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Meet Somnus, a new LGBTQ+ character debuting in Marvel's Voices: Pride #1

Somnus
(Image credit: Luciano Vecchio (Marvel Comics))

Update: Marvel Comics has now revealed the name and design of its new LGBTQ+ character which will debut in June in Marvel's Voice: Pride #1. 

Designed by artist Luciano Vecchio, the character is named Somnus - and the only other thing we know about them is that they are queer, hence their debut in the Pride anthology.

(Image credit: Luciano Vecchio (Marvel Comics))

Well, we know one other thing - whoever they are, they may be dead or disappeared at this point, judging by the teaser's text, which reads "Who is Somnus?" with "is" crossed out and replaced with "was".

Ominous.

In Roman mythology, Somnus is the Olympian god of sleep (whose counterpart in Greek is Hypnos). Marvel Comics has drawn on all kinds of world mythology for characters before, so Somnus may be a version of the mythological figure, or could simply be using the name due potentially having sleep-based abilities.

Marvel has used the name Somnus before, for a minor character in the Inhumans limited series Silent War, though the new character does not appear to have any connection to the previous user of the name.

Incidentally, Somnus does not seem to appear in Vecchio's previously revealed banner for his variant cover, which includes numerous queer characters, likely indicating that the final cover will put Somnus front-and-center in the currently blank space inside the frame.

Marvel's announcement states that more information about Somnus will arrive next week. Stay tuned to Newsarama as the story develops.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"An homage to the iconic Marvel 25th Anniversary covers released in 1985, this cover spotlights Marvel's tapestry of LGBTQ+ characters and will reveal a brand-new hero who is set to make their debut within the upcoming one-shot," reads Marvel's previous teaser/announcement showing off the cover frame, without Somnus yet added.

Indeed, the frame of characters around the cover reflects the same concept Marvel used for many covers in 1986, which marked the 25th anniversary of the start of the Marvel Universe in 1961's Fantastic Four #1.

And of course, 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of that same issue (who else feels old considering the gap between 1986 and 2021? My non-Adamantium bones just creaked).

The cover, seen here, will be available on Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 on June 23.

Original story follows

Marvel Comics will celebrate Pride Month this June with a one-shot anthology titled Marvel's Voices: Pride #1, which features LGBTQIA+ creators and characters in a series of stories – one of which features a long-awaited reunion of a classic creative team and the heroes they popularized.

"This June, Marvel Comics is proud to honor Pride Month with a historic celebration of LGBTQ+ characters and creators in Marvel's Voices: Pride #1," reads Marvel's announcement of Marvel's Voices: Pride #1. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"Following in the footsteps of the mega-popular Marvel's Voices: Indigenous Voices and Marvel's Voices: Legacy, Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 will be Marvel's first-ever queer-centered special spotlighting Marvel's growing tapestry of LGBTQ+ characters. These stories of inspiration and empowerment will be brought to life by an assembly of writers and artists from all walks of life including Kieron Gillen, Olivier Coipel, Steve Orlando, Anthony Oliveira, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Kris Anka, Javier Garrón, and many more!"

Along with the many creators named in the announcement, writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, who co-created gay characters Wiccan and Hulkling in their Young Avengers run, will return to the newly-married heroes in a story that forms one of the one-shot's centerpieces.

"Since 1992's revolutionary Alpha Flight #106 proudly confirmed Northstar's sexuality, Marvel has represented LGBTQ+ identities with a wide array of characters and stories," continues Marvel's announcement of Marvel's Voices: Pride #1. "Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 will continue this legacy with thrilling adventures starring Mystique and Destiny, Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean, Iceman, Daken, Karma, and more."

"Plus, writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung make their long-awaited return to Marvel Comics with a new chapter in the love story of their hit creations: Wiccan and Hulkling!" the announcement concludes. "Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 will also revisit some of Marvel's groundbreaking moments and explore the history of LGBTQ+ inclusion and storytelling at Marvel Comics."

Marvel's announcement of Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 also offers some insight into the relationship some of the creators have to comic books, and how Marvel Comics relates to their experience of their sexuality.

"When I was a very closeted, very lonely kid, these characters saved my life," writer Anthony Oliveira, whose work is included in the anthology, states in the announcement. "It's an honor to tell stories about them and to see the kind of stories queer people can tell about queer people deepen and grow."

Writer Steve Orlando, a new addition to Marvel's creative line-up with Curse of the Man-Thing, added his thoughts.

"What an honor to be part of Marvel's Voices: Pride!" adds Orlando, who also contributes to the anthology. "I could not be more excited to help spotlight LGBTQ+ characters new and old at the House of Ideas, as well as joining a stable of LGBTQ+ creators behind the scenes for this special."

Finally, rising artist Luciano Vecchio speaks on returning to the Marvel's Voices line, having contributed to one of the previous anthologies.

"It blew my mind when I learned this special was being put together. Something that not too long ago seemed a wild dream is finally happening!" states Vecchio, who is also a contributor to DC's just-announced Pride anthology.

"I think this is one of those history-making touchstones for LGBTQ+ representation in Marvel, one of those moments that sets the bar higher and starts a lasting paradigm shift, and I'm just grateful to be lucky enough to be asked to contribute to it," he continues. "And on a more personal note, after my short story in the first Marvel's Voices special last year, this feels like an organic progression in the right direction, and I can't stop smiling about it."

Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 is due to go on sale June 23. Watch for Marvel's full June 2021 solicitations later this month on Newsarama.

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Newsarama staff writer who learned to read from comic books and hasn’t shut up about them since.