Thanks for hosting me today.
With all the superhero shows on at present, and the movies coming out I figured it was timely to write a post about superheroes.
I’ve always loved comics/graphic novels. It’s not just the illustrations that hooked me in, but the characters and often complex storylines. When I was in primary school I used to call in at the local bookshop on my way home and count out the fifteen cents it cost for the latest issue. I’d also sneak a look at the others on sale as I could only afford one, and get into trouble for reading them in the shop.
Although I’ve always been more of a DC reader, and a huge Bat family fan, a few years ago a friend introduced me to Marvel’s Young Avengers. I was hooked, and sad when their title came to a close. I’m still following some of those characters in other graphics though, just to get a glimpse of them, and hoping they play a decent sized part in them.
Having secret identities usually means having to keep a part of yourself hidden from most of the world, and this is duality of character is something that really appeals to me as a reader. So many people still need to do that for one reason or another, especially in parts of the world that are not accepting of anyone they deem to be ‘different’.
Often graphic novels—and their on screen counterparts—bring an interesting mix of characters of different race, and sexuality. One of the things I loved about Wiccan and Hulking’s relationship in Young Avengers is that everyone on the team just accepts these two guys are together. The conflict in their story isn’t about them being gay, but about the other things they need to deal with, like their lineage and taking down the bad guys. I also fell in love with the Ms. Marvel series when they first came out a couple of years ago. Ms. Marvel is a teenager who has strict parents, has to get her homework done, and is Muslim. She also is a huge fangirl and writes fanfic about the other superheroes she subsequently meets and works with to save Jersey City and the world. I discovered DC’s The Authority a few months ago, although it’s been around a while, when Midnighter turned up in the issue of Grayson—AKA Nightwing/former Robin—I was reading. Midnighter is an interesting character, more of an antihero, as, unlike Batman, he tends to kill his opponents. Apparently he and his husband Apollo are a couple again in the new rebirth series Midnighter and Apollo which I still need to track down and read.
Superheroes on TV are also a mix of race, gender, and sexuality, and therefore give a much more realistic view of the world—superpowers aside, but hey a girl can dream, right?
In the current DC shows I’m watching, I’ve enjoyed the storyline in which Supergirl’s adopted sister, Alex, comes out and now has a relationship with police detective Maggie Sawyer. Maggie is lesbian in the comics, and in a relationship with Batwoman AKA Kathy Kane—the two were going to get married until that storyline was scarpered amongst an outcry from readers.
But, back to TV shows, there are also several other LGTBQ characters, whose sexuality is accepted as who they are, which is how it should be. Those character include: Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific, Captain Singh, Sara Lance/White Canary, and others.
I know I haven’t covered everything, but there’s still a lot I haven’t read, and there is so much out there, and I can only afford to buy so much, library sources aside, so I tend to follow my favourite characters. I’d love to know some of your favourite and why.
In the meanwhile, superheroes continue to remind us that people should be accepted for who they are, as well as telling good stories with interesting characters.