Brazil mayor blocked from banning Avengers comic over gay kiss

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Marcelo Crivella, a former bishop, has previously decried homosexuality as “evil behaviour”

A Brazilian judge has blocked attempts by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro to ban a Marvel comic showing two men kissing.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella, a former bishop, had demanded the comic be withdrawn from a book fair, saying it included content unsuitable for minors.

But the judge granted an interim injunction against this, citing the right to freedom of expression.

Copies of the comic book, Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, quickly sold out after the mayor’s intervention.

The illustration that upset that mayor was also printed on the front page of Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo on Saturday.

The picture depicts two male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, kissing while fully clothed. In the storyline, they are portrayed as being in a committed relationship.

The Children’s Crusade series has been available in Brazil since 2012. The luxury hardcover volume available at the book fair was released three years ago, according to the O Globo newspaper.

Gay relationships have been portrayed in Marvel comics since the early 1990s, beginning with superhero title X-Force.

In a Twitter video on Friday, Mr Crivella called for issues of the comic book to be rounded up.

“Books like this need to be wrapped in black sealed plastic with a content warning displayed on the outside,” he said in another message.

Mayor Crivella has in the past decried homosexuality as “evil behaviour,” despite same-sex marriage being legal in the country since 2013.

Brazil’s largest literary event “gives voice to all audiences, without distinction, as it should be in a democracy”, the book fair’s organisers told AFP news agency.

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