Marvel's New LGBTQ+ Hero Is A Powerful Mutant With X-Men Ties

If new details about The Trial of Magneto weren't enough, Marvel Comics has more mutant-related news. Somnus, the new LGBTQ+ debuting in Marvel Voices: Pride #1 in June, is a powerful mutant who has a history with the X-Men. Marvel revealed these details in a press release, along with the news that Steve Orlando (Wonder Woman, Curse of the Man-Thing) and Eisner-nominated artist Claudia Aguirre (Hotel Dare) will reveal Somnus's backstory during his debut story in Marvel Voices: Pride. The release also includes a full look at Somnus on the cover of Marvel Voices: Pride #1 and Luciano Vecchio's original character designs. Both are included below.

Marvel describes Somnus, a.k.a. Carl Valentino, as "A mutant who had an extraordinary impact on an X-Man long ago." His mutant powers give him the ability to control other people's dreams. For some reason, Somnus has been missing from mutant history until now, when he's being granted a new chance to pursue his own dreams and fulfill his heroic destiny as part of the mutant nation of Krakoa.

Marvel Somnus Character Designs
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

"Somnus, Carl Valentino, is inspired not only by my own family history, but by my experiences with past generations of LGBTQ+ folks from across the country, people I wouldn't have met without comics," Orlando says in the press release. "While there is still plenty of work to do, we've also come a long way as a community. Somnus is a chance to explore how my own late queer relatives may have felt, living in more prejudiced times. He's also a chance to celebrate past generations as a whole and acknowledge the strides we've made that they may not have lived to see. And with the Krakoan era being one of relative utopia for mutantkind, Somnus will bring a fresh perspective, and respectful gut check, to the young mutants of the present who may not know just how hard some had to fight for all mutants have achieved. Within the story and without, Somnus will be a new, complex character carrying a message of respect, power, and vision."

"Marvel's Voices: Pride is ticking so many dream assignments for me! On top of doing the cover, a frame variant, and a story that I got to write myself, I also got to design a new queer character introduced in a story written by Steve Orlando," Vecchio said. "I'm so happy to finally collaborate officially with Steve and I fell in love with Somnus' concept and backstory right away. I got some input from him and editor Sarah Brunstad but also a lot of liberty to propose ideas. This time the design process itself felt almost like channeling. I wanted him to have an air of 'man of your dreams,' very charming and human but unreachable at the same time. Some visual elements are a mix of Mod fashion, a bit of Hellfire Gala influence, and a palette based on Etruscan vase art as a nod to the god he's named after."

Marvel Voices Pride Somnus Cover
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Are you excited about Somnus? Let us know in the comments.

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Somnus debuts in Marvel Voices: Pride #1. The issue releases in comic shops and digital storefronts on June 23rd.

  • MARVEL'S VOICES: PRIDE #1
  • Written by KIERON GILLEN, ALLAN HEINBERG, ANTHONY OLIVEIRA, STEVE ORLANDO, TINI HOWARD, LEAH WILLIAMS, MARIKO TAMAKI, TERRY BLAS, CRYSTAL FRASIER, VITA AYALA, J.J. KIRBY, LUCIANO VECCHIO & MORE!
  • Art by JAVIER GARRÓN, JIM CHEUNG, KRIS ANKA, JEN HICKMAN, PAULINA GANUCHEAU, JETHRO MORALES, BRITNEY WILLIAMS, J.J. KIRBY, LUCIANO VECCHIO, JAN BAZALDUA, CLAUDIA AGUIRRE & MORE!
  • Frame Variant Cover by LUCIANO VECCHIO (APR210818)
  • On Sale 6/23