Yes, Northstar/Jean-Paul Beaubier proposes to his long term boyfriend Kyle in this issue, setting the stage for next issues first superhero gay wedding, but there is another story line going on in this issue too. Wolverine, after consulting with Black Widow to get some information on the Hatachi Corporation, which may or may not have been behind the recent attack by The Marauders on Logan’s team of X-Men in NYC, gets himself, Gambit, and Ice Man mixed up in something bigger than they realized and Northstar might be the only one left who can save them.
The most interesting thing about Astonishing X-Men #50 isn’t that fact that Jean-Paul and Kyle get engaged, it’s that the current cross over event Avengers vs. X-Men doesn’t seem to be affecting the goings on in Astonishing X-Men. The social commentary might actually be taking precedent over the latest cash grabbing mega-event. I’m sure AvX will show up in the pages of Astonishing X-Men soon though. This will most likely not be the case until post issue #51 though.
Series artist Mike Perkins continues to deliver a solid and realistic looking superhero saga each and every month. His strength for making superhero costumes and anatomy look realistic serves him well when he has to actually draw everyday realistic scenes, like Jean-Paul and Kyle’s walk through NYC’s Bryant Park just before the big moment.
The current “gay marriage” storyline is drawing a hefty amount of press and commentary, both positive and negative, but Marvel Comics is doing a great job of having the impending wedding and this issue’s engagement function as just another part of the story instead of the focus of the story. X-Men comic book writers over the years have always written realistically, intelligently, and insightfully (most of the time) about their characters private lives and loves. These plots, while a major part of the story, don’t comprise the entire story, much like our own personal lives comprise part of our own stories, but not the whole story of our lives. Kudos again to Marvel Comics for presenting this current personal plot thread just like they have all the others and not making a huge hoopla out of it. Yes, they might be grabbing for the cash with AvX, but Astonishing X-Men is simply doing what Marvel Comics continues to best instead.