REVIEW: March to Your LCS for MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE #1!
In Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1, a whole bunch of queer comic creators get a chance to contribute to a Marvel Comics anthology spotlighting many of the queer Marvel Comics characters! The Pride issue features a ton of awesome comics that spotlight all kinds of LGBTQ+ stories and heroes. Instead of listing all of the creators (there’s a lot), I’m going to drop in the credits page, but it’s worth noting that this collection was edited by Sarah Brunstad and featured Angélique Roché, who is the host of the Marvel’s Voices podcast (which was recently announced to be getting a fourth season), as consulting editor! Plus, all of these stories were lettered by the excellent Ariana Maher.
The issue opens with an introduction by Luciano Vecchio (which you can see a preview of here) that surveys Marvel Comics’ queer history, tells the story of the publisher’s successes and missteps along the way, and highlights the importance of telling LGBTQ+ stories in the publishing and entertainment industry.
I liked this anthology of stories because it includes many of the characters who were not officially queer at the time, but who occupied a queer-adjacent space before comic book representation had caught up with the real world (in part, thanks to the Comics Code, which insisted that Northstar and other queer characters remain in the closet, setting us back a few centuries).
When I was a kid, there were no characters who were openly trans, but when a hero like Cloud appeared, who changed their gender using magic means, it spoke to me even when I didn’t understand why. At the time the character was introduced, trans representation hardly existed in popular media, so the only way for creators to include our stories was with a wink and a nod.
This intro included many of the characters who spoke to me even before I understood why they were speaking to me, and that means a lot, especially when the anthology also includes explicit textual trans representation, as well! There are several different trans characters who appear in this comic, each with their own perspectives.
Some Excellent Stories
I honestly enjoyed every single one of the stories in this Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 anthology, but I am going to spotlight a couple that really jumped out to me!
First off there was “Something New Every Day” by Lilah Sturges, Derek Charm, and Brittany Peer. I liked this story because it followed up on an interesting detail about Dr. McGowan from The Immortal Hulk.
Dr. McGowan and Elektra also have an excellent conversation about how people can respectfully communicate with trans women, and what to do if you accidentally mess up.
Next there was “When a Black Cat Crosses Your Path, You Give Them the Right of Way” by Leah Williams, Jan Bazaldua, and Erick Arciniega. I was a huge fan of the fact that this story incorporated Jessie Drake, a trans woman first introduced in 1994’s Marvel Comics Presents #150-151! In the brief yet effective story, Drake recounts her traumatic experiences while undergoing what amounts to mutant conversion therapy.
Excitingly, in Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1, we also learn that Drake is attracted to women, making her textually queer in more ways than one.
I also adored “Totally Invulnerable” by Crystal Frasier, Jethro Morales, and Rachelle Rosenberg. In particular, I loved the way the main character (who was cosplaying as She-Hulk) ended up possessing some of the metafictional aspects of Shulkie, even though she was “just” a cosplayer, demonstrating the power that comes with presenting your authentic self to the world.
And finally, I enjoyed “Good Judy” by Terry Blas, Paulina Ganucheau, and Kendall Goode, because it reminded me of growing up young and queer, all while singing show tunes at the gay bars in West Hollywood, California.
Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1
Overall this was a great issue that I really enjoyed! I hope everyone gets a chance to swing by their local comic shop and pick up a copy of this anthology. Which variant cover did you score, Marvel Blog True Believers?