Superman is a good guy. More than that, Superman is the best guy. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932, he's the archetypal superhero, a man of enormous power who places himself in service to the powerless. To borrow a famous phrase from the 1940s Superman radio serial, he stands for "truth, justice and the American way". - Why Orson Scott Card isn't the right man to write Superman. [more inside]
They've been rumoured to be an item for some time, but in X-Factor #45 Rictor and Shatterstar, formerly of X-Force (the most 90s comic of all time), finally kissed - giving the comics world two more confirmed gay superheroes and making the X-Men Universe Relationship Map out of date (Shatterstar creator Rob Liefeld has however vowed to undo it). Meanwhile over at DC flagship title Detective Comics is now fronted by the new lesbian Batwoman - ironically a character who was introduced to make Batman seem more hetro.
"And on the rare occasion when nonwhite heroes were included, names like Black Panther and Black Lightning telegraphed the difference" (NYT). Nonwhite and non-traditional superheroes aren't new, but a "lesbian socialite" Batwoman is. How about "The Great Ten," a "Chinese government controlled superteam" also to be featured in the ongoing "52" Series from DC comics (an alternate superverse bereft of A-league stars like Batman and Superman)? When I was a kid, it was pretty shocking to know of at least one gay superhero (and a Canadian to boot), but I wasn't aware that there were actually so many. Of course, the irrepressible Stan Lee claims he created the first gay superhero in the persona of Pvt. Percival Pinkerton. (Previous mefi discussion of Pavitr Prabhakar, the "Indian Spiderman" here.)
As a lifelong DC Comics fan, I think I can truly state that Dr. Fate's fabulous blue and gold costume made me the gay man that I am today. Likewise, Element Lad's admitted shyness towards women (and pretty pink outfit) helped me identify with him as a gay teen. Until now, though, I didn't know where I could find others whose gayness was so closely intertwined with a love of comic books. The Gay League changed all that. Warning, some of the fan-submitted artwork, featuring generously overendowed (even by superhero standards) men and women is probably a little risque for work. We're here, we're queer, we love the Legion!