There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks about queer characters in superhero comics and how to appropriately convey the information that the character is queer while not having them scream it at the top of their lungs. While most attention has naturally gone to Wonder Woman, even though she has yet to be confirmed queer on the page, this week's Superwoman #3 by Phil Jimenez, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy and Hi-Fi tackled the revelation of a supporting character's sexuality in an effortless way.

If you're not reading Superwoman, it stars Lana Lang as the titular hero, having been granted Electric Superman powers due to her proximity to the blast zone that caused the death of Superman earlier this year.

Since the death of her fellow Superwoman, Lois Lane, Lana has been working with her boyfriend John Henry Irons --- the hero known as Steel --- and his niece Natasha to fight crime and solve the mystery of the monsters that killed their friend.

After a blackout in the most recent issue, the heroes --- and supervillain Atomic Skull --- band together to find a solution, and Natasha reaches out to a friend from her past to help.


Emanuela Lupacchino
Emanuela Lupacchino


And that's how you do it. Natasha, as far as I can tell, has never been written as a queer woman before, but in one off the cuff sentence Jimenez established her sexuality and also established that her father-figure knows about and is comfortable with it. That last part shouldn't seem like a big deal, but I can still remember the portrayal of Aqualad in DC Universe Rebirth #1, where his mother referred to his sexuality as "unnatural"

It's also likely that the Traci referred by Natasha is Traci 13, daughter of occult skeptic Doctor Thirteen, and actual witch. Pre-FlashpointNatasha and Traci 13 were friends --- along with the short-lived Supergirl, Cir-El --- and it's possible that Jimenez could more fully explore a relationship between the two teen heroes.

It's impossible to underestimate how important it is to see a queer black teen girl represented positively in a superhero comic, and hopefully we'll see more of Natasha as a supporting character in the pages of Superwoman.

Now, if we could get her a codename that sticks, that would be great.


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