The comic book world is changing, in line with a, largely, more tolerant society. The last 60 years has seen the biggest steps taken towards greater equality and pop culture not only reflects this, but often causes it too.
So when writer Rob Williams comes out and endorses a gay Judge Dredd - one of the more stereotypically masculine comic characters out there - we should celebrate the forward thinking of the comic book universe, not threaten to burn the new issue of 2000 AD, like some fans did after finding out the story puts the futuristic lawman in a gay nightclub, Sky News reported.
Williams said: "Sure, Dredd could be gay. You can't look at the original costume design of leather and chains and not see a fetishistic edge there. But Dredd's feeling are so deeply hidden, he is extremely unlikely to ever let them show."
Dredd isn't even officially gay as a character, but there is a precedent. Archie Comics' first gay character, Kevin Keller, was married in January; Marvel's X-man Northstar was married in May; and DC Comics reintroduced the Green Lantern as gay in June. It looks as though the, probably small, homophobic section of Dredd fans might need to adjust their moral compass, as it won't go away.
Williams added that comic books are a perfect place to deal with these kind of issues. He said: "As long as you stay true to the character throughout - which I think Closet does - you can deal with all sorts of issues in a story. And if they push people's buttons, fine. I'd rather a story be provocative than just 'and they have a fight'. Plus, putting Dredd in a gay club filled with men dressed as him is a pretty funny image. It's worth it for that alone."