DC and Marvel Comics’ Pride Month Plans Are Not Created Equal

DC and Marvel Comics’ Pride Month Plans Are Not Created Equal
Inset of DC Pride 2022 cover by Phil Jiminez and Arif Prianto. (Image: DC Comics)

When Pride Month rolled around last June, both Marvel and DC were ready with special content focusing on their respective LGBTQIA+ characters. This upcoming June will be no different, although one publisher seems to be celebrating Pride Month much, much more heartily than the other, and I’ll give you one guess which is which. Meanwhile, here’s everything the titans of superhero comics are doing to spotlight their characters and readers of all genders and sexualities.

DC Pride 2022 Anthology

Full DC Pride 2022 cover by Phil Jiminez and Arif Prianto. (Image: DC Comics)Full DC Pride 2022 cover by Phil Jiminez and Arif Prianto. (Image: DC Comics)

If you guessed DC was planning the bigger Pride Month celebration and not the publisher whose parent company recently failed to speak out against an awful anti-LGBTQIA+ bill in Florida, congrats. The rainbow-coloured crown jewel of DC’s offerings is undoubtedly this year’s DC Pride anthology, which will be 104 pages long and have an introduction by Supergirl star and trans rights activist Nicole Maines, who also has a secret upcoming DC project of her own. The special will include stories about these characters from these teams:

  • Alysia Yeoh (and Batgirl) by Jadzia Axelrod and Lynne Yoshii
  • Aquaman/Jackson Hyde by Alyssa Wong and W. Scott Forbes
  • Green Lantern/Jo Mullein by Tini Howard and Evan Cagle
  • Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy by Dani Fernandez and Zoe Thorogood
  • The Ray by Greg Lockard and Giulio Macaione
  • Superman/Jon Kent by Devin Grayson and Nick Robles
  • Tim Drake by Travis G. Moore
  • More TBA

DC Pride 2022 will arrive on May 31.

Galaxy: The Prettiest Star

Cover by Jess Taylor. (Image: DC Comics)Cover by Jess Taylor. (Image: DC Comics)

DC will actually kick off Pride a bit earlier than that. Written by Jadzia Axelrod with art from Jess Taylor, Galaxy: The Prettiest Star is about a new hero named Taylor who is an “alien princess disguised as a human boy.” The graphic novel promises to add several new, diverse characters to the DC universe, and will be available May 17. But there’ll also be a special free preview of the book released on May 7, Free Comic Book Day, if you want to get an early peek.

DC Pride: Tim Drake Special

Art by Belen Ortega. (Image: DC Comics)Art by Belen Ortega. (Image: DC Comics)

This will collect the recent, fan-favourite stories published in Batman: Urban Legends series, in which the third Boy Wonder embraced his bisexuality and began a romance with his longtime friend Bernard Dowd. Although it’s only a one-shot comic, it’s 64 pages long, and will also include a new story which “sees Tim teaming up with his former Young Justice teammates and the Batgirls!” It’s coming June 14.

Poison Ivy

Art by Jessica Fong. (Image: DC Comics)Art by Jessica Fong. (Image: DC Comics)

DC will be celebrating its queer characters after Pride Month as well with several ongoing comics that will begin in June. The first of these is Poison Ivy, from G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara, where the anti-hero “leaves Gotham City and sets out to complete her greatest work — a gift to the world that will heal the damage humanity has dealt to it!” The six-issue series will begin on June 7.

Nubia: Queen of the Amazons

Art by Khary Randolph. (Image: DC Comics)Art by Khary Randolph. (Image: DC Comics)

The newly crowned queen — literally, this series begins right after the Nubia: Coronation Special — stars in a second, four-issue miniseries from the Nubia and the Amazons team Stephanie Williams and Alitha Martinez, who will be joined by Mark Morales. It also premieres on June 7

Multiversity: Teen Justice

Multivery: Teen Justice @1 variant cover by Steven Byrne. (Image: DC Comics)Multivery: Teen Justice @1 variant cover by Steven Byrne. (Image: DC Comics)

The third new series follows Teen Justice, the gender-bent version of the Teen Titans from Earth-11, including the previously introduced nonbinary speedster Kid Quick as well as Supergirl, Robin, Donald Troy, Klarienne the Witch-Girl, and more. This time, they’ll be joined by Raven — in some capacity — as a “brooding hero who has refused to join the team in the past.” Will the six-issue series also begin on June 7? Yes, it will, and comes courtesy of Ivan Cohen, Danny Lore, Marco Failla, and Enrica Eren Angiolini.

New Collections and Books

Image: DC ComicsImage: DC Comics

And somehow that’s not all. DC will also be publishing or republishing a load of comics featuring its queer characters from April through August. These include: DC Pride 2021 (4/26), Crush & Lobo (5/17), Midnighter: The Complete Collection (5/24), Aquaman: The Becoming (5/24), Batman: Urban Legends Vol. 2 (5/24), Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol. 1: The Truth (5/31), DC Poster Portfolio: DC Pride (5/31), Doom Patrol by Rachel Pollack Omnibus (7/5), and Harley Quinn: The Animated Series – The Eat. Bang! Kill Tour Vol. 1 (8/30).

DC Pride Variant Covers

An adorable DC Pride 2022 variant cover by Jen Bartel. (Image: DC Comics)An adorable DC Pride 2022 variant cover by Jen Bartel. (Image: DC Comics)

And, of course, there will be variant covers aplenty. Right now, these include artwork from Amy Reeder (Batman #124), David Talaski (Superman: Son of Kal-El #12), Derek Charm (Action Comics #1044), Joe Phillips (Aquamen #5), Kevin Wada (Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1), Kris Anka (Poison Ivy #1), Nick Robles (Nightwing #93), Nicole Goux (Wonder Woman #788), Olivier Coipel (Harley Quinn #16), and Stephen Byrne (Multiversity: Teen Justice #1), but more are on the way.

Marvel Voices: Pride #1

Marvel Voices: Pride #1 variant cover by Steven Byrne. (Image: Marvel Comics)Marvel Voices: Pride #1 variant cover by Steven Byrne. (Image: Marvel Comics)

And now we come to Marvel’s Pride Month offerings. They include its annual anthology series — which now covers similar anthologies for various minority awareness campaigns, such as Black History Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Marvel Voices. It includes a ton of talent, including Gizmodo’s own co-founder and Nebula award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders! Here’s who’s on board the issue, straight from Marvel:

  • In last year’s Marvel Voices: Pride, Steve Orlando and Luciano Vecchio introduced the dreamy mutant hero Somnus, who now stars in the ongoing X-Men series Marauders! New York Times-bestselling, multi-award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders continues this tradition with the debut of another new hero to the Marvel Universe — and it won’t be the last you see of them. Stay tuned for more info!
  • Iron Man scribe and lauded TV showrunner Christopher Cantwell takes on Moondragon’s complex legacy for a heart-bending story across space and time.
  • Shuster and Eisner-winning writer Andrew Wheeler makes his Marvel debut with the Marvel Universe’s real god of love — Hercules! Drawn by Patsy Walker artist Brittney Williams!
  • Nebula, World Fantasy, and Locus-award winner Alyssa Wong [and Stephen Byrne] reunite the Young Avengers in a story guaranteed to please fans new and old! Byrne will also depict the team in a vibrant variant cover that you can check out above.
  • Comedy writer Grace Freud (Rick and Morty, The Eric Andre Show) brings her talents to Marvel with a story about the power of responsibility featuring the Marvel Universe’s favourite gay ginger, D-Man! She’s joined by Eisner-nominated artist Scott B. Henderson in his first work for Marvel!
  • Television writer and podcaster Ira Madison III explores the legacy of Pride in his Marvel debut!
  • Champions scribe Danny Lore revisits the legacy of two characters long left in the closet in a tale of love and redemption!

It’s out June 15.

Marvel Voices: Pride Collection

Image: Marvel ComicsImage: Marvel Comics

Although Marvel Voices: Pride #1 sounds great, the problem is that it seems to be only 50 per cent of Marvel’s Pride content. The other is this trade paperback, which collects last year’s Pride one-shot and various Greatest Queer Hits from Marvel’s past, including “Northstar’s wedding, the debut of Aaron Fischer in United States of Captain America, and more.”

This feels like a huge missed opportunity, all things considered, given the wealth of queer characters whose stories have begun playing out across other series at Marvel. Instead of simply patting itself on the back for past moments and collections, why not, like DC, take the chance to put even more queer heroes in the spotlight with new tales and series? The X-Line alone is dying to give more queer mutants their time to shine on Krakoa, for example, but so far it seems like Marvel has a bit of a missed opportunity — one that especially stings given the recent missteps of its parent company.

Anyway, Marvel will also be offering the requisite Pride variant covers, which are yet to be revealed. Still, the huge disparity between the two companies’ Pride Day offerings makes it feel like DC is truly celebrating its LGBTQIA+ creators and characters, while Marvel is merely acknowledging them. All these stories (and more) will begin hitting shelves in June.

Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.