New Comic Puts Gay Men in the Superhero and Villain Roles
BY Jacob Anderson-Minshall
May 01 2013 4:00 AM ET
And there is something particularly enjoyable about seeing these iconic stories retold to feature gay men in the leading roles. Having a gay man in both the hero’s shoes and the supporting role (which is too often filled by a bubble-headed blond woman) actually highlights and underscores the (often negative) gender stereotypes that still dominate many comic books. Particularly successful in this arena is the chapter “The Well-Intentioned-but-Oblivious Prince and the Justifiably Belligerent Peasant or Equally Ever After,” in which Cheeks is the belligerent peasant being rescued by Prince Brady.
Cheeks complains, “I was literally inches away from solving this problem myself.”
To which Brady replies, “But heroism is what I do… Gives a man purpose.” It points out the simple truth that rescuing another man may make one man feel purposeful but might leave the other man feeling a little less manly. In the end, though, it takes the two men working together to escape the castle and head into the future where we are assured they will live equally ever after as King and King.
That’s pretty much the lesson in all six installments of the Husbands comic: Brady and Cheeks have to work together and combine their sometimes competing styles in order to succeed. It may be simple and straightforward, but at least it’s not a bad lesson for newlyweds to learn.
The creators developed clever plot twists and visual metaphors around those competing styles. For example, Cheeks likes to go at things head on, while Brady is a work-inside-for-change kind of guy — so we see an alien Cheeks wanting to fire on an enemy’s ship while the space hero Brady would rather go on board and sabotage the vessel from inside.