Jason Tseng

First Openly Gay Superhero to be Written and Drawn by Gay Comic Artist

Filed By Jason Tseng | December 30, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media

Northstar. For queer comic fans he is the longest running joke in Marvel. Since his groundbreaking coming out in 1992 (after a series of unfortunate events including a short stint as a fairy and adopting an AIDS baby who then died), Northstar has occupied an interesting place in the hearts of gay comic book fans. On one hand, he was a trailblazer, a shining rainbow beacon in Marvel's four-color world; on the other hand, he was generally misused and abused by many writers throughout his tenure with the X-men, and also remained perpetually single.
Northstar's reintroduction into the ranks of the X-men (after he was killed by Wolverine, resurrected by a clan of evil ninjas and then forced to attack his friends and allies) briefly introduced Northstar's first canon boyfriend, Kyle. This hanging plot thread is finally being addressed in January's issue of Nation X. And even better, mainstream comic's first openly gay superhero is in the hands of openly gay comic artist and writer, Tim Fish.

Boston-based comic artist Tim Fish is widely known for his adorable gay-themed comics and graphic novels, including Young Bottoms in Love and Cavalcade of Boys. He announced recently on his blog confirming that he has been slated for a Northstar story addressing Northstar's long-distance relationship with his boyfriend, Kyle. Fish writes:

Long story short, the X-Men now live on an island off the coast of California. One of their members, Northstar, is Canadian. Northstar of course if Marvel's first out super-hero (having come out in 1992) but never had a BF until a few months ago (though I understand for some time he had a roommate that some assumed to be his lover). So the story I was asked to do is about how living on the island is impacting his relationship.

I'm really excited for this issue, and the prospect of Marvel's second canon gay kiss! (I still can't believe that Billy and Teddy of Young Avengers haven't macked on screen yet. I must consume too much fanart). On top of all that, this issue is chock full of some of my favorites! Jubilee returns to the X-men, and not as some stupid "Wondra," No-Girl a.k.a. Brain in a Jar Girl kicks some ass... and oh yeah, a Gambit story... but we can forgive that. Plus a hawt cover:


Originally posted on Scarlet Betch

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So what, Northstar finally realized that, while Hulkling and Wiccan were gettin their twink on, he was being relegated to "old queen" status? Naturally, the only gay non-superheroes in Marvel's universe live in the Bay Area, but whatever...

In any case, the story seems really random for the company to hire a specific writer to take on something like this. I think they're after a GLAAD award for this one.

By the way, does having four characters mean that we're a legitimate comicbook demographic?

I don't think Tim Fish was specifically hired because he was gay, but I'm glad to have this iconic queer character finally in the hands of a queer comic writer/illustrator (although he actually might have been drawn/written by prior queer comic writers/illustrators).

I'm more psyched to get more info on his boyfriend! so cutez!

And we have more than four characters... hulkling, anole, wiccan, northstar, rictor, shatterstar, mystique, destiny, karma, Karolina Dean, Xavin, Ultimate Collosus, Ultimate Northstar, just to name a few off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more.

A bit of obscure trivia for you here: the first openly gay (and HIV+) superhero was The Black Cross, published by Studio G (Daerick Gross Sr.) during the Image-inspired explosion of indie publications in the early '90s. Impossible to find, now. I wrote a bit for Studio G (different title) but they ceased publication.