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'Avengers' Comic Featuring Gay Kiss Banned by Rio de Janeiro Authorities

The collected edition of 'Avengers: The Children's Crusade' has come under fire for featuring a kiss between two male characters.
Jim Cheung/Marvel Entertainment
The collected edition of 'Avengers: The Children's Crusade' has come under fire for featuring a kiss between two male characters.

In an unexpected move, Rio de Janeiro mayor Marcelo Crivella has announced that the translated edition of the Marvel comic book series Avengers: The Children’s Crusade would be removed from the literary festival Riocentro Bienal do Livro so as to protect the city’s children from what he described as “sexual content for minors.”

The so-called sexual content in question is an on-panel kiss between two male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, who are in committed relationship. Both characters are clothed in the scene.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade was published between 2010 and 2012 in the U.S., with the Brazilian edition, Vingadores: A Cruzada Das Crianças, initially appearing in 2012 with a collected edition from Editorial Salvat and Panini Comics published in 2016. It’s unclear what exactly prompted the renewed interest in a title that has been available without comment for a number of years.

Crivella made the announcement on Twitter, in a video where he says, “Books like this need to be wrapped in black sealed plastic with a content warning displayed on the outside.” In ordering the removal of the title, he claims that the city’s authorities are “protecting the minors of our city.” In the text of the tweet itself, he describes the contents of the comic as “content that is unsuitable for minors.”

Crivella’s tweet followed an Instagram post from Rio de Janeiro councilman Alexandre Isquierdo, decrying the book and complaining that it was “spread[ing] homosexuality to CHILDREN!” (Emphasis his.) The sale of the book, he complained, was “an absurd crime.”

Officials at the festival initially refused to comply with the order, although the matter was complicated by the fact that the majority of outlets didn’t have the material in stock in the first place, with the one storefront that did reporting that copies had already sold out two days earlier.

Marvel has not responded to a request for comment.

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