In June, DC Comics will be switching the sexual orientation of a well established character, so says DC co-publisher Dan DiDio (Bleedingcool.com). Here’s a little head start on trying to figure out who, though your opinion is also requested in a comment and poll.
This is a reversal of policy because Dan said last July that no character’s sexual orientation would be switched in the relaunch of the DC universe (the Advocate). They were going to launch a LGBT character rather than switch one. In DC’s opinion, though, this was an evolution of policy. DC’s senior vice-president of sales, Bob Wayne, compared the development to President Barack Obama’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, adding that Dan DiDio’s view on gay characters “had evolved.”
Whatever the proper term, this is not only change in policy, it’s a strong change. This character who will reveal he is gay (we do know it will be a “he”) will be an “iconic” character. Dan DiDio further claims this character will become “one of our most prominent gay characters.” (Globe & Mail)
While I consider this move by DC to be social progress, it seems to be more motivated by marketing and capturing audience segments than making a social statement. It seems Marvel Comics’ X-Men series is a step ahead. An openly gay character, Northstar, is about to propose to his longtime boyfriend, Kyle Jinadu, and tie the knot in June. (Reuters)
Still, the guessing game is on. So far, we have only two major clues. One is that it is a male character. The second is that it is a “character not seen since the relaunch” of the DC Universe. (Newsarama)
Some sources tell me that means it cannot be Superman, Batman, Robin, any of the Green Lanterns, or the Barry Allen Flash. I don’t know DC comics well enough to know there was more than one Flash, personally, but there has been suggestions it might well be the Wally West Flash. The Globe & Mail suggests maybe Robin, Aquaman, Batman’s butler Alfred or Shazam (aka Captain Marvel). Wait, Captain Marvel also wears red with a yellow lightning bolt like the Flash. Stereotype, anyone? I see more suggestions like Booster Gold.
One other thing to keep in mind, though. Character is also a key word here, not limiting the choices to a “superhero”. Mind you, I don’t think making a villain gay would be a very smart move on DC’s part! That would get you one crazy public reaction if you wanted one, but even if you believed in no press is bad press, this would seem a horrible move to me given all the homophobia that exists today. And making a typical human like Alfred to be gay would still speak negative volumes cause that’d be suggesting superheroes can’t be gay… or at least not yet in the “new” DC Universe. We have a lot of gay humans in the real world already. Making one in a comic fantasy universe is hardly groundbreaking.
So the race is on to guess this character. Who do you think it will be?