Although superhero comics are getting better at representing heroes of all creeds, there are still so very few transgender characters in comics, whether that's in supporting roles or as heroes themselves. AfterShock Comics wants to change that for the better with the introduction of Chalice. Revealed by the New York Times today, Chalice is the star of a new series called Alters from Paul Jenkins, Leila Leiz and Tamra Bonvillain (a transgender woman herself), with covers by Black Panther artist Brian Stelfreeze. Alters is set in a world where humanity is confronted with the emergence of a mutant section of the population, dubbed "Alterations", that develops superpowers.
Chalice, undergoing transition from male to female, discovers that she is an "Alter" with the power to manipulate gravity — leading to her double-double life, where she is not yet "out" as either transgender or a superpowered being, and can only present as female when in her superhero costume and fighting crime. The series will also feature other heroes, but Chalice will be its primary protagonist.
It's an intriguing idea — one writer Jenkins picked up on from a fan while brainstorming ideas for the comic — and a welcome move for a larger variety of LGBTQ representation in superhero comics (which often tend to stick to the Lesbian or Gay side of the spectrum, more so than bisexual or transgender lead characters). Alters is set to begin this September.