There's drama afoot in the X-Men world, and this time, it's about Sex Men: Wolverine—Marvel's thicc-clawed, perpetually pissed off superhero—who might be a gay man (or more accurately, a gay mutant), and fans are big mad.
While there have been some whispers and hints in the nerd network about Wolverine's (aka Logan's) sexual orientation for years, Marvel has created a major stir that the X-Men hero is gay or bisexual and possibly even in a polyamorous relationship with Cyclops (aka Scott Summers), as insinuated in a scene from the latest issue of the comic, X-Men #7, released on February 26.
In the book, the X-Men are hanging in their retreat on the lunar island of Krakoa, where readers see Logan's bedroom is attached to Scott's and Jean Grey's boudoir via a connecting door, like adjoining hotel rooms. The two have a suggestive exchange about Logan's body hair—and how it makes it "too hot for [the] covers" when he sleeps, as Scott says—while gazing into space. As they continue to muse about the beautiful 'scenery,' Logan mentions Jean Grey in a bikini, to which Scott replies "Scott in a Speedo." To this, Logan flirtatiously responds, “Heh. Well, who could say no to that?”
Fans believe the scene implies that Wolverine is gay and shacking up with his former nemesis, Cyclops—and that writers may even be hinting at a hot, mutant throuple with Cyclops' main lady Jean Grey. But the creative decision has X-Men purists and homophobes up in arms on Twitter and message boards, and they're not happy about Marvel's big macho mutant daring to enjoy the company of men.
One tweeted, "A #SJW cannot create anything original that consumers want because they are consumed with the evil of virtue signalling. So now they have made one of the most legendary comic book characters of all time, #Wolverine, gay. If that isn't evil I don't know what is anymore. FFS, stop!"
Others flat out refuse to believe Wolverine might be gay, rationalizing, "It was definitely a heterosexual thing between cyclops and Wolverine. I would say that to my friends all the time. guys can boost guys up without being gay."
Of course, it is possible that Wolverine was just being cheeky, and men of all sexual orientations may wish to compliment their male friends on how they look in Speedos. But a clear indicator of Wolverine being gay would be a first in the X-Men universe—one that would signal a more inclusive view for the comic's creators. The scene denotes an intimacy between the former foes, not just based on the proximity and shared doors of their bedrooms, but through their conversation. Considering that Wolverine and Hercules made out in an alternate universe seen in another issue of X-Men, it's not out of the realm of this fictional world that Wolverine, Cyclops, and Jean Grey take it to the sheets.
Writer Jonathan Hickman has yet to respond to the backlash, and did not immediately respond to questions from VICE.
Fans of legacy cartoons and comics have been resistant to seeing characters diversified in the past, especially when it comes to sexual orientation or to race. When Disney's The Little Mermaid was being cast as a live-action remake in July 2019, fans of the original animated Disney film were up in arms over Black actress Halle Bailey being cast as Ariel. Despite the fact that Ariel is a mermaid, Wolverine is a mutant, and both are fictional characters, some fans—sticking with their preconceived notions about what those things should look or act like—have fought changes that would provide representation in our ever-evolving society.
Making Wolverine a sexually fluid man would be a breath of fresh air in the comics industry, and would open the gates for more LGBTQ+ characters in more mainstream entertainment franchises. If making such an important figure in comics gay could allow young fans to see themselves in the pages of comics, what harm does that really do?
Despite Wolverine's continued ambiguity, one thing is clear: The man simply loves to see Scott in a Speedo, and the haters need to get over it.