(NEW YORK) — For the first time, a major comic book character won’t be ambiguously gay anymore.
DC Comics, whose portfolio includes such iconic characters as Batman and Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman, plans next month to reintroduce one of its major superheroes as openly gay.
“One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June,” Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity, confirmed to ABC News.
So which one is it? The folks at DC Comics aren’t saying, but they do say it’s the latest effort to make sure their comics keep up with the times.
Last September, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comic books to feature an updated look and a new lineup of LGBT superheroes: including Voodoo, an African American bisexual woman and Batwoman, an open lesbian.
Batwoman garnered DC comics an Outstanding Comic Book award from GLAAD, an advocacy and watchdog organization for LGBT issues.
“DC and (arch-rival) Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD. “When creating these fictional worlds it’s important to show the full diversity.”
Aside from making good business sense, Kane said younger readers are perfectly comfortable with gay characters and expect to see their peers represented.
Although DC Comics’ plans to reintroduce a major character as gay is new, gay characters in comic books are not.
Marvel Comic’s Northstar was revealed to be in a gay relationship back in 2009. Archie Comics introduced a gay character in 2010, and there was a gay wedding in Riverdale in 2011.
Rumors are swirling that Northstar too is expected to tie the knot to his boyfriend Kyle.
“They are recognizing how the world is evolving,” said Kane.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Ivana Kottasova, CNN
Melissa Gray, CNN