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Holy big secret Batman! Are you about to come out of the closet?

Christian Bale portrays Bruce Wayne and Batman in a scene from "The Dark Knight Rises."

AP Photo | Handout/AP Photo | Handout

Batman's relationship with his flamboyant sidekick, Robin, has always raised eyebrows. Is Robin truly Batman's prodigal son? Or do they spend weekends together shopping for tights?

This summer, comic book readers will finally learn the truth.

DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio has revealed that a major character will come out of the closet and become "one of our most prominent gay characters," reports.

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The character isn't necessarily a superhero – it could be Lex Luther or Alfred, Batman's butler. But it won't be Wonder Woman or Vicki Vale.

As DC's senior vice-president of publicity, Courtney Simmons, told ABC News, the "iconic" DC character "will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June."

Emphasis on "he."

Guardian readers insist that Aquaman, Batman, Robin and Superman are the biggest contenders.

Regardless, the character's forthcoming declaration of same-sex love may be an attempt to keep up with the times – and the competition.

DC's senior vice-president of sales, Bob Wayne, compared the development to President Barack Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, adding that Mr. DiDio's view on gay characters "had evolved."

But Marvel Comics' X-Men series is a step ahead. An openly gay character, Northstar, is about to propose to his longtime boyfriend, Kyle Jinadu, and tie the knot in June, Reuters reports.

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Clearly, in the battle of comic-book superpowers, it's no longer enough to relegate LGBT characters to lesser series such as Young Avengers, Batwoman and 52.

And now that gay comic characters have hit the big time, it's hard not to speculate as to which love interest – Catwoman? Lois Lane? – is just a front for a superhero's fabulous double life.

Will you mind if a comic book character you're known since childhood says, "Yep, I'm gay"?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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