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?
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?
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?
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