In which we look at several LGBT related scenes in comics from this past week and I reveal that I couldn’t come up with a good title.
A new issue of the new Teen Titans came out on Wednesday. Much of the focus in this second issue is on Bunker and Beast Boy. I find their relationship in and out of costume to be really appealing. There’s no ick factor from either one about sexuality because they’re simply best buds. This same accepting attitude was a value built into the core dynamics of the Young Avengers rosters, which is not to say that LGBT characters in other series from DC and Marvel have had bad experiences fitting in with other ensemble cast members. The exception that comes to mind is the friction between Warbird and Northstar in Marjorie Liu’s run of Astonishing X-Men. Even then, Warbird moved to a grudging acceptance Of Northstar and his marriage to Kyle Jinadu.
Some notice has been made regarding a change in Bunker’s personality from a happy go lucky confidant to a frustrated and angry young man. A change in attitude like this isn’t unheard of for some people and it doesn’t seem unrealistic to me for it to happen to a fictional character. For now Pfeiffer’s choice gives another layer to Bunker’s perception of the world and how he sees his place in it. Do I want this to be a long term or permanent change? No, not at all. I’ve seen enough angry characters of just about every orientation in comics and other media. My hope is that in a few months Pfeiffer makes both Miguel and Gar into the merry pranksters ready to prank each other and their teammates on the spur of the moment. Think this decade’s Blue Beetle and Booster Gold!
Two positive changes to point out. Lawdy Hallelujah for Miguel’s makeover! With just a few changes Miguel looks more like a young gay man in 2014 than a parody of one from 2000. Now he just needs a better designed costume. The shades of purple aren’t the issue for me. It’s the uninspired and boring design that’s the problem. The gloves and mask seem unnecessary and Miguel recognized in public for a maskless Bunker’s more strident comments could make for some interesting scenes. Praise likewise for dropping the cliche Spanish phrases that Scott Lobdell tortured his dialog with in an attempt to make the character sound ethnic. The second change is Pfeiffer’s continuing exploration of Bunker’s till now one note and kind of lame power. This time out he demonstrates how he’s learned to disarm a person by sending a tiny psionic brick right into Gar’s ear canal and how to take out a robotic foe with a destructive mission by exploding the robot’s head with an encore of putting out an inferno by mimicking fire retardant foam.
Hold on! I nearly forgot the first post 52 appearance of Josiah Power. Did you just ask who? Power was the founder of the Power Company, a for profit superhero team based in San Francisco which had a short lived, self titled series created and written by Kurt Busiek. At some point after a few subtle hints Busiek revealed that Josiah was gay. If memory serves still, a man who was employed by Josiah had an unrequited love. All we know so far about this incarnation is that he’s a high ranking STAR Labs official based in New York City. Stay tuned for more developments. Here’s Power’s pre 52 bio can be read here.
And please give Kenneth Rocafort another book to draw.
Grant Morrison’s anticipated Multiversity also arrived in shops on Wednesday. With all its Morrison-esque mythos making and dimensional travel that can fit into a 40 page story, Morrison created a gay superhero couple from Earth 36’s Justice 9. As analogs of the Flash and Green Lantern, Red Racer (Ray) and Power Torch’s (Hank) relationship recalls the friendship of the classic Silver Age era while putting a contemporary spin on the pairing. Their appearance together may be only several panels before Red Racer departs with other heroes on a rescue mssion, but Morrison shows they’re love and devotion to one another. Nice touch making Red Racer a comic nerd as well.
Amanda Diebert and Cat Staggs backup story in Sensation Comics #1, the new out of continuity digital first Wonder Woman comic, had a touching surprise epilog. The two paged scene focuses on five young boys, one of whom is being teased by the others for thinking that “Wonder Woman is the best superhero!” It’s the typical boys should like boy’s stuff pressure (just like girls should like girl’s stuff) kids encounter from peers and adults. What makes this special is wonder Woman appearing out of nowhere to encourage her young fan to be true to himself and then bestows on him a piece of her golden lasso and a kiss on his forehead.I couldn’t help but think of two things. First, that the story ending was an acknowledgement and affirmation of all the young boys who grew up and will grow up to become gay Wonder Woman fans. The other being a good example of synchronicty with it touching on the “like a boy” photos I’d seen featured earlier this week in a Good Morning America story that tapped into Mommy Shorts blogger Ilana Wiles story. You can read her blog and see those pics here. Diebert could’ve easily extended the fight scene between Wonder Woman and Circe which was the plot of her story and I’m glad she chose to go this route instead.
And then there are some changes in Batwoman though I’ll devote a separate piece to that.