In the Blog


January 20th, 2009     by Tiina Johns     Comments

The internet is a-buzzing with the news that Stan Lee is developing a new TV show about a gay superhero. Stan “the man” Lee is, of course, the godfather of Marvel comics and co-creator of basically every Marvel character you know, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil.

The Telegraph reported last week that Stan Lee was “to create world’s first gay superhero.”

Um, no. Not even close.

There are tons of gay superheros, and have been for years. And not like, five. Hundreds. offers a pretty comprehensive list.

There’s Midnighter and Apollo–;Batman and Superman-esque characters, who first appeared in The Authority comics, and then in Midnighter.

They are totes in love, and have an adopted daughter.

Both teams of Marvel teen superheros boast queer couples: Karolina Dean & Xavin of Runaways and Wiccan & Hulkling of Young Avengers. Renee Montoya from Gotham Central, who became the new Question, is a lesbian. And she used to date Batwoman. Northstar, of the Canadian Superhero team, Alpha Flight, is probably the most well known gay superhero. He had what so many queer characters in all sorts of fiction have–;a controversial outing and an unfortunate death.

About the new show, The Telegraph went on to quote a “television industry source” who said:

“It was only a matter of time before we had our first gay superhero. And if there is one man who can make him a success it is Stan Lee.”

Nice job, fake source. While you really don’t seem to know what’s up, I have to partially agree with you. I think Stan Lee will do a great job with this project.

While I’m always a bit surprised to hear that Stan Lee is working on anything (dude is almost ninety), I think he is the absolutely the king of three-dimensional, relate-able superheros.

Stan the Man

In the 60s, while DC comics had Superman and Batman turning into monkeys and other crazy crap, Stan Lee, along with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko at Marvel, were creating a whole different kind of superhero. They were young. They fell in love and had their hearts broken. They had to deal with school or work. They had real problems you could relate to (or at least crazy problems that worked metaphorically to represent your problems). Most of all, they were people who were different. They were different and awesome and had to hide who they were from their friends and family.

And while both DC and Marvel are all over the place with this now–;finding great, believable characters really changes from book to book–;Stan Lee really kicked that business off. Variety reports that the show will be an hour long drama on Showtime, the same network as the L Word. The show is based on the book Hero by Perry Moore. Hero is a YA novel about a teenager dealing with these two heavy secrets–;he has super powers and he’s gay.

Despite the media sensationalism, I have high hopes for this show. Queer teens? Superheros? Stan Lee? I’m pretty into it.

Tags: comics are for everybody

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