DC Comics will break new ground later this year with a monthly comic starring openly gay superhero and noted badass Midnighter that explores his life breaking not only bones but also hearts.
The popular character has bopped around the DC universe since making his first appearance in 1998, landing his own short-lived series in 2006-2008. Through most of his adventures, the Batman-like Midnighter has been romantically involved with the Superman-esque Apollo — the two married in 2002 and even adopted a superpowered kid, Jenny Quantum.
“He’s on this journey by himself, and he’s making mistakes, and everything that comes along the way,” DC co-publisher Dan DiDio told Comic Book Resources. “I think that’s really exciting. You want to root for him. You want to root for all our characters, and you want to see them go through all the trials and tribulations, because you want to empathize with them, and hope that they win at the end. It’s a gritty story. It’s a gritty character. This isn’t a book that’s going to be shy about what it is or who he is. It’s fully embraced.”
Writer Steve Orlando was particularly intrigued by the single aspect of Midnighter’s life as he’s always never truly been on his own. “When we start, he is realizing, he is out of the closet as a gay man, he is out of the closet as a superhero,” Orlando explained. “He has no secret identity. And he needs to find a way to really be a person.”
Like many a gay man, Midnighter eventually finds himself on Grindr.
He hooks up with a guy, and is shocked to find out that he’s not frightened by the fact that he’s Midnighter. The fact that these things in his Grindr profile are not jokes. He is a crazed vigilante with a heart of gold and he’s shocked that’s OK, but this person says to him, “Dude, there’s a Superman and there’s a Justice League. It’s not that weird. It’s actually kind of hot.”
There’s nothing like ripping a man’s spine out with your bare hands to bring all the boys to the yard.
Being bisexual in the 1990s, you think that it’s only really one thing. The media only gives you so many ways to do things. So when you see this character that is totally different, and everyone fears and respects him, and he’s so good at what he does, even if what he does is horrifying — it’s a game-changer….Being able to present that type of character I think is very powerful, because people need to know that you just have to be yourself, and you can be anything, and you can still be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. There’s no one way to do things.
Orlando doesn’t intend Midnighter to be a spokesman for the LGBT community, but he thinks that the character’s “100 percent lack of fear, 100 percent lack of shame in who he is” is an important and universal message.
You can see that message for yourself when Midnighter #1 goes on sale June 3.
Les Fabian Brathwaite — thuper. Thanks for athking.