Dr Rosalyn Day is a character who appears in the Barbalien: Red Planet mini series by Tate Brombal and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. The setting is Spiral City in 1986 and, as it happened in the real world, the AIDS Crisis is five years old. Stigma, fear, and hate are plentiful while medical information and answers are scarce. Empathy and compassion are also rare commodities and Dr Day is one person who embodies them both every day as she treats with unconditional love people sick and dying from AIDS complications. Day and other nurses at St Jean’s Hospital, lovingly called the Sunlight Sisters, represent the many women, typically lesbians, in healthcare who tended these folks with dignity when others including family spurned them.
In a flashback we’re shown that one of these people is the unnamed boyfriend of Miguel Cruz, one of Spiral City’s gay and AIDS activists who plays a pivotal role in the life of Spiral City cop Mark Markz, the human identity of Barbalien who’s exiled from his Martian homeworld. Markz was recently rebuffed by another cop whom he mistakenly thought was open to a having a relationship. Desperately seeking interaction with another person leads Markz to assume another form, a young blond man who takes Luke as a name, and he awkwardly pursues Miguel after a chance encounter in issue #1. A panicked Miguel brings Luke to Dr Day for help with an injury and the very astute doctor sees through Luke’s appearance though she keeps his identity secret. Her empathy and insight come into play when she becomes a confidant for Barbalien after dropping his Luke guise. In their initial conversation Day mentions to Luke/Barbalien that she is a lesbian and talks about aspects of her family history (see following paragraph).
Day might easily be a powerful superhero if she didn’t think her efforts as a doctor were being used for a greater good by helping ostracized people. Day is the grandchild of Doc Steele, the original superhero in the Black Hammer universe, and the daughter of Dr Day and Captain Night who fought Nazis in World War II. Her power allows her to harness sunlight.
Dr Rosalyn Day was created by Tate Brombal and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Day’s first appearance is in Barbalien: Red Planet #3. Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire.
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