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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Who He Is and How He Came to Be

The Flamboyant New Addition to Teen Titans

Reports came from Bleeding Cool yesterday that Brett Booth and Scott Lobdell will be introducing an outwardly gay character in their upcoming re-launch of Teen Titans, as a member of the team. Seen in solicitations under the moniker of the Wall, the character’s name has since been changed to Bunker. His powers are as yet unknown, but given his names and the cover of Teen Titans #3, it appears that they are defensive in nature, with the hero being able to create barriers and other constructs.

This seems to run right along Dan Didio’s statements in an interview with the Advocate back in July.

One of the things we’re very focused on doing… is rather than [change an existing] character, we want to make sure that this is the basis of who that character is right from the start. So if we’re going to introduce a gay character in Teen Titans, we want to make it a new character and make sure that is an integral part of who he is, or who she is, right from the start so we can really learn and grow with her or him.

As for Bunker, Bleeding Cool cited Brett Booth’s blog, which said:

“His real name is Miguel Jose Barragan. He was raised in a very small Mexican village called El Chilar. He was very loved by his family and the village as well — and they were as accepting of his homosexuality as they were to his super powers when they first manifested. To that end he grew up in an angst-free environment. He was born out of the closet and so he has a very refreshing outlook on life.”

“We wanted to show an interesting character [whose] homosexuality is part of him, not something that’s hidden. Sure they are gay people who you wouldn’t know are gay right off the bat, but there are others who are a more flamboyant, and we thought it would be nice to actually see them portrayed in comics. Did we go over the top, I don’t think so. I wanted you to know he might be gay as soon as you see him. Our TT is partly about diversity of ANY kind, [it's] about all kinds of teens getting together to help each other. It is a very difficult line to walk, will he be as I’ve read in some of the comments ‘fruity’? Not that I’m aware of. Will he be more effeminate than what we’ve seen before, the ‘typical’ gay male comic character, yes. Does it scare the shit out of me that I might inadvertently piss off the group I want to reflect in a positive way, you’re damn straight (pun intended!)”

The pursuit of diversity and progress are important and lofty ambitions in any medium. However, Booth’s seemingly honorable intentions appear to indicate that Bunker may end up as more of a caricature than an accurate portrayal of the gay community. However, the fact that Booth seems aware of the ball of very intricate gender, sexual orientation expressing, and promoting stereotype issues that he is playing with. After all, if Glee can do it…

On the other hand, Booth starts out his quote by implying that out “gay people who you wouldn’t know are gay right off the bat” are “hiding” their sexuality, without acknowledging that we live in a society that assumes straight until proven gay, where the attempts of gay men and women to only bring up their sexuality when it is actually relevant to a conversation, as when talking about significant others, and not when it isn’t, as when buying a shirt (a luxury enjoyed by all straight people), is interpreted as “hiding” by those they interact with. Perhaps Booth is self-consciously as worried as he needs to be.

Hopefully Miguel/Bunker will be treated in a respectful manner and become a relatable, three dimensional character, and not simply a token character.

(via Bleeding Cool)

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  • Lauren Seals

    Ooh this makes me nervous. There is so much there that I don’t really want to touch, but the whole… everything just reads as 20 years out of date. I haven’t heard the term “fruity” used in that context since 1994, at least. The approach seems very “outside-in” in terms of “we want to make a Gay. How do we make a Gay?” instead of “we want to make a character who is gay and comfortable with himself”. Giving him defensive powers and calling him effeminate are tremendous red flags for me. But overall, from this interview it seems like this is a move that would’ve been more appropriate in the Will & Grace era and less appropriate in the world we live in now.

  • Lindsay Shirkey

    I’m not really sure how to feel about the character. I understand why many comic book writers avoid the stereotype, but I know several gay men who are very flamboyant. I feel like, if handled delicately, Miguel could be an accurate portrayal of some members of the gay community. As a member of the GLBT community that “you wouldn’t know right off the bat,” I wasn’t bothered at all by the comment. I feel that may have been over analyzed, but then again, it’s very difficult to offend me. I had noticed, however, that many gay characters in comics (at least the big names) are like me in that sense and there has been a severe lacking in characters that are “obvious.” Do we need one? I think so. Would this be better handled by a gay writer? Yes, but I’m willing to give Miguel a shot. It sounds like the writer is sincere in trying to portray homosexuals in a positive light, which, I think, is a step forward. I hope Miguel, who is also Hispanic, which I have to applaud, turns out to be a well-rounded and well-handled character.

  • Eric Bazilio

    Here’s hoping for the day when this isn’t even newsworthy because it’s just common place. But, one step at a time works.

    A gay writer actually writing a gay character in a somewhat mainstream super-hero comic would actually catch my attention. By the , did that ever happen?

  • Nick Gaston

    Openly gay, AND a young Mexican…are we sure there aren’t any other up-and-coming demographics they can squeeze in there? Maybe make him an Arab anti-government protester My Little Pony fan, too?

    Though, really, considering this is the same industry that produced Dazzler and U.S. 1, ol’ “Bunker” there is really just carrying on a long, proud tradition of cashing in. Salyut!

    …oh, and “The Wall” was his original codename? Yeah…wild guess, he’s a geomancer. Controls dirt, and/or rocks. Y’know, stone. Which he makes walls out of. Hint, hint. Which means “Bunker” is probably really his THIRD codename, and some editor mercifully quashed the original.

    (Perhaps unmercifully, really…if they’re going over the top already, maybe they should have just gone whole hog and made him a Zack Snyder-esque Gay Titan—er, no pun intended—so Wagnerianly capable over-the-top that he became awesome again.)

  • Em

    Actually, it looks like he’ll be telekinetic. So he can make shields and things with his brain but that doesn’t exactly explain ‘Bunker’ or ‘Wall’ because in his costume it shows him with telekinetic fists but! Whatever. It’s comics and there are more unfortunate names out there. 

    I do agree about them shoving a lot of demographics in one character. I would like more new, non-white characters and I’d like more gay characters. Why can’t I?

  • Frodo Baggins

    “with the hero being able to create barriers and other constructs.”

    So he can LITERALLY shut himself in the closet? Facepalm.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

  • Kalynn Osburn

    Honestly, even if they are pandering to a certain extent, what matters to me is that they are TRYING to open themselves up to demographics and to the world at large. Yes it’s not being done with a great deal of finesse, but frankly I have a bigger problem with Amanda Waller being made skinny.


  • Ceili

    Oh gee, look. Another gay character in media. And look, it’s a male. Again. *shocked.jpg* -.-

  • aKa

    Will he be more effeminate than what we’ve seen before, the ‘typical’ gay male comic character, yes.

    Why? And why create a new character that is “flamboyant”? Why not a character who is dealing with his/her sexuality? And please, would it be that hard to make one already existing character bi or gay? Thank God for Batman and the Batman family, DC, or else I wouldn’t bother with you.

  • Anonymous

    One step forward and three back.

    Cause what we need is more flamboyant gay man stereotypes. Cause that, and two hot chicks kissing is the only way homosexuality should ever be portrait as.  *headdesk*

  • Anonymous

    /“gay people who you wouldn’t know are gay right off the bat” are “hiding” their sexuality,/

    What the WHAT now? Yeah sure, we should all wear signs on our forehead proclaiming our sexuality. What a great idea…

    Also, who does this person think he is that he has a right to know who I am attracted to? What kind of douchy entitlement is this?

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

  • Jose

    Wow. Way for all of you to miss read and everything in that quote. Well done. 

  • Emily Hill

    being a bi-sexual I applaud Booth for giving us a gay character

  • Frodo Baggins

    As I understand it, they need more bitches total. Their overall bitch-levels are dangerously low. Character bitches, creator bitches, every kind of bitch you can think of.

  • David Clark

    I believe Batwoman is a lesbian in the New 52…

  • Dickie

    Hello!!! I came across several articles including while composing a VLOG in American Sign Language (but captioned for everyone to watch– I’m Deaf by the way) mentioning all the LGBT Superheroes under DC Comics.  I want to say thank you!!!

    I am truly proud that they made Bunker flamboyant and feminine because there are gay men like that out there, like the fabulous myself!! Here it is!  Bunker Mention, plus along with Batwoman!'s Part One about Marvel’s LGBT, too! you like and ENJOY! :D :D :D