(RNN) – Two major comic book publishers announced gay superheroes would be centerpieces of upcoming storylines and their respective “universes” going forward.
On the heels of President Barack Obama’s statement supporting same-sex marriage, both DC and Marvel decided to feature more prominent LGBT characters.
On June 20, Astonishing X-Men No. 51 will feature the marriage of Northstar, a male member of the superhero group, to his longtime boyfriend. Rolling Stone reported Tuesday it would be the first same-sex wedding for Marvel characters.
Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told Rolling Stone since gay marriage became legal in New York, it raised storyline possibilities with many of their characters living there.
“Northstar is the first openly gay character in comics, and he’s been in a long-term relationship with his partner Kyle, so the big question was – how would this change his relationship?” Alonso said. “Our comics are always best when they respond to and reflect developments in the real world. We’ve been doing that for decades, and this is just the latest expression of that.”
DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio said a character from their universe would be reintroduced as a homosexual in a June comic. According to Bleeding Cool, DiDio said Sunday the previously straight male superhero would be a prominent figure.
The company has not revealed who it will be yet but has dropped a few hints. Courtney Simmons, senior VP of publicity for DC Entertainment, described the unnamed hero to ABC News as a “major, iconic” character.
DC also revealed it would be someone who has not been seen since the company’s recent “New 52” relaunch of its titles.
Based on those criteria, some of the early favorites among bloggers are original Green Lantern Alan Scott, Plastic Man and Superman’s buddy Jimmy Olsen.
Like TV, movies and other forms of entertainment, comics have attempted to reflect modern society. The addition of minority characters to the superhero populace has produced some good results and some stereotype-riddled disasters (borderline NSFW link).
These will not be the first appearances of heroic LGBT personalities in the medium. Northstar has been openly gay since 1992, and Batwoman was revealed as the DC’s first lesbian superhero in 2006.
Lesser known characters have also been introduced as homosexuals by both companies in the last 20 years.
However, both of their upcoming events were pre-empted by another iconic comic book in March: Archie.
Life with Archie No. 16 featured character Kevin Keller – an Iraq War veteran – marrying his boyfriend in a same-sex, interracial union.
Protested by the group One Million Moms and released two months before the president’s statement, the issue sold out at stores.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.