The DC Comics Pride anthology will be released on 8 June. (DC Comics)
DC Comics will be releasing a huge queer anthology this summer in celebration of Pride, and introducing trans superhero Dreamer into the DC universe.
Announced on Thursday (11 March), DC Pride #1 will feature queer characters from across the DC Comics universe, and will also spotlight LGBT+ artists and writers.
The 80-page anthology, to be released on 8 June, will celebrate queer favourites like Batwoman, couple Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, Midnighter and the non-binary version of the Flash from Earth-11, a world where the heroes are gender-flipped versions of the heroes of the traditional DC Earth.
It will also feature Alan Scott, DC Comics’ original Green Lantern, Aqualad, Renee Montoya and Pied Piper.
But one of the most exciting elements of the anthology will be the introduction of trans superhero Dreamer into the comics universe for the very first time.
The CW superhero show Supergirl saw the addition of trans superhero Dreamer, after trans actor Nicole Maines joined the show in late 2018 as the Dreamer’s alter ego Nia Nal.
Maines will write Dreamer’s story herself for the anthology, alongside art by queer artist Rachel Stott.
As well as the Pride anthology, the publisher also announced an eight-issue miniseries written by Mariko Tamaki titled Crush & Lobo, featuring bounty hunter Lobo and his lesbian daughter Crush.
The first issue of Crush & Lobo will be published on 1 June, and the synopsis reads: “Crush, daughter of the Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo, is in full-on self-destruct mode!
“After rage-quitting the Teen Titans and blowing up her relationship with her girlfriend Katie, Crush decides it’s time to finally confront her father in space jail and get her baggage sorted before she wrecks everything. Like father, like daughter?”
DC Comics will also release a series of Pride-themed variant covers throughout the month of June, giving characters like Batman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Superman and Wonder Woman a rainbow makeover.
Gothic fiction is my jam. I love the slowly building sense of dread that is the cornerstone of the genre. If I could have the job of any fictional character, it would be the creepy groundskeeper of the haunted manors in gothic ghost stories. I also (as you can imagine from me writing for this website) love queer stories. Looking back, my favorite horror and gothic books have consistently been those with queer elements. So as soon as I saw Unspeakable on the list of books up for review, I knew I had to read it. I’m happy to say that this short story collection lived up to my high expectations.
While all of the stories include gothic elements, they are all very different. The stories run the gamut from classic, historical gothic horror to modern-day shapeshifter romance. This collection is stronger for the diversity in storytelling that it holds. I loved the ones that had explicit sapphic relationships, but the ones without them were just as good, too.
One feature that really stood out to me in this collection was the setting. As I said, I love classic gothic stories. So every story that took place in an old, desolate home overlooking a grey sea made me very happy. The stories that I thought used setting to their advantage the most were “Hearteater” by Eliza Temple and “Quicksilver Prometheus” by Katie Young. Both of these stories used the grey, dark classic gothic setting to show the inner minds of their main characters. “Quicksilver Prometheus” also stood out to me because of its brilliant use of historical elements. That was definitely one of the best stories in the collection for me. Other stories that had amazing settings were “Moonlight” by Ally Kolzow and “The Moon in Glass” by Jude Reid.
Three of the other stories also stood out to me as being exceptionally good. The first was “Laguna and the Engkanto” by Katalina Watt. This sea creature horror story incorporated the culture of the Philippines to create a truly unique and horrifying tale. Watt’s writing was also featured in another one of my favorite recent anthologies, Haunted Voices. I will definitely be seeking out more of her work.
“Homesick” by Sam Hirst almost made me cry. I wasn’t expecting such a profound and beautiful love story between two ghosts. In my opinion, it also had the best opening line in the book (and maybe of any short story I’ve ever read). This one was simple, but incredibly beautiful. It will certainly stick with me.
Finally, “The White Door” by Lindsay King-Miller turned a classic story on its head and proved that gothic stories can absolutely work in a fantasy setting. I was impressed by how well this one drew on standards set by classic works in order to create something completely unique. It also had an amazing and very chilling ending.
Overall, I really loved this anthology. I can see myself rereading it at night in October, waiting for something spooky (and potentially even sapphic) to happen.
Kayla Bell is the pen name of an author, reviewer, and lover of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. You can catch up with her on Instagram @Kreadseverything for more book reviews and updates about her writing.
A must-read new anthology about queer women and nonbinary people who are nonbiological and nongestational parents looks at their paths to parenthood, their experiences as parents, and the evolving meanings of what it is to be a mother.
The editors of What’s in a Name are all queer parents themselves. In their introduction to the volume, Martin-Baron says that in creating the book, she wanted “to build a community resource and give voice to positive, real stories. ” Johns “knew that our stories could help people plan their families or navigate becoming a nonbiological or nongestational parent.” Wills adds, with repercussions outside the queer community, “I see us beginning to write a theory of mothering/parenting beyond biology.” On all three counts they are likely to succeed.
They showcase essays by themselves and 12 other writers from Australia, Austria, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some contributors had always known they did not want to or were not able to carry a child; others keenly wanted to but experienced fertility roadblocks; some are nonbiological/nongestational parents to one of their children but gave birth to another. Some of them view their motherhood through intersectional lenses of race, disability, or a nonbinary or more masculine gender identity. There are vignettes about forming families and securing them; about struggling against a society that either didn’t recognize their role as mothers or sought to frame them as it often frames straight fathers—distanced and vaguely incompetent as parents. Several contributors reflect on their children’s preferences for one parent over another, a preference that can change and that isn’t always tied to biology; others muse on the parental names they’ve chosen, and one looks closely at the microaggression of those who assume that she’ll want to give birth to her family’s next child, as if being a nonbiological mother was something to be bettered. Contributor Sonja MacKenzie reminds us, too, that even within the queer community, “normative biological tropes” are “often internalized and reproduced.”
No other qualification makes a parent but a choice to love.
We learn how these mothers around the world have navigated their relationships with their children, their partners, donor siblings (who by their very existence center a biological connection), the society around them, and their own selves, as they seek to understand and shape their identity as mothers. These stories will make readers, no matter what their parental status or path to parenthood, think deeply about what it means to be a mother and a parent. Contributor Clare Candland, for example, writes of the love that makes a parent, asserting:
This kind of love isn’t earned like a badge. This kind of love doesn’t necessarily come from a pregnancy or birth. This kind of love come from a choice to open oneself up to it. It comes from a choice to embrace the responsibility and vulnerability that make up a parent and a commitment to follow through on that choice, even when the effects push you into a life that you never expected or wanted…. No other qualification makes a parent but a choice to love.
And contributor Patricia Curmi even suggests that there are advantages to being a nonbiological and nongestational parent, saying, “I’ve discovered that I enjoy my relationship with our daughter not being rooted in shared genetic traits. It has challenged me to keep seeing and reseeing her as a person wholly unto herself, free from my projections and expectations of what a child with my genes should be like.”
My only criticism of this superb volume is that I would have liked to have seen some essays by people of color, although a few of the contributors do talk about having multiracial children or a partner or donor of another racial or ethnic identity.
Nonbiological/nongestational parents or parents-to-be will be uplifted and strengthened by the stories here; biological ones may have a better understanding of what their partners/spouses may feel or encounter. Parents and prospective parents of any type—queer or not—will find much to ponder about the meaning of parenting, family, and love.
(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)