This pride month, we’ve been highlighting LGBTQ heroes in comics in our “Heroic Love” series. Today let’s take a look at one of the most revolutionary and little known couples in comics — Donner and Blitzen.
Only two years after Northstar came out as gay in 1992, and long before the string of gay marriage, proposals, and marriage comic book characters like Batwoman came out in the mid to late 2000’s, Donner (aka Gerri Brauer) and Blitzen (aka Valerie Kameya) were happily committed to each other in one of comics first openly lesbian relationships.
In fact, their relationship remains one of the very few examples of a positive, secure, and equal LGBTQ relationship in comics today (Thunder and Grace Choi are another great example)
Most other LGBTQ superheroes are either single, or in a relationship with a non-powered individual who often plays damsel in distress to the other partner’s hero (though this is a trend with non-powered women in relationships with male heroes as well).
Putting the spotlight on superheroes of color, socioeconomically marginalized heroes, LGBTQ heroes, and religious minority heroes, Milestone Comics was a head of its time in many ways. However, because of the imprint’s short tenure, we didn’t get to know many of these characters as well as we would’ve liked. Here’s what we know about the super-couple Donner and Blitzen….Donner (aka Gerri Brauer)
Donner has superhuman strength and is invulnerable to most physical attacks. Born Gerri Brauer, the German granddaughter of a Nazi geneticist, her superpowers may be due to some early tampering by her grandfather. When she was young, she was involved in Neo-Nazi gangs, but later saw the error of this and dedicated her life to justice, joining the Shadow Cabinet, where she fought alongside her now girlfriend Blitzen (aka Valerie Kameya). When the Shadow Cabinet’s leader Dharma tried to imprison the Cabinet’s members, she broke them out and formed a new group called Heroes. She first appeared in Icon #9 (1994) when she fights alongside Blitzen and Icon to defeat the villain Holocaust who had tried to recruit Icon’s sidekick Rocket to join the villainous Star Chamber group.Blitzen (aka Valerie Kameya)
We don’t know much about Blitzen, but we do know that she was once a scientist named Valerie Kameya, and she developed a serum that endowed her with superhuman speed. The serum allows her to not only move but also to think supremely fast, making her a force to reckon with in battle. After joining the Shadow Cabinet she fell in love with Donner and the two became one of the first open lesbian couples in comics. She’s known for being brutally honest and like her girlfriend, she has a past of not-so-heroic deeds. She first appeared in Icon #9 (1994) alongside Donner. She also joined Donner in forming the new group Heroes.