The Justice League
It’s clear from all the buzz The Avengers and The Dark Knight have generated that comic book characters are still a pretty huge aspect of our culture, and for good reason! We’ve always needed heroes and there may not be a time that we won’t. The comic book universe has given us something we can’t find anywhere else. Its long history has given us heroes with every power we can imagine and just about any story we could want. It’s a strange and great combination of writing and illustration that’s an art all while largely not being considered one. Comics are still, by and large, considered for kids, despite years and years of movie success and a demographic switch aimed at adult white males. People of every age and gender walked out of The Avenger with a favorite hero, and that was only a team of 5.
Given how huge the Marvel and DC universes are, you’d think we’d already have a bevvy of heroes readers from all walks of life could love. After all, they’ve had the better part of a century to create characters and galaxies better traveled than our own. Any comic or movie lover should know: anything can happen. Aliens, clones, sentient objects, and mutants are all just an ordinary part of the comic book world, yet the heroes and citizens that inhabit these worlds still remain primarily white, straight, and gender binary no matter where they’re from. Websites like BleedingCool
have let loose speculation on characters that would break these norms since before the birth of the DCnU--the reboot that retooled DC comics entirely last year. Some of it happened. A lot of it didn’t. Last week, however, BleedingCool
dropped some real news passed down by DC’s Vice President and Executive Editor, Dan DiDio. One established DC character will be revealed as gay in an upcoming issue.
Now, DC already has several gay characters. Batwoman, a major player in Gotham, was established as a lesbian some years ago and shared a brief relationship with Renee Montoya, the former Question. While there aren’t many gay characters, the last few years of comics have at least been kind to a few. The buzz around this news is that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and members of the Justice League are all possibilities. These are characters that are over 60 years old, and ones that writers seemed adamant about keeping straight. DC’s relaunch made major changes to their characters backstories, de-aged major heroes, and gave one the ability to walk again. The relaunch gave writers the ability to literally change just about anything, yet there were somehow fewer minorities or gay characters at the forefront of their comics.
That is, until now. Making an established character gay not only bring a lot of hope to the audience but could mean a well-written coming out story and finally opening up the DC universe to bigger changes. Not to be outdone, but right on the heels of this announcement, it seems Marvel has finally announced the engagement wedding of Northstar, the first openly gay hero in their universe, to his boyfriend Kyle. Looks like times are finally changing a little for the big two, and it’s about time. Their movies have proven that letting their classic characters age and inhabit a modern world could work for them--now it’s time to drag the rest of the industry out of the 50s.
Check out more at BleedingCool!