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Following through on its pledge to create “a more modern, diverse DC Universe” with the New 52, DC Comics will introduce a gay teenage superhero in Teen Titans.
Series artist Brett Booth has revealed that Bunker will debut in November’s Issue 3 — he’s referred to as “The Wall” in the solicitation text — where he’s depicted as an openly gay teen from Mexico who “can create small force fields that look like bricks.” The character, whom the artist describes as “happy, fun-loving,” appears in the background in the cover of the first issue and again, more prominently, on the one for Issue 3.
“We’re trying to make being gay a part of who he is,” Booth wrote last night on Twitter.
Bunker isn’t the first gay Titan — that was probably Hero Cruz of Titans L.A., although there was a lot of fan speculation about Jericho when he debuted in 1984 — but he’s (likely) the first gay teen introduced into the post-Flashpoint DC Universe.
Teen Titans, by Scott Lobdell, Booth and Norm Rapmund, premieres on Sept. 28.
Update: On his blog, Booth has posted Lobdell’s description of Bunker:
His real name is Miguel Jose Barragan. He was raised in a very small Mexican village called El Chilar. He was very loved by his family and the village as well — and they were as accepting of his homosexuality as they were to his super powers when they first manifested. To that end he grew up in an angst-free environment. He was born out of the closet and so he has a very refreshing outlook on life.
“So Bunker has been out of both closets since the get go,” Booth added. “Why the more flamboyant look? Well it’s complicated. I’ve seen all the other gay superheroes out there, Ok maybe not all. They look just like regular heterosexuals, they act like regular heterosexuals, they just happen to have sex with people of their own gender, under the covers and in the dark. Sure you might get a kiss on a page, but that’s all (an no we won’t be doing any sex scenes in TT, get your minds OUT of the gutters) … We wanted to show an interesting character who’s homosexuality is part of him, not something that’s hidden. Sure they are gay people who you wouldn’t know are gay right off the bat, but there are others who are a more flamboyant, and we thought it would be nice to actually see them portrayed in comics. Did we go over the top, I don’t think so. I wanted you to know he might be gay as soon as you see him. Our TT is partly about diversity of ANY kind, its about all kinds of teens getting together to help each other. It is a very difficult line to walk, will he be as I’ve read in some of the comments ‘fruity’? Not that I’m aware of. Will he be more effeminate than what we’ve seen before, the ‘typical’ gay male comic character, yes. Does it scare the shit out of me that I might inadvertently piss off the group I want to reflect in a positive way, you’re damn straight (pun intended!)”
There’s more from Booth on his blog.