The recent announcement by Marvel Comics that Northstar, a gay mutant from Canada, will marry his boyfriend Kyle in Astonishing X-Men #51, has got me thinking about how marriage is portrayed in the pages of Marvel funny books. It was only a few years ago that former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada thought Peter Parker/Spider-Man being married to Mary Jane Watson made Spider-Man not relatable to children.
As if children are reading $3.99 comic books.
Instead of having Peter Parker and Mary Jane simply get divorced, like normal people often do, Parker struck a deal with the Devil to save his Aunt May’s life. In return for saving the elderly Aunt May, the Devil made it as though Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were never married.
Evidently Quesada and the Devil were like-minded when it came to the marital status of Spider-Man. Neither one liked it.
If it was bad for Spider-Man to be married, why then is it good for Northstar to be married? It doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Marvel Comics wanted one of their A-list superheroes to be single so badly that they actually had him strike a deal with the Devil to dissolve the marriage. Then, a few years later, they marry off their only gay character to his boyfriend.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Marvel Comics was against heterosexual marriage, but not against gay marriage.