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DCnU Gay Teen Titan “Bunker” has penchant for purple

Teen Titans #1 by Scot Lobdell and Brett Booth Gay Teen Titans Bunker is Miguel Jose Barragan. Raised in the very small Mexican village of El Chilar, he was very loved by his family and the village as well — and they were as accepting of his homosexuality as they were to his super powers when they first manifested. To that end he grew up in an angst-free environment. He was born out of the closet and so he has a very refreshing outlook on life. the presumed cover to Teen Titans #3 shows Bunker seemingly in fear of Tim Drake’s bat-crotch

A twitter exchange between fan fave writer Gail Simone and DCnU Teen Titan artist Brett Booth preceded the September 18th article on Bleeding Cool officially announcing that the roster of relaunched series includes a new gay teen hero. “Bunker” manifests small force fields with a brick like texture (seen in the artwork as projected fists). According to Booth, despite being included on the cover art, Bunker doesn’t become part of the story until issue #3. He also mentioned on-the-nose purple wasn’t his first choice, but of all the color schemes, it just worked best, and what can you do?

Teen Titans #1 by Scot Lobdell and Brett Booth Teen Titans #1 by Scot Lobdell and Brett Booth Teen Titans #1 by Scot Lobdell and Brett Booth Teen Titans #1 by Scot Lobdell and Brett Booth Teen Titans #1 by Scot Lobdell and Brett Booth

His real name is Miguel (Miggs) Jose Barragan. Raised in the very small Mexican village of El Chilar. he was very loved by his family and the village as well — and they were as accepting of his homosexuality as they were to his super powers when they first manifested. To that end he grew up in an angst-free environment. He was born out of the closet and so he has a very refreshing outlook on life.

Bunker will differ from some of the more recent new gay characters (or recently outed) to show up in comics (Rictor, Shatterstar, Wiccan, Hulkling, Greymalkin, Anole) in that he grew up comfortable and accepted for being both gay and meta. In the recent article, Bret explained their reasoning and approach to the first officially fabulous Teen Titan…

Sure they are gay people who you wouldn’t know are gay right off the bat, but there are others who are a more flamboyant, and we thought it would be nice to actually see them portrayed in comics. Will he be more effeminate than what we’ve seen before, the ‘typical’ gay male comic character, yes. Does it scare the shit out of me that I might inadvertently piss off the group I want to reflect in a positive way, you’re damn straight (pun intended!)

I won’t know how I REALLY feel about this until I read it, but as a prime example of the demographic he’s afraid of “pissing off,” I’ll say I have no problem with the concept as long as he doesn’t become a painful stereotype. Basically, I’m interested and far more excited about the release of Teen Titans #1 because of this, but since he won’t show for a few issues, it is a wait and see situation for a true opinion.

A number of people have already made the inevitable GLEE reference – calling him a Mexican Chris Colfer with super powers. That PARTICULAR combination is sure to draw the interest of many, the admiration of some and the ire of a few sides. I’ve noticed (both in GLEE comments here and elsewhere) the general dislike that the “nelly queen” type in general (or Colfer specifically – personally I enjoy him despite a tendency to find most over the top types a bit tedious) generate – even within an exclusively gay community. So at this point in the evolution of the “Gay Superhero” is this a step forward or 2 steps back?

<a target="_blank" href="http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/is-the-dcnus-out-n-proud-flamboyant-homosexual-teen-titan-bunker-one-step-forward-or-two-back/question-2167777/" title="Is the DCnU's "Out n Proud" flamboyant homosexual Teen Titan "Bunker" one step forward or two back?">Is the DCnU&#8217;s &#8220;Out n Proud&#8221; flamboyant homosexual Teen Titan &#8220;Bunker&#8221; one step forward or two back?</a>

Interestingly this is NOT the first time Teen Titans scribe Scott Lobdell has been part of a story that includes a gay character. He was also the writer of the historic (if often maligned) 1992 Alpha Flight #106 in which Northstar (Jean-Paul Baubier) officially publicly announced his homosexuality by screaming I’m Gay! while fighting an enraged Canadian Super Mountie named Major Mapleleaf (who was out to kill an AIDS baby for surviving and getting media attention while his gay son died). Hopefully Bunker will be getting a subtler, more three-dimensional, less over the top and generally better written treatment.

I’ll be including Bunker in the LGBT Superlist as soon as I can get a good shot of the character – I’m going to ask Brett Booth for one. Lets hope he can help.

So what do YOU think of Bunker’s character description?

via BleedingCool, DemonPuppy and GayLeague.

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5 Comments

  1. I for one think it’s a really positive move. You’re totally right in waiting to reserve judgement, however, since seeing how the character is written and interacts within the book is the only way we’ll know for sure. At the same time, it can only be better for the state of comics to have several different types of gay characters mucking about. The fact that they’re trying to deliver a different back story means that they’re deliberately looking to include a worldview that more and more gay teens are able to identify with. As someone who came out relatively young, seeing a gay teenage superhero in comics would have been really supportive- especially one who was out and accepted by their peers. The best I got was Terry from Winick’s run on Green Lantern, which was fine at the time but the “will he or won’t he become Teenage Lantern” thing frustrated the hell out of me.

    I can see where people might be angry with the potentials here but it seems important to me that they’re making this step in the “premiere” DC teen franchise, one that’s recognized by comic fans and non-comic fans alike. And if all we have to nitpick the character about is what colors he’s drawn with, then there really isn’t much of an argument there. Plenty of people wear purple who are and are not gay. Is it inappropriate for Black Panther or Black Lightning to incorporate the color black into their costume/dress simply because it points to their supposedly racial background? I think this walks along the same line.

  2. I have no problem with the purple. I just thought it was funny. But if you think about it, look around at fashion this season. What self respecting gay teen superhero WOULDN’T be in purple? Its everywhere! Shirts, sweaters, shorts… Purple is the new black.

    It’s Scott Lobdell’s Northstar coming out story that has me a mite worried. I KNOW it was almost 20 years ago. He’s bound to be a better writer after years of experience. Also comics are generally more realistic and less over the top these days so I have high hopes they can pull this off well.

  3.  
    Powerboy

    It was a long time ago, but that Northstar story was SO bad (thanks for that link to hysterical review under “often maligned”) that I’m going to be dubious that Lobdell can deliver a respectful and empowering portrayal of a flamboyant gay teen – until i read it. On the reserving judgement bandwagon, BUT perched to jump off at first sign of ridiculousness.

  4. At least his name is “Bunker” and not “Fister.” :-P

  5.  
    Darkshifter

    I’m more excited that he’s a Mexican character than a gay character. Not a lot of latinos out there. The fact that he’s Mexican AND Gay is pretty amazing, since yours truly is one. But yeah, I’m waiting to see how he’s written and portrayed before I toss tomoatoes or before he becomes one of my faves, up there with Wiccan & Hulkling.

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