Marvel Turns Back on Pride Month, Says It “Looks Beyond” LGBT Issues

in Marvel

Marvel logo centered on a waving rainbow flag, symbolizing LGBTQ+ pride, set against a blue sky. The flag's colorful bands in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple form the backdrop, creating a vibrant and inclusive visual.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Like many other companies under the broad umbrella of The Walt Disney Company, Marvel is celebrating LGBT Pride Month, an internationally observed period of celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual people. In a bizarre move, however, the comics branch of the company has announced that its pride month will “look beyond” LGBTQIA+ issues and focus on straight people.

Thor, portrayed by chris hemsworth, looks shocked and disheveled with long blonde hair and a red cape, amidst a busy indoor scene.
Credit: Marvel Studios

In recent years, Marvel Comics (a subsidiary of Disney Publishing Worldwide and closely linked to Marvel Studios, Animation, and Television) has celebrated Pride Month with an anthology of LGBTQIA+ stories and characters. However, this year, Marvel has announced that it is primarily focusing on straight allies, which is to say, non-LGBTQIA+ individuals who are supportive of the community.

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Marvel Comics is releasing a set of variant covers for eight comics, stating that it is prioritizing highlighting straight allies during Pride Month…rather than LGBTIA+ characters. The specific issues with “Pride Allies” covers are:

  • June 5: X-Men #35 (Legacy #700) variant cover by Betsy Cola
  • June 12: Scarlet Witch #1 variant cover by Davi Go
  • June 12: Incredible Hulk #13 variant cover by Betsy Cola
  • June 19: Amazing Spider-Man #52 variant cover by Davi Go
  • June 19: Immortal Thor #12 variant cover by Davi Go
  • June 19: Captain America #10 variant cover by Betsy Cola
  • June 26: Daredevil #10 variant cover by Davi Go
  • June 26: Jackpot and Black Cat #4 (of 4) variant cover by Betsy Cola
X-Men: The Wedding Special cover featuring comic book characters
Credit: Marvel Comics

Additionally (and more in the actual spirit of Pride Month), Marvel Comics is releasing a one-shot titled X-Men: The Wedding Special #1, which will feature the marriage of long-time same-sex mutant characters Mystique and Destiny. The company describes it as:

Titled X-MEN: THE WEDDING SPECIAL #1, this annual anthology celebrates Pride Month with stories crafted by incredible LGBTQIA+ talent and hits stands on May 29. Today, fans can preview the drama, action, and romance that awaits in a special preview of each of the five stories!

Join the X-Men as they come together to honor one of the most beloved and longest-lasting gay couples in comic book history—Mystique and Destiny! This landmark comic book special marks Marvel Comics’ first woman-to-woman wedding, and with a pair as complex as these two, you know there will be plenty of drama, secrets, and surprises!

X-MEN: THE WEDDING SPECIAL’s spectacular main story will be written X-Men mastermind Kieron Gillen, who’s penned some of the couple’s recent adventures in IMMORTAL X-MEN, and drawn by acclaimed artist Rachael Stott (STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRAFANTASTIC FOUR). In addition to new insights into Raven Darkholme and Irene Adler’s breathtaking 100-year romance, fans will get a glimpse at their original and never-before-told wedding and discover the pair’s secret motivations for hosting the event.

However, Marvel has upset many people with its Pride Allies Variants and its announcement that “Marvel Comics will be celebrating Pride Month this year by looking beyond those of us in the LGBTQIA+ community and focusing on those who support them: the allies.”

Obviously, the decision to use the month that many people and, increasingly, corporations celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture to instead pay more attention to people who are, by definition, not part of it is somewhat confounding.

Disney and its many subsidiaries, including Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, have come under significant conservative criticism in recent years for including LGBTQIA+ characters and representation in some films and shows.

Just recently, Star Wars: The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland came under fire for joking in an interview that the series was the “gayest entry” in the franchise, while the Disney World Resort was in a fiery legal battle for the better part of a year over Bob Chapek’s support of LGBTQIA+ rights.

A smiling Ron DeSantis superimposed on a background featuring the Disney castle and a vibrant rainbow flag.
Credit: Inside The Magic

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An anonymous source, who identifies as trans and is connected to both Disney and Marvel, was aghast about the announcement (per Advocate) and spoke up about the decision to foreground straight allies during Pride Month. They said they:

“[H]onestly thought it was a prank. I thought, ‘they’re really erasing us.’ Because a lot of people have just opted to not do Pride stuff at all. Which we’ve all noticed, because of the backlash from what happened with Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light. We all paid for it.”

“We get one month, and they corporatized it so much…These companies do all these things and they can’t be supportive of queer people, and then they want our money. I’m trans in November. I’m trans in December. If you’re only working with me in the month of June, there’s a huge problem… we need to revoke all of our queer dollars. [Marvel] made a huge misstep, and they need to answer for that. You can’t just erase it and then erase us in tow because you didn’t actually do a Pride issue.”

What do you think about this Pride Month decision by Marvel? Tell us in the comments below.

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