Here are the odds on which DC mainstay will be getting ret-conned right out of the closet.
Comic books have never shied away from hot button social issues such as drug abuse, racism, and the bare minimum amount of fabric required to still define something as a “costume.” So it’s really no surprise that the current hottest topics – homosexuality and gay marriage – are getting their due in the funnybooks. DC Comics’ Senior Vice President Courtney Simmons recently announced “one of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June.”
This comes just as DC’s rival, Marvel, hits stands with Astonishing X-Men #50, in which openly gay hero Northstar weds his longtime partner. (Kudos to Marvel for not only making it a gay marriage, but an interracial gay marriage as well. Northstar is Canadian, so maybe they can also tackle immigration while they’re at it? Can the best man be the Greek economy?)
But since DC is being coy with the identity of its soon-to-be-outed hero – they claim it’ll be a character who was originally introduced as straight – we’re going to check the odds on which confirmed bachelor who hops around the city engaging in male power fantasies while dressed in bright colors could possibly come across as “gay.”
Odds: 10,000 to 1
There is a very simple reason why it won’t be Bruce Wayne: Because he was the first guy you thought of. Batman’s relationship with Robin has always been rife with homosexual undertones, but that’s exactly why outing him would be no fun at all. It’s the Cheers syndrome. Once Sam and Diane become a couple, the spark is gone. Leaving Batman ambiguous is part of the charm.
Odds: 5,000 to 1
No chance. The last time DC tried to radically alter the Man of Steel (remember his “blue energy/red energy twin” phase?) they caused a bigger shitstorm than Marvel did when it dared let a half-black, half-Hispanic kid become Spider-Man. It was ugly. Besides, Superman is too defined by his relationship with a woman, namely Lois Lane. The only seed of doubt? Well…he has manifested some Gay Pride Parade-friendly powers in the past.
Odds: 2,000 to 1
DC never said it was a hero who would be outed, just a character. While Luthor certainly could be gay – his sexuality is rarely, if ever, discussed, leaving it temptingly vague – it’s unlikely DC would stir up all this hoopla and then make their gay character the most vile villain in their universe. It might, you know, send the wrong message.
Odds: 1,000 to 1
HAHAHAHAHAHA. C’mon, as if they could make life any harder for this guy. Don’t saddle him with the awesome responsibility of having to carry the banner for the entire LGBT community. He has a hard enough time getting the Justice League to include him in the really big missions.
Odds: 500 to 1
Making the Flash openly gay might finally make him interesting, but we have a feeling DC wants to make a bigger splash than this. Outing the Flash as a publicity stunt is like airing an extra-special episode of Raising Hope during Super Bowl Sunday.
Odds: 200 to 1
DC could be slick and announce “GREEN LANTERN IS GAY!” on the cover…and once you buy the issue you realize that it’s a Green Lantern from Quadrant XJ-26 who looks like a sentient vacuum cleaner with Steve Buscemi eyes. We’re not falling for that one again. But a hero who gets his power from properly accessorizing does make some sense.
Odds: 100 to 1
Green Arrow has been established as straight, and even married heroine Black Canary – but as any hard-right GOP senator can tell you, that don’t mean a thing. Plus, his name is Ollie Queen. Not since they let Freddie Mercury come up with the band name has something been so blatantly telegraphed. The only thing standing in Ol’ Queen’s way is the upcoming CW series Arrow, which is going to try to convince people that they should watch an entire show about a guy who fights crime with a bow and arrow. Now is not the time to complicate things.
Odds: 10 to 1
To answer your first question, Yes, there is a character called Catman. He’s a pretty good bet to be the one outed because, well, he kinda sorta already has been. Writer Gail Simone suggested on her own blog that the anti-hero was bisexual, although she never actually wrote that into any of her stories. But calling him “iconic” is stretching it on DC’s part. Unless they mean “iconic” as in “he kinda looks like Batman if you squint.”
Odds: 2 to 1
This is DC having its rainbow-colored cake and eating it, too. They won’t out Batman, but what about one of the former Robins? Almost certainly. That way, they can acknowledge the whole elephant in the Batcave, but by having them come out after they’ve stopped dressing up as Ren Faire ice-dancers they can maintain the air of ambiguity. But which one will it be? Original Robin Dick Grayson (now Nightwing) is usually portrayed as getting a lot of super-heroine ass, so it might seem odd for him to have been lying about it this whole time. No, the smart money is on Robin III, Tim Drake (now Red Robin). He’s the third Robin between the original and Robin II Jason Todd (who was famously beaten to death by a crowbar-wielding Joker only to return as a villain), so he needs something to help him stand out. This will be it.