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Catching up with… LGBT in Comics

Posts will still be spotty for awhile, but I’m back. The number of mainstream comics titles featuring LGBT characters has skyrocketed since I began this blog in April of 2008 with the intent of spotlighting LGBT heroes, villains and supporting characters. Between new characters surfacing and old favorites being retconned, it was inevitable I’d miss a few important stories while I was busy stealing the life of a more successful me from an alternate dimension, so I’m going to try and catch up now… BEWARE SPOILERS ABOUND and PLEASE COMMENT IF I LEFT ANYTHING OUT – or if you just want to discuss how cool it is to have heroic LGBT representation in 10 titles on the racks at every comic store! (well 9 after the end of Avengers Academy). If you want Marvel and DC to keep it up… START BUYING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING TITLES IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY!!! If we buy them, they may keep making them.

Astonishing X-Men #51

I mentioned Northstar‘s Astonishing X-Men nuptials before they occurred but I was too occupied with “moving details” by the actual wedding date to blog about it. The event went off like clockwork despite the telepathic machinations of Susan Hatchi (Karma’s half-sister) and Jean-Paul’s Sh’iar teammate Warbird’s protests. The reception afterward was a total blast until Wolverine exploded.

Life With Archie #24 Life With Archie #24 Life With Archie #24 Life With Archie #24

Kevin Keller‘s solo series is wholesome, sweet and funny. It simultaneously manages the difficult task of empowering LGBT youth and remaining completely appropriate for its intended age group. We’ve seen Kevin’s first date and moment in the spotlight as an Olympic torchbearer. We’ve also seen “Future Kevin” (the one who was married in the pages of Life With Archie) announce a run for Senate with a platform centered on gun laws in LWA #24.

Bunker, (Miguel Jose Barragan) the flamboyantly out-n-proud new member of the Teen Titans is discovering new aspects of his powers (levitation) but his personal story hasn’t really unfolded yet. Interviews with creators mentioned a past love that has yet to surface on panel.
  Rictor and Shatterstar by DAlexisStPierre

Rictor and Shatterstar by DAlexisStPierre  
Rictor and Shatterstar are still together as a romantic couple (despite Rob Liefeld’s objections) and both are active members of X-Factor – but with the current arc who knows… relationships are evolving and unraveling at the speed of light as the team gets closer to their milestone 250th issue.

Apollo and Midnighter‘s rebooted relationship continues to grow in the pages of Stormwatch. We’ve seen a number of empowering small moments (connecting with Jenny Quantum), but not that much time spotlighting the personal side of their romance. I ALREADY know they can decimate anything when working in concert… I’d like to see a “date night.”
  Rictor and Shatterstar by DAlexisStPierre

Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer  
Gotham socialite Kate Kane, A.K.A. Batwoman stalks the city’s dark streets (to critical acclaim) when she’s not busy canoodling with Detective Maggie Sawyer of the GCPD (not to mention winning her SECOND GLAAD award for “Outstanding Comic” – the first was in 2010).

X-Men Legacy #274 X-Men Legacy #274 X-Men Legacy #274 X-Men Legacy #274

X-Men Legacy #274 told a touching tale in which Rogue was unable to save a mortally injured closeted gay man and used her ability to “reap” him and deliver a message of love and regret to the man’s former lover. Oh yeah, she also rejected Magneto’s marriage proposal.

Avengers Academy #39

In the final issue of Avengers Academy, Julie Power and Karolina Dean are making rainbows in the sky as fame-hungry Striker (Brandon Sharpe) makes his first post scars public appearance at the Prom of a gay teen inspired by Brandon’s “It Gets Better” video – making it a recond-breaking TWO LGBT kisses in one issue! Including Marvels SECOND on-panel gay male kiss, and not that long after the first (Wiccan and Hulkling in the last issue of Avengers: The Children’s Crusade). Someone else will have to write up a scorecard on girl on girl snogging in the Marvel U. Anyone up to it?

Demon Knights #14 Demon Knights #14 Demon Knights #14 Demon Knights #14

DC Comics New 52 has become even more inclusive with an intersex re-invention of “The Shining Knight” who appears in their medieval title, Demon Knights.

In a recent issue (#14), Shining Knight a.k.a. Ystin informs a female comrade who’s seemingly taken a “shine” to the mystical hero. “I think you like one… aspect of who I am,” the Knight explains. “But I’m the other too. I was born this way. I’ve kept saying, whenever anyone asks. I’m not just a man or a woman. I’m both.”

Alan Scott in temptation by The Grey (pretending to be Sam)

We met Earth-2‘s Alan Scott and his loving boyfriend Sam who was unfortunately doomed to be the emotional loss that drives Green Lantern as a hero and Avatar of “The Green.” During his first heroic battle (vs a reimagined Grundy as an avatar of “The Grey”) he is given a chance to be with an illusion of Sam, but overcomes temptation. After the fight he blows off Flash and Hawkgirl, saying he doesn’t need them. Bullshit. Without them Grundy would have smashed him into paste while his psyche was busy mentally snuggling with a mushroom shaped like Sam.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 introduces a multitude of BtVS fans th "Billy the Vampire Slayer" who is not only the first male character to take on the name of "Slayer," but also the first GAY male "Slayer." Not before you tell me a "Slayer" has to be female – according to the Legend – you are right. Billy has NO "Slayer" powers. He is a bullied teen who started training to defend himself but stepped up to defend his home town from a scourge of "Zompires" – I’ve not been following Season 8 before Billy – but they seem like slow stupid Vampires? More details soon.

Marvel NOW! Young Avengers #1 Marvel NOW! Young Avengers #1 Marvel NOW! Young Avengers #1

Wiccan and Hulkling will appear in the Marvel NOW! January 2013 title Young Avengers alongside original teammate Kate Bishop. Rounding out the roster are teen Loki, Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr A.K.A. “Protector”), and Miss America Chavez. I’m really glad to see Noh-Varr taking off his Protector cowl and joining YA. but I still miss Stature and young Vision and also wish Wiccan’s twin “Speed” was going to be along for the ride.

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5 Comments

  1.  
    Anonymous

    Have Gravity Kid and Power Boy appeared in the DCnU Legion continuity yet? What about Rawhide Kid in the Western titles?

  2. Hmmm…interesting Green Lantern mushroom love story, but DC still has nothing on Marvel’s intricate LGBT relationships.

    It’s good to see Archie continuing with Kevin Keller.

  3.  
    powerboy

    Marvel has a head start. DC is really trying. They added a latin Kurt Hummel to Teen Titans, BOUGHT Apollo and Midnighter and put them in the DCnU to represent the guy side after Batwoman was so well recieved. Sure it’s likley political and ultimately self serving… but so is what Marvel does.

    I love that they do it. The fact we have so many titles listed above marks this as a HUGE moment for LGBT comics fans. But don’t think for a moment that it will end if these experimental titles don’t sell. Corporate overlords will cancel ANYTHING that doesn’t sell.

  4. I agree the on-panel relationships of Marvel’s Wiccan and Hulkling and Shatterstar and Rictor have far more depth than anything DC has going on (with posible exception of Maggie/Kate in Batwoman). But PB is right, Marvel has been at it longer. Billy and Teddy have been a couple in the Young Avengers for 7 years now and before them Marvel had LGBT relationships represented with Moondragon, Marlo Chandler and Phyla-Vell.

    Unfortunately I ALSO agree that the major companies aren’t simply doing this out of rainbow-colored altruism. With the speed that some titles are cancelled, the fact that LGBT-inclusive books are continuing and multiplying means this direction is working for sales.

    It is almost as if the Gay Geek is finally being courted as a Comic Book customer. They know we are out here. So we need to pay more attention.

    On that subject… in regards to 1st question up top about Gravity Kid and power Boy… I don’t know. I WAS following Legion during and after Phil Jiminez’ Legion Academy run, but didn’t stay with either Legion book post DCnU. Anyone out there know the answer? While I’m at it, after Flashpoint, are they still hinting Violet and Ayla are a couple?

  5.  
    aggiefromno

    I’ve been reading Legion since the reboot, and neither Gravity Kid or Power Boy has been seen. I cannot even remember Violet or Ayla in a while either.

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