Over a year ago, DC announced that it would not be changing the sexual orientation of any characters in the New 52. Now, that stance has ‘evolved’.
However, the first thing to understand is that many other outlets, including Fox News, are mistaken about certain things. No, DC is not about to introduce the first gay comic book hero, or even the first one in their own pages. That ship sailed in the mid-90’s, and has made repeated visits to shore since. It won’t even be the first gay character in the New 52.
The second thing you may be hearing, which is wrong, is that a current and popular character will be ‘coming out’. A Fox News headline reads "Is Superman gay?" and The Daily Mail asks the same of Batman. This is not what has been announced. No current new 52 characters are going to change sexual orientation. Dan DiDio of DC specifically said at the Kapow! conference last weekend that they would not be changing the orientation of any character who has been reintroduced since the New 52 event last August. That means that everyone from Superman down through Blue Beetle will be immune from a change in orientation.
This misinformation is based on a recent quote from Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity who said, "One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June." Taken out of context, that quote is making people’s heads explode all over their hasty news headlines, but it has to be taken with DiDio’s announcement that it will be a character who we have not yet seen in the New 52, which seems to be contradictory, but isn’t quite.
So, what do we really know? Just this: Some DC character (might not be a hero) who is ‘major’ and ‘iconic’ (whatever that means) and who was a heterosexual man (Simmons says "he") before the New 52, but whom we have not seen since the relaunch, will be introduced, in June, as gay.
I can only think of a few characters who meet those conditions, but it depends on what is meant by ‘major’ and ‘iconic’. Does Plastic Man count? He’s the most iconic male character I can think of in the DC universe who we haven’t seen relaunched yet.
We could keep speculating and making a big deal out of it, or we could all wait a month, and just see who it is in the pages of DC’s comics. Honestly, I didn’t write about this issue over the past weekend simply because it’s not really a big deal. Yet, it’s been made a big deal, with loads of misinformation and sensationalism, by major media outlets, so it was high time to step in with some clarity.
I mean, we just had a bi-racial gay wedding in the pages of Archie Comics, but that happened to slip under Fox’s radar, I guess.