Comics and Cosplay
Good Riddance, Fred Phelps: 5 Pivotal Moments For LGBTs In Comics

Ross Lincoln | 21 Mar 2014 17:00
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Apollo and Midnighter Have Comics' First Same-Sex Wedding

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If there's one thing Slashfic writers want almost as badly as a Kirk/Spock relationship or a Harry/Ron relationship, it's for a Superman/Batman team up to get a hell of a lot more romantic. Sadly, that's never going to happen, but the next best thing occurred on the pages of The Authority, the Justice League pastiche put out by DC's now-defunct Wildstorm imprint.

With The Authority, series creator Warren Ellis managed to combine Silver Age optimism and 90s grit, plus real world sociopolitical themes, in a way that didn't feel absurdly dumb. And he did it in part by having the series' Superman stand-in - Apollo - fall in love with the series Batman stand-in - Midnighter - just like comic-reading slashfic writers have wanted since the 1970s.

Their relationship was revealed in issue #8, 4 issues before Ellis handed writing duties over to Mark Millar. Millar took the series in a very dark direction, but rather than tone down the relationship between Apollo and Midnighter, he made it one of the series central themes. What made it more remarkable, at least to people used to seeing gay characters treated like afterschool specials or the subjects of Very Special Episodes, is that they were treated for the most part like just another loving couple, albeit with parties who happened to have incredible super powers. (And who both basically took a "whatever works up to and including straight up murder when it comes to saving the world" approach to crime fighting.)

For some reason, a lot of people treated the 2012 marriage of Marvel's Northstar to his fiancee Kyle as the first same sex wedding seen in American comics. But those people are hilariously mistaken. The actual first same sex wedding happened between Apollo and Midnighter in 2002, in The Authority # 29. That's a full 12 years before we could definitively declare Fred Phelp's lifelong mission a failure. That's what I call progress.

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