Marvel Comics is introducing two new transgender mutant superheroes in a “giant-sized” one shot comic for Pride Month.
The new transgender characters are two best friends named Shela Sexton, also known as Escapade, and Morgan Red.
According to the Marvel website, the comic will be a “queer-centered anthology brought together by an amazing lineup of writers and artists from all walks of life, MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE #1 will feature eight extraordinary adventures, an introduction by Vice President of Television at Bad Robot Productions Alex Phillips, and more. From uplifting to thrilling, this diverse collection of stories take place all throughout the Marvel Universe and celebrate the themes and joy of Pride Month.”
“Readers will meet this all-new trans mutant super hero in a 20-page adventure that will introduce her career as a super thief and set the stage for her exciting future,” Marvel said about Escapade in their announcement.
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Writer Charlie Jane Anders, who is also transgender, said that they hope the comic will inspire transgender people about the “power of creativity and chosen family.”
“I have loved the Marvel Universe for as long as I can remember, and may or may not sing the Spider-Man cartoon theme in the shower on a regular basis. So I was so thrilled to be able to introduce a brand-new hero to stand alongside all of my favorites,” Anders said. “I hope that Escapade and Morgan Red will inspire trans and non-binary people everywhere to believe that they, too, can fight for justice with the power of creativity and chosen family.”
Anders doubled down on the “chosen family” idea in an interview with Marvel — and said both of the mutants transitioned as children.
“I really felt like ‘chosen family’ was an important thing to foreground here,” Anders told Marvel. “Plus, I wanted Shela to have a really strong relationship that she could be anchored to. I spent a lot of time thinking about Morgan, and how they and Shela had grown up together. I eventually arrived at the thing where Morgan was there for Shela when she was first transitioning, and the two of them kind of supported each other through their transitions when they were kids.”
“It was really important to me to have a whole community of trans mutants in this comic – not just Shela and Morgan, but others,” she said. “I wanted it to be super clear that being a mutant is not a metaphor for being trans, and vice versa.”
Anders hopes that the comic will reach children.
“She wants to be there for everybody who’s been left behind, and she wants to help people feel like they can belong and be seen and loved,” she said. “That was something I really hope everyone reading this comic, especially young trans people, take away from it.”