A new Marvel comic will introduce the first LGBTQ-identifying incarnation of Captain America.
The United States of Captain America miniseries follows Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes and John Walker as they go in search of Cap's missing shield, encountering people who've been inspired by the Marvel superhero along the way.
One person they meet is Aaron Fischer, an openly gay character who calls himself the Captain America of the Railways, and protects young runaways and the homeless.
Read more: Chris Evans pledges shield to dog attack boy
Issue 1 will go on sale on 2 June, in time for Pride Month, and its writer Aaron Trujillo hopes the character will be a shining light for the LGBTQ+ community.
Marvel's first gay Captain America, Aaron Fischer, will be introduced in a new comic book miniseries. https://t.co/bUaU4vkRMJ
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 17, 2021
"Aaron is inspired by heroes of the queer community: activists, leaders, and everyday folks pushing for a better life," Trujillo told EW. "He stands for the oppressed, and the forgotten. I hope his debut story resonates with readers, and helps inspire the next generation of heroes."
Artwork for the series shows a tattooed Aaron Fischer sporting a mohawk, wearing a Captain America cowl, carrying the shield, and in dungarees emblazoned with the character's trademark stars and stripes. Jan Bazaldua, the artist responsible for his look, paid tribute to Marvel for the opportunity to make history.
"I really enjoyed designing him, and as a transgender person, I am happy to be able to present an openly gay person who admires Captain America and fights against evil to help those who are almost invisible to society," Bazaldua said.
"While I was drawing him, I thought, well, Cap fights against super-powerful beings and saves the world almost always, but Aaron helps those who walk alone in the street with problems that they face every day. I hope people like the end result!"
Created by Joe Kirby and Joe Simon in 1941, Captain America is the alter-ego of Steve Rogers. Initially introduced during WW2, the character has gone through many iterations over the years, with a number of different characters assuming the mantle.
Audiences now will probably be most familiar with the version portrayed by Chris Evans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whose story arc ended with Avengers: Endgame. That film saw Rogers passing on his symbolic shield to Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson — aka Falcon.
The new Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will reveal what happened next to the shield, with Falcon, Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier, and Wyatt Russell's John Walker all vying to be the next Captain America.
It starts streaming on 19 March.
Watch the final The Falcon and The Winter Soldier trailer