Marvel Comics have announced that the newest addition to the famous Avengers team in 2018 will be 'Living Lightning' - a gay, Latino superhero.
It's been confirmed that the superhero will join the Avengers in a 2018 storyline called No Surrender, which will appear in issues #675 to #690.
Miguel Santos, also known as Living Lightning, first appeared in 1990, when he battled a terrorist organisation called the Legion of Living Lightning. His father had been a member, and was killed during an attempt to gain control over The Hulk.
During this battle to clear his father's name, Santos accidentally became one of the Legion's machines, gaining the power to control and turn into lightning.
In Issue #2 of the G.L.A. (Great Lake Avengers) series, Living Lightning came out as a gay man, when he mistakenly thought their acronym stood for the 'Gay and Lesbian Alliance'.
Dan Slott, the writer behind the 2005 G.L.A. (Great Lakes Avengers) series, said this of the superhero:
“He’s gay. Get over it."
Some questioned the hero's sexuality, pointing out that he had dated women in the past. “Previous girlfriends? Beards. Or relationships that just didn’t work – because Miguel hadn’t come to terms yet with who he really is," Slott clarified. “Miguel is a gay superhero and a wonderful role model.”
On Tumblr, a fan asked Jim Zub - the writer working on No Surrender - about how Living Lightning came to be a part of the storyline. Zub replied, "[Marvel Comics writer] Al Ewing brought up the idea at our story summit. He was passionate about Miguel getting his due and sold the idea to the rest of our team."
The character of Living Lightning has worked with the West Coast Avengers team in some instances, which included well-known heroes such as Hawkeye, Iron Man, War Machine, and the Human Torch.
Many have spoken out about the decision, praising Marvel for highlighting diversity throughout their comics, and encouraging the company to bring this representation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: