DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio revealed that a previously straight superhero would come out as gay, instantly becoming “one of our most prominent gay characters.”
DiDio made the announcement at London's Kapow comic convention after being asked about a recent interview he had given with the Advocate, which had questioned the company's decision to change such things as the age and race of characters but not their sexual orientation when theDC re-launched its universe with the New 52.
Bobby Wayne, the senior Vice President for Sales, compared the company to President Obama, saying its policy "has evolved.”
DC's Senior Vice President of Publicity Courtney Simmons later confirmed the story to ABC News, “One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June."
DC was keeping quiet on which character would come out, but that did not stop the media from speculating on who it might be or fans weighing in with their opinion on twitter.
Fox News hinted it might be Superman. London's Daily Mail suggested it might be Batman. BleedingCool.com, which first reported DiDio's comments, shot down both rumors.
Fan speculation has also centered on the New 52 Robin Damian Wayne, Tim Drake, now Red Robin and an earlier version of Batman's sidekick Robin, the villains Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy or fan favorite Lobo, the interstellar bounty hunter and Wally West, a version of the Flash who has net yet been introduced in the New 52 reboot.
DC's revelation seems designed to steal the spotlight from Marvel, which announced on The View on Tuesday that openly gay X-Man Northstar would propose to his boyfriend in issue no. 50 (on newsstands May 22) and they would wed in no. 51.
Northstar was introduced as the first openly gay major superhero in either the DC or Marvel comics universe in 1992. But neither company did much to embrace gay heroes after that. Independents like Wildstorm pushed the boundaries with the pairing of two heroes as a gay couple (who eventually were married by a version of Ellen DeGeneres).
In recent years, DC and Marvel have explored LGBT storylines more fully, introducing gay and lesbian characters in Batwoman, Astonishing X-Men and X-Factor.
But in many ways, the two powerhouse superhero publishers are following the lead of Archie Comics, which featured a same sex wedding in March. Kevin Keller, introduced as the series' first gay character, married his boyfriend after getting injured serving in Iraq.