LGBTQ+ comic book characters, much like the real world today, have progressed in terms of representation and inclusion. We’re celebrating that by featuring introducing some of comicdom’s most popular characters, who also happen to be LGBTQ+.
Easily one of comicdom’s most recognizable and popular characters, Wonder Woman has been confirmed by writer Greg Rucka to be canonically bisexual in a 2016 interview with Comicosity. Even though Wonder Woman has been depicted having relationships with Steve Trevor, Batman and even Superman, Rucka explored her queer identity saying it was “only logical” since she was raised in an all-female environment with the Amazons on Themyscira. After all, In a utopian society inhabited by women for thousands of years, genuine love and affection would inevitably developed between some of them.
The wisecracking, fourth-wall breaking, Merc With A Mouth, Deadpool has become even more popular through his cinematic portrayal by Ryan Reynolds. Writer Gerry Duggan confirmed that Deadpool was pansexual in 2013, saying that Wade Wilson was attracted to “anything with a pulse.” This was depicted in the 2018 movie Deadpool 2, where the character was clearly comfortable expressing his attraction to X-men Colossus (albeit for slightly comedic purposes).
Jean-Paul Beaubier, otherwise known as Northstar, was part of Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight and could fly at superhuman speeds as well as project energy blasts. Northstar is significant also because he is one of the first openly gay characters in American comic book history, as revealed in Alpha Flight #106 back in 1992. His marriage in 2012’s Astonishing X-Men #51 was also the first ever depiction of a same-sex wedding ceremony in comic books.
An established character in the X-Men universe, Mystique has been depicted in both comic books and live action movies with the mutant power of shapeshifting. Despite her ability to look anyone – male or female – her most common form is as a biological female. She has also been shown to have been in relationships with men (with Magneto in X-Men: First Class, for example), but her most meaningful relationship has been with Irene Adler, the blind mutant precognitive known as Destiny, which was first confirmed in Uncanny X-Men #265.
Harley Quinn was once Arkham Asylum psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel who, while treating the Joker, fell madly in love with him and became his sidekick and girlfriend. Recently, though, she’s also been depicted as being in a relationship with Dr. Pamela Isley, better known as Poison Ivy. It was Poison Ivy who questioned Harley Quinn’s toxic relationship with the Joker, especially given how physically and emotionally abusive he was to her. Over time, the two develop a relationship.
Dr. Pamela Isley, better known as Poison Ivy, has been portrayed as having an attraction to Batman throughout various continuities and media. Her bisexuality was confirmed in June 2015 when Harley Quinn series writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner stated that she was in a romantic relationship with Harley “without the jealousy of monogamy.”
Bobby “Iceman” Drake is one of the original X-Men introduced in September 1963. He was recently revealed to be gay in 2015’s All New X-Men #40; when a young Bobby Drake’s sexuality was confirmed by a young Jean Grey (who are both from a different timeline – it’s a long story). Then, in Uncanny X-Men #600, young Bobby Drake confronted his older self, who confessed that he repressed his sexuality because he feared even greater persecution for being both gay and a mutant.
While there was a Silver Age version of the character, the modern Batwoman is Katherine “Kate” Kane, who was (re)introduced in 2006’s 52, a weekly comic book series. This version of the character is a cousin of Bruce Wayne and a lesbian. She has been described as one of the highest profile LGBTQ+ headlining characters by DC Comics.
While most people would think of Green Lantern as Hal Jordan, the earliest iteration of the character was a man named Alan Scott, who debuted in DC Comics during the 1940s. When Hal Jordan was subsequently introduced in the 1950s, Alan Scott was retconned as the Green Lantern of Earth 2. In 2012’s comic book series Earth 2 #1, Scott was depicted as a young, openly gay media mogul who becomes the Green Lantern of that reality as an agent of The Green to protect the earth.
Valkyrie is probably more well known as depicted by Tessa Thompson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor: Ragnarok, even though she has appeared in comics long before that. In the short-lived comic series “The Fearless Defenders”, Valkyrie is clearly depicted as bisexual being in a relationship with the female anthropologist Annabelle Riggs. Marvel Studios has also confirmed that Thompson’s Valkyrie will the MCU’s first LGBTQ+ character when she appears in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder movie.
We know there are many other great LGBTQ+ characters – this list is just a jumping off point to discover even more! Let us know in the comments who your favorites are and who else we should include in this list.