Marvel unveils mutant drag queen superhero Shade

A panel from Iceman, a comic from Marvel Comics about a gay superhero

Marvel has introduced its first ever drag queen superhero, a mutant called Shade—and she looks incredible.

Last month’s fourth instalment of Marvel’s new Iceman comic features Shade, a mutant who is part of the X-Men.

Created by openly gay Marvel Comics writer Sina Grace and artist Nathan Stockman, Shade introduces herself to fans by using her superpower to teleport into the first ever Mutant Pride Parade—a fantastic new feature of the Iceman comics—and become its master of ceremonies.

Shade features in this Marvel Comics panel from the Iceman series

Marvel Comics’ creation, Shade, makes her mind up to interrupt the Mutant Pride Parade (marvel comics)

The superhero tells everyone present at the Pride event: “‘Ello Manhattan! It’s your emcee, Shade.

“And I got none to throw at Dazzler’s set!” she adds about her fellow mutant’s performance. “Let’s give her another round of applause.”

Shade then proceeds to introduce the next act—but if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for a kick-ass drag queen superhero, she returns in the fifth issue of Iceman, which is out on Wednesday (January 9).

Hopefully, Shade will have more cause to use her teleportation power, which she activates by using her handheld fan to open pocket voids.

“There are a million different queer perspectives and we’re only scratching the surface”

— Marvel writer Sina Grace

Speaking to The Advocate, Grace said that he wanted this edition of Iceman—which follows Marvel’s barrier-breaking gay superhero, who came out in 2015—to open his audience’s eyes to the full rainbow of queer narratives.

“I really wanted this series to push readers to new and better stories about the whole queer experience and how it applies to being both a mutant and a superhero,” he said.

“There’s a million different queer perspectives and we’re only scratching the surface.”

Marvel creation Shade follows in footsteps of other drag superheroes

Last year, Netflix introduced us to animated series Super Drags, which features a cast of drag queen superheroes.

The show centres on three gay men who work in a department store by day, dealing with their uptight boss, before tightening their corsets and transforming into drag superheroes at night.

And amazingly, the programme—which is produced by Netflix‘s Brazilian content arm—wasn’t the only much-hyped animated TV series released in 2018 which focused on drag queens.

Drag Tots, which stars RuPaul and a handful of fan favourite queens from Drag Race herstory, was released in June.

Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano, Latrice Royale, Valentina, Bob the Drag Queen and Detox are all in the cast of the adult drag cartoon, which is shown on WOW Presents Plus in the US.

Drag Tots features the queens as infant drag stars Dina Saur, Roxy Moron, Lady Liber T, Arugula and Donatella Mewhattodoo, who use their “glitter powers” to challenge the toxic mainstream culture.

RuPaul, who is a producer on the show, voices Corny the Unicorn.