As previously mentioned, this year’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride special will continue the tradition set by previous volumes and introduce new characters — specifically a new symbiote, a new Nightshade and a third character with a “fascinating” origin.
In the past, Marvel has used the Pride special introduced characters like Escapade and Somnus, two characters who have since appeared in Marauders and New Mutants. So there’s no telling where this year’s debuting characters could pop up next.
Here’s a look at each of them, plus some additional previews from the issue:
A new character will take up the mantle of Nightshade, appearing not only in a story in the anthology, but also on one of its variant covers, shown above, by Phil Jimenez. Writer Stephanie Williams and artist Héctor Barros will introduce Nightshade, a new hero who lives in Chicago.
“I’m beyond thrilled to contribute to this year’s Marvel’s Voices: Pride. It’s an honor to share space with creators I admire, especially in an anthology that celebrates LGBTQIA+ stories,” Williams said. “All of this makes me so excited to introduce a brand new character who finds strength in the support she receives from her community as she redefines the Nightshade legacy.”
The original Nightshade, Tilda Johnson, debuted way back in 1973 as a villain who faced off with Captain America, the Falcon, Black Panther, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. More recently, she reformed and teamed up with Hawkeye in Occupy Avengers, and eventually became Nighthawk. She’s popped up more recently in Captain America: Symbol of Truth, but whether she has a connection to this new Nightshade remains to be seen.
“For Nightshade I wanted to design something simple, functional and distinctive: she’s a legacy character in many ways, and I wanted her costume to reflect that. I’ve loved every step of the process, and I’m very proud of the end result,” said Barros. “Marvel always felt like an accepting place, a home filled with found family, and that meant a lot to me growing up. Having the chance to contribute to its long history, and in a Pride issue no less, is a lifelong dream come true.”
Here’s a look at the new Nightshade in action:
In addition to a new Nightshade, Marvel’s Voices: Pride will also introduce a new symbiote character named Muzzle. H.E. Edgmon, author of The Witch King, and artist Lorenzo Susi have created the new character with a “mysterious origin.”
“The opportunity to participate in the Marvel’s Voices: Pride anthology has been an actual dream come true, and I can’t wait for the world to meet Muzzle, our symbiote hybrid of mysterious origin,” Edgmon said. “Bringing a Native and trans character and his crew of queer punk vigilantes into Marvel canon has been a joyride. I hope readers will resonate with Muzzle’s snark, his angst, and of course, his homoerotic monstrousness.”
“Crew of queer punk vigilantes” sounds pretty cool.
“I believe it is incredibly important to be giving voice to characters from the LGBTQIA+ community while also celebrating those identities that do not yet have full visibility in the entertainment scene,” Susi said. “That’s why I am so happy to have drawn the character of Muzzle, together with his crew’s leader, Peach. It’s a great challenge and honor I am excited for!”
Here’s Muzzle taking a bite out of Spidey:
Emmy-winning TV writer Shadi Petosky, who wrote for Netflix’s The Sandman, writes her first story for Marvel story alongside artist Roberta Ingranata. Together they’re introducing Lacie Lorraine, who Wiccan and Hulkling meet while on a getaway.
“I was road-tripping and lost my mind when Marvel offered this writing debut. Perfect timing,” said Petosky. “Cause ya know how you’ll be at a ranch supply store in the middle of Wyoming to try to fix a fossil screen – expecting a hate crime – but instead, a fabulous done-up queer employee turns the corner to ask if you need help? I wrote this too-intensely packed and personal transy yarn to remind my people – we are EVERYWHERE. Across cultures, species, space, ranch stores, time, and universes. And it’s all framed by my constant mushy feelings toward Hulkling and Wiccan’s love. Enjoy!”
In addition to these new characters, a new team of X-Men will also make their debut in the issue — Dark X-Men, one of several new series coming later this year as a part of the Fall of X storyline. Writer Steve Foxe, artist Rosi Kämpe and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick will present a prelude story for that title starring Gimmick, who we know from the Children of the Atom series.
“As a gay creator – and reader – it means a lot to see Marvel supporting an annual spotlight on queer creators and characters each Pride Month I’ve wanted to contribute since the first issue was announced and couldn’t be more excited that I’m doing so alongside Rosi Kämpe and Kelly Fitzpatrick for our Gimmick story,” Foxe said. “Carmen Cruz represents a very unique perspective on the Krakoan era, given her background. I’m glad we get to give her a big, bold, fun adventure before the shadow of Dark X-Men falls over her this August. Plus she’s not the only young, queer mutant who gets a chance to shine in our story!”
Other stories appearing in the anthology include “Everything’s Coming Up Aces,” by Marieke Nijkamp and Pablo Collar, featuring Gwenpool (and Dazzler, kind of!):
as well as a new story featuring Web-Weaver titled “Purim Spiel,” by Katherine Locke and Joanna Estep:
“Be Gay, Do Crime” starring Black Cat by writer Sarah Gailey and artist Bailie Rosenlund:
and finally, “Jumbo Carnation’s Ultimate Creations,” written and drawn by Stephen Byrne:
Here’s a look at another variant cover by Jan Bazaldua and Tamra Bonvillain:
Marvel’s Voices: Pride will go on sale June 14.