All this month we’re posting up articles about LGBT culture in comics as part of LGBT History Month. In this character profile we’re looking at one of the hottest new things on the block – Prizefighter from Steve Orlando’s Commanders in Crisis.
Commanders in Crisis
Commanders in Crisis started in October 2020 and is on issue #5 at time of writing. It is a 12-issue maxi series from acclaimed author Steve Orlando who has a long history of making stellar comics for all the major labels and also of writing LGBT characters.
Commanders in Crisis has an interesting setup, 5 people who were all the President of the United States on their home world and pulled through a rift to our earth when their own planets are destroyed in some sort of giant cosmic crisis. They find each other in this reality and combine their (very unusual) powers into a new superteam.
Nathan Rowe was the first openly gay President of the United States on his home Earth. He was married to a man called Douglas, but when his world was destroyed he was pulled through to the version of Earth the book is set on and in doing so gains his powers. His husband dies in the cataclysm but this is an inversion of the standard Bury Your Gays trope – the husband isn’t killed off too make a point or prevent the remaining gay character having an on-screen romance, the entire planet was destroyed and Nathan is saved by external forces.
Prizefighter is the Superman analogue in this comicverse. While he doesn’t seem to have flight or heat vision (yet, the comic is still young) he does have super strength, enhanced agility, and invulnerability. His powers though, come not from basking in the yellow sun – but from basking in the glory of his fans. Prizefighter is a super-powered narcissist whose powers are fuelled by how much people love him! He’ seen whipping up a crowd to cheer for him so that he can power up an attack in issue #1, but he also has another method of getting a quick top up. What better way to get a big dose of feel good attention? Sex. Yes, our newest gay superhero is a literal Power Bottom.
When he needs a boost he grabs a random fireman and kisses him in front of a bunch of news cameras just to get people talking. When he needs a bigger it of energy he goes and has sex with his Lois Lane style reported boyfriend (relationship status assumed at his point)