The Effeminate Five
(first published Winter 2004 issue of Once Upon A

There have been lists published on this very site of which heroes are probably gay and which ones are way too straight in one man's opinion. But comics are rarely that black and white. Some heroes fall into a phantom zone between the extremes. Sixty years before the trendiness of metrosexuals made it okay to be well...stylish, they dared to be different. These misunderstood heroes now come together to form the Effeminate Five!

1.) Robin - Okay, it's an easy shot. But look at the outfit. An eccentric millionaire bachelor living in a secluded mansion welcomes a young boy into his home? No, it's not Michael Jackson, it's Bruce Wayne. The Hulk could not be called Bruce on TV because the name sounded gay. And young master Grayson's name: Dick. His profession: Aerialist. His unifrom color: canary yellow. His superhero name: a gender neutral, if not outright feminine, Robin.

2.) Toro - Look at him. He's literally a little flamer. Plus like most sidekicks he has the ambiguous relationship with his boss, who in this case is the unambiguously named Human Torch. "I'm sorry Toro, but your flame power will burn off all your clothes, except these tiny tight shorts." Yet somehow the Torch remained clothed to the wrists and neck. Hmmm.

3.) Oliver Queen - If the surname doesn't say it all, how about that Errol Flynn-esque goatee? Sure, he had the hots for Black Canary, but maybe he just wanted to get into her fishnets -- and I mean borrow them. And don't get me started on the two of them playing with Starman's Rod of Power.

Just maybe the Green Arrow wasn't straight as one. Ollie Queen once had a dalliance with Arrowette -- her name? Cissy King. Combined they would make a sissy queen. Plus Ollie's another eccentric millionaire playboy palling around with a boy sidekick. Speedy? You sure you don't mean Quickie? Something tells me there may have been a few games of hide the shaft and quiver going at the Queen residence.

4.) The Whizzer - Again I'm asking you to give big points for the name alone. But how about his origin: bitten by a cobra and given a blood transfusion from a mongoose, Bob Frank gets super speed. Plus this guy volunteered to take orders from Bucky, Cap's teen sidekick. As an able bodied adult male shouldn't he have been in the armed forces during WWII rather than playing follow the teenage leader?

5.) Minute Man - The only hero who clocks in under Hour Man in the lack of stamina category. But mostly he makes the list for the puffy shirt. I'm a big blouse boy. Dude, doesn't Wonder Woman want her clothes back? Come to think of it, is it pronounced min-nut or my-noot man?




--Daniel DeFabio


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