The comic book industry is jumping into the Pride month celebration full force this year, with the majority of major publishers delivering outstanding stories and artwork highlighting LGBTQ identities from a wide collection of LGBTQ creators. From the spooky and moody to the quirky and heartfelt, dive into these Pride month offerings from the comics world.
One of the major players in comics has prepared a major slate for Pride month. The headliner is easily the 80-page anthology “DC Pride #1,” one book compiling original stories that place prominent LGBTQ DC heroes and villains in the spotlight. Characters like Aqualad, Batwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn take center stage is stories from LGBTQ creators including Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV [ONE SENTENCE ON WHAT STORIES THEY HAVE DONE TO MAKE ME GO OOOO]
“DC Pride #1” also features the comics debut of trans superhero Nia Nal/Dreamer. The trailblazing character has to date on been featured in The CW’s “Supergirl” television series, but now makes the jump to the page in a story penned by Nicole Maines, the trans actor that portrays Dreamer on the show.
Beyond “DC Pride #1,” there are also a wide variety of Pride variant covers featuring DC heavy hitters, such as Superman, Nightwing and Wonder Woman. A “Teen Titans Academy” spinoff focused on Crush and her anti-hero father, Lobo, is also set to launch during Pride month, with the miniseries running through January 2022.
The company also has a number of graphic novels featuring queer characters and stories set for release. “Poison Ivy: Thorns” kicked off Pride month with a story about young queer love set against a macabre, secret-laden background that reimagines the origins of frequent Harley Quinn lover and Batman villain Poison Ivy. The LGBTQ coming-of-age tale “I Am Not Starfire” is also set to release in July 27.
The other comic book giant has its own Pride anthology as well. “Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1” collects a number of stories focused on Marvel’s lineup of LGBTQ characters alongside passages highlighting LGBTQ-inclusive moments in Marvel’s history. Names like Mystique, Iceman and Daken will be featured in stories from LGBTQ creators Anthony Oliveira, Vita Ayala and others.
The publisher will also unveil a brand new LGBTQ hero, Somnus, created by out writer Steve Orlando. Somnus, a mutant who has the power to control others’ dreams, debuts in “Marvel Voices: Pride #1” penned by Orlando and illustrated by Claudia Aguirre.
Marvel also announced a series of variant covers celebrating its queer characters will arrive from fabled LGBTQ comics artist Phil Jimenez. The covers will feature nine notable queer names from its canon, including America Chavez, Northstar and Black Cat.
Dark Horse Comics
Dark Horse bolsters its own Pride month set list with a collection of stories that speak to its own unique attitude in the comic book industry. The big ticket of the slate is the “The Pride Omnibus“, which packs the entire run of the series all about LGBTQ superheroes seizing their own narratives and saving the world into one bulging volume.
The focus turns to young queer women with the new graphic novel “Renegade Rule.” The story follows the trials and jubilations of four LGBTQ female friends as they compete for glory in the world of virtual reality gaming. Other notable titles coming from Dark Horse are a trade paperback collection of queer coming-of-age tale “Youth,” new intergalactic LGBTQ tale “Killer Queens” and a definitive edition of the company’s groundbreaking LGBTQ graphic novel “Enigma.”
Image Comics, in cooperation with The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment, are producing a series of variant covers themed to Pride month with a charitable bend. All proceeds from the sale of issues adorned with these variant covers, including issues of popular series “Fire Power” and “The Walking Dead Deluxe,” will be donated to the Transgender Law Center. Skybound stated it plans to continue similar charity initiatives beyond Pride month as well.
Oni Press adds to its extensive library of LGBTQ titles during Pride month with the release of “The Tea Dragon Tapestry.” The book marks the latest installment in the “Tea Dragon” series of graphic novels and continues the series’ intriguing presentation of queer experiences in an incredibly cute, fantastical package bore out of the mind of writer/artist Katie O’Neill.
The publisher also announced it upcoming lesbian cheerleader young adult graphic novel “Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms.” The book highlights lesbian and trans identities as its characters deal with the rigors of adolescence and life beyond their senior year of high school against the backdrop of cheerleading and the social pressures that come with it. “Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms” releases August 11.
Take it from veteran writer Sam Maggs and check out more awesomely queer comics that fit easily into any Pride month reading list.