It's Pride Month, and you know what that means—it’s time to highlight the DC Universe's many queer heroes, villains and everything in between! And while there are plenty of A-listers who fit that bill, today we're going to take a look at one of the characters who may have flown under your radar—the Outsiders' very own bisexual Amazon warrior, Grace Choi!
Now first things first, before you go assuming that Grace and Wonder Woman were palling around on the regular, that's actually not the case. Grace herself was the daughter of a human man and an Amazon of Bana-Mighdall, one of the Amazon groups that splintered off from the hidden island of Themyscira thousands and thousands of years ago. Where Themyscira was led by Hippolyta, Bana-Mighdall was led by her sister, Antiope, who renounced the gods themselves and decided to seek vengeance on the world of men. This naturally led to some conflict with their Themyscira-based sisters over the years, but luckily enough for Grace, she wasn't raised in either magical city, so she avoided most of the political conflict between the two groups altogether.
Unfortunately for her, however, this did not mean she had a very nice or smooth life. She was raised in and out of the foster system and various human trafficking rings as a child, not knowing her parents or her origins at all, at least until she hit age twelve and her Amazonian abilities began to kick in. As a kid and later as a young adult, she frequently participated in things like underground fighting rings where she could make a quick buck and put her abilities to the test. She eventually settled into a bouncer job for a metahuman nightclub, leveraging her strength and endurance against even the rowdiest and least well behaved metahuman for both fun and profit.
This is exactly where the newly formed Outsiders, led by Roy Harper, found her—and she was exactly what the new team needed.
Assuming they could pay her, that is. Always resistant to altruism for altruism's sake, Grace—despite having known Roy as more-or-less a friend before the job offer—needed to be assured of her compensation before she'd settle on joining.
Grace's teammates on the Outsiders initially struggled to get along with her surly, gruff persona, but she was able to prove herself useful time and time again, especially against other similarly powered threats and heavy hitters. This era of Outsiders was composed of heroes like Metamorpho, Nightwing, Jade and Thunder, so while they certainly weren't struggling for power, having a brawler on their side with Amazonian strength proved a massive asset in no time at all.
Eventually, Grace and her new teammates started to understand one another, though interpersonal issues cropped up every now and again. Grace's oftentimes flippant way of talking about things like relationships was seen as crass and her brawler fighting style wasn’t always what you would call “heroic”—but hey, that's why we can't help but love her as readers! She was nothing if not deeply unapologetic for everything about herself.
So where should you go if she sounds like the sort of character you'd love to get to know this Pride Month? You're in luck! Grace's adventures with the Outsiders are almost entirely confined to a single run—and it's a run we'd love to recommend. She was introduced at the start of Judd Winick and Tom Raney’s run on The Outsiders in 2003. The story continued on for a total of fifty issues, making it a beefy, but totally reasonable binge-read that you can find on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE right now! It's perfect reading for anyone who happens to love unlikely found family-flavored teams, no-nonsense superheroes (who may or may not be themselves the causes of a lot of nonsense), and most importantly, a queer character who certainly deserves more time in the spotlight.
Mason Downey writes about comics, movies and superhero history for DC.com. Look for more of his work on GameSpot, IGN and Polygon and follow him on Twitter at @rustypolished.