Comic books aren't strictly big muscles and breasts, colorful costumes, and action. Though companies often use that shallow yet winning formula, some creative teams have challenged readers by inserting political and social messages into the stories of their favorite heroes. Touching on divisive issues like war and equal rights, these panels and covers have sparked tremendous amounts of debate, which, if you ask us, is what all art must do to be considered great.

This Wednesday, Marvel is delving into the controversial subject of gay marriage with Astonishing X-Men #51. In the issue, lovers Jean-Paul Beaubier, a.k.a. Northstar, and his boyfriend, Kyle Jinadu, will tie the knot in the first wedding of its kind at the company. It's a move that has been praised and vilified in the media, and the debate will only intensify once it hits shelves.

Before the big nuptials, we revisit other images that have forced people to examine their political and social stances, with The 15 Most Provocative Comic Book Panels and Covers of All Time.

Written by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)

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Tags: marvel-comics, astonishing-x-men, dc-comics, gay-marriage, archie, superman, spider-man, batman, captain-america
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