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This Is How You Do It: Phil Jimenez Introduces a Queer Female Hero of Color in Superwoman #3


I can’t wait for the day when revelations like this are commonplace and no longer “newsworthy.” But, as we don’t yet live in that time, I was thrilled to see the inclusion of yet another queer female character in the DC Comics universe. And this time, we have another queer woman of color to join Renee Montoya and Grace Choi.

In the current run of Superwoman, Phil Jimenez has turned Lana Lang into a Superwoman via powers she acquired . As she explores being a hero, she teams up with her boyfriend, John Henry Irons (A.K.A. Steel) and his niece Natasha (who’s also taken on the mantle of Steel, as well as Vaporlock and Starlight, depending on which version of her you’re reading).

In this exchange following a blackout in the most recent issue of Superwoman, we learn in an organic way that Natasha is queer:

Art by Emanuela Lupacchino

Art by Emanuela Lupacchino

When Greg Rucka confirmed that Wonder Woman is queer in an interview, many people who were supportive of that choice expressed their hope that this fact would be more explicit in the comics. However, we’ve already had Diana’s previous relationships with women explicitly talked about, both by her, and by other Amazons in Rucka’s current run. He had confirmed something that he’d already written in. Would it be nice to see her express attraction to a woman, or even have a relationship with one moving forward? Of course. But there’s something to be said for not making her queer identity the focal point of her character. It’s one of many things that makes her who she is.

Here in this panel from Superwoman Issue #3, Natasha’s sexuality is revealed in a conversation that’s related to the main plot, but also not portrayed as a Big Deal. Meanwhile, Steel says nothing about it, and it’s clear from the way she drops the info so casually that he already knows and doesn’t care.

Again, this kind of representation shouldn’t be such a novelty. But it is. And we can’t wait to see more.

(via Comics Alliance, images via DC Comics)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.