One of the first U.S. comic series to have a gay superhero lead is getting a rerelease.
At New York Comic-Con, Comics publishing company Dark Horse announced that it will be republishing Enigma as a deluxe hardcover collection and never-before-seen development art.
The 1992 comic first launched through DC’s Vertigo imprint and was initially created for a Disney Touchstone that later faltered. That said, the eight-part series by Peter Milligan, Duncan Fegredo and Sherilyn Van Valkenburgh was later picked up by DC’s “mature readers” section titled Vertigo.
The story follows Michael Smith, a man being haunted by his childhood. Michael starts to see Enigma, a comic book hero he read as a child, popping up around him. With every encounter of this hero, Michael learns new lessons about himself as a person.
Enigma, which was one of Vertigo‘s launch titles in 1993, is getting a new hardcover from Berger Books. Due out next fall. (Not the final design but the purple on the cover will be metallic.) pic.twitter.com/A76Dxg3DTg
— Comics Bookcase at Quarantine 2020 (@ComicsBookcase) October 4, 2019
But a more detailed description goes as follows:
“Enigma is a visceral, thought-provoking post-modern tale of self-discovery and sexual identity told against the backdrop of outrageous superheroes and villains. Michael Smith lives a meaningless life of routine and boredom. But when the weird characters from Enigma – Michael’s favorite childhood comic book hero – seem to come to life, Smith embarks upon an increasingly obsessive crusade to uncover the incredible secret behind their improbable existence. Teaming up with Enigma’s comic creator, Smith encounters an insanity-inducing psychopath, a brain-eating serial killer, a suicide-inciting Truthsayer, and a teleporting one-time model ‘who really sends you’ as his quest uncovers shocking truths about his idol and ultimately Michael himself.”
On top of just generally being a good book, Enigma is noted as the first, or at least one of the first, U.S. superhero comic books published by a big comic book publisher to have a gay lead character.
“I’m thrilled to be publishing this brilliant seminal work of one of Vertigo’s key launch titles, which was ahead of its time and inspirational to many,” said Karen Berger, founder of Vertigo and Dark Horse’s Berger Books. “Dark Horse is known for publishing beautiful high-quality books, and it’s long overdue for Enigma to be presented in the fashion that it deserves.”
Enigma will be published in Fall 2020.