Remember when bullies would beat you up and call you a fag for reading superhero comics? It turns out they should have read those comics-- they would have enjoyed all the sadistic gay bashing.
Perry Moore, author of the young-adult novel Hero
(a superhero story about a gay teenager, which you can buy here
), has compiled a list,Who Cares About the Death of a Gay Superhero Anyway?: A history of gays in comic books
, of the fates of about 75 gay comic-book heroes and villains. The list is meticulous, occasionally hilarious (such as "The Hulk's Near Rape" at the hands of predatory gay men in a YMCA shower) and often harrowing-- in short, fascinating and definitely worth checking out. Here's a short excerpt:
First openly gay member of Marvel’s X-Force/X-Statix. Killed on his first mission.
This longtime Spiderman nemesis recently discovered his predilection for homosexuality as a result of a lengthy stint in prison. Sought out a shape-changing prostitute to satisfy his new desires.
Gay magician member of superteam New Guardians. His name means “The Strange One.” Embodied numerous, offensive gay stereotypes. Attacked by an “AIDS vampire.” Forgotten after series was cancelled.
1st gay male hero to come out in the Marvel Comics Universe, thus making him their most prominent gay hero. Between February 16 and March 9, 2005, Northstar is killed in three different realities, during the most prominent of which, the X-Men’s most popular hero, Wolverine (star of the X-Men movies), impales him through the chest with his metal claws. Marvel’s most prominent gay hero is later resurrected as a murderous zombie assassin.
Hailed by Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada as the new example of Marvel’s open policy toward gays in their books as “the star of Marvel Team-Up.” Quesada went on to say, “We’ve had more gay and lesbian characters appearing in Marvel comics than ever before.” Marvel Team-Up #24, three weeks after Quesada’s comments, features Freedom Ring, his finger sliced off and then graphically killed with 28 spikes impaling him, including one through the groin and protruding from his anus. Series cancelled with issue #25.