With James Gunn’s recent announcement of some upcoming DC superhero comics movies and TV shows, some queer fans may be wondering: Who are The Authority? Well, I thought I’d provide some information on them and particularly two characters who could signal some great things for LGBTQ+ fans: Midnighter and Apollo.
The Authority, created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, started in the Wildstorm line, the independent superhero setting of publisher Image Comics.
The team was a more boundary-pushing version of the Justice League and the Avengers, and it included the bio-engineered “Sun God” Apollo and Midnighter who could be summed up as “what if Superman and Batman were a couple.”
The characters were some of the earliest representations of queer superheroes (The Authority debuted in 1999), eventually getting married and even adopting a kid. The characters were more than simple pastiches, as different creators contributed to their continuity.
If you would like to catch up on the characters ahead of the movie, there is no better place to start than the original series (Absolute Authority Vol. 1 covers the team’s first twelve issues).
The Authority movie better be god damn unapologetic pic.twitter.com/pPwpXyuduF
— AquaAnne Loves Comics! 💥 (@AnneComics) February 1, 2023
However, if you just want to focus more on Midnighter and Apollo, I’d recommend a couple of series by a queer creator, and one of my favourite writers, Steve Orlando. He wrote a twelve-issue Midnighter series, starting in 2015, which follows his life after a breakup with Apollo, and him working out how to be a single gay man.
The story begins with someone stealing a bunch of weapons from a biotech weapons facility called the God Garden but they also steal something else: the secret history of Lucas Trent aka Midnighter. So it also involves a lot of punching bad guys too.
This was followed by a six-issue Midnighter and Apollo series (2016-2017). With the second series, Steve Orlando wanted to explore the romantic relationship between the two, feeling that a comic focusing on the same-sex relationship of two superheroes was important.
Both series are collected in a handy trade paperback called Midnighter: The Complete Collection. Art by ACO, Hugh Petrus and, Irishman, Stephen Mooney. Ask your local comic shop or book shop to get you a copy. It’s intelligent superhero fare with plenty of queer representation.
Who knows how closely the movie will follow the comics but, with comic book fan James Gunn in charge, we could see a significant step forward for DC movies with a queer superhero couple front and centre.
We're talked a lot about Woman of Tomorrow, but these are more of the comics inspiring #DCStudios and the new #DCU in these early days. That doesn't mean we're adapting all these comics, but that the feel, the look, or the tone of them are touchstones for our team. Check 'em out! pic.twitter.com/34KrVPeEL5
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 2, 2023
To read more of David Ferguson’s content, click here.
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