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.
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed while scanning the Marvel solicitations for April, May and June that certain All-New, All-Different Marvel titles are missing without any word from Marvel about it. Well, it seems that Marvel’s new plan for cancelled comics is to end them without an announcement, or even a FINAL ISSUE tagged onto a solicit, as today there were two confirmations of cancellations within the comics themselves.
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.
There are many things you can point to in superhero comics as examples of sexism and gender essentialism. Today we will ignore those. Today, we come not to bury comics and their handling of gender issues, but to praise them. Today we salute those brave men who stare down a world of gender-coded clothing choices and say, "No. Not on my watch. Not around my waist."
It remains a bleak time for the female comic audience, and for other minority audiences. The recent debacle with Hercules is merely the latest of Marvel’s many ghastly faux pas; for every two steps forward, it seems to take two steps back: it publishes more female titles only to end the majority of them with Secret Wars, and it tantalizes us with Hercules only to promote the status quo inside of continuity.
It is easy to lose faith in the publisher’s ability to reform from within, but Marvel has had the key to equal, positive representation for over fifty years now.
The mythological demigod Hercules is bisexual. How you feel about that fact doesn't change the fact; the myths of antiquity have told us that Hercules loved women and men alike. Lustfulness is at the core of his character, and Hercules' appetites aren't limited by gender.
Like many ancient myths, and like much of history, Hercules' stories have been bowdlerized by those who think same-sex relationships are sinful. Audiences introduced to the character through the Disney cartoon, the Kevin Sorbo TV show, the Dwayne Johnson movie, or the Marvel comics have good reason to think the character is heterosexual, because that's all they've ever seen. But that doesn't make it true. Hercules is bisexual. To deny that fact is to participate in the erasure of same-sex relationships on the grounds of a narrow and prescriptive morality.
Hercules is getting another shot at an ongoing solo title this winter, courtesy of the creative team of writer Dan Abnett and artist Luke Ross. Debuting in November, the new series positions the hairy-chested demigod as a hero trying to recapture the glories of his past as a celebrated champion (not the glories of his past as a celebrated Champion). The series also sees Herc with a militarized new look courtesy of Ross.
With Avengers: Age of Ultron just around the corner, interest in these heroes has never been greater, so we’ve decided to pit all the official comic book Avengers against each other in a battle for your affections. Who is the greatest, best, favorite Avenger of all time? Only you can decide.
We’ve created voting groups that mix up different eras of Avengers membership. Group K is the penultimate group, and by chance it pits two partners head to head; Luke Cage and Iron Fist. But Hercules, Tigra, and even the Forgotten One may hope to slip between them and steal a victory. (Probably not going to happen for ol' Gilgamesh.) The top two or three Avengers will go through to the next round, so vote tactically!
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we've discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
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