DC Pride (2021-) #1

It’s wonderful to see comic book companies as big as DC and Marvel – both owned by big, somewhat conservative corporations who quite often play it safe in terms of their properties – taking part in Pride Month, with each of the Big Two releasing their own special for the LGBTQIA+ focused events in June (though Marvel’s isn’t arriving until this week, at least it’s given DC’s contribution a few weeks without mainstream competition).

What’s even more surprising is that DC Pride hasn’t been rushed out to make a quick buck; it’s a genuinely well produced, hefty comic filled with inclusive stories, each led by one or more LGBTQIA+ characters. It’s a great celebration of inclusiveness and diversity, with all nine stories (told you it was hefty!) being a great showcase for the variety of characters that inhabit the DC Universe. I was particularly taken with The Question’s sweetly romantic rescue, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s confrontation with a plant monster (as well as their own feelings) and the reconciliation between Green Lantern Alan Scott and his son Obsidian. A battle at a Gay Pride march gives us our finale and rounds out the issue, tying everything together for an uplifting declaration.

Dotted throughout the 80+ pages in addition to the beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated stories are a number of excellent pin-ups and the heartfelt intro by Mark Andreyko, along with interviews with the actors and actresses who are currently portraying LGBTQIA+ DC characters onscreen. This includes an interview with actress and trans rights activist Nicole Maines, who plays trans superhero Dreamer, in the TV show Supergirl – which warrants a special mention, seeing as Dreamer makes her comics debut in the pages of DC Pride.

It’s a truly excellent set of stories and – though the cover price initially seems quite high – great value, considering just how much material it contains. It’s a great step for the comics industry, which has often seen its strongest LGBTQIA+ material coming from independent creators and publishers – and the fact that it’s clearly a labour of love from everyone involved is genuinely great to see. However you identify, you’re sure to find reassurance and representation within the pages of DC Pride #1. Not to be overly dramatic, but it feels near enough unmissable as an important milestone in comics history, in my humble opinion. Happy Pride Month everyone!

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