Although readers will have to wait until sometime in June — perhaps not coincidentally, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month — to learn which established DC Comics character will be reintroduced as gay, we already know at least two details: It’s a major character (better luck next time, Doll Man), and it’s a guy.
“One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June,” Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity, confirmed to ABC News following the weekend revelation by Co-Publisher Dan DiDio that the formerly heterosexual figure will become “one of our most prominent gay characters.”
With those 18 words, Simmons drastically narrows the list of candidates, eliminating such popular guesses as Vibe (he’s neither a major character nor an iconic one) and Hawkgirl (she’s a … she). However, Simmons’ quote also raises the question of just what DC considers “major” and “iconic.”
Fox News, ensuring plenty of website traffic, asks, “Could Superman be gay?” while across the Atlantic, the Daily Mail ponders, “Is Batman gay?” DC obviously won’t go that iconic — their Earth-2 counterparts are off the table, too — but beyond that, there’s the issue of how DiDio presented his announcement (or, rather, his response to a question from the Kapow! audience): The implication is that the character hasn’t yet appeared in the New 52, something supported by Batman writer Scott Snyder, who clarified this morning on Twitter that “the announcement was ‘a character not seen since the relaunch will come out as gay.'” (He followed that with the assertion that “Bruce’s orientation is Gotham.”)
That even further reduces the list of contenders: We’re now looking for a major iconic male character who’s not appeared since DC’s linewide relaunch last August. But … we’re not necessarily holding out for a hero. Note that neither Simmons nor (apparently) DiDio said “superheroes”; they said “characters.”
So maybe the online speculation about Wally West is misguided, and we should instead be looking in the direction of the assorted rogues galleries. Ra’s al Ghul, anyone?