Back some time ago, I started collecting the hardbound archives which reprint Wonder Woman’s original adventures, starting at All Star Comics #8. Unfortunately, older comics tend to get pushed further down my ‘to-read’ pile for this week’s pull list or something modern I’ve been meaning to read. I also sometimes find myself ill-at-ease with Golden and Silver Age writing styles. So I’ve decide to push myself with Wonder Woman and her tales. Each Wednesday, I will make a post about Wonder Woman and her comics all the way from the beginning.
Wonder Woman fascinates me on many levels, including:
1. Wonder Woman is the first woman of superheroes and marketed toward young girls. She was very popular.
2. There’s a lot of muddled gray areas around the authorial intent of Dr. William Marston and his beliefs about women’s superiority and submission and his own personal interests in bondage and polyamory.
3. A lot of people bitch about Wonder Woman not being as great of a hero or as iconic as Batman and Superman when they’re supposed to be part of the DC Trinity.
4. Wonder Woman’s been relaunched, rewritten in a lot of different directions, and sometimes seemingly throw up to the editorial with a “I give up” sigh. Her movie’s been canceled again and again.
5. Wonder Woman’s become an icon for LGBT people, especially gay men. This largely has to do with the Lynda Carter TV show.
6. Wonder Woman theoretically could again be a big seller with women and gay men, who are not considered the primary audience of modern comic books.
7. Why does my friend Steve always skip the Wonder Woman-focused episodes of the Justice League cartoon?
In my posts, I may talk about the issue at length or I might focus on a certain theme in the issue or in Wonder Woman’s comics in general. Normally, I rate each issue I read; however, given the way Golden Age comics are, I may forgo a rating as I’m a modern consumer. I am committed to learning more about Wonder Woman through her stories.
For Emerald City ComicCon this year, I decided to cosplay. Despite having gone to many cons (including this one) and even owning a Star Trek uniform, I’d never dressed in costume for a con. In particular, I decided I wanted to go as Alice, the main villain, from Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s run on Detective Comics. The run itself is one of my favorite comics ever, both in writing and art. And who doesn’t want a little style in her costume.
I kicked off the month with Midnighter, so it seems fitting to end it with Midnighter’s husband Apollo. This also makes Apollo the fourth queer character from the Authority to grace my blog for LGBT History Month.
Apollo and Midnighter are presented as opposites of one another and opposites attract. Apollo wears white and is modeled after Superman compared to Midnighter’s black and Batman-like attitude. Apollo’s generally more jovial and light-hearted. He’s also solar powered; and his powers increase with more sunlight (even directly from being inside the sun), and without sunlight, he starts to power down. Continue reading “Queer Comic Characters: Apollo (Oct 31st)”
Sometimes, you need to tell your own story about people who are like you, and that’s what writer Tommy Roddy did. He created a comic book called Pride High, which features Poseidon Preparatory Academy for Heroic Youth, a boarding school for super-powered teenagers, and stars a diverse group of young LGBT youth and their allies, enemies, mentors, and teachers.
In the comic’s first arc, the students divide themselves into teams and the teams compete against each other in battle simulations in the Inter-Squad Championship. The comics about one five-member team, based on a gay-straight alliance and formed by a group of close friends, that call themselves Pride High. Meet the members: Craig Newman (Mindsweeper), Jorge Ponce (Kid Mischief), Claire Aedhamair (Scotch Bonnet), Suravi Small, and Chippendale Chesterfield (Chip Cheetah).
Pride High: Scotch Bonnet, Chip, Mindsweeper, Suravi, & Kid Mischief
The United States government did a study on youth suicide, which reported that LGBT youth are two to three times as likely their heterosexual peers to attempt suicide. Such depressing facts often get reflected on the page and become yet another gay stereotype in literature. Victor Borkowski (Anole) almost became a fictional X-Men statistic and bad cliche.
Victor Borkowski (Anole)
Initially a background character in the relaunch of the New Mutants, Anole’s young, openly gay, and looks like a reptile. He has superhuman speed, agility, and reflexes. His tongue’s sticky; he can crawl walls; and he can camouflage himself. Anole’s 16-years-old when he joins the Xavier Institute. Continue reading “Queer Comic Characters: Anole (Oct 27th)”
I was going to do an entire entry devoted to all the Lesbian Pirates of I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space!!!. Then I considered doing separate entries for each, but they would take up a large part of the month. So instead, I decide to focus on my favorite Lesbian Pirate:
Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar) is technically the first openly gay character in the Marvel universe. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Byrne says he always meant for Northstar to be gay; he just wasn’t allowed to say so due to Marvel editor Jim Shooter seeing an openly gay character as a “political position” and the Comics Code Authority.
Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar)
If you’ve never heard of Northstar, that’s probably because you’ve never read Alpha Flight. Alpha Flight’s Canada’s premiere superhero team, government-run like all those socialist programs in Canada. 😉 And Northstar’s their requisite snobby French-Canadian champion skier turned superhero. Okay, you might’ve also heard of Northstar from this little title called X-Men where he also appears. Continue reading “Queer Comic Characters: Northstar (Oct 23rd)”