Marvel Comics took a big and necessary step into the 21st century today, as they announced the very first marriage between two LGBTQ superheroes will soon take place in their pages. The event occurs in Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1, which will feature the union of longtime superhero couple Hulkling and Wiccan. Both heroes are famous for being founding members of the Young Avengers.
Current event series Empyre’s issue #4 actually revealed the wedding already occurred. Teddy Altman, the Kree/Skrull hybrid Hulkling, and his longtime boyfriend Billy Kaplan, the powerful magic-wielding Wiccan, married just before Hulkling took to the stars to fulfill his destiny of uniting the Kree and Skrull empires. The characters are actually now currently married in the timeline, but we won’t see the wedding itself until the special hits next month.
Writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung created the pair back in 2005, when the first issue of Young Avengers hit the stands. They were Marvel’s first out gay teenage heroes, and their first out gay hero couple as well. The two instantly became fan favorites, and have popped up in different series once the Young Avengers title came to an end.
Teddy’s marriage proposal to Billy actually happened way back in 2012’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9. In real life I would have a bit of a raised eyebrow at this wedding, as both characters are barely out of their teens. But that’s just comics for ya. Nevertheless, this marriage has been a long time coming. Although, 2012 in “comic book time” might have been the equivalent to six months ago for all we know. It should be noted that this is the first marriage between two gay heroes in Marvel Comics, but not two gay characters. That honor goes to the mutant Northstar, who married his boyfriend back in 2013.
The character’s creator Allan Heinberg told Marvel.com the following about the nuptials, saying “I’m eternally grateful to writers Al Ewing and Dan Slott, artists Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia, editor Tom Brevoort—and of course cover artist Jim Cheung—for telling Teddy’s story so gorgeously, on such an epic scale and with so much heart. AND for inviting me and Jim to the wedding!”
The Earth-raised Teddy is only related to the Hulk by name, however Billy is one of the twin sons of the Scarlet Witch, along with Speed. Both characters are hinted as showing up in WandaVision. Given the Skrull and Kree’s importance in the MCU going forward since Captain Marvel, don’t be shocked in Hulkling turns up in live-action soon as well.
Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1, by Al Ewing and Velrio Schiti, hits your local comic book shop in September.
Featured Image: Marvel Comics