A prominent DC Comics character will soon come out of the closet and reveal his sexual orientation as gay. While the publisher is so far silent on the identity of this character, a source tells the decision is part of an effort by the company to keep pace with changing times as well as to stress on the fact that a gay superhero can be as good as a straight one.
LGBT – lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender themes were so far intentionally omitted from the content of comic books either because the idea was not so widely accepted or due to the perception that comics are meant to be for children and hence revealing a character’s sexual orientation is not important. However, since the last two decades such LGBT themes are becoming more common in the mainstream comics in United States due to lack of censorship and accepting comics as a medium of adult entertainment.
DC Comics, whose portfolio boost such legendary characters as Superman, Robin, Batman and Wonder Woman, has therefore planed to reintroduce one of its iconic superheroes as openly gay in June. Which one will it be, is still a mystery.
“DC and (archrival) Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD – an advocacy and watchdog organization for LGBT issues. “When creating these fictional worlds it’s important to show the full diversity.”
Kane said that while this decision by DC Comics makes good business sense, it should also be noted that younger readers today, are not as naïve as once used to be. They are aware of what’s going around them, are becoming perfectly comfortable with gay characters and expect to see their peers properly represented in every walk of life.
While the idea might be a new one as far as DC Comics are concerned, Marvel Comics Northstar was revealed to be in a gay relationship in 2009, Archie Comics introduced one of its character as gay in 2010 and Riverdale celebrated a gay wedding only last year.
DC Comics position has evolved since only last year it said if it were to show one of its characters as gay, it would be not an existing character, but a new one. DC Comics Vice President, Bob Wayne attributes the change to President Obama’s open stance on Gay marriage, which he fully supports.