The Tarot Reader and Activist Who Created DC Comics’ First Transgender Superhero

Created in the 1960s by DC Comics, Doom Patrol is an eccentric superhero team comprised of complex characters like Danny the Street, a sentient neighborhood that identifies as genderqueer. It’s fitting then, that this team would also boast DC Comics’ first transgender superhero, Kate Godwin, written by their first out trans writer: Rachel Pollack. Hailing from Brooklyn, Pollack led a stereotypical straight cisgender male life until she turned 26, when she came out to the world as a trans woman and lesbian (and also became immersed in tarot). Pollack continued studying tarot (and would eventually become one of the foremost authorities on the practice) while becoming an activist for the UK Gay Liberation Front, where she faced discrimination from cis members. These frustrations eventually culminated in Kate Godwin, a trans woman (who debuted in 1993’s Doom Patrol #70) with the powers of coagulation and dissolution. “Kate Godwin uses the power of her own transgender lived experience to save the world from immolation,” writes Samantha Riedel for Them. “For Pollack, this was the ultimate expression of the true spirituality of trans identity.” Learn more about this historic character and an upcoming Doom Patrol omnibus edition at Them.

Image courtesy of PM Press/Rachel Pollack