Archie Comics will reveal its first transgender character in August.
In a one-issue story by trans comic writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Butch Mapa for the publisher's new "Strange Science" series, Archie's Danni Malloy, previously known as the love interest to main character Dilton Doiley, will be reintroduced as a trans woman.
Visaggio told Gizmodo's io9 that she has wanted to "make this happen for a long time."
"I never wanted Danni's trans identity to be gimmicky, or for her to feel like she was only created to be trans," she said. "I wanted [readers] to have a chance to fall in love with her for who she is, not what she is.
"I'm honored I got to make it happen, and I'm grateful to Archie for never, not even once, pushing back on my insistence on making their books a little bit more queer," Vissagio continued. "I hope Danni finds a good home at Archie with supportive writers and artists helping to keep her alive for years to come."
Mapa said he felt honored to be illustrating the comic, even before he learned what it was about.
"Magdalene is one of the more important voices in writing today, and I'm thrilled to join her for this chapter in her ongoing story with Danni and Jinx," he said. "Magdalene wrote a story that is vital and poignant and brilliant at the same time, while also being a fantastic piece of horror/sci-fi. Expect lots of weirdness, emotion, action, and character."
Archie Comics' senior director of editorial Jamie L. Rotante said the comic, which is part of the publisher's Archie Horror imprint, "is one of, if not the, most important one-shots we've released to date."
"It also showcases how versatile horror can be, as it deftly blends sci-fi with horror and tells a beautiful, poignant tale about confronting the past," she said. "That's all thanks to writer Magdalene Visaggio, who had the idea to have Danni Malloy tell her own story about her transition."
"I'm so proud of this book, but moreover, it's an honor to help bring this beautiful story to life," Rotante added. "I'm consistently awed by the amazing talent I have the opportunity to work with."
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