GAY COMIC BOOKS
Northstar and The Authority
DC Comics, the company that along with Marvel is the world's leading
comic book publisher, is responsible for well known superheroes such as
Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Now, a division of DC Comics will
distribute The Authority, starting in 2000-MAR. It will feature Apollo
and Midnighter, a loving, gay couple who live in a giant spaceship. Mark
Miller, an Authority plotline writer commented: "A gay superhero
has never been done before. It is seen as one of the last taboos. The
whole idea of a superhero is that he or she fights for the underdog, so I
don't see why we shouldn't have superheroes who are gay."
A spokesperson for Cardinal Thomas Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow, said
that he was appalled. "This sounds like an insidious attempt to
present homosexual role models to adolescents. Adolescence is a
challenging time, and this kind of activity is only likely to increase
confusion and undermine basic Christian morality." Meanwhile,
some gay-rights groups welcomed the comic book.
[Author's note: As with so many conflicts over
homosexuality, this debate show the two popular beliefs about sexual
orientation that are prevalent in society. Presumably, the Archbishop
believes that teens choose their sexual orientation at or about the time
of puberty. Thus, providing a homosexual role model might increase their
confusion over which orientation to select. A gay comic book would
persuade more youth to choose to be gay -- a decision that he feels is incompatible
with Christian morality. Meanwhile, gay-rights groups generally believe that
sexual orientation is determined during childhood and is beyond the
control of each individual. Thus, providing a gay role model to gay teens
will simply affirm their existing sexual orientation. It will not increase the
number of gays and lesbians in the country; it will merely make the
existing homosexuals feel better.]
Earlier gay superhero:
The Authority for 2000-MAR does not contain the world's first
gay superhero. That honor lies with X-Men, a Canadian comic book
published by Marvel Comics. Northstar appeared in 1979 as a member of Alpha
Flight, a team of Canadian superheros. In 1992, Marvel published issue
#106, called "The Walking Wounded." Alpha Flight
had found an orphaned baby girl who was dying of AIDS. Northstar came out
of the closet in this issue and admitted that he was gay.
- Stephen McGinty, "Shazam! They're gay superheroes," Toronto Star,
Toronto ON, 2000-FEB-27, Page A3.
- Andy Georgiades, "First gay comics superhero was a Canadian,"
Toronto Star, Toronto ON, 2000-MAR-28, Page D3.
Copyright © 2000
Originally written: 2000-FEB-27
Latest update: 2000-FEB-27
Author: B.A. Robinson