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Comic Books

The new member of The Avengers is gay and Latino

Katharine Swindells November 29, 2017
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Great Lakes Avengers Issue #2 (Marvel)

Marvel have announced that their famous Avengers team will be gaining a new member.

Miguel Santos, also known as Living Lightning, will be joining the famous team in a 2018 storyline called “No Surrender,” which will run weekly from Avengers issue #675 to #690.

Living Lightning first appeared in 1990, when he battled a terrorist group called the Legion of Living Lighting, gaining the power to control and turn into lightning, and his superhero name.

Though he had previously dated women, it was during the Great Lakes Avengers series that he came out as gay, when he mistakenly thought their acronym GLA stood for Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

Great Lakes Avengers Issue #2 (Marvel)

“He’s gay. Get over it,” GLA writer Dan Slott said.

“Previous girlfriends? Beards. Or relationships that just didn’t work – because Miguel hadn’t come to terms yet with who he really is.”

“Miguel is a gay superhero and a wonderful role model.”

Related: 20 superheroes you probably didn’t know were LGBT

Living Lightning worked with some of the Avengers before, for a while joining the West Coast Avengers team, which included well-known faces such as Hawkeye, Iron Man, War Machine, The Human Torch and Spider-Woman.

Related: A first look at Russell Tovey in a gay Holocaust victim outfit, as gay superhero The Ray in DC show

“We looked for an entry level character, a person who makes sense coming into the world of the Avengers and to some degree being the viewpoint of the reader,” editor Tom Brevoort told Comic Book Resources.

Living Lightning (Marvel)

“Now, he’s suddenly been thrown into the deep end as one of the key players in trying to keep the world safe and deal with these massive crises that the Avengers deal with.”

“He gets to see that from a ground level and very human perspective. He’ll experience this big thing with epic stakes.”

Many people are really excited to see an LGBT+ POC superhero make it into the mainstream comics, a big step when the characters are overwhelmingly straight, white men.

From @moiseschiu on Twitter

People are hoping this, along with the massive success of DC’s summer blockbuster Wonder Woman, and Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther film, which has a majority black cast, as a sign that the huge industry of comic book franchise is moving to becoming more representative.

However, some fans are skeptical that this representation will carry to the big screen, disheartened by the reveal that Thor: Ragnarok cut out scenes that showed a lead character as bisexual.

However perhaps Living Lightning will change the trend, and we’ll see soon be seeing him alongside the star-studded cast of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Here’s hoping!

Related topics: comic books, DC, iron man, Latina, latino, LGBT, marvel, representation, superhero

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