Another self-Godwin: Baptist pastor for queer concentration camps! »« News flash: blogs touching off firestorms IS actually helping!

DC announces a prominent superhero will come out of the closet

Bleeding Cool reports:

One question asked at the DC panel today at the Kapow comic convention in London, was about DC co-publisher Dan DiDio’s interview with The Advocate. Specifically over the decision not to change any character’s sexual orientation when relaunching the DC Universe. At the time Dan stated they would introduce new LGBT characters rather than switch orientation, but the question asked why DC would switch race, size, age, all sorts of identifying features, but not orientation.

Surprisingly, Dan stated that they had changed DC’s policy in this regard. And they ae about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight and now will be “one of our most prominent gay characters.”

As Senior VP Sales Bob Wayne explained, just like the President of the United States, the co-publisher’s policy on this “has evolved.”

Fox News is reporting this as “Could Superman be gay?”

I seriously doubt that, for a number of reasons. One of which is cynicism — why make your flagship character less likeable to the less tolerant crowd who can’t empathize with someone who’s a straight white male, and have to retcon Lois Lane, one of their only moderately strong woman characters ever, out of the picture? So it’ll be someone less prominent than Superman, but hopefully still A-string. If I have to find out that their most prominent gay hero is going to be Booster Gold, someone on the same tier as Northstar, I’ll be pissed.

I’m betting it will be Batman. And it’ll probably be that he’s bi, given his proclivities for shacking up with twenty-year-old “wards” and knowing his previous issues with relationships with women. That wouldn’t be a bad pick, honestly.

Seriously though, I’m hard-pressed to think of an A-list superhero who’s been single and at least mostly-unresponsive to female advances. I suppose anyone could be feigning interest to stay in the closet, though.

Comments

  1. jamessweet says

    My first thought was Batman too, but I’d be a little surprise if DC has the guts to do that. I mean, that’s really prominent. It would make a lot of sense, though…

  2. says

    I don’t think it will be Batman. It sounds like it’s going to be a reintroduction of a character who hasn’t yet made an appearance in the New 52 books. So it can’t, by definition, be an A-lister like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, or Hal Jordan. I’ve not been following most of the justice league oriented titles (except for Wonder Woman) so I’m not entirely sure who has or hasn’t been reintroducted yet. So it could possibly be Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, The Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold (who is WAY more prominent to DC ‘verse than Northstar is to Marvel, for the record) or someone like that.

    I also won’t be even REMOTELY suprised if Starling in Birds Of Prey turns out to be lesbian. And I’ve heard some REALLY exciting rumours that a trans woman of colour may (MAY) be introduced to Gotham City soon (by my absolute favourite current comics writer, no less)… :D

  3. says

    I was soured on the idea of the New 52 at the outset, when their initial offerings rejiggered a few female characters to be nothing but fighting fuckdolls. So I haven’t been following it to know who’s been introduced and who hasn’t. I’m honestly thinking that, since they already switched Batgirl’s gender, this one’s going to be a guy. And maybe two Bat-family outings is a bit much.

    Tell us about that rumor, Natalie! I’d even be happy with a shape-shifter who, on figuring out their powers, immediately switches sex. And prefers it that way. That’d be a decent narrative in a world of wish-fulfillment, I think.

  4. busterggi says

    I’m pretty sure it won’t be Animal Man, he’s into critters.

    Maybe Captain Marvel – historically significant enough to be prominent but not visible enough to really matter.

  5. Alverant says

    My first thought was Marsian Manhunter because he’s an alien so it won’t be as “bad” then I realized the bad implications of being a Manhunter to a public eager to find double meanings.

    Maybe one of the Robins?

  6. cafeeineaddicted says

    Captain Marvel might be problematic, as part of the character’s story is that the alter ego is a kid, so sexuality stories are iffy, no matter the orientation. They could make him a teen though.
    Starling can’t be the one referred to, as she is a new character.

    No one is mentioning villains. What about Lex Luthor? My personal best guess however is Alfred Pennyworth.

  7. Caliguy7281 says

    My 2 cents is Wonder Woman. With the whole BDSM male power fantasy thing in her creation she’s got the perfect meta back story reasoning for being gay(the removal of offensive back story, not now she hates men). I think it’d be pretty elegant of DC to use her homosexuality to help wash away the male chauvinism of the characters origins.

  8. karmakin says

    I would actually say the Flash (one of his incarnations, at least). At least to me that’s the most obvious. And yes, I do consider the Flash an A-list hero, at least in terms of the DC universe he’s on par with say, Deadpool.

  9. Rory says

    Caliguy, while I’m by no means an expert on Wonder Woman, I never had the idea that she was supposed to be a “BDSM male power fantasy,” or that her backstory is awash in male chauvinism. On the contrary, I thought the original creator was very pro-women and pro-women’s rights, which is why the book was about a race of incredibly advanced and accomplished women who are sent out into the world to help straighten out the men who are screwing things up. Grant Morrison’s ‘Supergods’ has an interesting chapter about the character’s origins.

    As I said, though, I don’t really follow the comic, so maybe an initially promising premise was rapidly subverted.

  10. cafeeineaddicted says

    Thing is if we go by the literal statement “about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight” none of the main characters count, as they have already been in the nuDCU books for nearly a year.
    On the other hand, DC is just reintroduced the Huntress…

  11. Alverant says

    Rory, I suggest watching this video. It’s a segment about the history of WW and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/2628-All-The-World-Is-Waiting
    It reminds me a little bit about how Playboy was liberating to women …. at the time but hasn’t adapted as the world moved on. To put it another way, it moved us a step forward then refused to take the next step so instead of being ahead of us, they’re far behind us now.

  12. says

    Oh yeah. The woman whose superpowers are removed if she lets herself be bound by a male. The woman whose chief superpower AND chief weakness is playing bondage games. And whose costume has only shrunk and become more gravity-defying over the years. SO EMPOWERING. :)

  13. says

    Because it’s really hard to like a fiction genre where none of the characters even remotely resembles your life experience, KingUber. Especially when the subsection of society with superpowers doesn’t even come close to representing the background society without a damn good reason.

  14. John Horstman says

    Batman isn’t gay already? Homoerotic tensions with Ra’s al Ghul? Poor relationships with women? Double life that involves trawling ‘bad’ parts of town at night? Affinity for teenage boys? He’s a closet-case archetype; outing him wouldn’t be a change of sexuality, it would be an acknowledgement.

  15. says

    Okay… Jason… sorry, but what the fuck are you talking about?!

    Batgirl’s gender has NOT been switched. Batgirl is Batgirl, still a straight, cisgender girl named Barbara Gordon. The only thing they switched about her is that a couple years after being attacked and paralyzed by the Joker, she recovered the use of her legs and resumed being Batgirl.

    Batgirl, by Gail Simone, is a fucking AWESOME title. Easily my absolute favourite superhero comic right now. It resonates with me on a very, very personal level- dealing with survivor’s guilt, post-traumatic stress, self-doubt, things like that. It’s fantastic. And it’s probably the title in which the possible trans WoC character will make her appearance. Also, a shapeshifter would NOT be a very interesting approach to such a character, and I have a lot of trust that if this ends up panning out, Simone will handle it a lot better than that, with a lot more room to explore actual trans experiences and feelings. Just like with Batgirl she explores the actual experiences and feelings of people who’ve survived traumatic events, attacks, etc.

    She’s even been chatting with me and some of my friends lately.

    I don’t know who you thought the gender-switched Batgirl was. There’s Nightwing, but he’s been around for ages, and he’s the grown-up Dick Grayson. And then there’s Batwing, but he’s a spinoff from Batman Incorporated who lives and operates in Africa. Whole different thing.

    As for female characters being ruined in the New 52?

    Well, yeah, the new Catwoman is TERRIBLE. But the current incarnation of Wonder Woman is PLENTY more than a fuckdoll (not as nearly as awesome as Batgirl, but still a very good title, and probably my third favourite of the New 52… Animal Man takes the #2 slot), as are The Birds Of Prey (who effortlessly pass the Bechdel Test with flying colours). Wonder Woman and The Birds are competent, badass, intelligent, strong women, none of whom have fucked ANYONE yet, and all of whom seem completely invested in WAY more important shit. Like saving peoples’ lives and that kind of thing.

    I hate to say it, but it sounds like you’re operating on paper-thin misinformation. Seriously, New 52 has some problems, sure (like Catwoman, Rob Liefeld, and the fact that Gail Simone is their ONLY female writer), but it’s also got some amazingly cool stuff going on too.

  16. says

    Also, I’m not sure you’re in the best position to be telling women what superheroes we ought find empowering. Superheroes can be interpreted in a variety of ways. And yeah, the current Wonder Woman is DEFINITELY empowering. As are current Batgirl, Black Canary, Poison Ivy, etc.

    I’d say Batwoman too, but she’s just too icy for me to relate to.

    And I haven’t read the new Supergirl yet, but I’ll get back to you.

  17. says

    Also, I don’t know anything about the new Wonder Woman, I was talking about the origins of the old one. They are every bit as skeevy as the video Alverant posted shows.

  18. says

    Not skeevy. Wrong word. Problematic, radical for their times, but haven’t evolved to reflect where movement feminism needs to go now. The “weirdness” that was “drained out” of the character leaves her a pin-up girl. And I really hope New 52 fixes that.

  19. says

    Quad posting now — an example of a woman who was just fucking ruined in New 52 is Starfire. She went from happy-go-lucky and polyamorous incidentally, to interested in only sex and aloof otherwise.

  20. says

    Well, as said, every comic character gets interpreted in different ways by different writers. Lately, Wonder Woman is far more often than not written as a very empowering character.

    Batwoman has always been a different character than Batgirl. Batwoman dates WAY back to the 60s (or 70s?) as a boring love-interest for Bruce Wayne. In her current incarnation, she’s a jewish lesbian. I THOUGHT I’d like her, since she’s queer and was being written by JH Williams (who worked on the awesome trans-oriented Milestone miniseries Deathwish), but it turns out he’s not nearly as good a writer as he is an artist, and she’s just really poorly written. Very shallow, superficial “badass”. All cold and stoic and totally unrelatable. Which, contrasted with the VERY human Batgirl, who I connect with on such an intimate and personal level, ends up just feeling a bit pointless. So I stopped following the title.

    Anyway, I’m sorry if I sounded a bit bitchy up there. I guess I just get annoyed when cis, straight men speak for women or queer people or queer women about what comics we ought to find empowering or meaningful to us. Especially when they haven’t really read the comics in question.

    I would be curious as to who you thought had been turned into a “fuckdoll”. Because Catwoman is really the ONLY female character I’ve yet read who I saw taken in that direction. For the most part, the female characters of DC have been made a lot LESS sexualized, and MORE self-determined. Even in terms of costumes. There are some bad ones, yeah, like Starfire. But compare the new Powergirl’s costume to her old one, for instance. They finally got rid of the cleavage window! Or notice how Supergirl is no longer prancing around in a glorified cheerleader outfit.

    Yes, most of them are still comic-book women. But honestly, by and large, the New 52 has been a HUGE improvement in a lot of areas- not just how women are represented, but also how race, queerness, disability, etc. are represented. And I think these new developments are going to reflect that.

    Now if only DC could get a bit more diversity on their actual staff…

  21. marcus says

    My first thought was Aquaman but I think karmakin @ 11 nailed it. Flash would be perfect definitely an A-lister (at least when I was growing up).

  22. says

    Wait, quick amendment: Harley Quinn. Alongside Starfire and Catwoman, Harley Quinn also got downgraded into sex-kitten.

    Still doesn’t even outnumber the cast of Birds of Prey alone, though.

  23. says

    Also, you’re well within your rights to get “bitchy” if/when I’m trying to tell people about things I don’t actually know. Like I said, I don’t know about Wonder Woman in the new DC. And I really damn well need to catch up. I haven’t picked up a real comic book in years.

  24. Erin says

    I’m voting for Flash, too…he’s the first one that came to mind for me. I lied, he’s the second. The first was Batman but I figured they wouldn’t do that.

  25. karmakin says

    Hmmm. Barbara Gordon is Batgirl again?

    I actually really liked her as Oracle. One of my favorite characters in all of comic-dom. But that’s probably because I generally love characters who are behind the scenes power-brokers.

    Hmmm. After Wiki-ing it up, it doesn’t seem too bad. It’s not a complete retcon, it’s just merging everything together into something pretty interesting. I’ll have to check it out.

  26. says

    I’d rather pretend Rob Liefeld and everything associated with him simply doesn’t exist.

    Yes, Barbara Gordon is totes Batgirl again. And she’s being written by Gail Simone. I will recommend this book until my fingers fall off.

    Anyway… I’m reading some Gotham City Sirens right now, and its actually starting to bother me more that they’ve ruined Catwoman and Harley. They’re great characters. Especially with Harley, since she was always the innocent, Barbie-girl in that dynamic.

    They’ve even screwed up her ORIGIN, and that’s really, really hard to fix. In the original Dini one, she’s Joker’s psychiatrist at Arkham, falls in love with him, gets recruited as one of his henchpeople, kind of goes a bit crazy in the process, is eventually betrayed by him in such a way she can no longer ignore how he was just using her, then thanks to the help, friendship (and les yay) of Poison Ivy, comes to rediscover her inner good-guy-ness and gets over The Joker.

    In her new incarnation, she’s not cute or innocent at all. She’s Joker’s psychiatrist, falls in love, then gets DUNKED IN THE SAME CHEMICALS AS HE WAS (her skin is actually white in this incarnation, not just make-up… part of me worries this redesign of her origin was just an excuse to draw her more naked), and ends up being crazy in the same sociopathic, brutally violent way as The Joker is, as well as being sex-crazed. Which I guess is an effect this chemical only has on women?

    -sigh-

    I guess the Catwoman / Poison Ivy / Harley dynamic is not to be in this universe. :(

  27. karmakin says

    Oh geez that’s awful.

    Harley was one of my favorite characters as well, and she always had so much depth to her. She was a fangirl, of both The Joker AND Batman (which isn’t strange. In the ending days of the old DC universe The Joker was definitely a Batman fanboy), but she also was on her own path for her to find and she evolved out and past that.

  28. says

    Harley taking the chemical bath and going sex-crazed-Joker is just flat out wrong, and makes me really irritated. It’s stuff like that that inclines me to want the rest of the reboot to be exceptional, but it would take a lot to deal with that level of betrayal. Turning strong characters into fighting fuckdolls is not cool.

  29. says

    No, it’s not cool. But there’s plenty of turning fuckdolls into strong characters too, and as said, there are several really well-written titles centering around female characters.

  30. Skip White says

    I can’t think of a “prominent” DC character who has yet to be “reintroduced” since the reboot. Apparently it’ll be an “iconic male,” according to the article. I’m thinking possibly someone from Earth-2 (Jay Garrick maybe? Earth-2 #1 seems to indicate things didn’t work out with Joan, IIRC).

  31. d cwilson says

    Some of my favorite episodes of the Batman Animated Series were ones featuring Harley Quinn. I agree totally with the remarks about the changes in her. DC seems to be splitting the baby with respect to its female characters. Some are now stronger (Batgirl, Batwoman, Black Canary) while others became “fuckdolls” (Starfire, Harley, Catwoman).

    Ugh.

    And Rob Liefeld is drawing Hawk and Dove again? He’s got to have incriminating photos of Dan Didio. That’s the only explanation for how that hack continues to get work.

    As for the mystery gay character is, word is it’ll be a male. It won’t be Batman or Superman. DC is not that brave. Here’s a few of my thoughts:

    Martian Manhunter: As a shape-shifting alien, gender roles probably don’t mean much to him.

    One of the Robins: Since there are four current or former Robins (Damien, Tim, Jason, and Dick) having one of them come out is a possibility.

    Shazam (They’re not calling him Captain Marvel anymore): Possibly.

    One of the Green Lanterns: Again, since there are four of them, making one gay or bi is an easy call.

    Someone from Earth-2 like Jay Garrick or Alan Scott: This would be the cheapest cop-opt. Not only are they on a parallel world than that mainstream DCNu, but I don’t count them as “iconic”. Other than the names, these characters don’t resemble the Golden Age versions of these characters. They’re completely new characters.

  32. dianne says

    I haven’t the slightest idea who it will be, but Batman would be my choice. It would be perfectly in keeping with the character as presented. Actually, when I think about it, a bi Batman who likes having long (well, medium) term relationships with youngish men and meaningless flings with women would make the most sense.

    But it’s unlikely since they’re talking about “reintroducing” an old character, not updating an active one.

  33. M Groesbeck says

    A closeted bisexual Batman might make sense, but they won’t do it — too much straight-fanboy wish-fulfillment identification with the character, and even DC must know that they wouldn’t handle the “queer male guardian to a series of teenagers” angle well. One of the Robins is a possibility; probably not Tim Drake, though, since he’s a member of a team (the Teen Titans) that in the reboot already includes a gay character and Danny the Street.

    One of the Green Lanterns would certainly be an option, along with the Flash. Martian Manhunter might actually be interesting if they pull it off well; not much optimism on that count, though.

  34. says

    If they made Batman gay, that would turn The Venture Bros into the greatest television cartoon ever, just based on the “Hank Venture wishes he were Batman” subplots alone.

    Not that I think DC is brave enough to reveal an iconic (more than just “major”) character like Batman to be a homosexual.

    Plus, it would destroy the believability of the Batman porn parody .

  35. Pierce R. Butler says

    I’ve been way out of touch with DC for the last decade or more, but I’ve long thought their male heroes who went capeless (Atom, Flash, Greens A & L, Jonz Jonzz, etc) were all [drawn by] homoeroticists – those butts

    Note that in the all-superhero-city of Alan Moore’s Top Ten series, just about the first thing the women did was organize a project to peel the teen sidekicks away from their “guardians”.

  36. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oops on my # 51 – now I recall J.J., the M.M., does wear a (tasteful blue) cape: it’s his frontal view that pings my gaydar. Same goes for the Hawkman.

  37. says

    Wait… hold up…

    DANNY THE STREET IS IN TEEN TITANS?!?!?

    Holy lord awmighty that’s awesome.

    “Bona to vada, Tim Drake.”

    Now maybe if I wish really, really hard Rebis, Robotman, Crazy Jane, Dorothy Spinner and KATE GODWIN will show up.

  38. says

    By the way, good news: Hawk and Dove was cancelled.

    Bad news: So was Static, thus ending Milestone’s legacy. -sigh-

    And so was Blackhawks, before they ever got around to revealing whether or not their Lady Blackhawk was Natalie Reed. -also sigh-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>