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Jon Kent/Superman and Jackson Hyde/Aquaman use their powers of cold breath and aquakinesis to turn a giant crab monster aside in Superman: Son of Kal El #7 (2022). Image: Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey/DC Comics

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DC has so many queer superheroes right now it’s almost not a big deal

Bi Superman and gay Aquaman teamed up and I almost didn’t notice

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

This is going to make me sound like some grandparent talking about how they used to walk 15 miles to the comic shop just to see that X-Men was already sold out but ... this week I read a comic where a character currently in the role of Superman teamed up with a character currently in the role of Aquaman and only about 70% of the way through did it occur to me that they both canonically had boyfriends.

I’ve been writing about DC Comics a long time, but you don’t have to be a dedicated reader to remember when this sort of thing would have been extremely notable. I remember when Batwoman became the company’s first gay character to headline a book in 2009, and Midnighter became DC’s first solo series for a gay man in 2015, and the long stretch of the 2010s when Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy, and John Constantine were finally allowed to be irrevocably queer.

And after so much time spent intently following each appearance of each queer superhero in both Big Two universes ... I’ve realized there are so many of them I don’t even keep track.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Superman: Son of Kal-El #7

Superman/Jon Kent and Aquaman/Jackson Hyde discuss the motivations o f the suddenly awakened leviathan marching through the ocean towards Metropolis in Superman: Son of Kal-El #7 (2022). Image: Tom Taylor, Cian Tormey/DC Comics

Jackson Hyde and Jon Kent, the son of Superman, team up to turn an innocent, if cranky, leviathan away from Metropolis. In the romantic realm, both of them are following in their mentors’ footsteps, with Jon dating a radical investigative reporter and Jackson cozying up with a reluctant member of Xebelian military. Which is to say, they’ve found their own Lois Lane and Mera.

Defenders #5

Taaia, mother of Galactus, pontificates in exceedingly Kirby fashion, declaring “We’ve got ‘Front-Row Seats,’ friends — for the ‘cosmic donnybrook’ that began them all!!” in Defenders #5 (2022). Image: Al Ewing, Javier Rodríguez/Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Defenders shipped its final issue this week. I will definitely miss it, and Al Ewing’s pitch perfect impression of Jack Kirby-speak.

Batman: The Knight #1

Alfred rails on a young Bruce Wayne for participating in an underground fight club. “To what end? To become a hard man? To simulate war when others have fought them so you wouldn’t have to?” in Batman: The Knight #1 (2022). Image: Chip Zdarsky, Carmine Di Giandomenico/DC Comics

Look, I would count Carmine Falcone’s “Fear” speech from Batman Begins as one of the best moments in any Batman story ever, so you know I’m here for Alfred giving a young Bruce a hard lesson about how his family’s wealth has cushioned him beyond their deaths.

We Ride Titans #1

A woman with a butch haircut drives a convertible through a desert just before dawn. A breath ray-spewing kaiju battles a giant robot in a distant city skyline. She adjusts her rearview mirror to observe the fight in We Ride Titans #1 (2022). Image: Tres Dean, Sebastián Píriz/Vault Comics

We Ride Titans, the new Vault Comics series from writer Tres Dean and artist Sebastián Píriz, follows the prodigal daughter of a kaiju-fighting family as she is dragged back into the fold to ride their jaeger after her brother washes out. A family drama with kaiju that fronts the family drama? Color me interested.

She-Hulk #1

She-Hulk sheepishly admits to the supervillain Titania that she likes fighting her too, and proposes that they meet regularly in a vacant lot to blow off steam in She-Hulk #1 (2022). Image: Rainbow Rowell, Rogê Antônio/Marvel Comics

The only thing wrong with Rainbow Rowell writing She-Hulk is only giving her five issues. I will devour every one of them.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #7

Supergirl battles a space pirate horde as they bombard her with lazers and electric whips in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #7. A narrator tells the story of asking Supergirl if she hates her foes. “I’m Supergirl,” was the reply, “I don’t hate anyone”. Image: Tom King, Bilquis Evely/DC Comics

Speaking of, I will miss Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow dearly when it finishes with issue #8. It’s absolutely in the running for best comics of 2022.


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