Monday, January 19, 2009

The First Gay Superhero?

Den of Geek decries the shoddy reportage on the Stan Lee's first gay superhero story in the British tabloids. But c'mon, look at the accompanying photo for the story in The Sun:

How much hard-hitting journalism did we expect? Nice handlebar mustache.

Obviously, Stan Lee's adaptation of Perry Moore's "Hero" is not the first treatment of a gay superhero ever done. But, if the project gets off the ground and has a big budget, it might be the first treatment to get a major audience (both comic book readers and "newbies").

And I think there is a world of difference between having gay supporting characters/team members, and having a big-budget comic book starring a gay hero. Sure, you had that Midnighter series, but it's not quite the same thing as having a key character from the DC or Marvel universe proper "come out" and star in their own series or movie.


  1. On the other hand, Marvel DID give the last iteration of Marvel Team-Up to that gay superhero for its last few issues.

  2. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Would Northstar's solo series count, or had the character not come out at that time?

    Either way, considering that there ARE popular gay comic characters out there (say what you will about Midnighter, he's a great character)

    This just sounds, for lack of a better way to say it, a way for people who don't know anything about comics to be exposed to openly gay comic characters.

    Besides lots of dirty Batman jokes with roots in the Golden Age, that is.

  3. Anonymous12:47 PM

    There was Northstar for Marvel, correct?

    Also, Maggie Sawyer had a mini-series for DC, called Metropolis, S.C.U. In it, Maggie had to deal with her ex-husband (!), foster a relationship with her daughter and her partner, and lead the SCU against an eco-terrorist. Written by Cindy Goff--check it out if you can find it in the back-issue bins!

  4. I remember hearing an episode of Fresh Air where Stan was interviewed. In it, he claimed he created the first gay character back in the 60s. He says Percival "Pinky" Pinkerton of Sgt, Fury and the Howling Commandoes was intended to be gay. Granted, "Pinky" wasn't a superhero, but the name itself might be some indication of the tact Stan will attack this with.

  5. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Every reaction I've seen to this terribly written story is about how many gay superheroes predate Thom Creed, which is nice, but only part of the problem. Stan Lee didn't create Thom! At all! Poor Perry Moore, having credit for his book and his character sniped out from under him. Thom is neither first nor Stan's.

  6. Finally! Finally a gay superhero!

  7. Anonymous8:18 PM

    @Ron: Having a 5-issue series that ends with the main character getting stabbed to death and having his powers given to a heterosexual counterpart shouldn't count.

    @Costa: That was just a miniseries, in which the villain hunted him for being gay, but JP was never actually said to be gay.

    While he's certainly not the first, he might be second to not die AND get screen time!

    Poor Perry Moore, losing all the credit. Have you ever read Hero? It's awesome.

  8. I remain hopeful that Ian McKellen will pressure Marvel to acknowledge that Xavier and Magneto had a physical relationship at one point in their lives.

  9. Didn't Marvel already do this a few years ago with that gay cowboy comic?

    That one.