Other Gay Characters in Comics

The bells are chiming across the country as America’s first gay superhero wedding has made national headlines.The wedding of Northstar and longtime partner Kyle in Marvel Comics’ Astonishing X-Men #51 marks a change in climate for this age-old social issue, just as President Obama became the first president to support marriage equality. DC Comics also recently revealed that their own classic character, the original Green Lantern, is gay. But, despite all the hype in the media surrounding these brave announcements, you may not know that LGBT characters have been around in comics for quite a while. Today we’re taking a look through comics history to explore the lesser-known, but equally as relevant characters.

 

 ULTIMATE COLOSSUS

The Ultimate Marvel Universe differs from the original canon in a myriad of ways, ranging from small differences to very drastic. In the case of Colossus, writer Mark Millar began injecting hints of Peter Rasputin’s sexuality into stories years ago, and it was expanded upon over the years, often as a way to portray Colossus being an outsider amongst outsiders. The steel-skinned mutant even left the team once because he couldn’t reconcile his feelings for a fellow X-Man.

 

DAKEN

Wolverine’s son is a bit of a mystery, as he has been shown kissing and even sleeping with men in order to gain strategic advantage, and in some cases has killed his partner afterward. It is heavily implied that the Dark Avenger/Dark X-Man “plays for both teams” in more ways than one.Daken has even made not-so-subtle suggestions as to his own bi-sexuality on several occasions.

 

BATWOMAN

In 2006 DC Comics unveiled their new Batwoman, and she was more than just visually different from previous incarnations. Kate Kane is a lesbian, and DC has not shied away from portraying her private life. Though the original Batwoman was romantically attracted to Batman, the newer version is not, and has been involved with Gotham City police officer Renee Montoya, now known as The Question.

   SHATTERSTAR & RICTOR

X-Factor scribe Peter David is known for his out-of-left-field plot developments as well as his deeply emotional stories. Those two elements came together nicely in X-Factor #45 in 2009, when the two longtime friends finally admitted their feelings for one another and shared a dramatic kiss. David said on his blog days later that the two are indeed bisexual and would be exploring their relationship further in the comic.

 

HULKLING & WICCAN

Young Avengers Hulkling and Wiccan(formerly Asgardian) have also been together for a few years in the comics. Like Shatterstar and Rictor, their true relationship was hinted to be beyond merely friends in early issues, but later were revealed to be gay and in love. In Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, they are engaged and share their first on-panel kiss.

 

Comic books have long been at the forefront of social issues, from civil rights to drug abuse, and everything in between. The latest trend of LGBT characters is just the most prolific wave of gay-friendly heroes(and villains). Expect LGBT characters to pop up more frequently and in higher-profile roles and titles, because historically, where goes comics culture, so goes society. These extraordinary heroes are even more so because they not only fight for the fate of the world on a daily basis, they also fight to be treated as equals and respected for their actions, not their sexuality.

Imagine your life is on the line, the world is about to break, and just when you think there is no hope, a superhuman comes to the rescue, setting right the world and restoring  order and justice. Now ask yourself if it truly matters whether he goes home to a boyfriend or husband?

After all, they may be superhuman, but they are still human.

 

For a list of over 300 LGBT comics characters, go to QueerSupe.

 

 

 

Author
  • http://Bodyofageekgoddess.blogspot.com Tracey

    Great piece Dale! Though if I may, I’d like to point people to one of my favourite pairings, the Authority’s Apollo and Midnighter. Admittedly originally from a less mainstream publisher, they were married and adopted a child; and in the reboot are still gay (though I would argue less interesting in the new Stormwatch incarnation; I think the fact that they were in a long-term relationship and became parents was one of the most interesting things about them, I’m far less taken with the new partnership, though pleased DC decided that putting them into the mainstream universe wouldn’t make them straight). I’m really liking what the writers are doing with Kate Kane; that her sexuality is central to her but incidental to her being a super heroine.

    • http://www.unleashthefanboy.com Dane Ingham

      Thanks Tammy! I almost included those 2 but decided to stick with more surprising and/or well-known characters, at least for this first part. There are so many we may have to do more.

  • Will

    you forgot to mention that Northstar is not only gay, he’s Canadian 🙂

    • http://www.unleashthefanboy.com Dane Ingham

      We try not to discriminate against the America-challenged folks to the north.

  • Davi

    I’d completely forgotten about Colossus being gay in the Ultimate universe, and I loved what they did with Batwoman’s character. Fantastic article!

  • Heather

    I’m happy to see how far we have come. Back in the day, the Comic Code Authority wouldn’t even allow gay characters to simply exist. Now they can kiss and get married. I’m so happy, and I’m not even gay. 🙂