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Astonishing X-Men #51

4

Last issue Northstar proposed to his boyfriend. That didn't go so well. So what's with the cover? More importantly, will the X-Men be able to fight being mind-controlled?

Looks like there's going to be a wedding. The cover is a pretty big spoiler.

The Good

The way last issue left off, it seemed there was no way Northstar and Kyle could get married. Jean-Paul proposed and it just didn't work out. Add the fact that Karma, for some reason, was mind-controlling the X-Men. Things got really messy. But the cover does say a lot. Somehow things have to get set right. What helps in this situation is a little bit of time does go by. It's not a matter of Northstar proposing and a wedding happening the next day.

The entire idea of an X-Man being married to a non-powered individual raises many questions. Just in this issue, Kyle experiences the effects and dangers of being in close proximity to the X-Men. All of this made Kyle put everything into perspective. He could either run from Northstar and the fact that this sort of life most likely won't be a normal one or he could try to make it work because of the feelings they share. It's not too difficult to figure out which route they'll go. It's actually Kyle's parents that bring up the question of how 'comfortable' is Kyle with this world. They are surrounded by individuals that can do crazy things and Kyle is just a human. You have to wonder what life would be like. Will Northstar continue to be an X-Man and have his life be put at risk?

Of course with the nature of the wedding, the concerns of some are addressed. Despite where we're at today in society, there are still some who oppose same sex marriage. In comics, with everything that has been seen in their world, you would think this wouldn't be a hard concept to grasp. Fortunately, Marjorie Liu takes the opportunity to incorporate the doubt some may have without it feeling forced. To have it completely ignored would have been too neat. It's unfortunate that some may question whether two individuals are in love and deserve happiness but it's something that happens in the real world.

The Bad

Despite the way the story unfolds, it still felt a tiny bit rushed. We are talking about the wedding of a speedster so maybe it could be overlooked. Then again, there is a hint that this story is taking place after the events of AVENGERS VS X-MEN. The lack of certain X-Men being absent means either they didn't do too well in that fight or perhaps they just couldn't bring themselves to attend the wedding.

For the most part, I enjoy the art but I always find an instant or two that bothers me. In the gathering of all the X-Men and other heroes attending the wedding, some were hard to recognize. One panel featuring many characters had a bunch of people but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to know who everyone is. We also see Spider-Man and Iron Fist are attending but in full costume. Spider-Man in costume makes some sense but Iron Fist doesn't really have much of a secret identity.

We still need to get the answers to why the mind-controlling was going on. It should be coming up again next issue but I just feel really in the dark without knowing the full motivations of why this plot is going on.

X-23 and Jubilee appear but their appearance is way too brief.

The Verdict

We've seen many weddings in comics. They often get interrupted by an evil villain or threat to the world. Other times marriages are used as stunts or the focus of a milestone issue. With Northstar and Kyle, it doesn't feel like that's the case. In the recent issues, we've gained an insight into the relationship the two share. We've seen them deal with Northstar's status as a superhero along with the dangers of that life. It's unfortunate that many feel the need to make the fact that this marriage is between two members of the same sex. That isn't exactly the focus on the issue. While there are still threads from the X-Men being mind-controlled, the scenes in whether or not they should marry is more about two individuals dealing with the decision. We do get a little commentary from those that question two guys getting married but how much of a focus the relationship gets in future issues remains to be seen. I've said it before, Marjorie Liu excels in writing about characters rather than just writing about events among superheroes. She delves into the thinking and essence of who the characters are. The issue will indeed be remembered but for the wrong reasons. The real focus should be on the way the story is written rather than on only two of the characters in the issue.

9 Comments

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Malonius

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Edited By Malonius

"He could either run from Northstar...."

hahaha...is that a joke?

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RoboShark

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Edited By RoboShark

Iron Fist is too busy being the best Marvel character to change clothes.

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MadeinBangladesh

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Edited By MadeinBangladesh
@RoboShark: lol
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Redberry

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Edited By Redberry

Northstar is so insignificant that I don't think a lot of people would care about his marriage, gay or not. I would have preferred someone more significant if Marvel wants to make the gay marriage a big deal. I bought the book anyway to see how they handle the wedding. I like the issue, but at the same time, I agree that it does feel rushed.

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Trodorne

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Edited By Trodorne

@Redberry said:

Northstar is so insignificant that I don't think a lot of people would care about his marriage, gay or not. I would have preferred someone more significant if Marvel wants to make the gay marriage a big deal. I bought the book anyway to see how they handle the wedding. I like the issue, but at the same time, I agree that it does feel rushed.

While i agree that he is not as important as every other x-character. Story was completely rushed. I don't see why Marvel had to rush it. I mean Scott and Jean had a prolonged engagement and did not get married the same issue. why is it that this one had to be rushed?

and second of all why is it that Alpha Flight the team that knew him best only had a short stint in all of this? no words from the old team? i mean really? just aurora just making sure that he intends to go through with it.

and forshame to the CEO's at marvel for trying to push this out when it should have been nursed to the point to make it an actual special wedding and not something that seems like just a publicity stunt to sell comics.

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Master_Thief

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Edited By Master_Thief

I think this is before AvsX because iron fist looks OK and i think after the event something big will happen to ironfist

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ahgunsillyo

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Edited By ahgunsillyo

Nowadays, I have a hard time taking any comic book wedding seriously when both of the big publishers have gone out of their way on multiple occasions to explicitly express their belief that being married makes characters old, boring, and unrelatable, and that it's completely impossible to write compelling stories with married characters.

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John Valentine

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Edited By John Valentine

This issue was atrocious, like the rest of her Astonishing X-Men run.

Havok and Puck's conversation was just the pinnacle of how stupid this issue was.

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simian

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Edited By simian

There was a wedding? I was too busy cringing from the horrible artwork.

Gay Wedding + Feeling my eyes sprayed with bleach = Marvel's Secret Anti-LGBT Agenda.