Celebrating the enthralling queer comics of bisexual writer Steve Orlando
Check out some of David Ferguson’s favourite works from GLAAD-nominated comics writer Steve Orlando.
Steve Orlando has been one of my favourite comic book writers for quite a long time. Steve is bisexual and has brought queer stories to the forefront throughout his writing career, earning him a GLAAD nomination along the way. I could detail his full bibliography, which includes stints writing the iconic Wonder Woman, as well as the X-Men series Marauders, but I thought I’d narrow it down to some of my favourites.
Art by JD Faith. Cover by Artyom Trakhanov.
Virgil tells the story of a gay Jamaican cop who dreams of escaping to Toronto where he can live his life in the open. Betrayed, beaten, and banished by his own after being outed, he fights his way across Jamaica for revenge and to save his boyfriend. Fans of John Wick will enjoy this one!
Midnighter/Midnighter and Apollo (2015 – 2017)
Art by ACO, Hugh Petrus and Irishman Stephen Mooney.
Started in 2015, the twelve-issue Midnighter series follows Midnighter’s life after a breakup with Apollo as he works out how to be a single gay man. The story begins with someone stealing a bunch of weapons from a biotech arms facility called the ‘God Garden’, but they also steal something else: the secret history of Lucas Trent, aka Midnighter (so it involves a lot of punching bad guys too).
A six-issue Midnighter and Apollo series (2016-2017) followed. With the second series, Steve Orlando wanted to explore the romantic relationship between the two, feeling that a comic focusing on the same-sex relationship of two superheroes was important. Both series are collected in a handy trade paperback called Midnighter: The Complete Collection.
Art by Jakub Rebelka.
Every seven years, a supernatural parallel world called ‘Ektae’ aligns itself with Earth, bringing magic, mayhem and a celebration that Jordan Molossus wants nothing to do with. Until now, Jordan was an orphan, born on Ektae and abandoned on Earth, but that all changes when a package arrives on his doorstep containing two magical cast-iron urns. Jordan now has one week to travel into Ektae and spread the ashes of his fathers while uncovering the mystery as to why he was orphaned, all the while being chased by the demons of their past.
Art by Lee Loughridge and Garry Brown.
Killers once feared Piotr Petrovich. Now, they’ve sent him his son in a body bag. Haunted by his failures, Piotr journeys across Russia to learn what type of man his child really was while hunting the people who killed him. And once Piotr finds them, they will learn to fear him once more.
Kill A Man (2020)
Co-writer Philip Kennedy Johnson. Art by AJ Morgan.
As a child, James Bellyi watched his father die in the ring at the hands of a gay fighter in retaliation for slurs the man threw at him. Today, James is one of the most popular fighters in the world…until he’s outed as gay by an opponent. Abandoned by his team, his fans and his sponsors, he has to turn to the one person he never wanted to see again.
I like the unique angle of why it is hard for Bellyi (and his mother) to deal with his sexuality. It is also a commentary on the homophobia in certain sports.
So there you have it – a shortlist of queer comics to sink your teeth into!