It has been in the works for quite some time. This was the comic I was referring to here a couple of years ago.
Transrealities, a sci-fi superhero trans comic from trans writer Abigail Brady and Double D’s artist Steven Horry debuted a small print run at Thought Bubble last year but now, in full colour, has landed on ComiXology – and on Comixology UK.
In an industry still ruled by characters and attitudes that prevailed in the 1960s, superhero comics have been slow to embrace LGBTQ people as heroes and protagonists. Rather than wait for publishers such as Marvel and DC to represent her and her friends, Abigail Brady decided to write the kind of series she wanted to see. Two years later, after recruiting artist Steven Horry, colourist David Cooper, and letterer Aditya Bidikar, the first issue of TRANSREALITIES – a superhero comic and time-travel story with a trans protagonist – is available to buy.
The series follows the shape-shifting heroine, Liz Cartwright (aka Whoever) as she and her team of fellow superheroes try to stop a reality-altering villain from wreaking havoc with the timeline. Separated from her team mates, Liz finds herself literally face to face with someone who forces her to question not just her past decisions, but her very identity.
The comic uses the familiar plot twists of comic books to take a trans character – who no one knows is trans – confronting the person she used to be seen as. As well as how she thought she was.
Superhero comic books have had trans characters before, but they often use the superhero concept of the secret identity to highlight a trans person’s situation. Transrealities finds a much more interesting allegory, with Liz, The Unknown, living a perfectly supernormal life, until time travel gets involved and dredges up her past in a most uncomfortable fashion.
The first issue portrays a character, one of many in a superhero team, who finds herself quite against her will confronted with a version of herself that she no longer recognises. A path quite deliberately not taken. Something some trans people often struggle with, against a society which always seems to want to remind them of who they used to think they were.
Issue 2 is out next month. But before then, Bleeding Cool comes with promotional notes.
“When Superhero fiction can be about anything, it’s sad that so many books are about nothing. TRANSREALITIES isn’t one of them. Here, Horry and Cooper’s clean pop lines, embolden Brady’s alternatingly wry, pained and playful voice as it circles her target and strikes. This is the authentic trans superhero comic we’ve been waiting for.”
– Kieron Gillen (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE)
“The best superhero tales are the personal ones, and TRANSREALITIES is unique. Prioritizing the Sturm und Drang of muscle men punching one another, Abigail Brady and company have crafted a fantastic story where a shapeshifter faces the crux of her own identity. Stellar art, real drama and alternate realities come together in a story unlike anything you’ve ever read — and with the driest with of anything since Grant Morrison’s Invisibles.”
– Magdalene Visaggio (KIM & KIM)
“Transrealities would be more than worth the price of admission if it were nothing more than a brave, timely, ferocious and utterly necessary new string to the superhero bow. That it happens to also deliver an excellently crafted and thoroughly engaging blast of entertainment from a truly talented creative team, elevates it from the worthy to the unmissable.”
– Simon Spurrier (THE SPIRE, 2000AD)
The five issue series will be released monthly on Comixology, with issue #1 at the special price of $0.99, while future issues will be available for $1.99.