DC History Club: The History of DCU Pride Characters and Creators - All Profiles Available

Pride_Profile_Allan Heinberg

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Allan Heinberg. Heinberg is the definition of a multi-talented threat. He launched a Wonder Woman series as a writer with the Dodsons, co-wrote a JLA arc with Geoff Johns, co-wrote the screenplay for Gadot/Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, as well as wrote and produced television programs from Party of Five, Sex and the City, Grey’s Anatomy and the upcoming Sandman series. Over at the House of Ideas, Heinberg, a gay man himself, created the teen gay characters Wiccan and Hulking.

Wonder Woman

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Pride_Profile_Ghost-Maker

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Ghost-Maker. James Tynion and Jorge Jimenez have created a new rival for Batman that shows us who Bruce Wayne might have been without Alfred’s influence. Ghost-Maker, introduced in Batman vol. 3 #100, considers himself a hero with all of Batman’s training, money and skill. He also has a taste for the high-life, including the pleasures of men and women, that Bruce only pretends to have. He’s also willing to kill. If you want to know more about this new entry into the Batman mythos, you’ll have to keep reading DC Comics because he’s just gotten started.

ghost maker

Batman Vol. 3 #100

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Pride_Profile_Mazikeen

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Mazikeen. If you’re a fan of the television show Lucifer, you must be a fan of the incredibly talented Lesley-Ann Brandt and her portrayal of Mazikeen. Consort to the Fallen One, lover of an angel and Eve, and the baddest bounty hunter in LA, the pansexual demon brings every scene she’s in alive. The character was originally created by Neil Gaiman and Kelley Jones in Sandman vol. 2 #22, and appears with Lucifer in his Vertigo series. For a demon with more than a few rough edges, Maze has a lot of people and angels who care deeply for her.
Lucifer Vertigo

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Pride_Profile_Caitlín R. Kiernan

:00_dc_pride: Pride Profile: Caitlin R. Kiernan. There’s being accomplished and there’s being Caitlín R. Keirnan. The Irish born non-binary paleontologist/novelist/screenwriter/comic book creator/singer Keirnan is a winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel and World Fantasy Awards for collection and short fiction; co-author of paleontology papers describing new genus and species of ancient marine reptiles; and was the front person for the goth-folk-blues band Death’s Little Sister named after Neil Gaiman’s character Delirium. And Gaiman is where they come into the DCU when they were asked to write The Dreaming spinoff from Gaiman’s The Sandman, helming the title for its entire five year run.

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Pride_Profile_Artemis

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Artemis. Artemis, or a version of her, has been a DCU staple for decades as a butt kicking archer. The version we see today is most closely tied with William Messner-Loebs and Mike Deodato’s creation for Wonder Woman in 1994. That Artemis took on the role of Wonder Woman and later a mentor for Cassie Sandsmark. Our current Artemis, shares all of that version’s looks and attitudes with a somewhat different backstory. Now she’s an Amazon of the Bana-Migdall who left her people to recover the Bow of Ra. Eventually falling in with Jason Todd, Artemis joined the new Outlaws. Despite her reputation as the angry Amazon, Artemis has shown her more caring side through her love affair with fellow Amazon Akila and her attraction to Red Hood.

Red Hood and the Outlaws

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Pride_Profile_Steve Orlando

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Steve Orlando. Asked what’s it like working for DC, Orlando said, “I grew up as a DC guy…I was, you know, knocked over when they offered me that contract… young Steve, who is reading DC books out of flea markets in the 1980s and early '90s, you know, it’s a dream job.” Sentiments any comic fan can understand. Beginning with DC on Midnighter, which was nominated for a GLAAD award, Orlando went on to pen Wonder Woman, Batman, Martian Manhunter and more. Orlando infused his work with a personal perspective that elevated the final results. Discussing Martian Manhunter, Orlando who identifies as bisexual, said “I understand what it’s like to have something inside of you that you have to wrestle with and come to terms with, but also maybe isn’t noticeable on the street to folks. And having something inside of himself that he has to wrestle with and overcome and eventually use to empower himself, that’s J’onn J’onzz’s journey as well.”

Midnighter
Martian Manhunter

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Pride_Profile_Tefe Holland

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Tefe’ Holland. Originally introduced in Swamp Thing Vol 2 #90 by Doug Wheeler and Pat Broderick, Tefe’ is the daughter of the Swamp Thing, Abby Arcane and John Constantine (it’s a long story). This human-plant hybrid was tutored by former plant elemental Lady Jane and eventually manipulated by the Parliament of Trees into waging war on humankind. It took all three of her parents conspiring to subsume her personality into the body of a dying fifteen year old girl to end the threat. And that is where this starts as she stars in Brian K. Vaughan’s Swamp Thing (2000). Though she has had difficulty connecting to humanity at times, Tefe’ is later revealed as bisexual.


Tefe’s Swamp Thing

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Pride_Profile_John Constantine

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: John Constantine. This popular character needs no introduction, but we’re giving him one anyway. Created by Alan Moore for Swamp Thing #37 because Steve Bissette and John Totleben wanted to draw Sting, Constantine is a chain smoking working class con artist, manipulator, and magician who has saved the DCU more times than your average magical hero. With the creation of the Vertigo imprint, Constantine’s Hellblazer became one of its centerpieces running for three hundred issues. Adding to that are starring turns in subsequent comic series, a movie, appearances on five different television shows, multiple animated projects and more to come. For a man who likes to present himself as uncaring and cynical, Constantine sure seems to fall hard in love a lot. From Desmond in the Arrowverse to Zatanna in the DCU, Constantine cares more than he would like to admit.

Hellblazer

Justice League Dark

Swamp Thing #37

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Pride_Profile_Julia_Pennyworth

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Julia Pennyworth. This Pennyworth has been around longer than many fans may realize. As Julia Remarque, she was introduced in Detective Comics #501 in 1981 by Gerry Conway and Don Newton. That Julia is the daughter of Alfred and French Resistance fighter Mademoislle Marie who appeared in combat comics from her debut in Star-Spangled War Stories in 1959 to Sgt. Rock in 1986. Julia discovered that Alfred was her biological father and fell into Batman related adventures (and Bat love) until she was Crisis’ed out of existence. The revived Julia’s first full appearance happens Batman Eternal #8 in 2014. This version is a woman of color who followed her estranged father into British special services, coming into the Bat family after being wounded taking down Hong Kong’s crime boss. Working through family issues and contributing to the Bat business, she takes on the call name of Penny-Two. While it is implied in the comics that Julia is attracted to Kate Kane, it would take the Batwoman television show to close the gap, stating that the two had once had a romance that Kate broke off.

Detective Comics 501

Batman Eternal #8

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Pride_Profile_José Villarrubia

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: José Villarrubia. This Madrid born artist is known as a fine art photographer and Eisner award winning colorist. His contributions to DC looks like a list of some of the most visually interesting series the company has produced including Promethea, Sweet Tooth, Batman: Year 100, and The Other History of the DC Universe. This self-identified LGTBQ+ Spanish-American was also nominated for a GLAAD award for his work with Sarah Vaughn and Lan Medina on Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love which included the first non-binary African-American character in DC.

Promethea

Batman: Year 100

Sweet Tooth: The Return

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Pride_Profile_Obsidian

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Obsidian. Todd James Rice, the brother of Jennie-Lynn Hayden (Jade), was introduced by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway in All-Star Squadron #25, before starring as member of Infinity Inc. Jade’s Green Lantern-like powers and Obsidian’s shadow powers were inherited from their father Green Lantern Alan Scott and mother the one-time villain Thorn :woman_shrugging:. Cycling through memberships in Infinity Inc., the JSA and the Justice League didn’t prevent Obsidian from descending into madness, supposedly also inherited from his mother. Stable and retired from the superhero game, Todd appears in the Kate Spencer’s Manhunter series and meets and falls in love with Assistant District Attorney Damon Matthews.

All-Star Squadron #25

Infinity Inc.

Kate Spencer’s Manhunter

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Pride_Profile_Shining Knight

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Shining Knight, Sir Ystin. The original Shining Knight, Sir Justin, debuted in Adventure Comics #66 in 1941. Bestowed by Merlin with a sword that cuts any substance, armor impervious to damage, and his horse Winged Victory he defended Camelot. A frozen sleep later, and Justin finds himself in New York with the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Reimaged by Grant Morrison in Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight now Welsh Sir Ystin was originally a woman who hid her gender to be close to Sir Galahad and fight for Camelot. In the New 52’s Demon Knights, the character shifted further in gender identity. While the Shining Knight stated, I’m "not just a man or a woman. I’m both,” there’s some debate whether Ystin is presented as non-binary or transgender. But, what really matters is what’s inside the bottle. Justin or Ystin, the Shining Knight represents courage, chivalry, and justice in any era.

Shining Knight

Demon Knights

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Pride_Profile_Madame Xanadu

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Madame Xanadu. Everyone’s favorite fortune-teller does far more than read Tarot cards or crystal balls as her many fans will let you know. Introduced in 1978’s Doorway to Nightmare #1 by David Mechelinie, Val Mayerik and Mike Kaluta, Xanadu has origins lost in the mists of time and different writers. What has remained consistent is her ties to Camelot and King Arthur and her life as an immortal sorceress wandering the world. In that time and in different tellings, she has taken on many lovers including Merlin, Jason Blood, Etrigan, and the Phantom Stranger. In Madame Xanadu, Vertigo’s hidden treasure of a series by Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder, she finds herself taking on the Spanish Inquisition for loving the farm maiden Marisol. A thousand plus years of finding and losing love, standing up to evil and not always winning has left Xanadu often reluctant to fight on the side of angels. But, as the Demon Knights, Justice League Dark, and the many people she has saved can attest, she’s far more than a fortune-teller when she’s on your side.

Doorway_to_Nightmare_1

Doorway to Nightmare

Madame Xanadu Vertigo

Justice League Dark

Demon Knights

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Pride_Profile_Bluebird

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Harper Row, Bluebird. Harper first appears in Batman vol. 2 #1, but really makes her mark in Batman Eternal when she appears as the new costumed hero Bluebird. But, Harper was a hero well before that. Growing up with an absent mother and abusive alcoholic father, Harper protected her brother Cullen and eventually applied for emancipation and put her electric skills to work for Gotham City. When Cullen had his head shaved in a hate crime assault for being gay, Harper cut her hair to match. As a self-described part of the blue-haired, bi girl contingent, Harper used her electrical expertise as a hero, before stepping back into a more normal life.

Harper_Row_0002

Batman Eternal

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Pride_Profile_Crush

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Crush. Everyone seems to a have a crush on Xiomara Rojas, one of DC’s newest characters introduced in 2018 in Teen Titans Special #1 by Adam Glass, Bernard Chang and Jorge Jimenez.* The half-Czarnian daughter of Lobo originally crashed to earth in the middle of the Burning Man festival, not exactly Kansas. But, her adoptive parents loved her and did their best to protect her, even when they ultimately couldn’t protect themselves. Discovered by Damian Wayne, she went from illegal fighting rings to fighting for and with the Teen Titan. Crush is quick to anger and definitely has a mean streak, but her affection for Djinn and a new girlfriend in Crush and Lobo give promise that she is not fated to be her father.

Teen Titans Special & beyond

*We sincerely apologize, the pun couldn’t be helped.

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Pride_Profile_Mother Panic

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Mother Panic. The only Young Animal imprint title to star a new character, Mother Panic was the brain child of Gerard Way and Tommy Lee Edwards, with Jody Houser brought in to helm the series. After a violent and unstable childhood, Violet Paige was sent to a ‘school’ that experimented on its students resulting in her gaining cybernetic parts and superhuman strength. Set in Gotham City, Violet eventually becomes the vigilante Mother Panic. Like playboy Bruce Wayne, she uses her public image as a young wealthy bi party girl as a cover, but there’s no Batman’s code against killing getting in her way.

Mother Panic

Mother Panic, A.D.

Milk Wars

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Pride_Profile Ya Wara

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Ya’Wara. Wonder Girl isn’t the first DC hero from the Amazon Rainforest. Introduced in 2012’s Aquaman #7 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, Ya’Wara is the survivor of a plane crash that was given power by the Forest Mother, including the ability to commincate with any animal telepathically. She’s also someone you do not want to get in a fight with. Ya’Wara would go on to star in Aquaman and the Others. A one-time lover of Arthur Curry, Ya’Wara went on a trail of vengeance against Black Manta for her killing her teammate Kahina, an adept swordswoman and seer, who she confessed to also loving.

Aquaman #7

Aquaman and the Others

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Pride_Profile_Bunker

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Bunker. Miguel Barragan was born in a small Mexican village where his family and fellow villagers fully accepted and loved him for who he was, a gay teen metahuman capable of creating solid ‘bricks’ out of nothing. Inspired by Red Robin to move to the U.S. and become a superhero, Bunker was introduced by Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth in New 52’s Teen Titans #1. Bunker brought a sense of fun, adventure and style needed in this more serious take on the legendary teen team. Describing his creation, Lobdell has said that Miguel “enjoys being alive, he enjoys his sexuality, and he enjoys that he’s been gifted with these super powers.” All we can say to that is, shouldn’t we all?

Teen Titans New 52

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Pride_Profile_Traci 13

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Traci 13. So, your dad is Doctor Thirteen and is in the business of proving that magic and supernatural occurrences are hoaxes. Your mom, Meihui Lan, is one of a long line of the HomoMagi before she dies as the result of magic. Career choices are gonna be tough. Created for Superman #189 by Joe Kelly and Dwayne Turner in 2003, Traci has the ability to draw from the power of cities, creating the full range of magic powers. At one point, protecting Superman from a female ninja ghost (yep) she met Natasha Steel with who she had a short relationship. Traci also appears in Blue Beetle where Jaime Reyes became her boyfriend. The urban magic girl teamed up with Black Alice and Zachary Zatanna in a Teen Titans back up feature. Most recently you can find her tending bar for Detective Chimp in Justice League Dark, but we’re not entirely sure Bobo checked her ID before she got the job.

Blue Beetle (Traci 13 begins)

Teen Titans (Traci backup feature begins)

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Pride_Profile_Jericho

:00_dc_pride:Pride Profile: Jericho. You would think being Deathstroke’s kid would be enough of a challenge for anyone. But, Joseph Williams Wilson has always been given bigger obstacles to overcome, and this sensitive and artistic superhero has conquered them all. Created in 1984 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez for Tales of the Teen Titans #43, Jericho was part of a broader effort to introduce more characters into the Titans not directly connected to the older generation of DC heroes. While Wolfman had the name and parentage, it was Perez who not only designed Jericho’s look but developed his powers, personality and his inability to speak. Jericho’s power to ‘jump’ into and control another person, and his need to express himself physically played into Perez’s strengths depicting action. At the time, the scribe and artist discussed Jericho being gay, but decided making the ‘sensitive’ hero gay was playing into stereotypes. And, while Joseph was romantically connected to Raven and Kole, some readers saw the character as gay. Finally, with Rebirth Jericho was depicted as bisexual. Making this a case were something his initial creators saw in him came through on the page and eventually became canon.

Adding another layer to this pride profile, a trans actor was chosen to play a character with the power to inhabit a body not their own, when Chella Man took on the role of Jericho in Titans. Man had already inspired others by chronicling his personal journey through gender transition and living “deaf, Genderqueer, Chinese, and Jewish," on his popular You Tube account.


Tales of the Teen Titans #43

Deathstroke

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