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Marvel’s Satisfaction Covers Are (and Aren’t) What You Suppose

Yearly, Marvel and DC commemorate June with covers and stories centered round its secure of LGBTQIA+ characters. That custom continues this 12 months, however in Marvel’s case, it’s been deflating due to the messaging getting fumbled fairly badly.

On March 21 (Thursday), Marvel revealed its list of books popping out in June. Most of them are tied to its upcoming Blood Hunt occasion, and several other comics—X-Males #35, Superb Spider-Man #52, Immortal Thor #12, and others—have “Satisfaction Allies” variant covers. The titling would have you ever assume that Marvel was celebrating Satisfaction Month by focusing solely on allies—aka, “the straights”—of its LGBTQIA+ solid, which went about as nicely on social media as you’d anticipate.

Flash-forward to March 22 (Friday), the place Marvel put out an announcement in regards to the Satisfaction variants: particularly, the eight covers (4 every drawn by artists Betsy Cola and Davi Go) will pair an LGBTQIA+ hero with a outstanding straight character (with the previous getting main focus) to “showcase each the spirit of Satisfaction Month and exemplifying the significance of robust allyship.” You possibly can see one such cowl by Go under, which sees Northstar share the highlight with Spider-Man.

Picture: Davi Go/Marvel Comics

On paper, there’s nothing improper with this—DC’s doing the identical factor with Batman and Nightwing, for example, however these covers simply have the usual “Satisfaction” labeling. It additionally helps that DC obtained to manage the narrative by revealing its Pride output earlier than the solicits moderately than the opposite means round. What’s extra, these covers are boosted by one other annual Satisfaction anthology celebrating its personal secure of LGBTQIA+ characters, together with an one-shot honoring the late Doom Patrol author Rachel Pollack, who gave the writer its first trans hero in Coagula.

Supeheroes and queerness have at all times been linked collectively—it’s a part of why Robin exists. You possibly can (and followers usually do!) learn A-listers like Spider-Man, Daredevil, et al as queer, both by pulling from scenes in comics or different variations of them present in films and video games. Giving these heroes the “allies” label complicates issues even additional. What was most likely an earnest try and rejoice a demographic of Marvel’s viewers now has a bizarre air over it, made worse by the truth that it got here straight from the supply.

Marvel’s Satisfaction Allies covers will run from June 5 to June 26.


Need extra io9 information? Try when to anticipate the most recent Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and all the pieces you should find out about the way forward for Doctor Who.

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