DC Comics

DC Cancels “Midnighter,” Only Mainstream Comic With Gay Lead Character

"People were given a queer icon that they deserved, and they connected with him."

As DC Comics readies for its company-wide “Rebirth” next month, it appears one of our favorite comics is coming to an end: Midnighter, which recounts the adventures of a gay vigilante who makes Batman look like a pacifist, wraps with issue Number 12 in May.

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Though Midnighter is DC’s only gay-fronted title, its unlikely homophobia was behind the comic’s demise: It’s notoriously hard to launch a new comic these days—especially one not tied to the Superman or Batman family.

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Steve Orlando, the bi writer who’s helmed Midnighter since it’s launch, actually included a crossover with Dick Grayson (the former Robin) that was full of homoerotic undertones. But it wasn’t enough to get the comic’s numbers up to snuff.

At least Midnighter gets a proper sendoff—reuniting with his superhero ex, Apollo, to battle his evil creator, Henry Bendix.

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While Midnighter never felt preachy, Lucas Trent’s sexuality was also never downplayed.

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“People were given a queer icon that they deserved, and they connected with him,” said Orlando in an interview with Newsarama.

“All the ’Best of 2015’ lists, a GLAAD Media Award nomination, and the personal messages people send me most of all, are the real accomplishment. This is a book I needed when I was younger, and for people to have it now, in the next generation, is my greatest accomplishment of all.”

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Steve Orlando

Thankfully this isn’t the last we’ll see of Orlando: He recently signed an exclusive contract with DC and will begin writing a new Supergirl series in August.

As for Midnighter, his future isn’t quite so clear. But Orlando insists “his place [in the DC Universe] is indelible, unique, and unquestionable—People weren’t sure how much there was to him as a character, what separated him from Batman. Now anyone who has read the book would never confuse the two.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.