Freedom Ring was always planned as an inexperienced hero who would get beaten up constantly and probably die. I wanted to comment on the fact that most superheroes get their powers and are okay at it... and that's not how life works. During working on the book, I was also noticing that most gay characters... are all about being gay. Straight characters are well-rounded characters who like chicks. So I wanted to do a well-rounded character who just happened to like dudes. Then I decided to combine the two ideas. In hindsight, yeah, killing a gay character is no good when there are so few of them... but I really had only the best of intentions in mind."
FREEDOM RING (Curtis Doyle)
Robert Kirkman & Andy Kuhn
Marvel Team-Up #20
One-Shot Character, Dead Gay Guy
PL 6 (146)
Deception 2 (+4)
Ranged Attack 2
"Free, Dumb Ring" (Flaws: Removable) 
"Sliver of a Cosmic Cube"
Variable 8 (Cosmic Effects) (56) -- (59)
- AE: Transform 10 (Anything to Anything) (Flaws: Reverts Back Outside of 30 Feet) (40)
- AE: Healing 6 (12)
- AE: Create 10 (Feats: Precise, Innate) (Extras: Continuous) (32)
Summon People 4 (Extras: Controlled, 4 Minions +4, Horde, Variable 2- Heroes or Harem of Dudes) (Flaws: Tiring on 3 Ranks) (37)
Enhanced Strength 7 (14)
Enhanced Stamina 7 (14)
Enhanced Agility 3 (6)
Enhanced Fighting 2 (4)
Flight 6 (120 mph) (12)
-- (146 points)
Unarmed +2 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Idealized Physique +4 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +1 (+4 Idealized)
Dodge +4 (DC 14), Parry +4 (DC 14), Toughness +1 (+8 Idealized), Fortitude +8, Will +2
Motivation (Being a Superhero)- Motivated a bit by altruism, and a bit by how cool it is to be a hero, Curtis wants to be a superhero after discovering this fancy ring.
Abilities: 18 / Skills: 2--1 / Advantages: 2 / Powers: 117 / Defenses: 8 (146)
Freedom Ring- "Realistically"-Incompetent Superhero:
-Freedom Ring was part of Robert Kirkman's run on the short-lived third volume of Marvel Team-Up
(the first version was a big part of the Jobber Creation Market of the 1970s- journeyman writers would often create one-note baddies for Spidey and a partner to fight)- he wanted to establish that a beginning super-hero should actually be a BIT less capable in a fight compared to how they usually are, noting how most rookie heroes come flying in and beat the crap out of dozens of experienced soldiers or criminals at a time, and that it should take a bit longer to get GOOD at super-heroics. He also decided that the character was going to die in the process- a decent idea that can point out an interesting thing most comics overlook (of course, this is ROBERT KIRKMAN, so he just likes killing people off). He also decided that the "casual everyman" character he created should be gay- an attempt at diversity and making a character just HAPPEN to be gay rather than be DEFINED by it (like Northstar often is- and many other token characters suffer from the same thing).
-The problem? He'd just offed about 1/4 of the gay population of the Marvel Universe (and Joe Quesada touted him as "Marvel's Leading Gay Character" LITERALLY a month before!). His positive little idea had an unintended backlash, as special interest groups and other fans online reacted VERY poorly to the introduction (though I hadn't even heard of the character until 2014- the rage over Northstar's death was much more vocal- I remember one guy I knew on another forum pointing out how dumb it was that people who'd never read the character before were now spouting off about being fans of his), and death, of one of the only gay characters out there.
So Are Gays Immune To Death, Then?:
-Now, this produces some interesting questions & comments. Does his sexuality alone prove that the character deserves to survive, and do all minority characters deserve such special interest? Are people only paying attention to him because he was gay? Certainly MOST D-league side characters never get such attention- forgotten types are often doomed to being someone's "Red Guardian Character" and become obscure to all but a few. Are people just being too sensitive (like how "Women In Refrigerators" started as a group of legitimate complaints that female side characters were being used as disposable victims, but eventually turned into "Everything bad that has ever happened to a woman is bad and proof of endemic sexism in the comic book industry- all women must be flawless Strong Female Protagonists")? Why ARE there only five gay people in the entire universe if there are literally THOUSANDS of superhumans and somewhere around 5% of people are gay-ish?
-Ultimately, I think that comics needs more diversity- it's boring if everyone's the same Standard Heterosexual Caucasian. Similarly, I've had a few people point out to me that growing up as a minority and watching NOBODY like you on TV or in stuff you read was a bit disheartening- you know how so many comic book fans grew up being thankful that Spider-Man or Kitty Pryde or somebody sort of represented them, because they were a bit nerdy? Basically like that- I've heard from a few crippled people that they really enjoyed seeing someone from time to time that was in a wheelchair in a comic book, though to our "PC-Detecting" eyes that looks like goofy-ass tokenism (remember that Crippled Ghostbuster?). Also, if there are PLENTY of minority characters, then you don't have to use them as teams of Tokens (which usually just look silly- look at the Disney Fairies
or the usual Multiracial Casts of every kids product of the '90s), or expect any kind of special treatment regarding their survival or general capabilities.
-It's true that a gay character shouldn't be immune to harm because he's gay, BUUUUUUUUUUUUUT you can't deny that it's a little like a personal "Up YOURS!" to people when one of the only people who represents them in the funnybooks is wiped out super-quickly. Imagine if 1970s Marvel had killed Luke Cage, leaving only 1 or 2 other black people in the entire universe? Black fans would have been justifiably annoyed. I think there's a line between "We must have equality for EVERYONE- except that all minorities and womyn are to be held on a pedestal above inferior White Cis Males and their Male Privilege" and "KILL ALL PC-SPEWING GARBAGE! All comics should be BY MEN and FOR MEN because that's all who's reading!"
-... heh. I wrote all that in 2014, before I had ever heard of the term "SJW".
The Actual Bio:
-Of course little of that has to do with Freedom Ring THE CHARACTER- he's just some regular guy who found a Cosmic Ring that Warped Reality, and used it to become a superhero. He made himself super-strong, durable and fit, but didn't know a lot of battlefield tactics, and The Iron Maniac killed him on one of his first missions, while allowing The Avengers to regroup and stop the bad guy. His ring was later taken up by the Skrull character Crusader, who became a short-lived hero of his own during Secret Invasion
, fighting his own people before being killed by 3-D Man (and showed that it could Summon facsimilies of popular heroes at lower level). Of course, nobody mourned the poor Skrull, since his race doesn't have any special interest groups. As it stands, Freedom Ring is PL 6 because he's a low-end fighter, but has high-tier powers.