It’s Pride Month! So what better way to celebrate than to highlight some of our favorite queer superheroes? The comic book world hasn’t always been great when it comes to diversifying comic book pages, of course. This includes countless years with a lack of queer comic book characters. Luckily, that’s changing as Marvel and DC are reimagining old characters as queer and numerous indie publishers introduce brand new characters for us to love. But these characters aren’t just queer to be queer, they’re multifaceted characters who come from all walks of life and continuously work to save the day and earn the title of a hero.
But the heroes aren’t just on the comic book pages. Queer comic book creators are also getting some shine by serving up characters that reflect the world we live in, including Mags Visaggio, who created Kim & Kim and Gabby Rivera, who writes the adventures of America Chavez in America. As for the comic book pages, we have characters who who are bounty hunters and goddesses as well as lesbian and gay superheroes with capes. But, no matter how you identify (or if you don’t identify at all), here’s a list of 15 Most HARDCORE Queer Superheroes Of All Time!
15. WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman finally got the spotlight she deserved on the big screen when her first feature film premiered in late May, 2017. The film wasn’t just a win for comic book fans and women, but for the LGBTQ community as well. In 2016, comic book writer Greg Rucka, who penned Wonder Woman: Year One, shared that Wonder Woman is indeed queer.
In an interview with Comicosity, Rucka explained that since Themyscira “is supposed to be paradise,” it’s only natural for the DC hero to be queer. “You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner to have a fulfilling, romantic, and sexual relationship. And the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, ‘You’re gay.’ They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist,” he said.
14. WHITE CANARY
Sara Lance, or White Canary, is one of the few characters to get her first appearance in a TV series. The new superhero, who’s also Black Canary’s younger sister, first appeared in Arrow’s pilot episode. But it wasn’t until season two’s episode “Heir to the Demon,” when Sara is shown to be in a relationship with Nyssa al Ghul, that the audience learned that she is bisexual. But that’s not where her story ends.
The superhero, who is played by Caity Lotz, went on to fight evil in the spinoff series, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. With two shows under her belt, Lotz is the first to portray a queer character in a DC or Marvel television show. Since then, she’s also appeared in comic book series, Birds of Prey, but instead of being the hero, she’s often up to sinister acts like kidnapping Black Canary’s daughter. Yikes.
Straight out of Top Cow’s Witchblade series, Danielle Baptiste is one of our favorite queer characters. In addition to being a classically trained ballerina, Baptiste was granted the power of Angelus, which gave her the powers of incredible super strength, super speed, flight and teleportation. She can also control light and craft weapons out of thin air. As a gifted detective, she can tracks down bad guys — that is, when she’s not thinking about dating her crush, Finch.
Their relationship all started when Finch surprisingly kissed Danielle outside of a coffee shop, which in turn led Danielle, who previously identified as heterosexual, to reevaluate her sexual orientation. The two later moved to Danielle’s hometown, New Orleans, to see if they have a chance at a relationship.
Catman, or Thomas Blake, made his first appearance in Detective Comics #311 as a Batman villain. He is also one of the many characters to get rebooted in The New 52 when they brought his old team, Secret Six, back together. It was here that fans learned that Catman is bisexual, when he flirted with men and women in the series.
Although he started out as a Batman villain, Catman has grown to be an antihero who also made a number of appearances in TV series and films such as The New Batman Adventures, Justice League, Batman: The Brave and The Bold and The Lego Batman Movie. Another version of an unaffiliated Catman was also voiced by the late Adam West in The Fairly OddParents as a parody of his 1960s version of Batman.
Anima, or Courtney Mason, made her first appearance in New Titans Annual #9 (1993). After the DC Comics’ hero was bitten by an alien parasite, she gained the power to drain people of their energy and release a gargantuan and terrifying beast from within her. Originally created by Elizabeth Hand and Paul Witcover, Anima appeared as one of the main characters in 1993’s Bloodbath. She later received her own solo series, which included Superboy and Hawkman cameos, and ran for 16 issues before it was cancelled.
Anima is often aligned with the Teen Titans on the East Coast (East Titans) under Cyborg and the Blood Pack. Since then, fans haven’t seen much of Anima, but she did make a cameo appearance in Young Justice #49- #51, 2001’s Wonder Woman #174-#175 (2001) and Infinite Crisis’ final issue.
Flatman is one of Marvel’s most iconic stretchy characters. As the second-in-command of the Great Lake Avengers, he’s fought against many foes including Graviton and Deadpool. Although it wasn’t until another gay superhero, Living Lightning, attempted to join the team (he thought it was the Gay/Lesbian Alliance, which also has the acronym GLA), that Flatman decided to tell his fellow superheroes that he’s gay.
As a literal two-dimensional character in a 3-D world, the John Byrne-created character is often used to bring humor to the pages he glides and wriggles around — especially when Flatman is mistaken for Mr. Fantastic. Flatman is currently in the ongoing Great Lake Avengers series. Flatman also had a short appearance in Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes episode “The Cure.”
9. KIM & KIM
Black Mask Studios’ Kim & Kim is one of the most forward thinking comics out today. Created by Mags Visaggio (who’s an amazing transwoman herself!), Kim & Kim follows two queer bounty hunters in space. Kim Quatro is a transwoman on the run from her domineering father, and Kim Dantzler has the powers of a necromancer and also happens to be bisexual. Together, the titular Kim and Kim are the Fighting Kims or at least they will be when Dantzler agrees to it.
Whether their calling themselves the Fighting Kims or something equally as cool, the two show a real friendship between women that’s rarely seen in comic books. It also gives us a rare and much needed glimpse into the life of an everyday transwoman who’s just trying to have adventures with her best friend.
8. LIVING LIGHTNING
Living Lightning, or Miguel Santos, came onto the comic book scene in 1990’s Avengers West Coast #63, but it wasn’t until 2005 that Santos was revealed to be a gay superhero. It all happened when Santos was considering joining the Great Lakes Avengers (GLA) because he thought it was the the other GLA — Gay/Lesbian Alliance. It was then that he told Flatman that he is gay and inspired the hero to do the same.
In an interview with Gay League, comic book writer Slott voiced his thoughts on writing the reveal. “He’s gay. Get over it. Previous girlfriends? Beards. Or relationships that just didn’t work because Miguel hadn’t come to terms yet with who he really is. Miguel is a gay superhero and a wonderful role model.” And that’s that. Not only can Santos control lightning but he can become lightning as well.
7. ALYSIA YEOH
Alysia Yeoh is Batgirl’s best friend and roommate in the current Batgirl series. She also happens to be a transwoman. Created by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf, Yeoh made her first appearance in 2011’s Batgirl #1. When Yeoh shared with Barbara Gordon that she is transgender, it was no big deal to the young vigilante — just as it should be. Yeoh also became the first transgender character to get married in the DC universe, wedding her longtime partner, Jo.
While Yeoh doesn’t fight bad guys on the regular, that doesn’t make her any less of a superhero. As the saying goes, “not all heroes wear capes.” And as Yeoh undoubtedly braves ignorance and is one of Babs most trusted friends, she definitely falls into the category. And as a queer character, we’re sure LGBTQ fans appreciate her like we do!
6. CASSANDRA IGARASHI
Cassandra Igarashi, or Urdr, from Image Comics’ The Wicked + The Divine is one of the many queer comic book characters outside of the big two. Although the Asian-American transwoman started out as a sarcastic and skeptical journalist who didn’t believe in the humans who are said to be reincarnated gods, she quickly gets swept up into that world. When she is revealed to be the god Urdr, she is forced to become more than a believer in the idea, but a main player in the godhood game.
On top of her journalism skills, Cassandra is quick to call out Asian fetishism — especially when it comes to her fellow god, Woden. After she’s awakened as Urdr, she shares a sort of divine hive mind, has the power of flight and can turn everything to black-and-white. She also has the power to reveal truth, which she uses to track down two killers.
5. MIDNIGHTER & APOLLO
Who says you can’t find crime with the person you love? The legendary duo, Midnighter and Apollo, is one of our favorites in comic book history for this very reason. Not only are they supportive partners of each other, they also kick ungodly amounts of ass on a regular basis. But our favorite storyline is when Midnighter tried to save Apollo after his soul was sent to hell. Now that’s love.
After a solo Midnighter run, the duo — originally a pastiche of Superman and Batman, but cast as lovers — was back with a miniseries that premiered late in 2016. Steve Orlando — himself a queer creator — penned the series, which boasts art from the talented Fernando Blanco. In it, the two fight “subway pirates” and focus on their relationship, as well as the aforementioned fight through hell. Not only are Midnighter and Apollo one of the best queer couples in comics, they’re one of the best couples, period.
Unlike most superheroes, Aqualad (Jackson Hyde) made his first appearance in an animated TV series, Young Justice, instead of on the comic book pages. Although, he was one of the few characters who didn’t appear in The New 52, he was brought in during the DC Rebirth series. And it was then that he was reimagined as a gay superhero.
As Aquaman’s protege, Aqualad not only has the power to breathe underwater but he also has super strength and the ability to manipulate the shape of water into weapons or other objects. He can also hit his enemies with electrical charges, incapacitating them. This can come in handy when fighting enemies like Darkseid, Lex Luthor, Bane, Black Adam, Black Manta, Poison Ivy, Amanda Waller, Clayface, Brain and countless more.
Iceman, or Robert Louis “Bobby” Drake, is one of the many characters created by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. As a founding member of the X-Men, the superhero naturally made his first appearance in 1963’s X-Men #1. But it wasn’t until 2015 that Iceman was revealed to be gay. After a young Iceman finds himself in the wrong time period, Jean Grey reads his thoughts, accidentally outing him. Then, in Uncanny X-Men #600, young Iceman convinced the current day Iceman to be true to himself. Now, Iceman fans are getting a solo series from the frosty crimefighter that follows him on the journey of self-discovery, acceptance and of course, fighting bad guys. As his name hints, Iceman has the power to control and manipulate temperature, and is one of Marvel’s most powerful Omega-Level mutants.
2. AMERICA CHAVEZ
America Chavez is new to the comic book scene but she’s already made history as the first queer Latinx superhero in Marvel Comics. Created by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta in 2011, Chavez is a favorite among readers since debuting in Vigilantes #1 and later in her own solo series. The new series, America, is written by another queer woman, Gabby Rivera, who we mentioned earlier.
But history isn’t only what makes America one of our faves. Chavez has held her own with powers of superhuman strength, super speed and flight against top supervillains like Kid Loki and Doctor Doom. And this is all while being an 18-year-old high school student. Chavez also joined the new Ultimates with Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Captain Marvel and Black Panther after Secret Wars.
Batwoman has had two identities in the DC universe, but for the purposes of this list, we’re talking about the second, Katherine Kane. Although Batwoman first made an appearance in 1956’s Detective Comics #233, she was reimagined in DC’s 52 #7 as a Jewish lesbian, Kate Kane, in 2006. Similar to Batman, Batwoman joined the vigilante business by using her inherited fortune. She even took over Batman’s place in defending Gotham after 2005’s Infinite Crisis, and in Batwoman #13 she teamed up with Wonder Woman to save the world. Although Batwoman’s solo series was cancelled in 2014, she made a comeback as a part of DC Rebirth earlier in February of 2017. All in all, she’s definitely one of the best characters in the Batman family, with a fanbase as rich and diverse as the character herself!
Who do you think is the most HARDCORE LGBTQ character in comics? Let us know in the comments!