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Here Are 11 Of The Most Important Marvel And DC LGBTQ+ Superheroes

A look at the long and very queer history of some of the Marvel and DC's biggest and most well-known heroes.

1. Jonathan Kent, the son of Superman

DC

Jonathan Kent, the son of Kal-El and Lois Lane, has had more reworks and new storylines to fill novels, but in the upcoming issue of "Superman: Son of Kal-El," out in November, the character is set to come out as bisexual and begin a relationship with another man. 

While, of course, the announcement was met with hysteria from those against the LGBTQ+ community, the move actually follows a long and pretty common tradition of queer characters within comic books. In fact, most of the time, the comics are far more queer than their onscreen counterparts, usually. 

But while the details around the son of Superman's queerness will be revealed more in time, here are a look at 10 other queer superheroes who may or may not come to the screen in the future.

2. Tim Drake/Robin

Tim Drake in "Titans"
DC

Superman’s son isn’t the only recent queer addition to DC’s superhero world, as Batman’s protégé, Tim Drake, recently went on a date with another man. 

Let's be real: Batman and his whole host of Robins have always had their underlying queerness in the conversation. The long history of the caped crusader is littered with homoerotic subtext, but in recent years has become much more than subtext.

Perhaps Tim Drake was the prototype for how Superman's son, Jonathan Kent, would come out, as his coming out as bisexual came earlier this year in August 2021. He will be making his live-action debut in DC's Titans show sometime this year.

3. Iceman

Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the original X-Men, Bobby Drake is probably one of the most high-profile heroes to come out in recent years.

While it is easier for publishers to make queer characters side-characters or one-offs, making Iceman gay was a huge shift for comics. Not only did the character have a history on the screen, but when it comes to the X-Men, Iceman is one of the stars who will no doubt appear in Marvel titles until the day comes when Marvel shuts down.

While he hasn't been onscreen since he came out officially, if the character does appear in the future, making him anything but gay would definitely cause an uproar.

4. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy kiss in the "Harley Quinn" animated series.
DC/HBO Max

This duo takes a lot of credit for being one of the first queer relationships to take mainstream comics. 

Harley Quinn, once the lover of Batman’s nemesis the Joker, and Poison Ivy, one of Batman’s notorious enemies, found themselves at the center of a relationship that feels like the characters were made for. While their first canon kiss wasn't until 2017, the two have been paired together for decades now.

Poison Ivy, or Pamela Isley, found herself in a positive and loving light with Harley, who needed a storyline that didn’t involve her being obsessed with her abusive ex-boyfriend. The two have yet to find themselves in live-action together, but they recently shared a kiss in the Harley Quinn animated series.

5. Wiccan

Disney+/Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever-expanding, an opportunity for more queer heroes is growing. In 2020’s WandaVision, the Wanda/Scarlet Witch created a world where she gave birth to twin boys, one of them being Billy, who in the comics would go on to become Wiccan. 

In the comics, Wiccan not only has gone on to become a Young Avenger, but has has a longstanding romantic relationship with Hulkling, a Kree alien. The two are fan favorites who have inspired not only their own comic series, but continue to play a major part in other mainline Marvel comics.

The two characters are original Young Avengers members, a group that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has heavily hinted will be coming to replace the Avengers in the near future. 

6. Apollo and Midnighter

DC Comics

Built around the Batman and Superman complex, these two characters are like more mature versions of their counterparts who also happen to be married.

First appearing in the rogue superhero group "The Authority" in the '90s, the characters have shown up in various roles in the comics alongside other DC characters, but most recently have had their own miniseries exploring their love and superhero exploits.

While there are no current comics with the two, they are queer fan favorites who show a different, grittier side to the superheroes we obsess over.

7. Batwoman

The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

Remember when I said the Bat family was very queer? Well, look no further than the Batwoman herself.

Kate Kane is not only one of the few lesbian superheroes in DC Comics, but she is one of the first queer heroes to have her own live-action television shows.

A rework of an earlier Batwoman, the character's history is largely queer, as when the character was reintroduced in 2006, she was announced as being a lesbian, not a common sight for the time period. The character has since played a huge part in DC Comics, having had her comic book series as well as playing major parts in crossover events and Batman-centered stories.

8. John Constantine: Hellblazer

Tina Rowden / ©NBC / courtesy Everett Collection

Since his inception in the '90s, the supernatural detective has been openly bisexual and has made a name for himself through the dark storylines of his Hellblazer comic and his participation in Justice League Dark.

John Constantine was originally outside of DC Comics, but when the publisher Vertigo was bought by DC, he became a part of the main DC universe, working alongside some of their biggest heroes.

The character had an over 300-plus issue run of his original Hellblazer comic and is currently part of the live-action CW family of superhero shows in Legends of Tomorrow.

9. Mystique

TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo

The shapeshifting mutant not only has a strong history of being with any and all people, she also defies gender on a daily basis. 

Her onscreen portrayals have been very straight and as a sort of lackey/underling figure, but her comic history shows the queer woman has very much been her own amazing figure. 

If you look at the character's history, you will find a super-important relationship with another woman, Irene Adler, that shaped the character. While that story has stayed on the pages of the comics, if the X-Men do find their way back to live-action once again, let's hope they get it right.

10. Valkyrie

Marvel Studios/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com

Queer queen Tessa Thompson said that her portrayal of Valkyrie was bisexual and supposed to have a female love interest, but of course, the MCU chose to straight-wash and hide that once again. 

Still, there is the potential that when she returns to the role in a couple of years there will be another chance for queerness, as the original character is also queer, and Thompson herself has said she wants the character to be openly queer.

The comic roots of this Asgardian warrior include her having an intimate relationship with women from the inception of her 2013 storyline in the Fearless Defenders comic.

11. And lastly, Northstar

Dustin Weaver / Marvel Comics

When it comes to queer comic book characters, one of the first and most important was Northstar, who was the first character in a Marvel comic to come out as gay in "Alpha Flight" #106 (1992).

Since then, the mutant superhero has had a scattered record of appearing in the comics, but in 2012 made history once again by being part of the first gay wedding in Marvel comics history.