Watch: Here is everything you need to know about gay comic book characters
DC Comics has released a video celebrating the history of its gay comic book characters.
To mark the start of Pride month and the debut of new gay superhero Midnighter, the company looked back at the history of LGBT characters in a video hosted by The Advocate’s Jase Peeples.
He explains: “Comic books mirror the world around us, so it’s natural that they represent our culture’s diversity in race, gender and sexual orientation.
“LGBT characters have long been a part of the DC Universe, but their depiction wasn’t always accepted.”
The video explains that the Comics Code Authority established in 1954 banned all references to homosexuality – leaving early comics devoid of all mention of LGBT people.
However, as the gay rights movement came to prominence during the 1980s, early gay characters began to appear – featuring a storyline in which superheroes disrupt an attack on an AIDS rally, through to the debut of flamboyant superhero Extrano.
LGBT characters continued to grow more prominent, with characters from John Constantine through to Batwoman and Ice Maiden coming out.
As well as being led by an out lesbian character, the Batgirl series also introduced the first trans character in 2013.
It also recaps the history of Midnighter – who married his husband Apollo in a 2002 comic, long before same-sex marriage became accepted in the US mainstream.