June is Pride Month, and Marvel Comics is set to mark the occasion with a number of events. The biggest is one-off Marvel’s Voices: Pride, their first-ever queer-centered special which puts their LGBTQ+ characters front and center. We’re also getting a series of Pride Month variant covers featuring out heroes including Wiccan, Northstar and Mystique.
But it seems that Marvel Comics will celebrate the month by having a classic Spider-Man character officially come out of the closet as well. This is Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, who regularly crosses the line between being an ally and antagonist to Spidey (and often a flirtatious romantic interest).
Right now, she’s the star of her self-titled solo series, with Black Cat #7 out today. The current plot line sees Hardy dealing with the New York City Thieves Guild, which is led by Odessa Drake. Hardy and Drake have had a fractious relationship, frequently clashing over Drake’s more overtly villainous methods. But, as seen in the issue, they’re currently on good terms. Extremely good terms, in fact.
Here are some pages (via BleedingCool.com):
Hardy being bisexual won’t come as a huge surprise to readers, as her solo series has dropped some heavy hints in previous issues (plus she has her own Pride variant cover), but her and Drake kissing removes any last lingering doubts. It’ll be fun to see where this story goes, too. After all, most of Hardy’s romantic partnerships end badly and Drake being a crime boss doesn’t bode well, but hopefully they can find some happiness for a few issues before it all goes pear-shaped.
In the meantime, Marvel’s LGBTQ+ writers and artists have been sounding off on how much comics meant to them while growing up. Writer Anthony Oliveira said:
“When I was a very closeted, very lonely kid, these characters saved my life. It’s an honor to tell stories about them and to see the kind of stories queer people can tell about queer people deepen and grow.”
Steve Orlando, meanwhile, has also stated how much it means to him to contribute to the Pride special, saying:
“What an honor to be part of MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE! I could not be more excited to help spotlight LGBTQ+ characters new and old at the House of Ideas, as well as joining a stable of LGBTQ+ creators behind the scenes for this special.”
Black Cat #7 is out now, and Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 hits comic stands on Wednesday, June 23rd.