27-JAN-2011 From the TITAN BOOKS’ website, there’s some historical comic news: the first all gay superhero team is going to be hitting the market in May in the US and the UK.
Prowler, Liberty, Glitter, Indigo, Butch, Mr Muscles, Diva — all superpowered, all British, and the first all gay super-hero team there ever was! Created by independent creator Martin Eden, Spandex charts the highs and lows of a group of Brighton-based heroes, doing battle with 50-foot lesbians, a group of deadly pink ninjas, as well as their own complicated love lives! Packed with pop culture references, nods to classic comics and chock-full of humour and drama, Spandex is a super-hero book like no other! This is the very first collection of Martin Eden’s award-nominated comic and collects Spandex #1-3, plus bonus material!
Based on that description, is that really what gay readers want in their comics? It comes across as cliche and honestly insulting. Yes, poking fun at the glittery love for rainbows and unicorns can be fun to do amongst your gay community members in a casual setting, but to make it a comic is potentially harmful to the market. A). You won’t find any hetero male readers picking this up unless it’s to make fun of it. B) The gay community has enough hurdles and challenges. We should be marketing comics with gay characters that have solid storytelling, good and evil characters that challenge each other, decent design and fantastic art. You know what I call that? A comic. Not a STRAIGHT HETERO comic. A comic.
Gay characters exist in independent and mainstream comics from LOVE AND CAPES to ARCHIE to BATWOMAN. They aren’t exclusively gay or exclusively straight. It’s a method of showing that we don’t live in isolated communities with gates and walls to “keep the gays out” or vice versa.