The New York Times talks to Perry Moore, writer of the novel Hero, which is about a teen “coping not only with high school, sexual orientation and a strained home life, but also with his own budding superpowers.” Moore wrote the novel after becoming unsatisfied with how homosexuals are portrayed in comics, with the death of Northstar in Wolverine being the straw that broke the camel’s back:
“I thought I was going to have to stop buying comics,” he said, but instead, “I waged my own little jihad.” He visited a comic store armed with Post-it notes, which he affixed to copies of the “Wolverine” series (first on the covers, then, more slyly, on interior pages). They asked questions like “Can there be a gay superhero?” “Homophobic?” and “Ask yourself: equal rights?”
Death is rarely final in comics, so it’s no surprise that Northstar came back to life. “They couldn’t bother to mention he was gay,” Mr. Moore said of Northstar’s most recent appearance in “X-Men.”
Taking a cue from Gail Simone, a comic-book writer who first gained notice as a fan with her Web site, “Women in Refrigerators” (unheardtaunts.com/wir), detailing the mistreatment of female heroes, Mr. Moore created his own tally. “Who Cares About the Death of a Gay Superhero?,” which he has delivered as a speech, includes more than 60 gay and lesbian comic book characters who have been ignored, maimed or murdered.
“Yes, bad things do happen to all people,” he wrote in it. “But are there positive representations of gay characters to counterbalance these negative ones?”