Thursday, May 24, 2012 / 7:09 am

Holy Gayness!

June is gay like a sonofagun in comics.

by Gary Phillips

Same sex love in comics
Northstar proposes to his beau.

As June is Gay & Lesbian Pride month, DC Comics is looking to steal some thunder back from rival Marvel, what with the Avengers movie making an 18-wheeler load of mullah worldwide.  I got to see the flick at a screening and save for a couple of odd plot holes, the movies is rock ‘em, sock ‘em.  It delivers.  Anyway, co-publisher Dan DiDio teased at the Kapow comics convention this past weekend in London that this iconic character, long part of the DC Universe (DCU), would be soon batting for the other team as it were.  It was also made clear it was a character who so far hadn’t emerged since the New 52 began.  This was where DC revamped all its existing characters, in some cases jettisoning years of convoluted back stories and plotlines.

Too bad it’s not Wonder Woman, for she’s already appeared in her own title again post the reboot.  Among the trinity of her, Superman and Batman as the pillars of the DCU, she’s always been the weakest in terms of title strength.  Due in no small part to the male dominance of comics readers, while Supes and Batman have monthly multiple titles they star in – and if some other character’s book is flagging, Bats shows up to boost sales – WW only has the one book.  In the good old innocent days, Wonder Woman would often tie up a villainous and busty lass laying on the ground with her Golden Lasso to make her tell the truth (and even though she can fly like Superman she also had an invisible jet!?), as this was the rope’s powers to make you do so when in its grasp.  She’s already pretty butch, so making her a woman lovin’ crime fighter – Batwoman is already out as a lesbian – with a penchant for kinky dominatrix type confinement would certainly seem to be a formula to up sales among teen males and corrupting girls too I suppose.

Speculation about Bruce Wayne being in the closet shows up now and then.  He is muy macho, moody, mysterious, muscular as all hell, and grunts a lot.  This homosexual wondering can be traced back to Dr. Fredric Werthham and his 1954 book denouncing comics as a bad influence on our youth, Seduction of the Innocent.  In its pages, Wertham bemoaned Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson in their down time from being the Dark Knight and Robin, the Boy Wonder, lounging around Wayne Manor in their ascots and smoking jackets.  Yikes!   Only Bats has gotten in on big time with Catwoman, and has a biological son, Damien, with Thalia, the daughter of one of his arch enemies, Ra’s al Ghul.  But what a trip if he was bisexual, offering some interesting takes on his battles with the Joker.

Several bloggers have pointed out that the DC honchos have specifically said a character and not a super-hero or a super-villain.  This has led to speculation that it’s one of the stalwart supporting characters who will be reimagined in a gay way.  The candidate advanced by the queerty site is that it’ll be Jimmy Olson, Superman’s Pal.  Yeah, it wouldn’t take much to tweak Jimmy’s ongoing bromance for the big fella into a full blown lust; sending him flowers from another dimension, making sure he had a hot bath waiting for back at Justice League headquarters after a rough day saving the world or dealing with Lex Luthor’s bullshit.

Not to be out-gayed, Marvel has its already known gay mutant, Canadian super-hero Northstar, aka Jean-Paul Beaubier marrying his civilian boyfriend Kyle Jinadu.  The second same sex wedding (an issue of Archie was first as noted previously here on FourStory) in comics is set for Astonishing X-Men #51…in June of course.

Gary Phillips' latest is Treacherous: Grifters, Ruffians and Killers, a collection of his short stories.

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