When it comes to queer representation in superhero comics, publishers all too often expect readers to be grateful for crumbs. There have been queer-led solo series (America, Batwoman, Iceman, and Midnighter) and team books with a lot of queer members (Young Avengers, The Authority in The Wild Storm), but those books are anomalies in large lineups that are packed to the brim with straight heroes. But there are alternatives outside of the Big Two for readers hungry for queer superheroes. Joe Glass’ The Pride introduces a superhero universe built on LGBTQ+ inclusion, following a team that is explicitly created to show the range of the queer experience.
The Pride features superheroes who are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, non-binary, and children of gay parents. Glass blends modern queer issues with classic superhero storytelling to tell narratives that classic superhero comics haven’t touched. For 2019’s Pride Month, The Pride is coming to ComiXology Originals for its second season, The Pride: Fame Monster, written by Glass with art by penciller Cem Iroz, colorist Mark Dale, and letterer Mike Stock. ComiXology is also releasing new collections of The Pride Season One and The Pride Adventures, making it easy for readers to jump into the series and learn more about these characters.
This exclusive preview of The Pride: Fame Monster #1, available June 5 on ComiXology, catches up with the team in a moment of crisis. The Pride is waiting to hear about the recovery of their colleague, Bear, who is HIV+ and didn’t have access to his antiretrovirals when he was recently captured. It’s a scene that addresses Bear’s illness with a matter-of-fact tone and captures the gravity of the medical situation without stigmatizing his HIV+ status. The excerpt ends with FabMan realizing that there’s still more work to do in terms of representing queer people around the world, setting up a new wave of queer heroes to continue expanding the scope of the series. With new characters comes new challenges and victories, and The Pride excels at using queer struggle and joy to show a different side of the superhero genre.