There was a time not so long ago when one could count off all the LGBTQ superheroes at Marvel and DC on the fingers of one hand. We’ve seen an increasing number of queer heroes make their debuts in recent years, and a few established heroes have come out as LGBTQ, but the number of queer superheroes at the Big Two in any given month is still sometimes small enough to count on one hand.
To celebrate Pride, and the many LGBTQ heroes that have appeared at Marvel and DC over the years, we’ve assembled a panel of ComicsAlliance contributors to hold a fantasy draft. Our writers will take turns building up seven-member dream teams of LGBTQ superheroes from the ranks of both publishers.
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist. This week we’re looking at a comic that just wrapped up yesterday: Angela: Queen of Hel, written by Marguerite Bennett, with art by Stephanie Hans and Kim Jacinto.
This week sees the publication of Angela: Queen of Hel #6, written by Marguerite Bennett, with art by Aaron Kim Jacinto and Stephanie Hans, and it's an issue that could take the action in almost any direction after the events of the first five issues, but one thing seems guaranted; a clash with Thor.
Angela has a, shall we say, somewhat interesting path into the Marvel Universe, beginning life as an angelic hunter in the long-running Todd McFarlane superhero horror comic Spawn. However, you don’t need to know a thing about what happened in Spawn to read this series, since the only common thread is the name and the costume (and even then, the costume doesn’t last long).
In this series, Angela is revealed to be Thor and Loki’s sister, raised by angels and beholden to their way of thinking, which is purely transactional --- nothing is done without a price, and selflessness is considered weak. This makes her a difficult character to like, but fortunately, the book surrounds her with more sympathetic characters, one of which is the subject of this column.
Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, became comics' biggest gay superhero last week — again, but also for the first time, because nothing is ever simple in superhero comics. In a scene by Brian Michael Bendis and Mahmud Asrar in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #600, the older of two Bobby Drakes (from two different points in time) acknowledged his gayness to the other, younger Bobby. The younger Bobby had previously come out in a very similar scene in All-New X-Men #40 back in April, also by Bendis and Asrar. (Both scenes involved an unsolicited confrontation, an intrusive Jean Grey, and an acknowledgement of teammate Angel's good looks.)
While I have a few problems with how all of this was executed, from Jean's willingness to violate people's privacy to Marvel's willingness to taunt readers with an inexplicable six month delay between the two coming out scenes, I think that how Bobby came out matters much less than the fact that he came out at all. It's an especially welcome step forward coming less than a week after Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso fumbled the coming out of another Marvel character.
This past week, Hasbro and Marvel teamed up for another fan vote to determine one new figure for the Marvel Legends line. The qualifying rounds actually took place at San Diego Comic-Con, with each day of the convention hosting a different round of four. You had to visit the Hasbro booth to place a vote, but the initial round of 16 was quite intriguing. In addition to well-known characters like Symbiote Spider-Man, Quasar, Nebula, Lady Sif and Nova, there were a lot of fringe heroes and villains thrown into the mix like Lyra, Cosmo, Bor, the Executioner and Angela.
Now that I look at these names again, there were a lot of cosmic and Asgard-related characters. Guess that means there's likely to be a Thor line and a cosmic hero line in the next year or two, which makes sense given Marvel's movie schedule (Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are both due in 2017). Of the sixteen announced, only three (Mysterio, Spider-Man and the Hood) wouldn't fit into those two molds. When all was said and done at SDCC, only four characters remained, and fans would have to choose from Mysterio, Symbiote Spider-Man, Darkhawk and Angela to determine the next Marvel Legend.
Marvel is committing fully to Angela with the character's first ongoing series, Angela: Asgard's Assassin, which comes with yet more surprises. It's a solo title starring a female lead, which of course is still rare in American superhero comics, and it's also drawn by Phil Jimenez, whose long association with certain amazon princesses and other distinctly powerful women characters sends a very loud and clear message about Marvel's intentions for Angela.
Joining Jimenez is writer Kieron Gillen, himself one of Marvle's most acclaimed Asgardian scholars, if you will, having done very well regarded runs on Journey Into Mystery and Thor. Also writing Angela is Marguerite Bennett, who's penned numerous books for DC and other publishers, but who this year landed two ongoings in the form of Angela and the recently announced Sleepy Hollow. As part of the book's unique "stories-within-stories" structure that you'll read about below, Bennett will collaborate with noted cover artist and illustrator Stephanie Hans, who's making a relatively rare visit to the realm of sequential storytelling to help make Angela that much more distinct.
ComicsAlliance spoke with all four creators and series editor Wil Moss about the endlessly impressive surprise that is Angela.
Asgard already boasts an unlikely agent in the form of young trickster god Loki. Now it has an unlikely assassin as well, as Loki's sis from another exis(tence), Angela, gets her own solo title this November, Angela: Asgard's Assassin.
The new series by writers Kieron Gillen and Margeurite Bennett and artists Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans was announced at the Avengers NOW panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday -- the same panel where Al Ewing and Luke Ross's Captain America And The Mighty Avengers was unveiled.
Welcome back to Original Spin, the unofficial recap of the Marvel comic event Original Sin, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato -- which probably feeds in to the Marvel comic event AXIS, and somewhere in all that we'll get a lady Thor and a black Cap, and that will be very exciting. Black Captain America!
In the meantime it's still dude Thor and white and surprisingly Irish Captain America, and you have to read all these other comics that aren't the ones they're talking about in USA Today. Ugh, comics are dumb. So, to catch you up; the Watcher got shot and someone did it, and black Captain America isn't in this comic but we're desperate for attention.
On Tuesday morning Whoopi Goldberg and the hosts of The View announced that Marvel will relaunch Thor this October with a 'worthy' woman brandishing the hammer. Marvel followed that announcement with two more high profile switcheroos on Wednesday night as Entertainment Weekly revealed a new-ish and possibly superior Iron Man, and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada joined comedian Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report to announce that a new guy will take up Captain America's shield.
That in itself isn't much of a surprise -- original Cap Steve Rogers has passed on his mantle a few times, before eventually yanking it back. After spending some time in Dimension Z and fighting the Iron Nail and whatnot, he's now too old to Avenge from the front lines. The big reveal is that the new Captain America will be Sam Wilson, the African-American superhero currently known as Falcon.
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