Friday, May 25, 2012

Aquaman #9 (and, which DC hero is gay?)

I started to review this issue of Aquaman and realized I didn't have much to add to my last essay: the issue features great art by Ivan Reis and a solid story by Geoff Johns as we learn more about Aquaman's mostly-unknown past.

In other words, you should be buying this comic - it's very good.

Grade: A-

But rather than leave it at that, I thought I'd take a moment to discuss the issue that's been burning up the Internet for the past few days: which DC hero is gay?

Last week DC announced that it's about to reveal that one of its "main heroes" in the "New 52" is actually gay.

So everyone wonders, which hero is it? There are several ways DC can go: they could make it one of the characters on an alternate Earth, with the most popular guess being the Superman of Earth-2.

That's almost too easy, so let's look at the other candidates:

Aquaman is one, though he's been clearly shown to be in a relationship with his wife Mera, so we'll assume that rules him out.

Superman is no longer a married man, but I find it hard to believe DC would make such a radical change in their most famous character.

Batman is another likely candidate except for the long-running gags about him being a pedophile for running around with kid sidekicks - so I'm assuming DC would want to avoid that mess.

Robin / Nightwing (or some iteration of Batman's sidekick) seems like a likely choice, but is he a high profile-enough character?

Wonder Woman is another possibility (and might explain why she broke up with Steve Trevor, if they were ever actually dating) - but DC's most high profile gay character right now is Batwoman, and they may not want it to be a "female only" club.

Green Lantern has been portrayed as a skirt chaser from the start, so he seems unlikely.

The Flash actually seems like the most likely candidate, if just because his backstory hasn't been fully detailed yet (though I believe he is in a relationship with a woman).

But I think the answer will be... Shazam (the former Captain Marvel), since he's just been rebooted and they're doing their best to chart a new course for that character.

Then again, Earth-2 is still appealing.

Hopefully the day is fast approaching when the answer to "Which hero is gay or straight?" will be: who cares?


John said...

I thought the new gay character was going to be one not yet seen in the New 52, and it was for sure going to be a male character. Lots of people are thinking it'll be Plastic Man.
BTW, really enjoy reading your reviews.

Chuck said...

John, I've heard it both ways - it was going to be a new character and/or a major character - so I decided to just list the majors and go from there. Plastic Man is a good candidate, too!

And thanks for the kind words!

Anonymous said...

It's Alan Scott, the original GL. Seriously.

How idiotic. He's not major, and if they want a gay character why not just make a new one.

Anonymous said...

So, should Plastic Man be gay because he is so flamboyant? Kind of a cliche, no?
Or, should Shazam be gay...because they've tried everything else and failed to make Captain Marvel work?
I guess I'm too old to get excited over a change that I see as strictly
for publicity's sake...and too old to care.

Sam Kujava

Chuck said...

Anon, I've heard Alan Scott mentioned, too. I agree, he's not exactly a major character these days (sad to say). Why not Congorilla?

Sam, I agree completely - this is all driven by publicity.

John said...

so, if it is Alan Scott, does that mean there will be no Jade and Obsidian in the New 52?

Chuck said...

Good question! Looks like all the Infinity, Inc. characters have been cut out - at least for the moment. Bummer.