June is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month in the U.S. and both of the big comic companies have chimed in, with DC revealing that the New 52 version of Alan Scott is gay and with Marvel marrying off the first openly gay super hero, the X-Men’s Northstar to his love Kyle. But of course these aren’t the first LGBT characters to grace the pages of popular comics. Here is a listing of some of the biggest!
10. Mikaal Tomas
The alien version of Starman only appeared in one comic in the 1970s, but was revived in the 90s in James Robinson’s ‘Starman’ series. It was revealed that due to his alien nature, he didn’t discriminate between the human sexes and was in a relationship with a man named Tony, which came to a tragic end in the ‘Justice League: Cry For Justice’ miniseries. He afterward rebounded with fellow hero Tasmanian Devil. Neither has appeared yet in the New 52.
9. Ultimate Colossus
Alan Scott wasn’t the first alternate reality hero to be reinterpreted as gay. In the Ultimate universe, X-Man Colossus came out, upsetting super Christian teammate Nightcrawler. Colossus wound up dating fellow mutant Northstar.
8. Lord Fanny
Born a male, but raised as a girl by his witch grandmother in order to preserve their family’s magical powers, Lord Fanny was a member of the meta team The Invisibles, who battled to free humanity from demonic enslavement.
In the New 52, Alan Scott is an out and proud gay man. In the old DC continuity, his son Todd Rice was a tormented gay man, struggling with the darkness of his powers and a history of abuse at the hands of his adopted father. (Alan was unaware of either Todd or Jennie-Lynn, his twin children with the villain Thorn.) Initially, Todd dated women, but eventually found himself conflicted regarding his feelings for male teammate Nuklon. Eventually, he came to terms with his homosexuality. Then he was wiped from continuity and replaced by his dad – only younger.
6. Apollo and Midnighter
One of the most famous gay couples in comics are Apollo and Midnighter, formerly from the team The Authority, currently starring in Stormwatch, these heroes are dark avatars of Superman and Batman… only as a gay couple. But being gay isn’t really what distinuishes them, it’s their rulthless and violent nature, that make them a stark contrast to the typical altrustic hero types.
5. Karolina Dean and Xavin
Karolina Dean, teen daughter of alien villains, was already struggling with her sexuality and her attraction to teammate Nico Minaru. When the Skrull Xavin informed her that they were meant to marry as part of a peace pact, Karolina was forced to inform Xavin, who had appeared as male, that she was attracted to females. Xavin simply shrugged and shape-shifted into a female form to accomodate her. Their romance has been mostly low-key, but still steady.
4. Wiccan and Hulkling
Speaking of low-key, Billy and Teddy have formed a fan-favorite, steady and supportive relationship. When the pair attempted to come out as super heroes to their parents, the adults mistook their hesitation and told them that they fully support their romantic relationship. The Young Avengers sadly get sidelined quite a bit, due to creator Alan Heinbergs’s television writing commitments, but it says something that fans keep coming back, whenever they do appear.
The first openly gay super hero was Marvel’s Northstar, then a member of Alpha Flight, later an X-Man. His coming out made national headlines, although Marvel quickly ceased referring to his sexuality, for fear of backlash. But times change and Marvel and Northstar both eventually got more comfortable with his status. Not only was he the first out super hero, he is the first gay super hero to get married!
2. The Question
Currently MIA in the New 52, Renee Montoya was hard boiled Gotham City police detective, who hit rock bottom and found herself embroiled in the adventures of conspiracy theorist The Question, Charles Victor Szasz a.k.a. Vic Sage. With his help, she overcame the depression she was suffering from, but sadly, he died before their adventure’s end, leaving Renee to take up the mantle of the faceless Question, the hero who forced other heroes to take a long, hard look at the realities of the world they inhabited.
While relatively new, Kate Kane has quickly established herself as a no-nonsense, resourceful, intelligent, principled leading star. She was determined to become a Marine, like her father, but was forced to quit when she came out. (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.) Since then, she donned the mantle of The Bat and battled evil in a new way. She’s faced impossible odds, but her sheer determination has helped her triumph time after time.
Surprisingly, whittling this list down was pretty tough. There were a lot more, really great LGBT heroes to choose from… Ice Maiden, Karma, Grace Choi, Thunder, Starling, Element Lad… but I had to narrow the list to ten.
Did I leave out your favorite? Comment below!