The mayor of Rio de Janerio has failed in a bid to have an Avengers comic banned from a book fair because it featured a gay kiss.
Former bishop Marcelo Crivella had demanded that Avengers: The Children’s Crusade be removed from the event, saying that it featured content unsuitable for youngsters.
Copies of the hardback issue quickly sold out after his intervention, which resulted in the illustration in question being printed on the front page of the Saturday edition of Brazilian newspaper Fola de Sao Paulo.
It shows two fully clothed male characters, the teenage heroes Wiccan and Hulkling, embracing and kissing.
Mr Crivella – who once described homosexuality as a “terrible evil” – said he wanted to ban the book to protect minors, tweeting: “It is not right for them to have early access to subjects that are not appropriate for their ages.”
His efforts were frustrated by a judge who granted an interim injunction filed by the organisers of the Book Biennial fair, citing freedom of expression.
In a statement on Instagram, the organisers of the biggest literary event in Brazil said the festival was about “giving voice to all audiences” and that “everyone is welcome and represented”.
According to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, The Children’s Crusade series has been on sale in Brazil since 2012 and the hardcover volume available at the book fair was released in 2016.
It is not the only Marvel series to have featured a gay relationship, with characters such as Iceman from the X-Men among those to have come out over the years.
Marvel Studios – the wing of the company responsible for its film output – has also promised that LGBT heroes will become more prominent in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in future.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of overseeing a worsening culture of opposition towards gay rights since his inauguration in January, and has made a number of derogatory comments over the years.
An openly gay congressman in the country quit and fled the country after receiving death threats following the election, and the president sparked outrage when he tweeted a video of two men engaging in sex acts at a carnival.
He has not weighed into the row at the book fair, and has been enjoying independence day celebrations.