Friday, August 12, 2022

Reader's Diary #2033 - Various writers and artists: Marvel Voices Pride

There's an interview with former Marvel associate editor Chris Cooper in Marvel Voices: Pride in which he discusses when the superhero Northstar came out in 1992. While Cooper acknowledges that that DC Comics, as well as independent comics, had had openly gay characters before, it was still a huge deal. Northstar (who is Canadian) was also the first Marvel character to have a same-sex wedding. That  comic is one of many anthologized for this collection. Other stories involve other superheroes from the LGBTQIA+ spectrum that have appeared in Northstar's wake.

The better stories in the anthology are the ones that were taken from previously published comics of the 80's, 90's and onward. Even though they often hint at larger story arcs that were fleshed out over a few issues that obviously couldn't be included, these stories felt more organic. However, there are also a few shorts at the beginning of the collection written just for this project and while some are fine, letting the characters be gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and still telling a story, a few too many felt overly didactic. I agreed with the messages, but those were heavy handed. Fortunately, there were enough good ones as well as great essays from past LGBTQIA+ Marvel creators that made it worthwhile. I especially like the ones that discussed the subtexts in older Marvel comics, some intentional, some not, that hinted at characters being queer or promoted messages about love and acceptance.

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