Marvel Comics is celebrating the 80th anniversary of Captain America with the launch of a new series, “The United States of Captain America”, where a gay teenager named Aaron Fischer will carry the title.
In the new series, Steve Rogers’ shield goes missing. He will, therefore, team up with former Captain Americas, and they will take a road trip across the US to find the shield. Along the way, they will meet people from “all walks of life” who took on the mantle of Captain America to defend their communities. Fischer will be the first of these people.
Fischer has been described as a teenager who “stands for the oppressed, and the forgotten”; will be the “Captain America of the Railways”; and “a fearless teen who stepped up to protect fellow runaways and the unhoused”.
His debut timed to coincide with Pride Month in the US.
Josh Trujillo will be the series writer, while Jan Bazaldua will be the artist.
This is a big step for Marvel Comics, considering its anti-LGBTQIA policies and moves in the past.
As reported by The Guardian, for instance, the company “reportedly had a ‘No Gays in the Marvel Universe’ policy in the 1980s and, in the 1990s, placed an ‘Adults Only’ label on any comics featuring prominent LGBTQIA characters in response to conservative protests.”
But LGBTQIA characters have been introduced – and are making marks – since then. The sexuality of the publisher’s first gay character, Northstar of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, was revealed in 1992. Hulkling and Wiccan of the Young Avengers were revealed to be dating in 2010. And in 2012, Northstar (finally) married his longtime partner in Marvel Comics’ first same-sex wedding.
In the DC Universe, LGBTQIA characters have also already been introduced – e.g. superheroes Apollo and Midnighter married in a 2002 issue of “The Authority”; Iceman came out as gay in 2015; and Aquaman Arthur Curry’s protege, Kaldur, was portrayed as part of the LGBTQIA community in “Young Justice: Outsiders” in 2019.