And now, as we wrap up our Pride Month, we get to talk about the T in LGBT. It’s currently pretty rare to find some kind of trans character in today’s media that doesn’t somehow link them to being the bad guy because of who they are. Often times, they’re treated like the criminally insane which is horribly unfair and not at all true.
Enter Alters. A story about Charlie/Chalice. In a universe where powers just began appearing in people all over the globe, Chalice is having a harder time than most. After all, she’s trying to properly transition in her home life while, at the same time, being a superhero who seems to be the only one who can take down Matter Man. Her mind is already on overtime trying to think of the best ways to tell her family about the transitions she’s already going through. Then, in comes this hero team who looks at her like she’s the only hope for society?
This is a lot of pressure to put on a teenager, no matter the gender.
But this story filled me with something I hadn’t felt in a long time. There was a certain sense of child-like wonder when it came to these characters. It was similar to the first time I picked up anything superheroes. It was a world I wanted to know about and become invested in. Something in it resonated with me. The whole secret identity and modest home life kinda makes me think of Peter Parker. Or maybe that’s just because of the quick reference to him in the form of “Your Friendly Neighborhood So-And-So.”
Either way, I’m a fan. Be it because of nostalgia or what have you.
Don’t get me wrong; the story is not without its flaws. It leaned a little more on the transition for a lot of people’s taste, and I’m pretty sure I read someone not liking the way Teddy, Chalice’s disabled older brother, was handled.
But to me personally, it felt kinda closer to reality than a lot of people are giving it credit for. Of course the transition would constantly be on Chalice’s mind; she hadn’t told her parents and she’s going through the transition currently. The elephant in the room is only going to get bigger. As far as Teddy goes, I can’t say for certain whether it was truly handled poorly or not, but I really like him as a character. You know, without going into spoilers about it. This story does have a lot of great characters.
As a little side-note: if this ever finds its way to live-action, I would love to audition for Matter Man. I love this little psycho for all his brutality and villainy. Keep me in mind, Aftershock!
Anyway, whether you're trans or not, Alters is a good story to delve into. It's full of all the superhero action we've all come to love with just a little bit more!
Click the image above to purchase Alters Vol 1 : The Story of Chalice!