Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett continues on from last week's Pride Month and ponders what ever happened to the Rawhide Kid?

I realize I’ve already written about Pride Month (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy -- Do Yourself Proud"), but it seems I wasn’t quite done.  Both Marvel’s Voices: Pride and DC Pride got a nice write-up in The Hollywood Reporter that featured this quote from Marvel’s Voices: Pride editor Sarah Brunstad really encapsulates why publishers should do comics like this; “We were seeing this desire for untold stories”.  It also promotes Aquaman: The Becoming by Brandon Thomas and Diego Olortegui, a new six-issue limited series coming out in September, that features Jackson Hyde the Aqualad who just happens to be gay.

And while there’s a Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn story by Mariko Tamaki and Amy Reeder in DC Pride, I would have thought the publisher would have given the duo a higher profile this month. Given how they are the publisher’s best-known gay couple thanks to  HBO Max’s Harley Quinn: The Animated Series.  Though, coming this Fall is a six-issue mini-series Harley Quinn: The Animated Series - The Eat, Bang, Kill Tour that frills the gap between S2 and the upcoming S3.  Written by Bingo Love writer Tee Franklin and artist Max Sarin, it “follows Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy as they abscond following the events of Ivy's disastrous failed wedding to Kite-Man, indulging their own long-simmering romance on a journey to, well, eat, bang, and kill their way to freedom.”

Entirely apropos for Pride Month, though I’m fairly confident it was more by coincidence than done by deliberate design, it was confirmed in a recent trailer for the Disney+ Loki series that the character is genderfluid.  Online the question is often parsed as "is Loki genderfluid now" when, according to Norse Mythology, he’s always been, apparently. Thanks toThor comics, I read a lot of the Norse myths when I was a kid, but I somehow completely missed the one where “Loki lived as a milkmaid for eight winters under the earth in the land of the dead”  Now, that’s a plot for a comic I want to read.

And being a serious breakfast cereal mascot enthusiast, I really needed to mention how the worlds of comics and cereal collided for Pride Month.  First, there’s Lucky Charms, “the World's Rainbowiest Cereal”, whose mascot Lucky has apparently faced years of speculation about his sexual orientation (which was news to me), celebrated Pride Month by adding special rainbow marshmallows.  And to celebrate the debut of the Loki TV show, General Mills also produced a limited edition (only 3,500 boxes were made) of Loki Charms cereal that could only be purchased online. They sold out in seconds; imagine how many boxes would have sold in the direct market.

And I realize I had to at least mention Aaron Fischer, Marvel’s first gay teen Captain America, who’s set to make his first appearance in The United States of Captain America #1 this month.  Fischer is described as being “the Captain America of the Railways — a fearless teen who stepped up to protect fellow runaways and the unhoused. Marvel Comics is proud to honor Pride Month with the rise of this new LGBTQ+ hero.”

And while Hercules does make a brief appearance in Marvel’s Voices: Pride, that’s all he gets for Pride Month. Now that the character has finally been allowed to develop into something like an actual, well, character (beyond that of a hedonistic goofball brawler), one more in keeping with the mythological demigod -- I also read a lot about Greek and Roman myths thanks to Thor comics.  This canonically bisexual hero really deserves a comic of his own.

And finally, entirely missing in action is the Rawhide Kid. Back in 2003, in the pages of the five-issue ‘mature’ miniseries Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather, Marvel decided to depict the Western hero as being gay (see “Marvel’s Rawhide Kid Is No Straight Shooter”).  Written by Ron Zimmerman and drawn by the late, great John Severin, it was controversial for not just having a gay hero, but for the campy way, it dealt with Western genre cliches and homosexual stereotypes.  It was a pretty big deal, at the time, but now the Kid doesn’t even merit a cameo in Marvel’s Voices: Pride.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of