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Circuit Breaker, DC Comics’ New Trans Superhero, Will Debut on Valentine’s Day

Sep 29, 2023

By Samantha Riedel

Mask up, comics nerds: a transgender superhero is coming to a newsstand near you.

On Valentine's Day (that's next week for all the calendar-avoiding singles out there), DC Comics’ newest character — Circuit Breaker, a trans man — will debut in the pages of Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1.

Circuit Breaker, aka Jules Jordain, is a he/they who will reportedly wield a power called the "Still Force," a counterpoint to DC's "Speed Force," which gives super-quick heroes like the Flash their powers. (The "Still Force" was first introduced in 2018, and draws on some of comics’ oddest scraps of history, like the villainous Turtle.)

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Jules’ first appearance will be handled by trans writer/artist A.L. Kaplan, known for illustrating Stuff of Nightmares with Goosebumps legend R.L. Stine last year. Kaplan clarified on Twitter last month that Circuit Breaker is a trans man, "but not super into the binary." We obviously don't know how much relevance Jules’ gender will have to the overall plot of his stories, but it's reflected in his character design in a few subtle ways — the coolest being the lightning-bolt designs on his vest and chest, intentionally designed to resemble top surgery scars.

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DC Comics has made a major push to expand and promote their roster of LGBTQ+ characters over the past few years, giving out boyfriends like they’re candy and confirming some long-held queer fan theories. But Circuit Breaker will be one of the company's first high-profile transmasculine characters, preceded by the impeccably named but little-known Pado Swakatoon from Gail Simone and Adriana Melo's Plastic Man series.

Though trans men can be found in many independent comics by LGBTQ+ creators, like Caleb Hosalla's Eerie Crests or the work of Blue Delliquanti, mainstream superhero comics have lagged far behind in representation. As the publishers and distributors of Milestone Comics in the 1990s, DC's "first" trans man on the page was Masquerade, whose shapeshifting powers allowed him to live in deep stealth…for the first story arc, anyway. Over at Marvel, new characters like Morgan Red are a welcome addition to their shared universe, though the less said about psychic twins "Snowflake and Safespace," two characters whose introduction immediately felt like mockery, the better.

DC's Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate is slated to be a seven-issue miniseries of anthology books, with February's #1 clocking in at 48 pages of stories by different creative teams. Also appearing in the first issue will be another new character, Xanthe, a nonbinary swordfighter who will be getting up to some manner of shenanigans in the Spirit World. If you haven't been following the threads of this event over the past year or so, don't worry — even die-hard comics fans have trouble keeping up with it all, so just dive in wherever and have a cape-flourishing good time.

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