Gay Superheroes

DC’s Big Announcement

Just months after the first gay wedding in Archie Comics and with Marvel Comics’ Northstar wedding his boyfriend in mid June, DC Comics has announced they will be revealing an existing first tier character’s sexual orientation as gay.

I was excited to hear this news earlier in the week. Last winter, I was looking for more YA novels that had gay or lesbian protagonists and came across “Hero” by Perry Moore.

I was so enamored with the novel, I went to Moore’s website to learn more, and came across one of the main reasons he decided to write “Hero”.

“I was very surprised by the low number of gay characters in comic books. Every other barrier has been broken in comics: race, gender, class, physical challenges. But gay characters remain few and far between. Too few and far between to be killed off so regularly, without bringing attention to some rather ugly publishing trends,” Moore said in an author interview.

The link below is a list of gay, bisexual, and lesbian characters, or those perceived as such, in the DC and Marvel Universes and the ways they have been brutally killed off.

Reading down the list is chilling. This is not the first time Marvel or DC have added bisexual or gay characters to their rosters, but it rarely ends well for them. Character after character impaled, beaten to death, or suddenly turning sexually deviant and homicidal only to have one of the main heterosexual characters put them down.

Still, DC’s big announcement, which should officially be made this June, is progress. I have very high hopes.

Now for the speculation: The first article said the character could come out as bisexual or gay, in which case we may not rule anyone out. But if the character is coming out of the closet as homosexual, we could probably eliminate those Justice Leaguers with long lasting heterosexual relationships.

I’ve always read Superman and Batman as straight characters, and there would be too much outcry from fans if DC were to alter the canon that way. I highly doubt they will go that route. Though DC stated it would be a main character, I don’t think it will be any of the main Leaguers unless it’s Wonder Woman. However, I’d personally like the character to be male.

DC has done lesbians before to the effect of busty over-sexualized Amazons making out to titillate fan boys, which is as much of a commentary on the way women are portrayed in comic books as sexual objects as it is an LGBT issue. It would be more challenging and controversial for them to do a consensual male homosexual relationship.

My biggest hopes for DC are that they live up to their promise that this is a high profile character, and that we’re beyond killing off gay superheroes horribly. If they pull this off, it is a great step forward.

4 responses to “Gay Superheroes

  1. hope it would be true

  2. Interesting. I had no idea that there was such a horrible history for gay superheroes in comic books. Hopefully they will start rectifying it. And “Heroes” was a good book! I recommend it highly.

  3. Pingback: The internet reacts to gay people in comics « All Day Comics

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