Outside of richly, weirdly romantic superhero novels like Devin Grayson’s Inheritance, Weldon is right. The visual nature of superhero comics leads to queer readings in a way that prose often won’t. Prose, up front, often rejects the interpretations that fans have put together. There’s less wiggle room for fans to interpret a lingering gaze or the nearness of two characters or the oft-used Pieta pose as queer when the words on the page are explicitly saying otherwise. As a result, fans have largely had to make do with what they’re given and interpret these moments queerly, playing with characters in their fanworks that largely weren’t “confirmed” to be queer by the powers that be… until recently.Tim Drake Is the 1st Canonically Queer Robin & Fandom Got Us Here
This is the nicest thing I have said about DC in my entire life and… they deserve it. I was a diehard DC fan from about 2009 to 2016 (my peak was 2012-13 in terms of content) and the whole time I was surrounded by other queer fans who just really loved these characters a lot and wanted the representation that came from seeing your favorite character be just like you. I am still friends with my core group of DC fandom friends and it’s been over a decade of growing, writing, and shipping together. I’m considering dusting off my old fics just for those babes. That’s how real it is.
Anyway; so when I saw “Sum of Our Parts” in Batman: Urban Legends and realized that Tim Drake, one of the Robins I queered (yes, I did that for them all, shush) was getting a queer canon? I just knew I had to write about not just him, but about the Big Two’s queer superhero game. This piece is heavy on DC because that was my main fandom for a huge portion of my life, but there are Marvel references and a quote from Danny Lore, a creator I adore. I think that it’s important to
And of course: there are indie comics with queer superheroes, like The Pride! And those comics exist too because queer fans didn’t see themselves in the mainstream superhero comics! I didn’t cover indie superhero comics for this because the focus was the fandoms, but that’s on me! I’m slowly returning to my roots as a comics fandom loudmouth though, so I will make up for it!
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One thought on “Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Tim Drake Is the 1st Canonically Queer Robin & Fandom Got Us Here”
I made myself mask up and go to Awesome Con this last weekend specifically so I could get Orlando’s autograph on his Midnighter run, but I ended up sitting in on the panel for queering women in comics with Sam Maggs, Amy Chu, and Amy Reeder, and then chatting with Chu for a long time afterward about my sense that whether Tim gets another run as Red Robin will be very telling, because all three women talked about how we’re at a point where it’s sort of fine to be a supporting queer character but we have very few (like, basically no) long-run main queer characters. Which is not to say this isn’t a huge thing, b/c it’s honestly one of the only things to happen in the whole of 2021 that made me legit happy, but I’m just pointing out, like.