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Northstar and The Authority

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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.]

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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. 

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  1. Stephen McGinty, "Shazam! They're gay superheroes," Toronto Star, Toronto ON, 2000-FEB-27, Page A3.
  2. 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

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