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HIV Meets the Comic Book Universe: 10 Notable Moments

June 12, 2013


Captain Astro

Captain Astro

Though only a superhero in the fictional world of the TV drama Queer as Folk, Captain Astro does represent many feelings around gay identity and geek identity for the male characters on the show. Captain Astro was the superhero that helped lead characters Brian Kinney and Michael Novotny discover their sexuality as youngsters, and become best friends in the process.

On the topic of Captain Astro and comic books, lead character Michael Novotny says: "I think we, gay boys, learn important lessons from comic books. One, there are a lot of villains out there so you better learn some secret powers. Two, if you have a good body, you can wear tight clothes and three, it's always good to be part of a dynamic duo."

Captain Astro dies of an "intergalactic disease" that has no known cure. There are a lot of other ways the comic book universe penetrates Queer as Folk: Michael's HIV-positive professor boyfriend, Ben Bruckner, studies comic books and teaches them -- especially the queer readings behind them -- in his university courses.

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