By Brian Andersen
Originally published on Advocate.com June 12 2014 9:00 AM ET
Superhero movies have taken over Hollywood. We have five flying at us this year alone: Captain America: The Winter’s Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Thus far Marvel Comics has won the war on getting the most successful movies to the big screen – making buckets of cash in the process.
But after the success of last year’s Man of Steel, DC Comics is fighting back with Batman vs. Superman feature film in 2016, followed by a live-action Justice League movie. While we gay geeks might be celebrating seeing our favorite heroes running away with the box office we still have yet to see a queer hero hit the silver screen.
The time is ripe for an LGBT hero to take center stage, and one way DC Comics can trump Marvel’s runaway success is by being the first to include a queer hero in their upcoming Justice League feature. To plead our case, we’ve provided DC Comics with a handy list of the top five LGBT characters that would make great additions to a future Justice League film.
Debuting in 1983, Obsidian has been a member of several superhero teams including, Infinity Inc., the Justice Society of America, and the Justice League. He came out in 2006 in the underrated Manhunter comic book series written by out comic scribe Marc Andreyko.
While we’ve yet to see Obsidian in the new rebooted DC comic book universe, his absence works out great for the director and writer(s) of any Justice League film. Obsidian would be a perfect new, fresh character free of the burden of continuity baggage or public perception. Obsidian would also provide a great way to introduce the audience to the world of the Justice League through his eyes as new member joining the team. Plus his ability to control shadows would be an exciting special effect to witness in a dark theater with a bucket of popcorn.
Green Lantern of Earth 2
The original Green Lantern of Earth 2 first appeared during the Golden Age of comics in 1940. He was also the straight absentee father of Obsidian. In 2012 he was rebooted in the relaunched comic book series Earth 2 as an out, proud gay man. The new queer Green Lantern made quite the splash when DC announced he would be coming out of the closet, even sparking a protest from the antigay group One Million Moms.
After the disappointing Ryan Reynolds feature film (the less said about it the better) the new Justice League flick screams for a Green Lantern who isn’t Hal Jordan. There’s been a Green Lantern in nearly every Justice League lineup, so why not a powerful gay one? Not only are his green powers tied to the earth, unlike the spacefaring Hal Jordan (which means less backstory to explain to audiences), Earth 2 Green Lantern has already survived death and returned a bigger badass than before. The Justice League could only benefit from a hero of his strength and caliber.
Batwoman is another of DC’s recent characters who sparked headlines the world over when she came out as a lesbian and once again when she was denied the right to marry her girlfriend. The present Batwoman debuted in 2006 in the comic book series 52 and has gone on to star in her own solo title, after headlining DC Comics' iconic Detective Comics for 12 issues. She’s since romanced the second version of the character named the Question, a.k.a. police officer Renee Montoya, and proposed with much fanfare to detective Maggie Sawyer.
She is currently the only mainstream queer comic book character starring in her own solo series. That says something of her popularity. With a new Batman being played by Ben Affleck, it would be the perfect time to include a new member of the Bat Family to moviegoers. Instead of the more familiar Boy Wonder, an out, strong, independent woman would make an excellent partner for Batman and be a great addition to a Justice League movie. Plus, with Wonder Woman being the sole female in the current Justice League comic book series the team is ripe for some more female empowerment. Girl power!
The original Shining Knight first appeared in 1941, but the current incarnation of the character is true rarity in comics – an intersex superhero. The current Shining Knight, known also as Sir Yestin, first appeared in the comic series Demon Knights in 2011.
Why this hero?
It would be wonderful to see a modern, positive intersex hero on the silver screen, one who isn’t confused or tormented by their identity. While this version of Shining Knight battles evil in medieval times, it would be fairly easy to bring the hero into the modern age – much like the former version of the character that existed in our modern times. Also, the Shining Knight wields a blade that can both cut through almost anything and is resistant to magical attacks. For a powerhouse like Superman, who has well-known weaknesses to magic, this ability would be key. Also, the Shining Knight rides a flying horse. How cool would it be to see a winged horse soaring across the screen in 3D?
The teenage Latino hero Bunker debuted in 2011 with the relaunch of the Teen Titans comic book series. From the get-go Bunker never hid or downplayed his homosexuality. For a time he was viewed by some fans as an eye-rolling stereotype, but he has since developed into an important, multilayered character.
Bunker has the ability to create purple bricks in various forms (a subtle nod to Stonewall), which he can use to levitate himself and others, and also use defensively as a concussive force. Visually, Bunker’s brightly hued purple constructs would be an eye-popping element to a live-action Justice League movie. Character-wise, he could fill the role of the wisecracking comic relief, providing moviegoers with a much-needed dose of levity and what has thus far been a darker DC film universe.