DC Comics has announced that “one of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June.” Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity, made the announcement on ABC News. The soon-to-be revealed character was previously heterosexual in the DC storyline and will take the mantle as “one of our most prominent gay characters.”
Gay characters in comics aren’t new, but this will be significant in that, unlike a bit player like Northstar in the Marvel Universe or characters in the independent press, a homosexual man will play a major role in the DC pantheon.
Comic books have had their moments of social progressiveness. Whether it was Stan Lee introducing significant black characters during the civil rights period, or the shockingly frank drug storylines in both the DC Universe (Green Lantern/Green Arrow series) and Marvel Universe (Amazing Spider-man) in the early 1970s, or anti-war, pro-tolerance, morality tales in general, comic book readers have been exposed to more than just rhetoric. Stories make the social issues more memorable than a speech or essay. Stories are influential. And, stories are relatable.
So, of course, being purveyors of pop culture, the next question is “who the hell will he be?” If it’s a “major iconic” character, that narrows the field. We’re taking Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman off the list. It’s just too unlikely that DC would tinker with any of these three. So, here are our best guesses. Take a moment for yourselves and speculate who it might be:
Oh, and in a “me-too!” moment, Marvel just announced that Northstar will be marrying his long-time beau. Not that we care. We never liked him (or Alpha Flight as a whole for that matter). This storyline has been in the works for a while, so maybe it was DC that was the late-comer. Eh. Whichever. Either way, the LGBT community is riding a high right now, especially with President Obama’s recent statement on gay marriage.