First of all… When I first heard about gay superhero comics, I thought to myself, “Well, at least they don’t have to change the outfits.” For years, numerous studies have dissected the gay undertones of superheros and their relationships. It was just a matter of time before they stopped hinting around and simply acknowledged the fabulousness of our beloved crime fighters.
In fact, Huff Post reports that “the whispers began in 1954 when psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote ‘Seduction Of The Innocent,’ a book that alleged, among other things, that Wonder Woman was a lesbian and that Batman and Robin were gay lovers.” (Insert bat-cave joke here)
Joe Phillips, who is openly gay and has illustrated such heroes as Superman and the Avengers for DC and Marvel comics says, “Think about it: A guy develops the ability to do something incredible and the first thing he does is to wear something tight-fitting and colorful and tell the world, ‘I’m going to fight crime’?” He goes on to state that he’s fascinated by the underlying ‘gayness’ of the superhero, and he’s taking it out of the closet and into a series of paintings he calls ‘Beefcake Heroes.’ His exhibit is currently on display at the San Diego art gallery.
Experts claim that some mainstream comics have had a significant influence on the gay community. In fact, it actually started with the California body building movement in the 1960s which promoted a more well-defined physique.
Alexander Salazar, the owner of the gallery currently showcasing Phillips’ series, admits “putting a gay-friendly spin on popular superheroes is an act of bravery since he still works in the industry.” As far as I’m concerned, gay superheros that stereotype the phenomenal physique of gay men in the community should be commended. Remember, no matter who picks up that comic book to read, you can’t catch gay. But what you can catch is the urge to eat healthy, work out, and have a stronger sex appeal. And if that is what results from copying a gay guy… I applaud the effort and pretty much see it as a win-win for all. Better health. Better sex. Better offspring. And this includes the gay and straight community alike. Because when you really look at the big picture… the so called separate gay and straight community are really part of the same human community. We’re just waiting for some of us to realize it.
P.S. If you are beside yourself with fury because somebody drew your buddy Superman as a gay guy… chances are you’ve got a superhero sized secret you’re trying to ‘swallow.’ Hey look at that… something else superboy might be able to help you with.
(Images from Joe Phillips series)Tags: Batman, Comic Books, Comic-Con, Comics, DC, Gay Superheroes, Marvel Comics, San Diego, Superheroes, superman, X-Men