In the slightly quirky world of comic books, where everything seems possible and morality and cruelty seem to commonly go side by side, a new chapter is being opened up by the launch of a new superhero. 'Midnighter' is to be given his own solo series by the mainstream comic book publisher, DC Comics. That by itself may not seem out of the ordinary, but the main interest of the new character is that he will be the world's first gay male superhero, as a clear signal that comics are recognising the changing Society that we live in.

The new superhero will have his own monthly publication, as part of the rogue superhero team, The Authority.

Not that it has exactly been an overnight change of strategy by the comic book industry though, as the new superhero was created way back in 1998, when Warren Ellis originally provided the words and Bryan Hitch the artistry to go alongside. That first airing of the novel crusader, with his partner Apollo by his side, appeared in DC's Wildstorm Comics imprint.

As befits a superhero, he possesses the requisite superhuman abilities to set him apart from his adversaries, in Midnighter's case those being amazing strength, speed and resilience. Although at first sight he may seem not dissimilar from other superheroes that have graced the comic books and the silver screen down through the years, what sets him apart from others is his ability to suppress pain.

He also possesses the odd ability to be able to determine how a battle will turn out at its outset. His superpowers are as a result of bio-engineered enhancements.

Rather handily, for a character that suffers more than his fair share of injuries, he also possesses the ability to recover extremely quickly when he needs to.

As he has suffered from a broken neck, multiple broken limbs and been shot through the chest in the past, his famed healing powers are clearly a godsend to him.

The expectation is for the Steve Orlando-written series to be available for sale from June this year. Orlando was a big fan of the original himself when he was younger and welcomes the changing attitudes within the comic book industry, as demonstrated by their willingness to include the new character in their publications.