No ban on X-Men comic due to ‘balanced treatment of gay marriage’
SINGAPORE — An Archie comic book which featured a gay marriage was removed from local bookstores earlier this year — but another comic with a similar theme — Astonishing X-Men Issue 51 — can still be found on the shelves.
This is because the X-Men comic, published by Marvel Comics in 2012, offered a balanced treatment of the issue, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) told TODAY.
In the X-Men comic, gay superhero character Northstar marries his partner Kyle Jinadu — a plotline similar to Archie: The Married Life Volume Three, which was removed from bookstore chain Kinokuniya in March. Archie: The Married Life features the marriage of Kevin Keller, the popular series’ first openly gay character.
Referring to X-Men Issue 51, an MDA spokesman said: “The issue featured characters who objected to the wedding and this offered a balanced treatment on the issue of gay marriage.”
The spokesman added that there was no breach of content guidelines, “which allow for the balanced depictions of same-sex relationships if they do not encourage or promote alternative lifestyles”.
The statutory board had assessed the X-Men comic in 2012 after receiving public feedback and queries from its importer.
“The MDA takes a holistic view in assessing content and considers all factors, including the context, presentation and language.
While themes may seem similar on the surface, depictions and context often vary across different works,” the spokesman said in response to queries from this newspaper.
TODAY understands that local bookstore chain Kinokuniya carries Astonishing X-Men Issue 51 in its Orchard branch.