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DC Comics Introduces First Transgender Character in Mainstream Superhero Comics

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DC Comics this week announced the introduction of Alysia Yeoh in Batgirl #16, who announces she is transgender in a conversation with her roommate Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl), Wired reports:

Taking care to distinguish Yeoh’s sexual orientation from her gender identity, Batgirl writer Gail Simone noted that the character is also bisexual.

Simone attributed the inspiration for the character to a conversation she had with fellow comic book writer Greg Rucka several years ago at the Wondercon convention, after a fan asked why there were fewer gay male superheroes than lesbian ones. Rucka, who co-created (and rebooted) Batwoman as a lesbian character, replied that it would be a real sign of change for a gay male character to appear on a comic book cover — and an even bigger step for a transgender character to do the same.

“I looked out into the audience, saw dozens of faces I knew well — LGBTQ folks, mostly — all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters,” said Simone. “And it just hit me: Why was this so impossible? Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?”

More at Wired...


Apple Seen Exercising Double Standard on Gay Content in Censorship of SAGA Comic Book

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Apple is banning the sale of a popular comic book through any of its iOS devices over two "postage stamp-sized images" of gay sex, while previous issues of the comic which featured larger group scenes of heterosexual sex, sailed through, the New Statesman reports:

The comic in question is Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' SAGA, one of the New Statesman's best graphic novels of last autumn. Issue twelve of the series opens with one of the characters, Prince Robot IV, injured on a battlefield. On his TV-screen head (look, it's a thing in the series) images of gay porn are visible, as the damage takes its toll. You can take a look at the pages in question here and here, and while the small visible images are certainly explicit, they're far from erotic. They work in humorous juxtaposition to the chaos of the battleground, and underline the artificial nature of the character in question.

The paper adds: "It's hard not to conclude that the rejection is homophobic. Even if it doesn't come from explicitly homophobic guidelines on Apple's part – and the company is notoriously opaque about how its App Store approval process works, so we can't know that for certain – the outcome must be judged on its own merits."

UPDATE: Apparently this was all nonsense:

As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps.  Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.

We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance.

Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12.


DC Comics Artist Refuses to Illustrate Homophobe Orson Scott Card's 'Superman' Comic, Leaves Project

Superman

Artist Chris Sprouse won't be illustrating a DC Comics story written by uber-homophobe sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card because of public outrage over Card's involvement, AND, the story has been pulled from the first issue, USA Today reports:

"It took a lot of thought to come to this conclusion, but I've decided to step back as the artist on this story," Sprouse said in a statement released Tuesday. "The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that's something I wasn't comfortable with. My relationship with DC Comics remains as strong as ever and I look forward to my next project with them."

Due to the creative change, the Card story will not appear in the first collected issue out May 29. Instead, it will feature a story by writer Jeff Parker and artist Chris Samnee, as well as a tale by Jeff Lemire and one by writer Justin Jordan and artist Riley Rossmo.

DC is also looking for a replacement illustrator for Card's story.

DC Comics said it supported Sprouse's departure and is looking for a replacement.


James Robinson Discusses Gay Green Lantern, Warner Bros' Confusion

Alan-scott-the-Green-laternnComic fans and creators were on hand at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle this weekend, and that includes James Robinson, the comic book creator whose work includes the excellent 90s-era Starman and more recent work on the pre-relaunch Justice Society of America and Justice League of America series.

Now that DC has completely retooled its super-powered roster, Robinson's in charge of Green Lantern Alan Scott, aka the Golden Age Green Lantern who was reintroduced as a gay man on a quest to avenge his lovers' death.

Of course Alan Scott was a topic of conversation during Robinson's talk at ECCC this weekend, and Comic Book Resources fills us in on what he had to say, and how Warner Bros, producers of the Green Lantern films, was confused over the structure of the Green Lantern Corp.

Robinson concluded the interview by talking about his current work on "Earth 2," and specifically the motivations behind writing Alan Scott as gay. He lamented the loss of Obsidian, Alan Scott's son, who was a gay character featured in "Justice Society of America."

"There are so few gay characters, I felt like it was a shame to have one of these iconic characters go away. It occurred to me why not make Alan Scott gay, and make him this cool guy?" Robinson said.

Alan Scott was so well received that Robinson received a GLADD nomination for his work. "Having a gay character is part of diversity," he said.

The sexual orientation of Alan Scott didn't faze DC publisher Dan DiDio, who supported Robinson’s decision. Warner Brothers, however, was confused: did this mean that star Ryan Reynolds, who played Hal Jordan in the 2011 film adaptation of "Green Lantern," would be gay?

"Geoff (Johns) had to go in and explain that there were lots of Green Lanterns, and this was just one of them," Robinson said.

 

 


Marvel's 'Astonishing X-Men' Married Gay Characters Northstar and Kyle Face Deportation Issues Caused by DOMA

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We've been covering Marvel's Astonishing X-Men and its examination of the marriage between Canadian Northstar to American Kyle Jinadu since late last year.

In its recent issue number 59, written by Marjorie Liu, and pencilled by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, the narrative continues to unfold about the Northstar, a Canadian, trying to stay in his husband's homeland, in a city they both call home.

These are problems imposed on them by the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

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Wolverine Goes Gay

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Marvel comics Wolverine character (well, a parallel Wolverine in a parallel dimension, which is where the X-Treme X-Men series takes place) was revealed to be gay last week, Bleeding Cool reports.

Who'd like to see Hugh Jackman star in this adaptation?

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