Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

English, MA

Committee Chair

Turner, Joseph

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

McDonald, Frances

Committee Member

McDonald, Frances

Committee Member

Omer-Sherman, Ranen

Author's Keywords

Homonormativity; heteronormativity; midnighter and apollo; DC comics; comics theory; queer theory


This project examines portrayals of Midnighter and Apollo, a gay couple, first published by WildStorm and by DC Comics. Analysis of these different portrayals reveals the manner in which WildStorm conveyed the characters in a homonormalized fashion as a means of making them acceptable to mainstream audiences via the perpetuation of homophobic ideas and negative stereotypes. The portrayals from DC Comics was a more natural representation of characters, without special attention paid to their orientation and the development of the relationship being present on the page for readers, conveying gay men as no different than anyone else. Analysis of the portrayals, combined with the publication history of those portrayals (12 years/over 100 issues from WildStorm; 6 years/less than 50 issues from DC), supports my argument that such progressive social statements as the DC portrayals are not sustainable in the mainstream pure-profit market within which comics are published.