On Wednesday, Marvel comics's family of gay superheroes grew. Benjamin Deeds, a gay, University of Texas at Austin student, who has the power to shapeshift and chemically induce people into liking him, came out of the closet. And in issue, turned into the best spy the team has at the moment.
Deeds's coming out wasn't treated like a "very special issue" of Uncanny X-Men. There was no angst. No awkward same-sex kisses. No parents. In fact, the characters didn't even care. The whole coming out was finished in two lines. Cyclops's right-hand woman, Emma Frost , was more interested in what he could do with his powers.
Deeds's sexuality is a non-issue for Frost. What matters to her is Deeds's job and if he can do it well. And, yes, we see what writer Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel are doing. "The fact that Ben has come out as homosexual is just a small facet of who he is and what he is going to bring to Cyclops’ select team of X-Men,” Marvel spokesman Joe Taraborrelli told The Huffington Post.
What Deeds brings to the table is a power that actually induces, well, tolerance. For the most part, the character has had a pretty lackluster power for the past 10 issues or so. In that time, Deeds's main power was just changing his appearance the match the closest person around him. In issue #14 of Uncanny X-Men, the same issue Deeds comes out in, readers got a little more about Deeds and his full potential of making someone feel relaxed around him: