The Week in Gay Geek: The Legion goes to “Smallville”, Milestone set to return and more!

Probably the gayest and most surprising headline to come out of San Diego last weekend was the announcement that the characters from Milestone Comics has been acquired by DC with the characters to be incorporated in the DC Universe. For those of you who don’t remember it, Milestone was a short-lived DC imprint headed by a coalition of African-American creators seeking to remedy the lack of diversity in comics, with their best-known character being Static, thanks to the Static Shock cartoon.

Overall, Milestone’s offerings were very inclusive both on the page and behind the scenes, including LGBT characters, so I’m looking forward to see what DC does with them. Among Milestone’s gay characters are Static’s close friend Rick Stone, the closeted Fade from Blood Syndicate (a series co-created by Ivan Velez Jr), lesbian couple Donner and Blitzen as well as transgender cop Marisa Rahm.

When news like this breaks the cynical part of me usually wonders how the ball will get dropped. But in this case, Milestone co-founder Dwayne McDuffie will be involved in the transition and Milestone characters will be a part of some of DC’s hit titles (for example, Static will be joining the Teen Titans), so I’m feeling pretty hopeful.

A big part of the challenge of adding diversity to superhero universes is that the Direct Market is pretty hostile to new concepts, leaving us stuck mostly with characters who’ve been around for decades, back when diversity wasn’t considered. Of late, DC has tried to address this by giving old concepts new identities, including a Latino Blue Beetle, an Asian Atom and a lesbian Batwoman. Milestone aren’t new concepts and Static is pretty far from being an unknown character, so maybe this will be another way to increase diversity at DC.

The short-lived !mpact line from DC

Meanwhile, on a similar note, we also learned that DC also acquired the Archie Comics superheroes, who also saw a short life as the DC imprint !mpact. As far as I recall, there wasn’t any gay content to be found at !mpact, but it’ll be interesting to see if these characters endure the way the characters DC has acquired from companies like Fawcett, Charleston and Quality Comics have lasted. The characters will be introduced in a Brave and the Bold story written by J. Michael Straczynski.

Another bit of happy-making news is the announcement that longtime gay-fave team The Legion of Super-Heroes will be appearing in an episode of Smallville this season. The ep comes from the pen of Geoff Johns, which certainly has my hopes up. As excited as i was over the idea of The Legion getting an animated series a couple years ago, the challenge of bringing the Legion to TV was made a little too clear by that adaptation’s failures. The Legion has plenty of characters (Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5, for instance) whose powers aren’t visual, making them harder to include in the action. I think Johns could handle that challenge nicely.

Now, obviously, the whole team can’t be a part of the episode but who’s on your wish list?

50 years ago, Adventure Comics #247 changed the DC Universe

The Legion had a pretty good presence in San Diego (this being the team’s 50th Anniversary), including a panel on the title’s gay following. I’ve only seen one, which seemed to largely discuss topics pretty familiar to gay Legion fans. I have to admit, I adore the Legion but it drives me crazy that a title with a gay following that is so heavy on romance hasn’t managed to establish and maintain any gay characters. I know all the continuity reboots have made it challenging but it’s too bad that the Legion’s loyal, gay readers aren’t a bigger priority.

After the break: Save Middleman, Soul Caliber hunks and more!

I’ve been hoping for an excuse to discuss the ABC Family superhero series The Middleman since it debuted, but this wasn’t the excuse I wanted. Amid cancellation rumors, series creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach blogged about the series’ status with ABC Family:

"here’s the scoop: we are a fantastically well-reviewed series that the network loves and supports. abc family is the one place that allowed us to do this show in all of its quirky glory, and in spite of the ratings, they continue to tell me "don’t change a thing."

and about those ratings? well…while improving incrementally, they have not been stellar, so we – and by "we," i mean the network and myself – have made the decision to make and air a twelve episode first season of "the middleman."

…in short: we are doing everything we can to deliver "the middleman" to whatever the future holds for us: and a crucial part of that future hinges on your continued support."

Where’s the Viewers for Qualtiy Television when you need them? Oh, that’s right, they’re not around any more.

Matt Keeslar in the Middle

I’ve talked to a couple people who said they’re putting off checking out the series after missing the premiere, so I wonder if there’s a large, potential audience out there of people who think they won’t be able to follow the series in the middle of the season. That’d be too bad, since the series has been pretty good at not letting the continuity get too dense.

Still, for you fellow Middleman fans out there, it’s probably time to plan a viewing party.

The fourth season of Doctor Who wrapped up a few weeks ago in the UK, but people are still talking about the show. Most recently came the disappointing news that Freema Agyeman won’t be joining the Torchwood team in the third season. Instead, she’ll be joining the UK edition of Law & Order.

The two people who could get me to watch a new Law and Order

Now, what I find interesting about that bit of casting is that the other big name on that L&O is Battlestar Galatica’s Jaime Bamber. Now, the US Law & Order has had more than a few cast members with a gay following (take Oz alums Christopher Meloni and B.D. Wong, for example) but it’ll certainly be interesting to see two stars from Sci-Fi Channel shows who have a gay following launch the L&O franchise overseas.

I’m usually quick to notice equal-opportunity fanservice in video games, since the status quo usually can’t understand why a gamer would want to see the male characters be sexualized as much as female ones (that would be my one beef with City of Heroes’ character creator). Thus, I was interested to see that the next Soul Caliber game features a create-a-character system to create himbo fighters as well as bikini babes.

The character creation screen in Soul Caliber IV includes plenty of options to create a hunky fighter

Fighting games have a long history of sexualizing female characters (remember Mai Shiranui’s "Me Bouncy!" victory cry?), but the same doesn’t happen as often with the male characters, so I always find it interesting when the fanservice opportunities are about equal for all players.

At least that’s my justification for having an interest in video game hotties.

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.