Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Coming out in Comics - Renee Montoya and Maggie

This is from Gotham Central, #34:
This issue has a guest appearance by the Teen Titans, I can't remember the rationale now, but it was obviously written as a tie-in to bump up the reader numbers.  Anyway, at this page Starfire walks in to the police station and asks if she can help with the investigation.

As far as I'm concerned this issue outs Maggie Sawyer.  If you look at the column of panels, you see the expressions on the male cops faces when they see Starfire.  The bottom panel shows Renee Montoya (previously outed) and Maggie Sawyer.  Maggie's face mirrors Renee's.  The top panel in the column establishes that the men are lustful for Starfire, the middle one points out Renee's and Maggie's reactions, and as Maggie's expression perfectly mirrors Renee's, I'd say that this page outs Maggie, in a non verbal manner.

Never in this series was it confirmed, verbally, that Maggie is gay.  There was a hint in the early issues when Renee has just been outed, and then this.  But this is plenty good enough for me.
As with the last post I did in this series, this scan was kindly provided to me by DAJB of Broken Voice Comics.  As I read this on Comixology I can't take a scan.  For argument's sake, and for a different POV, I will give you DAJB's take on this.  He felt that by this point the series:

"lost its authenticity and strayed into the murky waters of mainstream titillation.  Whereas Batman's brief appearances in GC made sense in the context of the story, Starfire's little cameo just seemed completely gratuitous; inserted purely to allow Rucka to make a cheap joke.  I'm not convinced this "outs" Maggie Sawyer, but we all take something different from these things, I guess.
That's the glory of literature!"

When I read the series, I didn't feel that this titillation, or done for a cheap joke.  Mind you, I felt the series became a little looser and little bit more fun, mayhap for a darker definition of fun that most people use.  At any rate, this series is canon (or was, pre new 52), so to my mind it still outs Maggie within the parameters of the story.  Whether the writer or artist intended it as a joke or not, it still stands as is, real within the story.

So I'll celebrate it.


Debi said...

Maggie Sawyer was out since the 1980s when she was a supporting character in the Superman comics. She was definitely there for Renee on the latter's outing, and it was explicit in that scene.

Ragnell said...

Yeah, it was some scene where someone was questioning her as the head of her unit, and she asked if it was her gender or either her lifestyle or orientation. Later on we met her partner Toby (I don't know if the name had been dropped earlier and if it was meant to be a shock Toby was a woman or what, though, my sister was the Superfan that era), and Toby actually was at her bedside after she was injured in the Superman Animated Series.

Saranga said...

Thanks guys.
I am sort of doing this series just to highlight LGBT characters, and as I didn't know about previous Maggie Sawyer issues, this outed her to me.