In his debut in Marvel Voices: Pride #1, Somnus is given a second chance at life, and he's determined to make the most out of it on the thriving mutant nation of Krakoa!" Now we'll get to see what kind of life he dreams of thanks to acclaimed writer Steve Orlando, and Eisner-nominated artist Claudia Aguirre. His costume was designed by artists Luciana Vecchio.
"Somnus, Carl Valentino, is inspired not only by my own family history, but by my experiences with past generations of LGBTQ+ folks from across the country, people I wouldn't have met without comics," Orlando told Marvel.com.
"While there is still plenty of work to do, we've also come a long way as a community. Somnus is a chance to explore how my own late queer relatives may have felt, living in more prejudiced times. He's also a chance to celebrate past generations as a whole and acknowledge the strides we've made that they may not have lived to see. And with the Krakoan era being one of relative utopia for mutantkind, Somnus will bring a fresh perspective, and respectful gut check, to the young mutants of the present who may not know just how hard some had to fight for all mutants have achieved. Within the story and without, Somnus will be a new, complex character carrying a message of respect, power, and vision."
On the variant cover by Vecchio, Somnus is reaching out in all his costumed glory while LGBTQ+ heroes from throughout the Marvel Universe, including Hulkling and Wiccan, Speed and Prodigy, America Chavez, Mystique, Tong, Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean, Rictor, Shatterstar, Iceman, Valkyrie, Dakken, and Angela, frame him. It's a great cover and sure to be a collector's item for any fan of queer superheroes.
"I'm so happy to finally collaborate officially with Steve and I fell in love with Somnus' concept and backstory right away," Vecchio said. "I wanted him to have an air of 'man of your dreams,' very charming and human but unreachable at the same time. Some visual elements are a mix of Mod fashion, a bit of Hellfire Gala influence, and a palette based on Etruscan vase art as a nod to the god he's named after."
Marvel's Voices: Pride #1 will release on June 23.