As you can probably tell from the cover art, Subject to Change is an LGBT superhero comic. But in this particular comics universe, that “T” stands for something just a little bit different than you might expect.
And despite the cover date, Comixology listed it as a new release. I have no idea which is right – it may be an in-joke since I think this is kind of a retroactive origin tale – but if you want my take on it anyway, keep reading.
Based on the author’s note at the end of the book, I take it that these characters have appeared in previous titles, though I imagine it’s a safe bet that since this is so indie, most of you are probably as unaware of their backstories as I. So let’s see if I get it, er, “straight”?
Eric, a.k.a. Nightside, has the power to transform himself into monsters after dark. He’s falling for Chris, who is also a hero named Metaphormer, who would appear to be a parody of Metamorpho. Meanwhile, Eric’s best female friend is Carla, who has no powers. In the opening scene, Eric and Carla are at a comic convention to meet a real superhero named Hotshot, but Eric’s too shy to ask for a photo op, so he gets Carla to briefly fake-seduce the guy, and then photo-bombs it.
Later, Carla’s girlfriend Kelly turns into someone else while they’re in bed – the “BT” part of LGBT in this comic is a superheroine whose most notable power is that she is three separate people in one, not all of whom are gay. One also has the power of flight, and is a superhero by the name of “-Girl!” (hyphen and exclamation point included). She ends up SPOILER having sex with Hotshot, so a mostly gay comic somehow concludes with straight intercourse. Is that problematic? Maybe not if you consider it part of trisexuality. END SPOILER.
The tone is consistently quite light, with the black-and-white illustrations just slightly cartoony, like a sexier Archie comic. Nudity is “Austin Powers” style, with objects always concealing the naughty bits, and scenes cutting away before anything too physically intimate can happen. This is maybe the one time I’ve ever seen a woman in bed with someone she just did it with, pulling the covers up over her breasts as if to hide them, and it made sense – it’s because she just changed into a new body.
I can’t really compare it to any other specifically gay comics, as I’m not sure I’ve ever read any. I have seen a lot of indie gay cinema, and can say that this comic was a good deal more fun than most of that. It never feels burdened with making everything important, and keeps the story fun without relying on obvious tropes. Besides, whatever your preference, there are lots of cute underwear and in-bed shots of both sexes, while still keeping it PG-13.
If you’re curious – and take that however you want to interpret it – Subject to Change is two bucks at Comixology.