Marvel reminds everyone that it cares about the religousity of marriage in its major event this week.
A month ago, we reported on Marvel's decision to oppose the sanctity of marriage by publicly celebrating the marriage of two gay characters in Astonishing X-Men. We were shocked and dismayed by the comic publisher's decision to promote an alternative viewpoint of marriage that flew in the face of the traditionally accepted definition of marriage as a "permanent union between a man, woman and a diety which may or may not resemble a jungle cat".
However, Marvel has made amends by gracefully ending the marriage between two prominent characters in a religiously agreeable manner. SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR AVENGERS VS X-MEN #9.
In the latest issue of Avengers vs. X-Men, the Black Panther divorces Storm by annulling their six year marriage. While other sites may show disgust at the fact that the company (which awkwardly thrust the two characters together in a whirlwind marriage in 2006) has decided to basically end their relationship off-panel, we here at the Outhouse are delighted that they preserved the sanctity of marriage by using an annulment.
An annulment is a perfectly acceptable religious method of dropping one's spouse, as opposed to getting divorced, a legal means of ending a marriage that often insults the solemnity of marriage with its fancy words and legalness. While divorce is frowned upon by many religions, annulments are perfectly okay because they basically retcon the marriage as never happening.
As many are aware, Black Panther is a worshipper of the Panther God, a fictional diety known for its strict views of marriage. We're glad that the character respected his religious views and quickly obtained an annulment with his ties to the Reformed Wakandan Panther Clan Church. We're guessing that T'Challa made a persuasive argument to the High Priest of the Panther Clan (which happens to be himself) that Storm's decision to side with a group that had one of its members go rogue and destroy Wakanda was grounds to declare that the marriage had never happen. While that excuse might not fly in the Catholic Church, the Reformed Wakandan Panther Clan Church obviously has lower standards.
We're glad that Marvel has decided to take a step in the right direction and preserve the sanctity of marriage in its comic books. We're also glad that Marvel decided not to have the characters divorce, as it would just smack as a stereotype against black marriage. In an event filled with mischaracterization and stupifying plot twists, it's refreshing to see Marvel take a step back and add in scenes that really respect their characters and their history.