The Authority is a superhero comic in the DC Universe created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch. The comic follows a team called the Authority composed of characters from Stormwatch. The series ran for a total of four volumes and a spinoff, amounting to a total of 97 issues. The series, however, is celebrating an important anniversary in LGBTQ+ history: the first gay marriage in superhero comics history.
In July of 2002, Apollo and Midnighter, two prominent members of the Authority, were married in the 29thissue written by Mark Millar. Although gay characters had been discussed in other comics, The Authority was the first to take the next step and feature a wedding between its lovers. The two men ultimately adopt a daughter together and live a happy life of crime fighting (until their storyline is erased in issue #52).
What remains significant about their marriage is that it was written in a time where it was of no gain to the comic book company or the author other than to have representation. In 2002, The Authority was known but nowhere near as popular as other comics like The Justice League. The marriage was not written for publicity but rather as a sweet moment between two characters.
The impact of this marriage is huge when we understand that although the first superhero marriage was 16 years ago, we struggle for fair representation today. In a time where we have shows like Pose and Drag Race, most mainstream media still struggles to have adequate LGBTQ+ representation. The first queer movie superhero appeared in Power Rangers (2017) when the yellow ranger (played by Becky G) came out as bisexual; however, rather than explicitly coming out, her character denounces “labels.” The yellow ranger was followed by other queer characters who unfortunately had their sexuality implied rather than explicit or had their storylines cut down: Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Ayo in Black Panther (2018), Negasonic in Deadpool 2 (2018). Even amongst these queer superheroes, there is a glaring lack of men.
While Hollywood struggles to put heroes onscreen, Mark Millar made sure to put them on the page for us all those years ago. It’s a time to celebrate a beautiful moment in comics history: when they finally said, “You may kiss the groom, boys.”