Sunday, July 14, 2024

Little known comic book, Wynonna Earp, births a gay icon


If there’s one thing you need to know about Wynonna Earp, it’s that you can’t keep a good Earper down. The franchise has come back from the dead more than once thanks to ravenous, whisky drinking fans; including three times during the comic book series and once when the television adaption fell apart due to budget issues. In case you’ve never heard of the title character and her band of misfits, let me introduce you to the little known comic book that birthed a gay icon.

Many members of the LGBTQ community have a soft spot for female heroes. Wynonna is not quite the woman you expect. She overdrinks, she curses, she’s prone to random acts of violence and at one point she was promiscuous. However, in the graphic novel series created by Beau Smith and published by IDW Publishing, she’s also the heir of legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp and she is the owner of a magical gun that sends demons back to Hell. She battles a number of supernatural entities, both solo and as a member of The Monster Squad/Black Badge, and if one of her friends is in danger – she’s the first to fight.

The comic book is more action oriented than the television show from Emily Andras, which is about to return for its fourth season later this month. The comic book has 20 unique issues and several volumes, while the TV show has 37 episodes as of this writing. It’s also important to note the television series features new characters and story-lines not featured in the comic books, and that brings us to the gay icon we know and love.

I’m talking about Waverly Earp, Wynonna’s half sister who has been a pinnacle member of her crew while on air but wasn’t introduced until much later in the comic books. Waverly is incredibly smart and intuitive. She’s brave, kind and collected; almost a mirror image of Wynonna. She’s also in a committed relationship with the town’s sheriff, Nicole Haught. Waverly’s sexual orientation lies somewhere between bisexuality and homosexuality, as she dated numerous men before falling for the charms of Ms. Haught. This heart-warming romance has been showcased in the comic books and on screen.

The relationship between Waverly and Nicole, often referred to by its fandom as “WayHaught,” has proven almost as popular as the project’s main character, Wynonna. And we always need queer representation on television that’s genuine and unafraid. The WayHaught fan base is so strong, in fact, that it earned the show two GLAAD Media Awards for its representation of gay characters. It’s perhaps because of Waverly and Nicole being embraced so passionately by Wynonna Earp fans that another gay couple was introduced with… well, maybe you’ll have to watch the show for yourself to find out!

Wynonna Earp returns for its fourth season on 26 July 2020. All previous seasons are available to stream on NETFLIX and on demand markets.

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