Robot 6

Comics A.M. | DC’s gay and lesbian heroes, ‘more brooding’ Superman

Stormwatch #1

Publishing | DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio talks about the gay and lesbian characters appearing in the company’s books come September, including Batwoman and WildStorm imports Apollo, Midnighter and Voodoo: “When we looked at trying to incorporate some of the characters that inhabited the WildStorm universe Apollo and Midnighter are two characters that have always popped out. Not because of what they represent, but they’re just strong characters in their own right and [they] were able to represent a story, a style of character that wasn’t represented in the DC Universe. There’s more of an aggressive nature with those characters that will interact interestingly with other characters and allows us to tell more and better stories.” [The Advocate]

Publishing | Todd Allen, Tom Foss and Graeme McMillan react to the list of changes to the “younger, brasher and more brooding” Superman who will inhabit the DC Universe following the September relaunch. [Indignant Online, Fortress of Soliloquy, Blog@Newsarama]

Publishing | David Brothers takes a sharp-eyed look at the DC relaunch: “The fact that Vertigo isn’t included in the digital releases highlights a glaring problem with DC’s big relaunch. They’re playing it safe, essentially, by catering to the same audience that they’ve always served, while offering a few brief nods in the direction of new readers.” He also sees their digital strategy as falling short because it lacks a mechanism for pre-orders and subscriptions. [Publishers Weekly]

Comics | Todd Allen responds to a recent list by Marvel of “required reading” Captain America stories by providing one of his own. [Indignant Online]

Art by Rian Hughes

Creators | Rob Harrigan kicks off a series of Comics & Design Interviews with a discussion with U.K. artist Rian Hughes. [The Offset Past]

Creators | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson interviews novelist Anne Rice about Yen Press’ planned graphic-novel adaptation of her Interview with the Vampire. [Publishers Weekly]

Comics | Forbes interviews Jordanian comics publisher Suleiman Bakhit, who views comics, games, and social media as paths to greater hope and tolerance in the region: “I go to a lot of poor areas and ask the kids, ‘Who are your role models?’ Sometimes they say Zarqawi and Bin Laden. But in one neighborhood I gave them comics and when I went back a few months later; the superheroes were now their role models.” [Forbes]

Vintage manga | The Comics Journal has a preview of Tank Tankuro, a 1934 manga featuring a superhero robot that’s worlds away from Astro Boy. [The Comics Journal]

Awards | Sean Kleefeld reflects on last week’s announced changes for the Xeric Foundation, which will no longer provide grants to self-publishing comic book creators, and instead devote funds to charitable organizations: “Clay Shirkey has noted that, culturally, we tend to bemoan the over-abundance of information when, in fact, the problem is more that we simply don’t have the proper filters in place to remove what’s irrelevant to us as individuals. The Xerics have been, for me at least, one of those filters. If I was looking for good books, I knew that simply choosing something off a list of Xeric-winners was a sure bet.” [Kleefeld on Comics]

Previews | Critic Paul Gravett pulls out the graphic novels you should be looking forward to in the latest Previews. [Paul Gravett]

Sales | John Jackson Miller detects a slight uptick in June sales. [The Comics Chronicles]



75% of DC’s gay superheroes are lifted from Wildstorm. What about creating new gay superheroes or beefing up the role of Todd Rice, aka Obsidian?

I haven’t seen her I guess in a while, but since when is Voodoo gay? Wasn’t she in a relationship with Spartan and banging him at some point?

Anyone knows if a book will feature The Question?

In my opinion, comics characters shouldn’t be sold on the strength of their intimate lives (unless specifically created to spouse a lifestyle.) Why not sell Batwoman or Apollo as GOOD characters, interesting in their own, as opposed to Gay icons? I don’t see DC reminding us *constantly* that Batman is straight. (I also could not care less for the sexual lives of Tony Stark and such either. I buy the comics for the heroes, not the bed scenes.) I can get that LGBT people are elated that their social status is being accepted, but do they really want people like The Midnighter to represent them? Why doesn’t The Question (Montoya) get the spotlight instead?

Voodoo was doing the deed with Spartan… but since he was a mechanical construct at the time, it’s more akin to doing it with a very hi-tech dildo than a guy.

think dan ment that the dc universe does not really have unique characters like Apollo and midnighter besides being the first married gay characters who are willing to do what super man and batman are not allowed to do . plus never knew vodoo was gay. first for me. tjhough sounds like Dan forgot about the question and Obsidiean and also tasmainien devil already established gay characters in the dc. plus also no mention of scandal savage

I think its partially about depth of universe and how there are characters that share characteristics with every reader. Batwoman is more than “just a lesbian” but her life has been affected by being a lesbian making that a part of her story just like Peter Parker’s girlfriend being killed by his arch-enemy is part of his story.

It’s about outreach and focusing on what can help these characters be relateable to a new audience instead of just the same old dwindling audience. Maybe a child will relate to Mr. Terrific, or Apollo, or the everyday soldiers in Sgt. Rock better than Martian Manhunter or Hawk and Dove. Isn’t reaching a wider audience DC’s goal?

reading all the takes on the superman relaunch in those blogs leads me to the conclusions that the sole function of the net is for people to endlessly moan and bitch and act like know it alls…

I read comics as an escape, because they are fun. I do not want to read about personal lives or relationships. I also do not like reading or following characters that are openly gay.

Michael has spoken. Let them be closeted gheys!

Bitter Olde Manne

July 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

It’s because of garbage like this that God’s judgement is falling on the comics industry — and all the reboots in the world won’t save it.

“I read comics as an escape, because they are fun. I do not want to read about personal lives or relationships. I also do not like reading or following characters that are openly gay.”

Oh, how I long for those halcyon days, before characters’ personal lives and relationships became a staple of superhero comics — the days before Peter and Mary Jane, Peter and Gwen, Reed and Sue, Barry and Iris, Hal and Carol, Clark and Lois …

I doubt it but they should just give Detective Comics to The Question. Instead of just 30 million bat books.

Michael, you are a homophobe. Please stamp that word on your forehead. kthnxbye!

American Reality

July 19, 2011 at 10:29 am

This shows that America doesn’t read Wildstorm comics or characters, or Batwoman. DC should market these gay characters and titles to the eurasian market where gay characters and stories are traditional and genetic and sustainable, something that they have never been or will ever be in America. Marketing them to Southern California and New York is never going to sustain the sales of homosexual stories and characters in America. DC needs to market these to the base market where these things come from, across the ocean, so they’ll never find that market in America no matter how long and hard they try to look for it. That’s biology. That’s America.

“It’s because of garbage like this that God’s judgement is falling on the comics industry — and all the reboots in the world won’t save it.”

Hologram and foil-embossed covers didn’t bring down divine wrath two decades ago, so I’m pretty sure we’re in the clear now.

Why not do more with Starman? He’s another character who has worked well as a gay.

I like the idea of giving Detective Comics to René Montoya. They can bring back Batman at #27!

A closeted gay superhero could be interesting.

A closeted gay superhero could be interesting.

Didn’t they already explore that approach with Northstar? Was anyone really interested?

Bottom line – do comics with gay characters in them sell? I personally would not buy a title that delved deeply into a gay lifestyle, be it male or female. I’m not homophobic in the least – I just don’t relate to that lifestyle or the inherent issues involved in it. I don’t find it interesting enough to continue reading a book that delves deeply into that issue. Case in point – I was a huge Green Lantern fan in the nineties, and almost dropped the book when the storylines focused more on the gay supporting character’s life than the main character. I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t morally opposed etc – I was just bored and not interested.

To balance it out – I have a similar disinterest in titles that focus too heavily on married couples and their relationships e.g. Superman and Spider-Man (pre-OMD). I find the over-emphathis on the relationships to be repetitive and boring – in a similar fashion to Bold and Beautiful.

I much prefer books that delve into a myriad of relationships like The Walking Dead, or ones that include character but not to the detriment of story or action (Captain America seems to keep a good balance e.g. Steve and Sharon Carter’s relationship doesn’t take over every aspect of the book).

Michael, not every comic is for YOU.

You see, the problem is DC didn’t move heaven and earth to get Warren Ellis to write Superman. After JLA: New Maps of Hell, I’d read his take on Clark and Lois until the world went to Hell in a hand basket and I’d probably still keep reading on the way down. He brought them to life and made them flow in ways few other writers have for me.

It’s when the relationships complement the characters as three dimensional beings that they’re essential to the comic as a whole. When they become a hollow, obvious crutch for a writer to fall on in order to manufacture artificial drama to plug a hole in writing while struggling to find a significant bit of conflict for the main character, I can understand the tedium others here have expressed.

More news of DC taking the easy route by having 2 ‘lipstick lesbians’ headlining their own comics – yet the males are just bit parts of a team…..

I want an Obsidian monthly!!! Hell, I’d settle for Taz devil even, on second thought! haha… – just pull your finger out DC! This relaunch is the PERFECT time to test the waters!! And I’m pretty sure it would do better than what some of this first 52 will do! And just think of the media coverage you can get out of it!

I love that the ONLY worth Wildstorm’s characters have in the reboot/relaunch are as “token gay characters”! LOL

I wonder if the thought of his comic universe was to turn out this way (after selling to DC) ever crossed Jim Lee’s mind? :-p

It’s surprising no one’s mention the one character who’s sexual orientation is or should be obvious and that’s Wonder Woman. As a person who grew up on a island of women, who by this time, are in lesbian relationships hasn’t been affected by that. I would at least think that she’d be either gay or bi.

But I guess that’s one sacred character no one wants to see changed.

Not the Michael above

July 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Midnighter and Apollo’s redesigns look TERRIBLE! I could care less about their sexuality provided it doesn’t become their sole purpose for being in a story.

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