the X-Men are far superior in every way.


“Avengers Assemble.” It’s long been the rallying cry for Marvel’s team of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” but exactly who is doing the “assembling” tends to change pretty frequently.

With a new series,Avengers Assemble, debuting this week from the famed Ultimate Spider-Mancreative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley, and anAvengers feature film out on May 4, we’ve looked at the many (many, many) different Avengers lineups since their 1963 debut and devised a list of the 10 best.

 

10.) THE WEST COAST AVENGERS

Spinning out of the main Avengers team, this Los Angeles-based squad was the brainchild of then-chairman and Avengersconstant the Vision, who hand-picked heroes for the squad.

The original lineup, led by long-time original team member Hawkeye, consisted of Tigra, Wonder Man, Iron Man (piloted at the time by James Rhodes), and Hawkeye’s sometimes love interest Mockingbird. Though they were hardly the most potent of Avengers squads, the team made up for what they lacked in terms of raw power with a level of teamwork and drive that can hardly be rivaled.

As the team grew, they welcomed members that, while in many cases seemed to be analogues for more iconic Avengers, were usually strong characters in their own right. Though they imploded in the early ’90s, the 10 years that the West Coast Avengers were in operation showcased some of the most dynamic stories and characters that Marvel featured at that time.

Members: Hawkeye, Tigra, Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Iron Man, Wasp, Hank Pym, USAgent, War Machine, Spider Woman, Moon Knight, Living Lightning, the Thing, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Human Torch, Firebird

 

9.) CAP’S KOOKY QUARTET

So nicknamed due to the odd nature of the three characters who joined Captain America’s team after the other founders all departed, “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” was another team known not for the strength of its members, but for the relationships and characterization they enjoyed, and the entertainingly strange nature of many of their stories.

Despite consisting primarily of former criminals with bad tempers, Cap’s Quartet managed to take on threats including the Masters of Evil, Kang, the Mandarin and even Dr. Doom; without a powerhouse among them. Their run was fairly short-lived, as Giant Man and the Wasp re-joined the team just before also welcoming characters like Hercules and the Black Panther into their ranks, but the members of this era all became permanent additions to the team, and their stories are some of the most fun and off-beat of the Avengers canon.

Members: Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch

 

8.) KREE/SKRULL WAR TEAM

The Avengers that took part in the legendary Kree/Skrull War were few, but almost no other lineup is as iconic and recognizable as the bunch that appeared in issues #89-#97 of the original series.

Featuring several longtime members and founders, the Kree-Skrull war also featured Clint Barton — better known as Hawkeye — in his first outing as the shape-changing giant Goliath, and honorary Avenger Captain Mar-Vell, in what was easily one of the most enduring stories of all time.

This roster is a prime example of an Avengers team that was great not necessarily because of the characters it featured, but because of the stories in which they took part. In addition to adding Captain Marvel to Avengers canon, the Kree-Skrull War also showcased how a seemingly typical roster can be elevated to great heights based on the energy of the creative team at the helm.

Members: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Ant-Man, Goliath, Vision, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel

 

7.) MID/LATE ’80S

Even though they featured a few duds among the line-up (Dr. Druid, I’m looking your way), there were some great additions to the Avengers roster in this time period, including the energy wielding Monica Rambeau, the tempestuous She-Hulk and Namor the Sub-Mariner, plus the return of characters like Black Knight and Hercules to the team.

Not necessarily the most iconic of Avengers teams, they were nonetheless a part of some of the greatest Avengers stories ever told, including the destruction of Avengers Mansion by a veritable army of Masters of Evil.

Members: Captain America, Black Knight, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Hercules, Wasp, Namor, She-Hulk, Thor, Dr. Druid

 

6.) YOUNG AVENGERS

They may not technically be an official branch of the Avengers, and their status as an active team is uncertain in the wake of recently wrapped miniseries Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, but the group of teens known as the Young Avengers have starred in some of the best loved, best received, and most exciting Marvel comics of the last decade.

Consisting primarily of young heroes with, at first, tangential connections to long time Avengers, over time, as their membership grew, and their secrets were revealed, the connections to Avengers history became much stronger. Featuring the long-thought-dead twin children of the Vision and Scarlet Witch, the daughter of Ant-Man, and a young, pre-villainous Kang the Conqueror, the team filled a void left in the wake of the dissolution of the classic Avengers. In their short run, they faced off against the Skrulls and the Kree, Kang himself, and even their mentors in the original team. Though they have seemingly disbanded, there’s little doubt that the demand for more stories featuring these fan-favorite characters will only grow in their absence.

Members: Patriot, Hulkling, Hawkeye, Stature, Iron Lad, Vision, Wiccan, Speed

 

5.) THE FOUNDERS

The very first Avengers line-up might be higher on this list if not for two factors. For one thing, this line-up only lasted two issues, with Hank Pym switching from Ant-Man to Giant-Man by issue #2, and the Hulk departing entirely at the end of that same issue.

The other factor is the teams almost utter lack of teamwork. Even in their first outing, when they were accidentally brought together by teenager Rick Jones to combat Thor’s evil brother Loki, the Avengers weren’t exactly a get-along gang. Feelings of inadequacy and mistrust among the team members were only exacerbated by the creepy illusionist the Space Phantom, who sowed dissent against the Hulk in the team’s second outing.

Still, they were the first in a long line of Avengers rosters, not all of which were the best of friends, and they elevated the Mighty Marvel formula of all-too human super-heroes in a way that no single hero could have done.

Members: Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Ant-Man, Hulk

 

4.) THE NEW AVENGERS

With a line-up based on the principle of showcasing all of Marvel’s “moneymakers” alongside some more… let’s just call them dark horse candidates, the New Avengers, launched in the wake of the seminal “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline introduced some Marvel mainstays to the Avengers who had long avoided membership among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

In addition to Captain America and Iron Man, the team included now long-term members such as Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, and perhaps most surprisingly, Spider-Man and Wolverine. The roster now includes even more surprising members (The Thing, Iron Fist and Daredevil among them), but the original line-up that launched the new era of the Avengers was notable for its strong characterization, surprising cast and high quality, high energy stories.

If only because the lineup began the modern era of the Avengers and set the stage for almost everything that’s happened in the following years, the New Avengers are one of the greatest superhero teams of all time.

Members: Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Echo, Ronin, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Daredevil, Thing, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, Sentry

 

3.) THE KORVAC SAGA TEAM

Throughout the ’70s, the lineup of the Avengers fluxuated around a core group of members, coalescing in the crew featured in the now legendary story “The Korvac Saga.”

Though most of the decade featured a small group of Avengers often joined by one or two guest stars, all those erstwhile members came together in the wake of the being known as Korvac’s ascension. In addition to showcasing some of Jack Kirby’s last Avengers art, and the introduction of the long-running Beast/Wonder Man best buds club, the Avengers stories of this era also introduced such long-running subplots as the Hank Pym/Ultron/Vision/Wonder Man family tree, and of course, the all important “Korvac Saga,” which was truly the highlight of the run.

In the aftermath of “The Korvac Saga,” the team was pared back, and saw some characters depart, and new ones take their place, but the team at the height of this era was one of the strongest and most well-written in Avengers history.

Members: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Yellowjacket, Beast, Wonder Man, Hawkeye, Whizzer, Scarlet Witch, Hellcat, Moondragon, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Mantis, Falcon

 

2.) CAPTAIN AMERICA JOINS THE TEAM

In their fourth issue, the Avengers would see one of the most important and iconic events not only in their own history, but in the history of Marvel Comics — the discovery of the frozen body of WWII legend Captain America, floating in the ocean.

Upon his unfreezing, and his adjustment to the strange era in which he was revived, the Avengers drafted Captain America into their ranks, filling the Hulk’s empty spot among the team’s founding members. Though he lacked the raw strength of the Hulk, Captain America possessed a single skill that completely transformed the team from a barely-together group of heroes into Earth’s Mightiest protective force: leadership.

Through the strength of Captain America’s charisma and personality, the Avengers were able to flourish, and, after a brief period where they left Cap alone with a bunch of ex-cons, grow into the mainstay of Marveldom that they are today. Almost nothing that has happened in Avengers history would have been possible without the addition of Captain America to the team’s ranks, so while they weren’t technically the first Avengers lineup, this is truly the team that started it all.

Members: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, Wasp

 

1.) HEROES RETURN

In the wake of the critical failure known as “Heroes Reborn,” in which some of the day’s highest profile creators attempted to re-envision Marvel’s most iconic characters, something incredible had to happen to reinvigorate the Avengers franchise, which suffered from one of the most-maligned titles of the “Reborn” line.

To facilitate the Avengers return to greatness, Marvel chose Kurt Busiek, a veteran writer who had never written the team, and George Perez, the legendary penciller who had drafted some of the greatest issues of the Avengers ’70s run. What happened was a pitch-perfect combination of classic Avengers sensibility and characterization set against stories that were always moving forward at a breakneck tilt.

While the team did include some misguided latter-day members, such as Silverclaw and Triathlon, the bulk of the run featured a core group of some of the most classic Avengers members, and a couple requisite new recruits. While the book’s opening arc showcased nearly every character who had been an Avenger up until that point, it was with issue #4 that the new lineup was solidified, and the title really began re-establishing itself as a powerhouse among the comics of the day.

Because of the strength of the creators, the energy and excitement of the stories, and the perfect blend of old and new-school members, the “Heroes Return” Avengers were, without a doubt, the greatest team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes ever assembled.

Members: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hawkeye, Justice, Firestar, Warbird (Carol Danvers), Giant-Man, Wasp, Triathlon, Silverclaw


An Interesting Direction of Comic Romance

To be honest, a scene involving two comic book characters who are in a long-standing, committed relationship kissing is not interesting. The kiss getting nearly a full page devoted to it is nothing special, especially when one considers the dozens of comic covers published every year depicting the same act. It’s something that, unless shamefully gratuitous, I never think twice about while reading my stack of comics every Wednesday. That is — if the couple is straight.

Wiccan and Hulking, two teenage male characters who have been in a relationship since their 2005 debut inAllan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s “Young Avengers,” got the full-page smooch-stravaganza treatment in last week’s “Avengers: The Children’s Crusade” #9. They’re a couple, they’re in love, they kissed. The thought that the lip lock might be newsworthy didn’t occur to me at all until I saw somewhere in the labyrinth of the internet that it was their first kiss. Marvel’s been progressive in depicting their other two prominent gay couples (Shatterstar and RIctor, Northstar and Kyle). They are affectionate when the story calls for it, and kiss each other in-between action plot points.

But Wiccan and Hulkling, perhaps due to being published infrequently, didn’t kiss until last Wednesday. I’m certain that the delay wasn’t Marvel-mandated, as evidenced by the publisher’s full support of gay characters in other books. I know it wasn’t due to the creators having bigoted heebie jeebies, as writer Allan Heinberg is himself gay and has gone above and beyond to portray gay characters with the same amount of respect as their straight teammates.

So what’s the story here? Wiccan and Hulkling finally kissed, just like other couples. The way the world should work, the way I believe it is headed, and possibly even the way younger members of the LGBT community perceive it, this kiss means nothing more than what it is: it’s a kiss. But as someone who lives in the overlapping part of the “Gay Person” and “Comic Book Fan” Venn diagram (and also as someone who loves talking about themselves), I feel a need to talk about where my brain goes when I see gay characters be affectionate.

When I see a gay couple kiss in comics, it should read the same as Clark kissing Lois. But it doesn’t, because the society we live in has made love a politically-charged issue. When I see a gay couple kiss in a superhero comic book, I wonder if it’s going to get protested. I wonder if the comic is going to get tons of hate mail. I become hyper-critical of the kiss and put way too much thought into whether or not they are characters or caricatures. I wonder if there were meetings with executives in stiff suits, discussing how big the panel should be and how advertisers would react. I wonder if anyone on the creative team felt awkward about drawing, inking, coloring or lettering a page showing a couple of dudes expressing their love for each other. My sexuality has been politicized to the point where I can’t read a kiss between two fictional characters without thinking every insane thing I just listed. And yes, I think all the things I think are insane, because Marvel and the creators have given me no reason to doubt their sincerity. But I’ve seen bigotry on television, in comic book letters pages and in my own life. Even though the comic book industry has been incredibly supportive of the LGBT community and has made great strides towards diversifying their characters, I still let the words of the people currently vying for the Republican nomination spoil what should be a celebratory, progressive moment.

I’m glad that Hulkling and Wiccan kissed. I’m glad that comic books are now regularly depicting diversity. It’s important to know that the gender of the kissers should not be news. It’s two characters kissing, and that’s awesome (as long as you think those two characters are right for each other, like Kitty Pryde and Iceman — yep, I went there). But also keep in mind that right now, in 2012, the world at large is not necessarily so accepting, and there are politicians running for president on the promise of nullifying same-sex marriages if elected. Comic books are leading the progressive charge right now and I just hope that the rest of the world can catch up. When I read my comics, I want to stop worrying about the underlying politics; I want to start being happy for the characters.