One question asked at the DC panel today at the Kapow comic convention in London, was about DC co-publisher Dan DiDio’s interview with The Advocate. Specifically over the decision not to change any character’s sexual orientation when relaunching the DC Universe. At the time Dan stated they would introduce new LGBT characters rather than switch orientation, but the question asked why DC would switch race, size, age, all sorts of identifying features, but not orientation.
Surprisingly, Dan stated that they had changed DC’s policy in this regard. And they ae about to reintroduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight and now will be “one of our most prominent gay characters.”
As Senior VP Sales Bob Wayne explained, just like the President of the United States, the co-publisher’s policy on this “has evolved.”
And despite his best efforts to stem Dan’s wandering mouth, we also got the very strong impression that the death of Superman of Earth Two many not have been as final as portrayed…
UPDATE: Thanks to all the news organisations that have linked to this post. For your files, the first openly gay mainstream superhero was Northstar, reinterpreted as gay by his creator John Byrne in the eighties, but only officially stated as gay by writer Scott Lobdell in the nineties, and Marvel is expected to announce Northstar’s engagement to his boyfriend, Kyle,on ABC’s The View tomorrow. Lobdell recently created a new gay DC character in the recent relaunched comic Teen Titans. Image Comics and Wildstorm published comics in the noughties featuring gay couple Midnighter and Apollo, based on Batman and Superman, something that was played down and censored when DC bought Wildstorm, though eventually the pair were allowed to marry in the comics, in a ceremony conducted by a fictitious version of Ellen DeGeneres. Of late both Marvel and DC have significantly increased the number of LGBT characters, prominently in books such as Young Avengers, Batwoman, 52, Astonishing X-Men and X-Factor, Marvel’s first kiss between male superhero characters. Even Archie Comics has featured prominent gay characters and earlier this year a mixed-race military gay wedding. And then there is the British superhero comic Spandex, featuring noting but gay characters!
Things have come a long way since the only gay people in mainstream superhero comics were the bad men who tried to sexually assault Bruce Banner…