By now, those of you who’ve read my previous post would have an idea that i am an avid comic book reader and i am not ashamed of it. Truth be told, i am quite proud of the fact that i have read a lot of comic books. I like staying familiar with the characters i have been reading about for years. A death of a character does have an impact on me if i happen to like him or her. So, you can imagine my surprise when a friend of mine mentioned that Wolverine was gay.
My first reaction to the news was that he was joking. There was no way Marvel had the guts to turn one of the major characters gay. Don’t get me wrong. I am open to the concept of gay characters in comic books, etc. However, let’s face it, it would be a very major move if Marvel decides to depict Wolverine, one of the main characters of the X-Men and even the Marvel Universe as gay.
Then my friend went on to say that not only is Wolverine gay, he’s also in a relationship with Hercules. I immediately asked for the comic book. I’ve reading a lot of X-Men books for years and there’s no indication in the current series regarding any sexual relationship between the clawed monster and a demi God. All of my curiosity was put to rest when i found about the comic book series. It was ‘X-Treme X-Men’. A comic book series that tells the story of characters we are quite familiar with, but the catch is that they all are ‘alternate’ versions.
So, yes, Wolverine is gay and getting it on with Hercules, but this one goes by the name James Howlett and he’s an alternate version of the one depicted by Hugh Jackman in the film series.
A hint of his sexuality was given in issue 3 of ‘X-Treme X-Men’ and everything was put in the open in issue 8 when the two characters meet each other. I’ve read through issues 7 to 9 and i must say, seeing a beloved character in a new light does make things a bit interesting. However, the realization that it’s not the ‘real’ Wolverine from ‘our’ timeline is always there. He can be a little cat with three claws in an alternate universe or even a God. It doesn’t change the thing that the ‘main’ Wolverine is straight. As far as i know.
Coming to Hercules being gay wasn’t a surprise. I mean he’s Hercules. He would have sex with anybody if given the chance. When it comes to the real ‘canon’, way back in 2010, it was hinted that he and Northstar had a sexual encounter. After that, there has been no mention of him getting it on with another male character.
The point is that when it comes to the ‘main’ Marvel universe, the only gay characters i am familiar with are Northstar (who got married to Kyle), Anole (an X-Men in training) and my favorite gay couple Wiccan and Hulkling (Young Avengers). Wolverine’s own son, Daken, has been described as being bisexual.
Writers can do whatever they want as far as the ‘alternate’ universes are concerned. Comic book series like X-Treme X-Men provide a nice way to change things up for readers. It’s kind of like the whole different reality being shown in the Earth-2 series by DC where the Green Lantern is gay.
Moves like these does kind of show that comic book publishers are still hesitant when it comes to depicting major characters as homosexuals or even bisexuals. I am not saying that there aren’t LBGT characters. Batwoman has her own on-going series and she even proposed marriage to her girlfriend. What publishers won’t do is change how major characters are being shown for years and the fans love.
The whole move of making Wolverine and Hercules gay gives something more to the readers to know about but Marvel won’t be getting a huge backlash from various fans because it all happens in an alternate universe, with alternate characters. So, the ‘main’ Wolverine is still a ladies man.
No doubt, the X-Treme X-Men series will give curious readers a good time. I mean, come on, Wolverine is a kind of a ‘gay icon’ and has been way before Hugh Jackman brought his shirtlessness into the scene. For some comic book readers, little, six-clawed mutants can do the trick.
So, have fun reading the series. It’s sad that it will end with issue 13 this April (if i remember right). However, reading the conversation between these two characters is fun and a bit ‘Spartacus’ like.
In the end, i will say that Marvel played it ‘safe’ by doing this in an alternate universe setting. However, it’s still fun and comic book readers who want to read about a gay Wolverine now know about the series they can refer to.
What are your thoughts regarding all of this?