Marvel Comics has unveiled a gay version of Captain America, perhaps pandering to LGBTQ readers ahead of Pride Month, but drawings of the new character have left some target buyers feeling more insulted than inspired.
“How come the gay Captain America looks like a Florida meth dealer?” one Twitter user asked. Comic enthusiast Alex Skovranov saw the new character similarly, saying, “He looks like a meth addict hobo. I’m supposed to be flattered as a gay man reading that comic being represented that way?”
Another commenter pointed out that previous versions of Captain America, including the female Captain America 2099, were “buff.”“This isn’t Captain America,” he said. “This is imagining gay people are twinky and slim. Insulting.”
1. They aren’t “LGBTQ+”. They are gay. LGBTQ+ is what you call a mixed political or social group of people not an individual. 2. Captain America is buff. 2099 female Cap was buff. This… this isn’t Captain America. This is imagining gay people are twinky and slim. Insulting. https://t.co/vOrkh5vJsU
— He-Man Turned Me Jae 🕷️🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@JaeKay) March 16, 2021
The gay character in a new series called ‘The United States of Captain America’ is a fearless teenager named Aaron Fischer. He sports a nose ring and spiky, mullet-like hair with the sides of his head shaved down to stubble. He’s part of a series in which everyday people from across the nation become Captain America.
The first issue will go on sale on June 2, just in time for Pride Month. Jan Bazaldua, the transgender artist who designed Fischer, said in a statement, “I’m happy to be able to present an openly gay person who admires Captain America and fights against evil to help those who are almost invisible to society.”
Writer Joshua Trujillo said the teen “stands for the oppressed and the forgotten. I hope his debut story resonates with readers and helps inspire the next generation of heroes.”
The new character is just part of Marvel’s Pride Month marketing push. The company said last week that artist Phil Jimenez will create a new series of variant covers “spotlighting Marvel’s growing LGBTQ+ representation,” including characters Wiccan, Northstar and Mystique. Marvel also plans a “queer-centered special” issue, called ‘Marvel Voices: Pride #1,’ that will bring together LGBTQ+ characters.
With the strategy now also extending to a core legacy character, Captain America, Marvel was bound to offend some fans. For instance, writer Rohan Zhou-Lee took issue with the character’s skin color. “I’m tired of being told that white cis men represent all of us,” Zhou-Lee said. “Give me a queer Asian disabled Captain. Give me a black trans undocumented Captain. Anything but another white man.”
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