Queer Comic Book Character: Mulholland Black (Oct 14th)

Mulholland Black made her debut and died in Matt Fraction’s The Order. She was an angry, tight-lipped young woman who’d grown up on the streets after her famous rockstar parents died. Mulholland was a mutant who could turn emotions into energy bursts. She lost her powers on M-Day.

Mulholland Black

Mulholland Black
Mulholland Black

Like the other characters in The Order, Mulholland was given powers via a virus Hank Pym developed and funded by Tony Stark. The powers would only last for one year or whenever they were taken away by the Initiative. The Order was based in California, specifically Los Angeles where they were treated like celebrities. Mulholland signed up, not because she felt the need to do good, but because she missed not having powers. She can communicate with the city of Los Angeles, rifting off emotions like her old powers, and carries a big hammer around.

Mulholland’s largely featured in the second arc of The Order. It’s revealed that during her time on the streets, she joined an all-girl gang called the Black Delilahs. Mostly, they would run around doing small crimes to take back the streets for women and girls. They’re shown humiliating a pimp in a flashback. Mulholland was kicked out of the Black Delilahs because she was cheating on their leader Wendy aka Cut with her fellow gang member Lisa.

Mulholland's kicked out of the Black Delilahs
Mulholland's kicked out of the Black Delilahs.

However, as Mulholland goes big time, so do the Black Delilahs. They’re hired by S.H.A.D.O.W. as Wendy wants to get back at her ex. The Black Delilahs catch the attention of the Order by killing former member Corona and attempting to kill current member Calamity. They’ve all been given powers by the same technology as the Order.

Mulholland hesitates in battle with the Black Delilahs. When she admits her past to Henry Hellrung and Pepper Potts (the team leaders), they fight and Mulholland runs off. She’s then kidnapped and injected with S.P.I.N. technology to depower her.

Mulholland's Black Delilah tattoo
Mulholland shows Henry and Pepper her Black Delilah tattoo.

As she’s captured and taunted by Wendy, Mulholland becomes increasingly emotionally distressed. The Order are trying to find her, but she doesn’t know if they even care about her anymore. Somehow, through her distress, Mulholland’s natural mutant powers come back. And they’re out of the control. She destroys the lab and goes on a rampage through Los Angeles. The Order moves into the stop her.

When Henry confronts her, Mulholland’s scared about her powers overloading and what that will do to the people of the city. She allows him to come near her. Henry then kills Mulholland. While I’m not a fan of the out-of-control super-powered woman having to be put down, I do think that Fraction and artist Barry Kitson’s rendering of the scene, where the reader (and the rest of the Order) can’t see what Henry’s doing, worked well. And sadly, as much as I enjoyed The Order, Mulholland and Wendy’s romance does fall into the psycho lesbian and bury your gays tropes. And Mulholland’s a bit of a disposable woman as she serves to help Henry’s resolve to keep the Order running and do good in the world, which he was questioning before. Of course, to be fair on the latter, The Order did get canceled and Fraction and Kitson had to tie things up.

But hell, this is comic books, maybe one day Mulholland will be back.

Read about Mulholland from the beginning and support this blog, buy The Order Vol. 1: The Next Right Thing by Matt Fraction.

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