Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

The Power Company

No, not Con Ed or whatever utility company supplies your electricity. It's a comic book written by Kurt Busiek, and it's seriously good - it's a professional superhero group set up like a law firm, so there are partners who own portions of it and associates who are on salary, plus a support staff. They do both paid and pro bono work, although the one partner who is really into pro bono is cautioned to not waste company equipment/time/money - that is, if there can be payment, take it, and make sure there is some sort of client. I assume that if they witness a crime in progress, they should stop it, and if there is a world crisis again, they should join in.

Anyway, the senior partner and founder of this group is named Josiah Powers, who used to be a lawyer until he manifested metapowers in the middle of litigation. Then his firm bought him out. He's a massive man with a strong personality, and he's very much in control of his company - but he doesn't like using his powers at all, so he rarely goes into the field.

He's also gay. Please note: this is not an indie comic, and it's neither Wildstorm nor Vertigo. It's a mainstream DC comic, sitting right there on the shelves next to JLA and JSA . Green Arrow popped up in the last two. But there it is.

Not that Busiek actually *says* it, but. It's something we've suspected since the Josiah Powers origin one-shot, when Josiah discusses his options after the buy out with "Rupe". It's night time, they're in Josiah's expensive Marin County beachfront house, and Rupe's wearing a tank top and boxers and calling him "Jo." Something to speculate about. Later, when the ongooing debuted, they had these "interviews" with Josiah Powers in place of the letter column (of course, DC has just recently done away with letter columns.) and when the interviewer asked about his personal life, Josiah responded, quite reasonably for *anyone*, "I prefer to keep that out of the public eye." Still.

But in the last issue, Josiah was attacked. He's lying in a hospital bed. Okay, he's filling it. And Rupe is sitting by the side of the bed, with a bandaid on his head and looked extremely distraught. Everyone else is standing. When one of the partners comes flying in (literally), one of the first things she does is go to Rupe and tell him how sorry she is. When another partner fills her in on the events, he talks about how it was clear Josiah was targeted because they just tied Rupe up. It's all done matter of factly, but the impression it leaves is that Rupe and Josiah are together, and everyone knows it and that's the way it is. No need for big announcements or statements.

And I find that amazingly cool.

What's even more cool is the response on the DC message boards - a discussion not of, "Isn't it awful that a comic book has a gay character" but of "What should we call Rupe? His lover, his partner, his husband? His longtime companion?"

Given the reaction to gay characters on other parts of the board, it's quite welcome.

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