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This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.
Gregorio de la Vega, alias Extraño was recruited by the Guardians of the Universe, the creators of the Green Lantern Corps, who planned to create their successors, a race of new Guardians on Earth. One of the Guardians and a Zamaron, the Guardians' female counterparts, channeled their powers into the "Millennium Project." Gathering ten individuals together and teaching them about the nature of the cosmos, they endowed their "Chosen" with immortality and metahuman powers. One of these was de la Vega. As a minor magician, his magical powers were heightened by the procedure and he became Extraño. The Chosen formed the New Guardians, and took it upon themselves to fight evil wherever it lurked on Earth.
De la Vega is an openly gay man who wears loose colorful garments and has a lively, jovial attitude. He refers to himself as "Auntie" and usually imparts parent-like advice to his teammates. Extraño eventually acquired a powerful crystal skull, which seemed to greatly amplify his abilities.
Extraño helped his team defeat a number of supervillains while trying his best to assist them with personal problems, proving to have an earnest sense of justice and love of life that made him popular with his teammates. On one mission, he was attacked by an "AIDS vampire" called the Hemo-Goblin. He was subsequently confirmed to be HIV-positive but it's unclear whether he was infected by Hemo-Goblin or had already been infected prior to the attack.
Although the Guardians continued as a team for some time, later their island base was attacked and consumed by the villain Entropy. For a time it was assumed Extraño died during this incident, but as other New Guardians have been revealed to be alive, perhaps de la Vega may too have survived.
- Extraño is quite possibly DC Comics' first openly gay super-hero. Unfortunately, Extraño was portrayed as resembling nearly every stereotype of a gay man, initially wearing loose colorful garments and playing the role of comic relief. His flamboyant characterization elicited various responses from readers, from amusement to hatred. Perhaps as a reaction to the comments of readers, Extraño was redesigned to wear a more traditional, "masculine" superhero costume. He may, in fact, be the very first openly gay superhero. This distinction is usually given to Marvel Comics' Northstar. While Northstar came out a few years after Extraño was introduced, he was a much more popular character who existed for ten years prior and was implied to be gay in some appearances.
- 29 Appearances of Gregorio de la Vega (New Earth)
- 3 Images featuring Gregorio de la Vega (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Gregorio de la Vega (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Gregorio de la Vega (New Earth)
- Extraño at dccomics.com
- Extraño at Wikipedia.org
- Extraño profile at Comicbookdb.com
- Extraño profile at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Gay League Profile