Marvel Comics Introduces First-Ever Trans Mutant

Marvel Comics Introduces First-Ever Trans Mutant

by Hedy Phillips

This Pride month, Marvel Comics is bringing in brand new character into the universe and her name is Escapade. The transgender mutant has superpowers that allow her to trade places with anyone, anywhere and she even has her own trusty sidekick in the form of a turtle.

As part of Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1, Escapade, whose real name is Shela Sexton, not only has the ability to trade places with anyone, but also with anything. Co-creator Charlie Jane Anders told, “I wish I could hang out with Shela in real life. She is a total goofball, a cool weirdo who has a super strong sense of justice and a profound loyalty to her friends.”

Speaking of friends, Escapade also has a “chosen family” that will feature in her story, including fellow trans mutant Morgan Red. Anders shared that when developing these characters, she felt like Red would have been there for Sexton while she was transitioning and vice versa giving them a bond so strong that they could withstand pretty much anything. “I wanted Shela to have a really strong relationship that she could be anchored to,” she shared.

This story, though, won’t just throw a trans character at the forefront and let everything else be cookie-cutter. Anders and the rest of the creators wanted to ensure that the whole story felt inclusive and comprehensive. “It was really important to me to have a whole community of trans mutants in this comic — not just Shela and Morgan, but others. (And then it turned out writer Grace Freud had already created some wonderful characters in her comic in the same issue.) I wanted it to be super clear that being a mutant is not a metaphor for being trans, and vice versa,” she said.

Related | Superman Is Bi

And just like any Marvel comic, Sexton, Red and the rest of their squad will get up to the usual crime-fighting, knocking out bad guys and saving the day. Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 starts with a heist, Anders said, so you know it’s going to be good. “Shela gets through a whole lot of dangers using her wits and the technology she's scavenged,” she revealed.

If you love Escapade's story when you read it, rest assured that it’s not the end. Anders is working on a continuation in New Mutants that will continue the story of Escapade and her greatness. Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1 hits shelves June 22.

Photo via Marvel


The Saintly Queens of 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' 9

Story by Andrew Nguyen / Photography by Devin Kasparian