Does Marvel have a problem with LGBT superheroes?

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The comic book giant has been once again come under fire for the lack of sexual diversity among its leading characters.

Marvel’s universe has often been criticised for portraying its heroes primarily as straight, white men.

The company has made attempts to be inclusive of a number of character’s gender and sexuality in the past – for example, it was recently revealed that long time X-Man Iceman is gay.

However, their attempts to promote diversity and include LGBT characters have often been slammed by fans and critics alike, who claim the company is simply trying to increase sales.

And it seems they have done it again, by making the once bisexual character – Hercules – a heterosexual.

Throughout the comic book series “X-Treme X-Men” – based in alternative Marvel universe – the character has a relationship with Wolverine.

In the mainstream Marvel universe, during in Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1, it also is strongly implied he had a relationship with Northstar – one of Marvel Universe’s most prolific and popular openly gay characters.

Hercules is also listed on Marvel Wiki’s Bisexual Characters list.

Fans were hoping that the hero’s sexuality would be further explored in the recently announced Hercules series – however, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has quashed any excitement surrounding the subject, by telling CBR that he will definitely be “straight” in the future.

“Hercules and James Howlett’s relationship in ‘X-Treme X-Men’ took place in a unique alternate universe, similar to how Colossus was gay in the Ultimate Universe, but is straight in the 616. Same goes for Hercules here.”

In response, fans were quick to highlight that Hercules bisexuality was a very natural progression for the character, especially considering he is inspired by Greek Mythology – in which the demigod Hercules was also bisexual.

Later in the interview, Alonso tried to silence critics of Marvel’s relationship with LGBT its characters by celebrating the diverse staff behind the comic books: “We are always looking for the best new talent — male, female, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Straight, Gay,” he said.

CBR noted that any further questions they asked Alfonso over Hercules’ sexuality were swiftly ignored.

Marvel’s new “Hercules” series, written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Luke Ross, is scheduled to debut in November.