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DC PRIDE 2022 Review

Neil reviews DC Comics’ 2022 celebratory anthology, DC PRIDE. The book is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold.

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DC Pride 2022 #1 (DC Comics)

DC Pride 2022 is published by DC Comics. The anthology book features 13 all-new stories from across the DC Universe from fan favourite writers and artists.

DC Pride 2022 is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold. Grab your digital copy from Amazon Comixology right here.

Synopsis

DC’s 2022 celebration kicks off with more stories, more characters, and more pride than ever before! This anthology features 13 all-new stories spotlighting LGBTQIA+ fan-favorites new and old including Superman (Jon Kent), Nubia, Tim Drake, Kid Quick, Aquaman (Jackson Hyde), Green Lantern (Jo Mullein), Alysia Yeoh, the Ray, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batwoman, and more! This special also includes: • A Multiversity: Teen Justice kickoff story spotlighting Kid Quick and written by the miniseries team, Danny Lore and Ivan Cohen! • An introduction by activist, actress, and real-life superhero Nicole Maines that will include a teaser for her upcoming Dreamer project! • Pinups by P. Craig Russell, J.J. Kirby, and more!

Review

There’s so much packed in to a book like DC Pride. There are twelve important stories to be told, each with its own perspective on identity. During the month of June it’s so easy to just say “Happy Pride” and be done with it. But what DC has done for the last two years is really hone in on its representation in an attempt to cover a broad spectrum.

A book like this will always have its detractors. Those who will say it’s purely to cash in on the popular conversation about personal identity. But for each of those people there will be 100 more who thank DC for putting their personal journey in the spotlight.

I think important to note that personal connection to a book like DC Pride is going to be very subjective. We all have our favourite characters, plenty of whom show up across this anthology’s 109 pages. But there’s also the perspective of seeing our own journeys reflected back to us through the eyes on DC’s heroes. There are stories from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, including some which really don’t get the exposure they deserve.

If DC weren’t painstakingly constructing a book like this there would simply be a number of queer stories. But this is a company who listens to its audience. The outstanding “Think of Me”, written by Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, stars Connor Hawke in a wonderfully understated story about what it means to be asexual. With a guest spot from Damian Wayne, Connor is able to put in to words what sexuality means to him. A perspective often left out of mainstream media that I found highly educational. I also cannot fault a story which weaves in a cameo from Music Meister.

The anthology opens with a Jon Kent story which is steeped in Pride history. Devin Grayson acknowledges the history of the Pride movement all the way back to the original Stonewall riot. Admitting its rocky pasty and hopeful future. Grayson also weaves in the use of the Kryptonian symbol for hope and how this kind of iconography can be reinterpreted in a modern society. It’s powerful stuff executed flawlessly.

“Up At Bat”, written by Jadzia Axelrod, takes a look at what it means to be a trans woman in a contemporary Gotham. Putting Alysia Yeoh, an underutilised character, in the spotlight is a highlight ahead of her live-action debut in Batgirl. Sadly Gotham becomes the perfect analogy for the violence that trans people face on a daily basis. This might be fictional storytelling but the events and violence depicted are happening out there on our streets and needs to be confronted.

“Special Delivery”, a story focussing on the bisexual Tim Drake, is also a highlight. Mainly for the opportunity to see these characters happy. So often they’re portrayed in the middle of a Crisis (get it?) and we don’t get to spend much time in their normal lives. But here, writer Travis G. Moore focusses on a special moment for Tim and his boyfriend which really warms the heart.

I couldn’t write about DC Pride without touching on the heartbreaking story of Batman: The Animated Series legend Kevin Conroy. Conroy writes and tells his own coming out story in “Finding Batman”. The story strips away all of the fictional bells and whistles, instead telling an autobiographical story through comic book imagery. It’s a tearjerker and incredibly enlightening. But above all its brave of Conroy to tell this story and expose the trials he faced before voicing The Dark Knight.

Verdict

Not only an uplifting selection of celebratory stories, DC Pride 2022 is a book of immeasurable importance. Not only do books like this allow us to see facets of ourselves in our heroes, it also seeks to educate others about the problems many people face on a daily basis, even today.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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