Meet Chalice, Transgender Comic Hero.


For the most part, comic books have always kept relatively quiet in a self-contained corner of the entertainment landscape. It’s one of the most inclusive forms of media, dating back to the original X-Men being one big allegory for minorities of all kinds, looked down upon by society and forced to live as second class citizens.

Now, living in the most socially progressive age to date, comic books have flourished, their ever-present trend of inclusion benefiting from the change in global tone regarding the LGBT community, people of color, and other historically underappreciated groups.

In Alters, the first-ever superhero book with a central transgender protagonist by a mainstream writer (Paul Jenkins), a young woman, while transitioning from male to female, discovers she has great power. Now, faced with the discrimination transgender people face on top of that those with mutant-like powers face, life becomes doubly complicated.

The diversity in Alters is also found off the pages, in the team behind creating its main character, Chalice. “It means a lot to me to see trans people represented, especially so prominently,” said Tamra Bonnvillain, a trans colorist for Alters. “So many times in the past we’ve been represented as throwaway characters, and even a lot of more recent positive trans characters are in minor roles.”

Alters #1 goes on sale September 7.

Via Out.

Comic-Con Trailers!

So much fun stuff!

Justice League:

Aquaman is lookin’ rather hot.

Kong: Skull Island.

I don’t want to see this, I hated King Kong when I was a kid, and here we go again, Giant ape, guns, explosions, napalm, all that shit. But, Tom Hiddleston…

Suicide Squad – Comic-Con First Look.

Waiting, waiting waiting. So looking forward to this one.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Comic-Con Trailer.

Oh, I am such a sucker for this kind of thing.

Wonder Woman!

YES! Yes, yes, yes.

Aaaaaaaaaaand, a sequel to The Blair Witch Project (we’re going to pretend that 2nd flick never happened):

Blair Witch.

And PZ picked up one I missed: Marvel’s Luke Cage!

Cool Stuff Friday.


In the I wish I was filthy rich department, Bubble!

French designer Pierre Stephane Dumas has created a range of portable transparent huts, offering a quiet space to retreat to. The idea behind his Bubble collection was to create a temporary leisure accommodation that had the least impact on the surrounding environment, whilst also giving the impression of being amongst nature.

“I designed this eccentric shelter with the goal to offer an unusual experience under the stars while keeping all the comfort of a bedroom suite,” says Dumas. “Bubble huts are for me like an ataraxic catalyst, a place apart where getting rest, breathing and standing back”.

Additionally, the unique design and geometry of the Bubble creates a silencing acoustic effect. “Noises coming from the outside are reduced and noises coming from the inside echo towards the sphere’s hub. This echo drives people to speak quietly bringing about a feeling of appeasement favorable to have a nap,” explains Dumas.

You can read about and see more here.

An 8-year-old boy dug up this fossilized turtle that scientists believe helps explain the turtle's earliest uses of its shell (Credit: Wits University)

An 8-year-old boy dug up this fossilized turtle that scientists believe helps explain the turtle’s earliest uses of its shell (Credit: Wits University)

Every young boy has spent at least one afternoon digging a hole in the ground looking for some kind of treasure. An eight-year-old from South Africa was doing just that when he unearthed a turtle fossil that could help scientists understand the original purpose and evolution of the turtle’s shell.

A group of scientists from parts of the world including South Africa, Switzerland and the United States conducted a study on several early turtle fossils including a fossil discovered by an 8-year-old Kobus Snyman on his father’s farm in the Western Cape of South Africa. The study that took place at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg found that early turtles may have used their shells for burrowing instead of for protection from potential predators.

The 5.9 inch (15 cm) long turtle fossil discovered by Snyman contains a preserved skeleton with articulated hands and feet. The study published in the journal Current Biology also examined several turtle fossils found in the Karoo Basin of South Africa including a partially shelled proto-turtle that’s 260 million years old.

Full story here.

Last, but not least, Tooooooooooooooys! Oh, the toys. Want. Seriously want Iron Giant, because if anyone brings the cool, it’s Iron Giant:


and Groot! GROOT.


And Deadpool. Hulk vs Wolverine. Catwoman. And So. Much. More. 3 pages of toys. See them all here.

LGBTQ Guide to Comic-Con 2016.


Every year for the past 29 years, the Gays in Comics panel has graced a stage at Comic-Con International, the annual celebration of pop culture held in San Diego. During this time the convention has expanded from a comic books-only focus to include other mediums like TV, film, and games. And the presence of LGBT people, once relegated to that single panel, has exploded to a point where every day offers a variety of queer content and the breadth of topics continues to grow. Here are some of the best things about 2016, Comic-Con’s queerest year yet.


You Don’t Even Have to Be in the Convention Center: One of the best things about this year’s Comic-Con? You don’t need a ticket to take advantage of some events and panels. Organizers have long recognized that the demand for Comic-Con tickets far exceeds availability (as does demand for space for exhibits and presenters). Over the years there’s been a growing number of events outside of the convention hall — including in local bars and even the public library (see above for examples). This year Comic-Con has launched this access into hyperspace by introducing a new premium digital network, ComicConHQ. In association with Lionsgate, the service will live-stream select Comic-Con panels and make others available later; it will also offer classic sci-fi and fantasy titles, and it reportedly has original programming in the works, including scripted series and news shows.

This is a long list, people! Stuffed with great events and panels. Wish I was there. Click on over to The Advocate for the full scoop.

Iron Man: Female and Black.



Yes! Now I want to see Riri on the big screen.

Tony Stark is stepping down as Iron Man and will be replaced by a young black girl named Riri Williams at the end of the comic book event series Civil War II.

According to Time, “Riri is a science genius who enrolls in MIT at the age of 15. She comes to the attention of Tony when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm.”


Bendis claims that some of the most die-hard fans have been willing to at least give the casting shake-up a shot, thanks to his involvement with other diverse heroes such as Miles Morales (aka black Spider-Man) and Jessica Jones. He admits, though, that while there are still some bizarrely racist comments out there over Marvel’s increasingly diverse roster of characters, that’s changing.

“There was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation,” he said, “and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love.”

And from what it sounds like, Iron Man is in good hands with Riri. “Her brain is maybe a little better than his [Tony’s],” Bendis adds. “She looks at things from a different perspective that makes the armor unique. He can’t help but go maybe I should buy her out.”

Via Out.

Casting Trump As A Marvel Villain.


Donald Trump is the latest villain in the pages of Marvel Comics. The presumptive nominee for the Republic Party in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election appears this week in Spider-Gwen Annual #1, as a new take on the classic villain MODOK – a villain, it should be noted, known for his gigantic cranium and tiny hands.

In this alternate Earth, where Gwen Stacy has become Spider-Woman after receiving the spider-bite that got Peter Parker in the regular Marvel Universe, Donald Trump becomes M.O.D.A.A.K., the Mental Organism Designed As America’s King. In the original conception of the character, he was Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, for those keeping tabs.

In the story, Trump-MODAAK yells at some vaguely brown-skinned people to get “back on your feet, foreign filth!” to which they reply that they’re from Waco, Texas. The Captain America of that world smashes him in the face with her shield, while the aged Steve Rogers of that world narrates, “It’s a weird new world out there, Cap… Full of enemies that look and think and act too much like the demons in my mirror. The monsters men like me have never been able to defeat alone. This nations’ anger and greed and fear are still very real.”


Full story and some pages at Women superheroes? An all too realistic villain? Sign me up.

Midnighter and Apollo Reuniting this Fall.

 The cover of Midnighter & Apollo No. 1, which will go on sale in October. Credit CD Comics

The cover of Midnighter & Apollo No. 1, which will go on sale in October. Credit CD Comics

Gay Pride Month ends today, but DC Comics is giving fans something to look forward to this fall. In October the company will publish Midnighter & Apollo, the first part of a six-issue mini-series that reunites the two heroes, who are gay and have an on-again off-again relationship.

“They have a firmer idea of who they are, and they’ve become stronger and more confident together,” said Steve Orlando, who will write the comic, which will have interior art by Fernando Blanco and covers by the artist known as ACO.

The characters, who made their debut in 1998, were gay analogues of Batman (Midnighter) and Superman (Apollo). They dated, eventually married, adopted a child and, thanks to comics, had their history rebooted. Midnighter most recently headlined his own series, which ended in March. The comic, written by Mr. Orlando, was lauded for its portrayal, which balanced the hero’s volatile global adventures — and a friendly flirtation with Dick Grayson, the former Robin — with a domestic life that included using dating apps and being sexually active.

I’ve never been much of a DC fan, but when they do something like this, I’m happy to get onboard. Way to go, DC! Full story here.

By the Power of Grayskull…

there just might be a He-Man reboot.

Kellan Lutz.

Kellan Lutz.

Human thirst-trap Kellan Lutz tweeted about meeting with the filmmakers behind a reboot of Masters of the Universe, prompting the internet to subsequently geek the fuck out.  […] Hollywood has been trying to churn out a He-Man reboot for a while, with several directors and writers attached to the project, but it now seems like it’s finally got some momentum. McG, of Charlie’s Angels and early-00s music video fame, has been working on getting He-Man to the big screen and recently Lutz met with him and producer Mary Viola:


Out has the full story.

The Case for Queer Superboy.


…One of the (many) consequences of the CCA and Wertham’s ideology is the reenforcement that queer characters are somehow “adult” and “inappropriate” by default. “What about the children?!” bigoted pearl-clutchers ask.

Yes, what about the children — namely, the queer ones? Do they not deserve the representation — something curative in the face of adversity — that their straight and cis peers get every day on TV, film, and comics?

A great many (though not all) LGBTQ people realize that they’re queer at a young age. Maybe it’s through childhood crushes on fictional characters or an intrinsic knowing that they’re not the gender they’ve been assigned. Many who discover their identities later in life wish they had the language and representation to understand themselves at an earlier age.

Media needs more representation of young LGBTQ kids — Lumberjanes and Steven Universe and Boy in Pink Earmuffs can’t carry that burden alone. That’s why I argue that Jonathan Samuel Kent, current Superboy and ten-year-old child to Lois Lane and Clark Kent, should be queer.

The full article is at Comics Alliance. There’s also The Case For Gay Miles Morales.

Gay Superhero: Union Jack.


Marvel’s increasing knack for inclusivity is going multi-platform, spreading to the popular mobile game Avengers Academy with their “British Invasion” which includes gay superhero Union Jack.

The cartoon video game, which appears to be geared toward a younger audience, reimagines the Avengers crew as students at a school under the tutelage of Nick Fury.


In the world of Marvel comics, Union Jack has been around since 1976, and was dating fellow super hero Dyna-Mite when he came out.

Out has the story.

Reimagining Robin Hood as a Badass Gay Outlaw.

Merry Men cover.

Merry Men cover.

Comic book publisher Oni Press recently released the first issue of a very queer new take on literary hero Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. Titled, simply enough, Merry Men, the comic book is written and created by out writer Robert Rodi, with art by Jackie Lewis, and features a bold new story that recasts the familiar medieval characters as gay men.

Merry Men might sound at first like a delightfully campy series, but it is quite the opposite. The comic is a grounded, realistic look into a world where Robin Hood, still the familiar rogueish leader living in the woods with his band of outlaws with a good cause, is now also a badass homosexual who rises up in the face of discrimination and oppression.

The Advocate chatted up Rodi about his new series, what inspired him to delve into the Robin Hood mythos, and how impactful this comic book is as an allegory for our modern cultural landscape. Also, an exclusive artwork for issue 2!

Read it all here.