THE DC BOOK OF PRIDE: A CELEBRATION OF DC’S LGBTQIA+ CHARACTERS
Publisher: DK Children
Author: Jadzia Axelrod
Release Date: Print, Digital – May 16, 2023
Description: Discover the rich history of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Superheroes in this inspiring gift-title featuring detailed character profiles and comic book artwork! Written and curated by DC expert Jadzia Axelrod, The DC Book of Pride profiles more than 50 LGBTQIA+ characters in detail, including Harley Quinn, Superman, Nubia, Robin, Batwoman, Aqualad, Dreamer, Green Lantern, and many more. Discover their fascinating origins, amazing superpowers, and key storylines. This title is an indispensable and celebratory companion to the DC Pride comic books.
With stunning comic book artwork and an exclusive cover artwork by renowned DC comics illustrator Paulina Ganucheau, this book is a perfect addition to the collection of any DC fan.
Review By James Harvey
With its ever-growing cast of queer characters, DC Comics has refreshingly embraced their LGBTQIA+ community and fans over the last few years. Special one-shots, big story events, anthologies, and ongoing series have been launched under DC Comics’ DC Pride banner, and that’s just been the start of it (and the least they could do, really). Working with book publisher DK, the comic book company has now put together a concise, indispensable guide – one that fans shouldn’t miss – to some of the bravest and boldest characters to ever hit comics’ greatest universe.
The DC Book of Pride: A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters showcases over 50 LGBTQIA+ characters from the DC Universe in detail, including Harley Quinn, Superman, Nubia, Robin, Batwoman, Aqualad, Dreamer, Green Lantern, and many more. Discover their fascinating origins, amazing superpowers, and uncover key storylines, and enjoy page after page of stunning comic book artwork. Arriving just in time for Pride Month in June, The DC Book of Pride: A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters opens the doors to DC Comics’ ever-expanding queer community.
The DC Book of Pride: A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters (or, simply, The DC Book of Pride) is a wonderful resource for fans of the DC Comics universe, shining a light on its burgeoning cast of LGBTIQA+ inhabitants. Since 2021, DC Comics has celebrated Pride Month and these characters, with the celebrations getting bigger and bigger with each year. Here, the publisher is adding to their annual efforts by working with DK to put together a handy guide to DC’s queer population, and the end result is pretty fantastic.
The DC Book of Pride, simply, breaks down a huge chunk of DC Universe queer crowd (as of early-2023), spotlighting characters with attractive two-page spreads and detailed descriptions of each. Said details also include first appearances, quotes and little bits of trivia. Running over 125 pages, characters are listed in alphabetical order, covering DCUites from The Aerie to Wink, ranging from some of the universe’ biggest heavy-hitters to its newest inhabitants. Not every queer character is included, with Catwoman and Wonder Woman surprisingly among those absent, but it’s dang close.
Out of the gate, it’s safe to call The DC Book of Pride more of a primer aimed at new and young readers than an exhaustive compendium of DC’s queer community, but that doesn’t make it any less indispensable. Each character spread includes a basic rundown, briefly summarizing the character’s history, with a quote and artwork pulled from assorted DC Comics titles. The layout is clean, simple and uncluttered, with the art usually a gorgeous splash-page or pin-up, with the odd exception. There are a few peculiar choices here and there, such as a clearly zoomed-in panel artwork, that looks a little out of place, but by no means a deal-breaker in the slightest.
Anyone who has picked up one of DK’s past encyclopedias or reference books knows how well these books can really cut through the noise, and this book is thankfully no different. Details are as straight-forward as possible, with a lot of messy history glossed over, which is a plus for how complicated the history can be for some of these characters. Some have died and come back, others have been revamped from the ground up, others are legacy characters, and so on. The DC Book of Pride hits the key beats while ditching all the baggage that usually comes with being a comic character.
The DC Book of Pride works not just for those unfamiliar with the DC Universe, but also for the long-time hardcore DC fan. It provides not just an interesting and fresh perspective to a comic book universe that’s been around for decades, but it might also offer a sizable portion of those long-time fans who happen to be queer an opportunity to finally feel seen. And that is something fairly significant, without question, and not to be dismissed.
Also of note is The DC Book of Pride‘s very helpful glossary in the back pages, where young readers (or long-timers) can learn the definitions for assortment of queer-related and DC Comics-related terms. And, admittedly, there’s something cool about skimming the glossary and seeing terms like “Genderqueer” and “Green Lantern” side by side.
While this book seems like a natural extension of DC Comics’ assorted Pride efforts, given their output over the last few years, it’s still sort of hard to believe a nifty little title like this is even available. Given the ongoing hatred and intolerance toward the LGBTQIA+ community, and its growth in recent years, seeing something of this is incredibly welcoming to see. Ten, maybe five, years ago this likely wouldn’t even have gotten past the pitch stage, so recognition is definitely due to DK and DC for putting something like this together and getting it to market.
And now, having a book such as this out there is legitimately great for queer fans looking to step further into the DC Universe, or dip their toes in for the first time. It’s important for LGBTQIA+ youth to see themselves represented, to feel acknowledged, and this book can offer just that. Plus, given the variety of characters on display in The DC Book of Pride, there’s a good chance said fans will find more than a few to fall for.
Written and curated by Jadzia Axelrod, who did an absolutely masterful job selecting and breaking down the characters and their stores here, The DC Book of Pride is not just a solid companion title to DC Comics’ DC Pride releases, but it’s also helpful “who’s who” to DC’s growing slate of queer characters. It’s clear a lot of care went into the selection of characters and presentation, and thankfully the results of said work pays off quite well. It may not be an exhaustive tome, nor is every character included, but that just leaves more ground for Axelrod to cover in future queer-based titles from DK and DC.
A handy, respectful look at some of DC Comics’ best and biggest queer characters, The DC Book of Pride: A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters provides a friendly welcome to the DC Universe for new and casual readers, queer or otherwise, as well as a fresh perspective for long-time fans. Axelrod has skillfully put together a fantastic initial volume dedicated to DC’s growing LGBTQIA+ community, and hopefully it won’t be the last. The DC Book of Pride: A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters succeeds in what it sets out to do, hands-down, and should leave readers aching for more! Highly Recommended!
The DC Book of Pride: A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters is available to own in print and digital. A copy of this title was purchased for review.
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