The trend for gay superheroes marches on. DC Comics revealed last week that one of its “major iconic” characters will come out in a June storyline. Back in March, Batwoman came out, and the latest rumour is that it will be Alan Scott, the original, pre Hal Jordan, Green Lantern from the 1940s. I would have thought that it made more sense if it turned out to be Robin. Then, he is a sidekick, after all. No matter who it is, the speculation is informed by the old stereotypes, with pundits searching for signs of effeminacy in the male superheroes of the DC stable.
Why, that said, is it assumed that it will be a man? Batman? No. The alternate universe Superman? No. Publisher Dan DiDio did not mention gender when the annoucement was made. Why not Wonder Woman?
Diana of Themyscira is a warrior princess of the Amazons. In the 1940s her mission was to return pilot Steve Trevor to “Man’s World” to fight the Nazis. In the 1950s, the story traced her origin to Hellenic mythological narratives. In an April 1959 edition she was described to be as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury.” It would make sense for this superhero from a matriarchal culture to come out. Then, perhaps that is prey to its own stereotyping.
If it does turn out to be Alan Scott, it will have nothing to do with the Ryan Reynolds incarnation, Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern. (So many stories do not seem to have noticed that Hal Jordan and Alan Scott are different people. Really, do these people have no sense of history?) There is one thing of which I am certain: it will not be the magician Extraño, the 1980s DC gay superhero. As camp as a row of tents, called “Auntie” by his team, he was lost to AIDS after he was bitten by an “AIDS vampire”, the Hemo-Goblin. Seriously, I am NOT making that up.
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