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Syl is a new character who is featured in a short story titled Love Life that appeared as the final story in DC’s Pride 2021 anthology. He is an apprentice studying magic under Gregorio De La Vega who is better known to some people as Extrano, DC’s first effort at creating a gay hero. Extrano first appeared in the Millennium mini series in January, 1988, more than a full year before the Comics Code Authority revised its rules and allowed for the positive depictions of LGBTQA characters.

Personality wise, Syl is outgoing, charming, and reassuring in his interactions with Jackson Hyde who he’s agreed to take to his first Pride parade. Dialog between Jackson and Syl hints that Syl and Raven of the Titans have met before and are friends. Wheeler characterized Syl as thinking of himself solely in terms of being a student and not as a superhero until Eclipso, the 1960s supernatural supervillain turned 1990s embodiment of Yahweh’s revenge, manifests at the parade intending to take over the crowd. Arriving to help are Extrano and husband Tasmanian Devil, Batwoman, Apollo and Midnighter, the Ray, Natasha Irons (Steel) and girlfriend Traci 13, Bunker, Crush, Wink and the Aerie, Shining Knight, and a couple more. Syl gains confidence and together with Jackson will defeat the mystical foe stylized in the story as a queer, glam goth icon.

Syl is a member of Justice League Queer, a series that was teased by DC at the end of March 2021 when the publisher announced a tournament bracket face off with fans voting to decide DC’s next new title from sixteen proposals. Writer Andrew Wheeler was attached to the concept of a team book whose members were all LGBTQA+. Sadly JLQ was eliminated in the first round. Extrano was its founder and leader and Wheeler would have likely recounted much more of the young apprentice’s background. At this time it remains unknown if Wheeler and Vecchio intend for the character to identify as gay, bisexual, pansexual, or asexual.

Syl and Jackson appear to be friends and not interested in dating each other. In a Facebook post, Vecchio refers to Syl as Syl De La Vega as in “from the House of…” as used in drag culture.

Aside from co-creating Syl, Vecchio also co-created Somnus for Marvel’s Pride anthology.

Syl’s creators are Andrew Wheeler and Luciano Vecchio. He first appeared in promo art DC used in the months leading up to its Pride 2021 anthology which is Syl’s first in story appearance. The promo art is the final page of the Justice League Queer story “Love Life”.

Art by Lucianno Vecchio. Used with special permission of the artist.

All rights reserved DC Comics

September 10, 2021
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