If you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and like comic books, we have good news: DC Comics is getting ready to introduce the first non-binary version of the Flash.
The alternate-universe version of Teen Titans, in “DC’s Merry Multiverse,” will appear on stores on Dec. 9 as part of a holiday-themed comic book analogy.
“In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space,” the publisher said in a release this year.
The characters are the updated incarnations of existing icons in the DC world, and will be introduced in an eight-page story by Ivan Cohen and Elenora Carlini. One of them is none other than Kid Quick: A non-binary person of color who possesses the same powers as the Flash, and goes by them/they. Aka Jess Chambers, the speedster will also get a major promotion and step into the shoes of the Flash during the upcoming “Future Slate.”
"Not every superhero has to be male or female, or white, just because DC characters created in the golden and silver ages of comics pretty much all were," said Cohen. "I suggested that Kid Quick could be Earth-11's first gender fluid character, and once editors saw Eleonora Carlini's terrific take on the character design, there was suddenly a lot of interest in them for stories beyond the Merry Multiverse Special in December."
DC has a long history of reimagining characters when making alternate universes, so the idea for a character that defied the binary felt very natural when it occurred to Cohen.
“In the DC superhero universe we’ve got a superfast character, Kid Flash. And I thought about how ‘Kid’ can really be any gender,” Cohen told NBC News. “There are all these choices we can make — why don’t we do something besides what we would have made up if it was 1965?”
The fact that the story is set on an alternate earth also gave the writers the creative freedom to reimagine characters as they wanted.
“Earth 11 is such a blank page that making it more diverse didn’t require a lot of shoehorning. No one is going to run to their back issues and complain we contradicted something,” Cohen said. “If someone has a problem that a Flash from an alternative universe is non-binary, there’s a lot of other comics they can read.”
But Kid Quick is not the only superhero of its kind. It is actually one of many growing non-binary characters in comic books. The Aerie appeared in DC’s “Suicide Squad” as a non-binary anti-hero, and in the same year, non-binary Double Trouble appeared on the “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” animated series.
The movement towards a more diverse comic book universe was praised by LGBTQ advocacy groups.
The spokesperson for GLAAD, Spencer Harvey, praised creators such as Cohen for “Helping to reach new audiences that may not be normally exposed to these identities, which has a profound impact on accelerating acceptance and understanding.”
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