Turns out, one of DC Comics’ oldest superheroes is gay. At least, that’s what the comic book company and writer Grant Morrison have decided.
As Bleeding Cool reports, the DC superhero Air Wave has recently returned in the comics. The original character, named Harold Jordan and presented as the uncle of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, was created in 1940 (just a year after Batman first showed up). While never as popular as other DC characters, Air Wave continued reappearing in DC Comics, including eventually marrying and having a son, until the 1980s. Sadly, he then disappeared into obscurity.
But now, the superhero known as Air Wave has been rebooted and relaunched as possibly a gay man. You see, the superhero Air Wave is a legacy character. Meaning, the title and persona are passed down from person to person. The original Air Wave’s wife took on the mantle and later it went to his son (and cousin to Green Lantern) Harold Jordan, Jr.
And that latest Air Wave recently appeared in the Green Lantern Annual. The premise of which goes as follows:
“A Green Lantern tradition is reborn when the annual Jordan family reunion takes a turn for the bizarre, leaving Hal and his nearest and dearest on the front line of a terrifying invasion from an impossible reality that’s closer than you think! There’s only one way for intergalactic lawman Hal “Green Lantern” Jordan to prevent the ultra-crime of the millennium-but what will be the outcome when Green Lantern takes on a young superhero sidekick? And who will it be?”
In the comic, Harold, Jr. has a conversation with Hal. Harold asks to be Hal’s sidekick, “like Batman and Robin!” But Hal declines by saying, “If you’re thinking being a superhero means that special girl will suddenly think you’re cool…”
Harold then mumbles to himself, “Whatever. And I didn’t say it was a girl.”
The clear implication here is that Harold is interested in men and not women. And though it’s not outright stated, Harold’s response to the bolded “that special girl” leaves little to the imagination.
But will comic book fans take kindly to yet another established character being turned LGBTQ? Many formerly straight characters like Iceman, Hercules, Poison Ivy, Loki, Wonder Woman, and more have been depicted as LGBTQ in the past few years. Will comic fans stand another?
Though, with Air Wave being such a fairly unknown character, perhaps it won’t matter. In addition, it’s the youngest Air Wave who has been revealed to be gay. The character’s sexuality or romantic life was never depicted before, unlike his father, so there’s no truth to claiming his sexual orientation was changed.
In addition, just how much time will DC give to the character now? Will he become more active in DC Comics, or stay regulated to Green Lantern’s world before eventually fading off again? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, Green Lantern Annual #1 is out now in comic stores and for digital purchase.
Sources: Bleeding Cool
Update: This article has been updated to correct the relation of this newest Air Wave to his cousin Green Lantern. Before, the article incorrectly stated that the character Harold, Jr. was the same as his father.