GAY · Geeks

BREAKING THE SUPERHERO MOULD

Go Go Go Power Rangers for breaking ground and making history by breaking the super hero mould, by having the first openly gay superhero on the big screen. I am so excited by this 🙂

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Big news erupted with the premier of the new Power Rangers reboot hitting the cinemas this weekend, it’s breaking ground and giving small kids perhaps the best super hero idols that I wish I had at that age. The blue ranger in the film will be autistic, but what excites me more is the yellow ranger is gay. When I say this I don’t mean bi, or has gay context, she is openly gay and saves the world.

When I told some of my geeky friends what a bench mark this is, so many of them didn’t believe this statement. Yes there are gay superheroes out there, but to be seen on the big screen with millions poured into production, this is the first. Trini Kwan, the Yellow Ranger played by Becky G, reveals in the film’s second act that she is gay. The moment comes when another character assumes Trini is having “boyfriend problems” and then realizes it is actually “girlfriend problems.” I see this as a massive positive step for the LGBT community, as much as I think it was safer option to go with a girl its still moving forward for more gay superheroes to emerge.

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I’m a massive Power Rangers fan, I remember watching it in my early teens because Tommy was fit as fuck and worth watching. You have to remember at that age we only had the Grattan catalogue to look at fit men in their pants or Baywatch, so I needed someone to ogle. Can I just stress though Tommy the green ranger was not my first crush, I just enjoyed looking at him. But if you look at that show, who else but gay men would wear spandex with a helmet, mounting their massive Zords.

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When I was in my early 20’s I used to watch the US version of Queer As Folk, I loved the storyline of the gay comic hero Rage. Rage was a comic that featured for the purpose of the show, two of the sub characters based him on the sexy lead Brian Kinney. The basic story of Rage was set in Gayopolus, where Rage saves a young lad being queer bashed in the streets and uses his powers of mind control to make the bashers see themselves as gay, so they beat each other to death. In the series the comic was a massive success, leading to more issues using the series storylines as metaphors in the comics. The reality of this storyline was when Hollywood came knocking to make a feature film of Rage, the characters were worried they would try and make Rage straight, something that has been happening in the last 10 years in the superhero films. But alas the story came a conclusion when Hollywood shuts down Rage, because they cant sell a gay superhero :-(.

LGBTQ representation has been a sticking point for the superhero genre. Progress has come slowly to comics. Marvel’s mutant Northstar became the first openly gay character in either a Marvel or DC comic when he came out in 1992. Since then, new LGBTQ characters like DC Comics’ Batwoman, Apollo and Midnighter and Marvel’s Wiccan, Hulking, and Miss America have been introduced but have not appeared in live-action. Other more established characters like Marvel’s Iceman and DC’s Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman have been portrayed as LGBTQ in the comics, but have always been represented as straight on the big screen.

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Northstar the first official gay superhero within Marvel or DC

Television has seen a bit more progress. The CW’s Supergirl, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow each feature LGBTQ characters prominently and are produced by the openly gay Greg Berlanti. Marvel’s LGBTQ characterization has been limited to Inhuman guest star Joey Gutierrez on Agents of SHIELD and corporate away Jeryn Hogarth on Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

So what is the future here? Now the door has been opened I would love to see more and more gay superheroes come forward and take they’re rightful place next to Thor, Superman and Wonder Woman. But what is Hollywood so worried about. If you look at how a lot of the revenue from superheroes comes from toys and comics bought by parents, would they buy a gay superhero for their child? I would like to say in 2017 absolutely,  but in the age where Trump is President and Putin is in power I sadly don’t think so. In Russia they have given Power Rangers an 18 certificate because of the gay character…..wtf. What do they think they would get from a gay superhero??

I recently watch Captain America a gay parody, where if you take out the all the sex it actually tells a story of Cap saving his love Bucky, a story I would of wanted to see when I was younger.

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But after films like Deadpool and Logan the superhero genre is moving more into darker films for adults, so I hope this will also lead more into having lead characters who are LGBT who save the earth and look hot doing so.

Darren Goodwin

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