Last week, Marvel announced that Hercules is one of the characters getting a solo series in the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative. The All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative is supposed to introduce more diversity in Marvel comics and when the Hercules news was announced, fans were hopeful that he would be bisexual in the series.
In Greek mythology, Hercules has relationships with both men and women and in the Marvel universe, there was an alternate universe where Hercules was in a relationship with Wolverine. However, in an interview with Comic Book Resources, Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso said that Hercules would be straight in the new series and declined to answer any follow up.
This response was met with fan backlash, and rightfully so as Hercules would have been the only LGBTQ character getting a solo series in the All-New initiative. What’s the problem? Is it the idea of an LGBTQ lead in general? Or the idea that a very big, strong, masculine, man enjoys having sex with men?
For an initiative that’s supposed to be new and different and focus on diversity, they seem to be turning out more of the same in regards to LGBTQ representation and are falling behind the competition. Back in February, DC confirmed that Catwoman is bisexual and in June, they confirmed the same of Harley Quinn. Midnighter, an openly gay superhero, just got his first solo series in June. Batwoman, whose solo series ended and is currently in the DC Bombshells series, and Renee Montoya, who recently returned in Detective Comics, have been around for years and are both lesbians.
There are more LGBTQ DC characters, it’s really not hard to introduce LGBT characters. All you really have to do is introduce the hero and then when it comes to that hero’s personal life, just be like “oh yeah, he’s with a dude” or “she’s with a woman”, or something. Nobody’s asking for Hercules or any other LGBTQ character to start joining Pride parades, although Hercules on a Pride float with a bunch of drag queens is a pretty great image. All fans are asking for is a chance to open up a comic and say, “Hey, there’s someone like me.”
So come on Marvel, don’t hold back and let that rainbow flag fly.