Apr 7, 2012

Geekiness: Wiccan and Hulkling's First Kiss

I realize this is as nerdy as one can get, but I am super excited about it. Childish as it would sound, I didn't know it was coming, and my heart skipped a beat when I opened the page and saw it.

A little background. Wickan (Billy Kaplan) and Hulkling (Teddy Altman) are part of Marvel Comics' Young Avengers - a new group of teenage heroes that first appeared in 2005, and after an initial run of 12 issues were relegated to different mini-series instead of an ongoing book. Wiccan - supposedly carrying the soul of one of Wanda Maximoff's dead twin boys - is a warlock, while Hulkling is a Krull-Scree hybrid with shape-shifting powers. They have been openly gay and in a monogamous relationship since the very beginning (there is even a hilarious yet touching coming out scene for Wiccan in one of the early issues), but they had never actually kissed until now. In the final ninth issue of the epic Avengers: The Children's Crusade miniseries (which brought Wanda back, among other earth-shattering events) writer Allan Heinberg finally gave the fans what they'd wanted since Young Avengers #1 - Billy and Teddy's kiss.

This is a remarkable moment for mainstream comic book gay heroes for a number of reasons. First of all, it is to my knowledge the first one in the Marvel universe between major characters in a best-selling series. Second, it is the first such scene between teenagers. But most importantly, unlike any other previous gay kiss, it is not the culmination of a buildup and a way for the characters to finally admit their feelings. No, instead, it is something that we know those two kids must do all the time. They have been in a committed relationship since before they were even introduced. But Heinberg chose the smartest and most meaningful way to show them being intimate with each other - by doing it when the story called for it. In a scene set after the dramatic events of the main plot. The impact of the scene is even bigger because of how naturally it fits the narrative.

And, as you can see below, Jim Cheung's art is nothing short of breathtaking:

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