Another DC Comic Book Title With A Bisexual Lead?

Another DC Comic Book Title With A Bisexual Lead?

Posted by October 4, 2016 Comment

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The recent publicity, based on a Greg Rucka interview with Comicosity, establishing Wonder Woman’s queer identity, exploded across all known media- despite being something that had been frequently commented on and referred to in the comics for decades.

And although it hasn’t been explicitly stated in recent comic books, it does add Wonder Woman to the list of DC Comics’s current bisexual lead characters – Harley Quinn and John Constantine. Though Poison Ivy and Catwoman no longer have their own series.

But, if Greg Rucka’s logic is followed through, regarding the likely sexual proclivities of Paradise Island, that would mean that, as Yoda might say, there is another.

Red Hood And The Outlaws is a three-person team title featuring Red Hood, Artemis and Bizarro. Artemis is also an Amazon, from the same culture as Wonder Woman. She’s just a little more… aggressive.

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And given that the writer, Scott Lobdell, was the fellow who outed the Marvel superhero character Northstar in Alpha Flight #106 – a fill-in issue that had sat in a drawer at Marvel for a while. When published, media exploded at that as well, despite never having heard of him before – and then Marvel did their best to hide Northstar away for decades.

Greg Rucka threw a little shade on that comic in the Comicosity interview, saying

Ah. We’re talking about the “Northstar Problem.” The character has to stand up and say, “I’M GAY!” in all bold caps for it to be evident.

For my purposes, that’s bad writing. That’s a character stating something that’s not impacting the story. I get nothing for my narrative out of that in almost any case. When a character is being asked point blank, if it’s germane to the story, then you get the answer.

And Lobdell tweeted in response,

Ellie Collins wrote for Comics Alliance,

First of all, there’s nothing wrong with Northstar standing up and saying “I’m gay!” It was melodramatic, and the panel looks really silly out of context because it was the early ‘90s, and that’s what comics were like. When we look back at that Alpha Flight story, it doesn’t hold up well. But that moment was a relevant part of the story, and he had been closeted for a long time.

Here’s a look at those pages, years on, as Northstar is attacked by WW” superhero Major Mapleleaf, who is incensed about media attention over Northstar’s adopted daughter, dying of full blown AIDS, when his own son was ignored for the same, because he was gay.

Which leads Northstar to make this revelation.

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Not that it goes over well with the Major.16Anyway, everything gets sorted out.

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I’m mean, the kid is diagnosed as dying and is never mentioned again, because this was just a fill-in issue, and continuity must be maintained, but still. We get this headline and confirmation of her death.

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Of course, this is comics. She had AIDS, Maybe she didn’t die? Without treatment, half of all HIV-positive babies will not live long enough to see their second birthday and a third will not see their first. But… she was in a Canadian hospital. She will have been treated. Could Northstar have just covered it up to avoid similar attacks by other Major Mapleleafs out there?

Anyway, back to Ellie Collins who addresses Rucka, saying,

But for anyone who really thinks directly coming out makes for poor storytelling, there are plenty of other way to accomplish it. For example, given that Diana is from a place where same-sex relationships are totally normal, wouldn’t she refer to her past girlfriends like it was no big deal? Maybe referring to another Amazon as “my ex-girlfriend” doesn’t come off as very Wonder Woman-like, but surely the word “lover” is within her vocabulary?

Maybe Lobdell would be more willing to go with Artemis where Rucka is hasn’t, with Wonder Woman? How about this?

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated October 5, 2016 7:10 am )

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