Oh let’s keep the pride going! Today, instead of a movie review, let’s talk about some of the best, and the “are you kidding me?”, of LGBT representation in the superhero genre. Now, for those who love themselves a good comic book movie, you will notice the number of gay representation is virtually zero! However, in the comic world, as you can see in the image above, the representation is on point. You’ll be surprised to find out many of these characters have actually appeared in movies and television! Yet, as usual, that element of their identity remains in the closet at the Hall of Justice.
Let’s take a look at some!
Wonder Woman: That’s right. The princess of Themyscira and daugther of Hippolyta isbisexual by canon! Did you know that? Probably not since it’s never been addressed in an animated series, animated film, live-action film, or live-action series!
The closest thing we got to this tidbit was in the successful 2017 film where Diana and Steve Trevor lay in a boat and talk about matters of the flesh. There is a moment where Diana let’s Steve know that through her studies she has learned that men are necessary for procreation but not for pleasure.
We know her principal love interest in comics and other mediums has been dudes; famously, we know of her relationship with Steve Trevor. However, in the comics it is mentioned often that on an island full of badass amazon women and no men- S#@%@ happens.
Do I think this is good representation? Hmmm… Not really! It seems logical to conclude that a character who spent so many years on an island with only women would naturally form some kind of intimate relationship(s). Though such a relationship has never really been explored or put out there to my knowledge.
We live in the golden age of superhero film/television. It would be nice to see this clarified somehow in the upcoming WW84 but, alas, I will not hold my breath.
Regardless, Wonder Woman has always been a powerful symbol not just for women, but for everyone to understand that power is not the absence of emotion and vulnerability. There is unique strength in honoring both feminine and masculine qualities. So, for me, Wonder Woman will always have a place on my roster.
Deadpool: Yes, yes, believe it or not. All those jokes in Deadpool 2 about Wade F#@$^@ Colossus weren’t just crude guy humor. Or, were they?
Traditionally it is no secret in the comic world that Deadpool is pansexual. What is pansexual? Ah, ummm ok, pansexual is when a person is attracted to a person REGARDLESS of their sex/ gender identity. Yes, those are two different things and we can get into it another time but for now–DEADPOOL!
In the film Deadpool’s pansexuality is always a punchline. His romantic interest is strictly Vanessa. For those who haven’t seen Deadpool 2, so sorry to spoil but, she dead!
With Disney acquiring Fox, and the decision to KEEP Reynolds’ Deadpool, could we see the exploration of his interest in men without it being a joke?
I’m not getting my hopes up here either… Unfortunately, despite being a declared pansexual superhero, I haven’t really heard of him being with anyone other than women! Ugh, maybe some day.
America Chavez: She’s a fairly new hero! Originally introduced in 2011 (around the same time as Miles Morales) and received her own (successful) solo title in 2017. America Chavez is the first LGBT latinx superhero to receive a solo launch- it’s a big deal!
She’s got speed, strength, endurance, flight, and can open dimensional portals! You may not know of her (yet) but she has recently been a member of a group called The Ultimates.
Fun rumor on the internet is that Marvel could be looking to move forward with this group as a next stepping stone for the MCU. The group includes Captain Marvel and Black Panther who, yes, are both members of the billion dollar club for their solo films. It wouldn’t be the worst company to keep in an ensemble title! Time will tell.
Harley Quinn/ Poison Ivy: That’s right folks, they weren’t just best pals sharing an apartment in Batman the Animated Series. It turns out that their relationship was romantic! I don’t believe we’ve seen this addressed in any medium other than comics. However, we know that DC Universe will be premiering an animated Harley Quinn series! During comic-con they showed footage of Poison Ivy as part of the cast as well. Finger crossed!
Iceman: Everyone knows I’m a huge X-Men fan. When they decided to retcon Bobby and make him gay in All-New X-Men #40 I thought the execution made no sense. If Jean could always see into his mind and they knew each other for DECADES you’re telling me she never brought it up?
I think it could have been handled a little better. REGARDLESS, I was
glad to have one of the OG five X-Men be gay. I was a big fan of the original run of his solo title even if it was short-lived. I STRONGLY suggest, if you read nothing else, please read Iceman #6. Bobby goes to his home to save his parents from some purifiers and it’s epic.
Will the MCU honor this retcon when Bobby returns to theaters/Disney+? They F$#^#^ better.
Batwoman: The latest superhero to join the Arrowverse over on the CW. Batwoman will be getting her own solo series with Ruby Rose as the caped crusader herself. The trailer has some pandering cringeworthy moments–I can’t lie. Yet, I was seeing a superhero, in a trailer for her solo show, and she’s saving a woman she cares about while sharing a kiss. Like, we’re living in a time where that’s actually happening!
It’s exciting. I’m going to give it a shot even though I don’t really tune in to the Arrowverse shows that much anymore (there’s too much on TV!).
Karolina Dean/Nico Minoru: With two seasons under it’s belt, The Runaways is gearing up for season three to release late this year. If you haven’t checked out this Hulu original series I HIGHLY recommend it. I love a good teen angst/ coming of age story and it’s even better when they’re superheroes.
Karolina and Nico’s relationship is a breath of fresh air to see. They’re two characters who aren’t ONLY defined by their sexual identity but have different layers and different plots going on at once like the other core kids.
To see both of their experiences come together for the cute relationship moments is sweet, but it’s so cool to then see the two of them being powered badasses. I long for a day we can see two male leads like this.
Oh, and Karolina is half-alien from some planet where people have these like rainbow light powers and Nico has some kind of techno-magic staff that alters reality by her command. It’s light and dark, it’s awesome.
John Constantine: Yup. If you were a fan of the Keanu Reeves film or enjoyed the short-lived solo series, OR are enjoying him on Legends of Tomorrow, you might know that magical Constantine is bisexual!
I LOVE this character and I don’t read enough of him. He’s a part of my Justice League Dark dream team.
I understand Legends has done him justice and explored his sexuality in a somewhat recent season.
He is so F$@#^# cheeky and he fights demons and he’s not like… 100 percent a great guy, you know? There’s so much ambiguity to him and I would love to see more of him in film and television.
Wiccan/Hulking: I don’t know if and when we’ll see these two in live-action but I am praying to the comic christ! Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) may not be a well-known hero today but I have my hopes high. I remember a time when no one knew who the F$@^@# Thanos was, no clue who Captain Marvel was, and Wakanda was not a blip on a radar. The MCU has succeeded at not just making excellent films but at bringing lesser known heroes from C to A list.
Billy in fact is the son of Vision and Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. I know! Holy F#$^. Well, the comic history of it is a little more complicated but yes, he is indeed their child along with his twin brother, Speed.
Billy is a reality warping hero like his mother. At first he could only fly and summon lightning but has since acquired some spells up his sleeve. Fun fact- in visions of the future it is revealed that Billy will one day become Sorcerer Supreme to take over for Doctor Strange. Dope.
Oh, and Hulkling? Teddy is raised by his single mother ONLY TO FIND OUT that his FATHER is Mar-Vell and his mother is a Skrull princess! That is right! Hulkling is the one and only offspring of a Kree-Skrull union. There is a little element of Saga to him, isn’t there? A product of these two feuding races. I think it’s an amazing set-up for live-action especially now that the the Kree and the Skrulls have been introduced. Of course, Mar-Vell was gender swapped but I’m sure there’s a way to stay true to Hulking’s origin while bringing the young royal to life.
Will there be a set-up for Wiccan in WandaVision? Could we be heading towards the intro of Hulkling now that the pieces are in play? I hope so! Like I said for Karolina and Nico- the goal is not just to have gay characters and gay relationships shown for the hell of it, but to show multilayered characters with other plot points beside their romantic interest; I’m looking for the characters that are gay, not the gay characters.
Guys, as you can see from the image above there are WAY more icons to dive into. Though I can’t touch on them all, or else this will be as long as a Harry Potter novel, I will list some others worth checking out!
-Alan Scott (Green Lantern)
-Northstar (X-Men/Alpha Flight)
-Aqualad (DC Rebirth)