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The Best LGBT Comic Book Couples

Tomorrow's landmark ASTONISHING X-MEN #51 got us thinking about some of our favorite LGBT couples in comics.

Tomorrow marks the release of ASTONISHING X-MEN #51; the landmark issue where Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu finally get to tie the knot. The comic, written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by artist Mike Perkins is one of the only books featuring gay marriage ever; and it's been a long time coming, since, Northstar was first introduced as a gay character by creator John Byrne back in 1974. Although Byrne had always intended for Northstar to be gay, it wasn't until writer Scott Lobdell's ALPHA FLIGHT run in issue #106 that Northstar could finally put it plainly. So it is really nice to see that Marvel's very first major, openly gay character is able to get married; and it certainly says something about Marvel's stance on marriage equality in general. Northstar's marriage to Kyle is no different than when Ororo married T'Challa, or when Jean Grey married Scott Summers. We only hope that these two get to stick together and have a happy marriage like Sue and Reed.

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While this event is a milestone for Marvel as well as fans of these characters; Kyle and Norhtstar certainly aren't the only LGBT couples in comics. Over the years there have been plenty of great LGBT relationships; so in honor of the marriage in tomorrow's ASTONISHING X-MEN #51, we've decided to highlight some of our favorite LGBT couples in comics.

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First up is Shatterstar and Rictor. Although creator Rob Liefeld had never intended for Shatterstar to be an openly gay character; the evolution of his relationship with Ricter over the years proves that the decision to make him an openly gay character was actually a great idea. Shatterstar, who heralds from Mojoworld, was first introduced as an asexual character devoid of any human emotions. Over time, however, and through his long exposure to being on earth, he began to grow a strong connection to Rictor, his X-Factor teammate. And although Rictor has had relationships with both male and female characters over the years; the most prominent of them all has been his commitment with Shatterstar. In fact, in X-FACTOR #49, the kiss shared by Rictor and Shatterstar was the first time two mainstream Marvel comic book characters were shown sharing a kiss on panel.

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Although it was brief, Kate Kane's (Batwoman) relationship with Renee Montoya is one that fans won't forget -- primarily because when it lasted, it was so great. The two characters were similar in that they were both independent, stubborn and had the same goals; but still very unique. The dynamic of the two during 52 and DETECTIVE COMICS was interesting and exciting; and while Kate play the part of the liberated, "out" character; Renee played the opposite side of that coin -- the closeted, reserved Gotham Police Officer. Mostly though, their relationship was sweet; and at the time, the most high profile LGBT relationship at DC comics (and possibly the most high profile to date).

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Probably my favorite of the bunch, however, is Hulkling's relationship with Wiccan. The two started off as teammates, but their romance really blossomed during Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung's AVENGERS: CHILDREN'S CRUSADE miniseries. The dynamic between the two characters is evident throughout this series and never feels forced. In fact, their relationship seems more sincere than a great many in comics. There is a genuine love, care and concern for one another that really makes their romance stand out. At the end of the series the two even became engaged to one another, and hopefully they two will be able to share in their very own "wedding issue."

These are only some of our favorite LGBT relationships in comics, but we know there are many others. Which ones come to mind for you? Post your favorite as well as your favorite moment shared between the two characters and let us know why you feel its so important. ASTONISHING X-MEN #51 hits comic store shelves tomorrow, Wednesday June 20th, 2012.