The Marvel’s Voice: Pride anthology arrives in June, and when it does, it will bring the debut of a new character — Somnus, who will appear in a story written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Claudia Aguirre.
“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 said. “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.”
The character was designed by artist Luciano Vecchio, who also provides a variant cover featuring Somnus:
The character also has a connection to the X-Men — one in particular. “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,” Orlando said. “Within the story and without, Somnus will be a new, complex character carrying a message of respect, power and vision.”
You can check out more of Vecchio designs for the character:
“Marvel’s Voices: Pride is ticking so many dream assignments for me! On top of doing the cover, a frame variant, and a story that I got to write myself, I also got to design a new queer character introduced in a story written by Steve Orlando,” Vecchio said. “I’m so happy to finally collaborate officially with Steve, and I fell in love with Somnus’ concept and backstory right away. I got some input from him and editor Sarah Brunstad but also a lot of liberty to propose ideas. This time the design process itself felt almost like channeling. 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 vases art as a nod to the god he’s named after.”
In Roman mythology, Somnus is “the personification of sleep” and lived in the underworld. He is featured in Ovid’s poem Metamorphoses.
Marvel’s Voices: Pride arrives June 23 and will feature stories by Kieron Gillen, Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Kris Anka, Tini Howard and many more. In addition to the variant cover by Vecchio, it’ll also feature one from Olivier Coipel: