Without Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s Pride Celebration Rings Hollow

Without Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's Pride Celebration Rings Hollow

Despite being one of its most popular franchises, the Guardians of the Galaxy have been left out of Marvel Comics’ Pride celebration this year.

Representation for the LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way in Marvel Comics, with the Guardians of the Galaxy helping pave the way in recent times. Al Ewing’s run with artist Juann Cabal brought Marvel’s lovable ragtag team of misfits to new salience with the introduction of new queer characters and the reveal that Star-Lord was bisexual. The team even featured one of the most high profile gay couples in comics, Hulkling and Wiccan, who quickly became fan favorites. With the team also featuring Hercules and Marvel Boy alongside lesbian couple Moondragon and Phyla-Vell, it’s fair to say that Guardians of the Galaxy was at the forefront of a new, more inclusive era in Marvel Comics. This made the series’ sudden cancellation last year all the more shocking and upsetting to fans, as the publisher lost one of its finest contributions to queer representation in comics.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

In preparation for LGBTQIA+ Pride Month this June, Marvel Comics released a look at their Pride releases, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are conspicuously absent from their announcements. While the Pride variant covers featuring the likes of Somnus, Iceman, Destiny, Aaron Fischer, Karma, America Chavez, Valkyrie, and Daken are undoubtedly gorgeous, it is difficult to not be reminded of how Marvel recently had a high profile team comprised of several queer characters that are no longer regularly appearing in new releases. Marvel’s tenor for Pride this year is unabashedly joyful, as it should be, but some fans may experience a sense of dissonance due to the editorial treatment of its biggest LGBTQIA+ heroes.

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy Cancelation Hurts Marvel’s LGBTQ+ Representation

If anything, the absence of the Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel’s Pride celebration signals a missed opportunity, one that would have given Marvel the chance to honor the contributions of queer creators to comics, as well as stand firm in its supposed commitment to diversity and inclusion. None of the heroes in Marvel’s Pride variants are household names (yet), but the Guardians of the Galaxy already are. A character as popular as Star-Lord would have been a perfect fit for the style of Marvel’s Pride variants this year, which feature individual heroes flaunting their best selves. By leaving the Guardians of the Galaxy out of this year’s Pride issue, Marvel leaves fans wondering if the series and group are “too queer” for comfort.

Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel Comics.

For comics fans, annual Pride releases are not only a time for celebration but also for critical reflection on the state of LGBTQIA+ representation in comics and beyond. With the passage of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, there has never been a more important time for Marvel to continue its legacy in depicting “the world outside your window.” As a popular team within the MCU, bringing Guardians of the Galaxy into this year’s Pride celebration would cement Marvel’s commitment to this perspective.

The Marvel Universe has grown to be one of the most vastly optimistic forces within pop culture, in part due to the diversity of its characters. Championing the stories of marginalized people has allowed Marvel to delve into the texture of humanity in a wholly original way that remains responsive to current events. And even though Marvel has made great progress in making its universe more inclusive, actions like sidelining the Guardians of the Galaxy during Pride month dim the vibrancy of its vision.

Next: Tim Drake’s Past, Present, and Future Combine In New DC Pride Special

Jessie Buckley in Men

Men Trailer Reveals Alex Garland’s New Horror-Thriller Movie

About The Author

Jules Chin Greene
(238 Articles Published)

Jules Chin Greene is an editor, filmmaker, and animator based in Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in English and Cinema Studies from Oberlin College, where she was awarded Excellence in Critical Writing for her thesis on Indigeneity and Anti-Imperialism in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In her free time, she enjoys roller-skating and horror movies. You can find her on Twitter at @spockgoth.

More From Jules Chin Greene

Author: Deann Hawkins