From Batwoman to Miss America: These Characters Are Queering the Superhero Genre
When it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, film and TV have a long way to go. There’s a lot of queer-baiting — when creators hint at queer characters and storylines to gain viewers but don’t follow through — and a lot of straight-washing — completely nixing a preestablished character’s queerness. And while Marvel and DC’s big-screen blockbusters may currently be lacking in terms of representation, there’s hope yet.
Now more than ever, there are queer superheroes — sidekicks — populating TV screens, and, in some cases, movie theaters. And, for a genre that prides itself on characters owning their identities — and, in many cases, loudly proclaiming them (e.g. "I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman.") — it’s great to see queer superheroes proudly declaring those aspects of their identities as well. Here’s a look at the superheroes who are bringing much-needed LGBTQ+ representation to the screen.
Valkyrie | Thor Series & Avengers Series
Tessa Thompson first donned her Valkyrie armor in Thor: Ragnarok, the third Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) installment about the Nordic god of thunder-turned-Avenger. In the comics, Valkyrie has a relationship with Annabelle Riggs, among others, which led Thompson to portray the character as bisexual. The actor reportedly convinced director Taika Waititi to shoot a scene that would confirm Valkyrie’s bisexuality.
Unfortunately, that moment was cut for the film’s final version. However, at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor appoints Valkyrie the new monarch of Asgard. According to Marvel, this means she’ll be spending some of the upcoming Thor: Love & Thunder looking for a partner with whom to share the throne. Thompson, who identifies as bisexual, is excited to finally bring queer representation to the screen as the sword-wielding Valkyire in 2021.
Nia Nal a.k.a. Dreamer | Supergirl
Known by her code name Dreamer, Nia Nal is a character from The CW’s television series Supergirl. Dreamer is an ancestor of the DC Comics character Nura Nal, who went by the alias Dream Girl, and both characters share abilities of astral projection and precognition. Nia is also known for being the first transgender superhero on television.
To make things even more exciting, Nia is portrayed by a transgender actress, Nicole Maines. Before her acting career, Maines became known as the then-anonymous plaintiff, Susan Doe, in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court case Doe v. Regional School Unit 26, which regarded gender identity and bathroom use in schools. Maines has a lot in common with Nia, whom she describes as having "this ferocious drive to protect people and to fight against discrimination and hatred. She’s the superhero we need right now."
Nico Minoru & Karolina Dean | Marvel’s Runaways
Marvel’s Runaways, a Hulu series based on the superhero team of the same name, follows six teenagers (and one dinosaur) from different backgrounds as they unite against a common enemy — their criminal parents, who are collectively known as Pride. Two of these teens are Nico — a Wiccan who wields the arcane Staff of One — and Karolina — a human-alien hybrid who learns she can fly and shoot beams of light from her hands. You know, typical teen stuff.
What’s unique about this story? It isn’t focused on the teens’ coming-out process. Almost right from the jump, the audience learns that Karolina has a crush on her friend Nico. But she’s not afraid of making a move because of who she is — she’s just afraid of being rejected by her crush. When Karolina does confess her feelings to Nico, the two share a kiss, which marks an onscreen first for Marvel’s queer superheroes.
Kate Kane a.k.a. Batwoman | Batwoman
Batwoman, the newest addition to The CW’s Arrowverse — a robust collection of DC shows that includes Supergirl, Arrow, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and a few web series — hit screens in 2019. The show stars Australian actor Ruby Rose as Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin who returns to a Batman-less Gotham and decides to don (her version of) the iconic suit.
In the comics, the modern Batwoman (circa 2006) is a lesbian of Jewish descent, leading a reviewer at Out to assert that "Batwoman [is] the highest-profile gay superhero to ever grace the pages of DC Comics." That, of course, made casting the character extremely important. Currently, Rose self-identifies as "fluid in [her] gender, but also [as] a lesbian." A queer person playing a queer superhero on primetime? It’s pretty amazing.
Garnet | Steven Universe
Rebecca Sugar’s animated series Steven Universe has been praised for the overwhelming amount of positive queer representation, so it’s hard to narrow our list down to just a few of the show’s characters. One of our favorites is Garnet (left), a Gem — or alien being that exists as a magical gemstone that can project a body — who is actually a fusion of two other gems, Ruby and Sapphire (right).
When Gems fuse, it’s often just for a short period of time, but Ruby and Sapphire remain fused as Garnet out of love. Sugar, a bisexual nonbinary woman, has said that "the Gems are all nonbinary women… They’re coded female… They wouldn’t think of themselves as women, but they're fine with being interpreted that way amongst humans." In a 2018 episode, Ruby asks Sapphire to marry her, marking the first same-sex proposal in mainstream children’s TV — which, of course, was followed by a groundbreaking wedding episode.
Anissa Pierce a.k.a. Thunder (or Blackbird) | Black Lightning
The CW’s Black Lightning portrays retired superhero Jefferson Pierce, the titular hero, and his family. His eldest daughter, Anissa Pierce, has been written as an out lesbian in the comics, and this new live-action version does right by the character. In the show’s second episode, Anissa is shown lying in bed with her girlfriend, just hanging out — which feels both refreshing and revolutionary at a time when representation has a far way to go.
As the show progresses, Anissa begins to manifest her own powers of invulnerability and super strength, becoming the vigilante known as Thunder. Eventually, she joins her dad, fighting alongside Black Lightning’s team, and moonlights as another alter-ego as well, the Robin Hood-esque persona Blackbird. Not many shows center on Black lesbian characters — let alone a queer Black character who’s invincible — and that makes Black Lightning pretty darn significant.
Yukio & Negasonic Teenage Warhead | Deadpool 2
Ellie Phimister, more often known as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, is a mutant with telepathic and precognitive powers — though those abilities manifest a bit differently in the Deadpool series due to deals between the then-seperate 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios. In Deadpool 2, Yukio, a skilled fighter and long-standing friend of Wolverine and the X-Men, also manifests electrical powers.
In Deadpool 2, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio are portrayed as girlfriends — making them the first-ever LGBTQ+ couple portrayed in a mainstream superhero film. Brianna Hildebrand, who plays Negasonic and is openly queer herself, was particularly excited when the film’s star and producer Ryan Reynolds approached her about portraying queer romance on the big screen.
Stevonnie | Steven Universe
As mentioned, Steven Universe’s Gem characters can fuse together when needed, often to become a stronger being and ward off baddies. But Steven, our half-Gem and half-human protagonist, has the uncanny ability to fuse with his human friend Connie Maheswaran. Together, the duo make up Stevonnie, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, notably the singular "they."
Showrunner Rebecca Sugar has stated "Stevonnie is an experience!" and that the character not only challenges gender norms and binaries, but helps Steven and Connie understand the "terrifying firsts in a first relationship" and in understanding one’s identity. In an animated PSA regarding the intersection of social media and self-esteem, Stevonnie shows viewers their Instagram profile, which describes them as non-binary and intersex.
Harley Quinn | Birds of Prey
Harley Quinn isn’t exactly a hero — although Suicide Squad may’ve angled for that argument. Nonetheless, she’s still one of the most beloved DC Comics characters. Harley really owns who she is, which is admirable, and, in the upcoming Birds of Prey, viewers will get to see her ditching the (ever-abusive) Joker in favor of flexing her own agency. What viewers probably won’t get? A Harley/Poison Ivy romance.
But we can still hold out hope for Harley’s canonical bisexuality to be established on the big screen. In a recent run of comics, Harley is romantically linked to fellow Gotham villain Poison Ivy. Unfortunately, the fan-favorite pair aren’t going to be coupled-up in the upcoming Harley Quinn animated series, and Poison Ivy doesn’t seem to be in Birds of Prey. Of course, Harley doesn’t need to step out with anyone, regardless of gender, to establish her bisexuality on-screen — we’re just hoping the film lets its queer lead own all of who she is.
Danielle “Dani” Moonstar & Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane | The New Mutants
Marvel’s first foray into silver screen queer representation was more than lacking: Up to this point, none of the main characters — or even supporting characters — have been explicitly queer. (There was just that near-background character in Avengers: Endgame who offhandedly mentions his husband.) So far, 20th Century Fox has proven itself to handle things a bit better with the introduction of on-screen queer partners Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio in Deadpool 2.
New Mutants, now by the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, is an X-Men-adjacent superhero film that promises, among other exciting things, explicit LGBTQ+ representation. Danielle "Dani" Moonstar or Mirage (Blu Hunt), a Cheyenne mutant with psionic/psychic abilities, is set to have an on-screen romance with Rahne Sinclair or Wolfsbane (Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams), a Scottish mutant who can transform into a wolf. The mutants of X-Men have always been thematically linked to the LGBTQ+ community, so it’s great to finally see two queer heroes in starring roles.
Adora, Catra & Basically Everyone Else | She-Ra & the Princesses of Power
Developed by Noelle Stevenson, one of the writers behind the Eisner-winning comic Lumberjanes, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a reboot of the 1985 animated series. (Yep, that He-Man spinoff.) Here, a teenager named Adora gains the power to turn into the titular heroine and uses that ability to lead a group of other magical princesses against the evil Horde.
Like Steven Universe, the cast of characters in She-Ra represents a number of folks and identities within the LGBTQ+ community. Many characters are coded as fluid in terms of gender or sexuality and, in the most recent season of the GLAAD Media Award-nominated show, the nonbinary character Double Trouble is introduced and voiced by nonbinary actor Jacob Tobia. We could shout out a lot of characters, but the best friend-turned-archenemy relationship between protagonist Adora and the Horde’s Catra (above) is rife with stellar romantic tension.
Curtis Holt a.k.a. Mr. Terrific | Arrow
When audiences meet him, Curtis Holt is an Olympic athlete-turned-tech employee of Palmer Technologies, the rebranded version of Queen Consolidated — Oliver Queen’s family company that deals in all things biotech and cutting edge. Of course, Oliver is the vigilante Green Arrow on the side, so it doesn’t take Curtis too long to connect the dots.
Initially, Curtis joins Team Arrow as the group’s tech support guy, preferring to take a backseat and stay off the streets. After getting beat up, Curtis learns how to protect himself and how to fight, so he feels less exposed and takes up the mantle Mr. Terrific. Throughout Arrow, he dates, and marries, Star City police officer Nick Anastas. In the comics, the Mr. Terrific codename is held by Michael Holt, a straight man struggling with the death of his wife. That said, it’s great to see this spin on the hero — and we’re thankful they cut the late-partner plotline in favor of a happy queer marriage.
Sara Lance a.k.a. The Canary/White Canary | Legends of Tomorrow
Sara Lance has had a lot of drama in her life: While having an affair with her sister’s boyfriend Oliver Queen — a.k.a. Green Arrow — she is presumed dead after the pair are caught in a storm. After a brief union with Oliver, Sara’s presumed dead again and then, as happens, is trained in the ways of being an assassin by Nyssa al Ghul, Sara’s mentor-turned-lover.
After returning to Star City, Sara’s killed — actually killed. And then resurrected, turning her from the Black Canary to the White Canary. Now, she’s the captain of a time-traveling team on Legends of Tomorrow. One aspect of her life that’s been thankfully drama-free? CW’s commitment to her canonical bisexuality, which paved the way for so many queer characters in the Arrowverse. Sara’s bisexuality is made even more significant by the fact that she’s Legends’ protagonist — not just a sidekick.
Pearl | Steven Universe
Like the aforementioned Garnet, Pearl is a Gem — a member of the world-saving Crystal Gems, in fact. Along with Garnet and Amethyst, Pearl helps raise Steven Universe, the show’s namesake and protagonist, after his mother (sort of) passes away. Steven is half-Gem and half-human, which means he spends a lot of his time figuring out how to use his magical abilities. Through all of this, Pearl is around for him.
The strictest and most disciplined of the Gems, Pearl was also the closest to Steven’s late mother, Rose Quartz. Later on, it’s revealed that Rose gave her life — and was essentially reborn into — Steven. All of that self-sacrifice leads to a lot of queer angst for Pearl, who always carried a torch for Rose and resented that she got together with Steven’s human father. Pearl’s great for so many reasons, but we can’t help but appreciate the ways she exemplifies the messy, complicated sides of love and loss, all while saving the planet.
Alex Danvers | Supergirl
Although the Sara Lance-fronted Legends of Tomorrow hit screens earlier, Supergirl has made a name for itself by consistently putting the relationships between women first. Namely, the bond between sisters Kara Danvers, a.k.a. Supergirl herself, and Alex Danvers, an agent for the Department of Extranormal Operations (D.E.O.). In the first season, Alex fails to stay committed to romantic relationships with men, blaming her demanding job.
But, by the second season, Alex realizes something that scares her: She’s gay. In an incredible coming-out arc not often given to characters who aren’t teens, Alex comes out to Kara and others in her life. Supergirl, who hides her identity behind glasses and a reporter job, gets it in some ways: she’s constantly "coming out" as a Kryptonian to folks she cares about. Although not a 1:1 comparison, these narrative arcs strengthen the sisters’ bond even more. Not to mention, Alex gets some of the show’s best romances — all while kicking bad-guy butt.
Halo | Young Justice
A fusion of Gabrielle Daou, a deceased Quraci girl, and the spirit of a Motherbox, or "living computer," Halo joins Nightwing’s team of heroes in Young Justice. Halo doesn’t view themself as Gabrielle anymore, instead going by the pseudonym Violet Harper. In addition to harnessing their multi-colored aura powers, Halo is dating Brion Markov, a.k.a. Geo-Force, a hero with the ability to control gravity and Earth’s terrain.
In a recent episode, Halo and a few other young heroes are asked to join a covert branch of the Justice League. While Ms. Martian is thrilled to have some other non-humans on the team, Tigress announces that she’s glad there are more women. This conversation prompts Halo to say that despite their outward appearance, they don’t know if they are a boy or a girl. Although terms like "nonbinary" aren’t expressly used, it’s wonderful to see a genderqueer character take centerstage.
John Constantine | Legends of Tomorrow
John Constantine, the warlock-detective, has made several appearances on film and TV. (We all remember the Keanu Reeves movie, right?) Since a ‘90s-era run in the comics where he mentions having both ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends, Constantine has been canonically bisexual. It’s just taken a while to get that representation onscreen — and made more explicit than an offhand remark. Luckily, fans can thank CW’s Arrowverse — yet again.
On a 2018 episode of Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine crops up on the time-traveling Waverider ship and openly flirts with various members of the team. Peter Nagy, writing for the Atlantic, notes that throughout the episode Constantine continually asks both men and women to light his cigarette, "calling to mind the old Hollywood trick of using shared cigarettes as an indirect way of suggesting physical intimacy. The message: Man or woman, past or present, this Earth or another, bisexual, gay, or straight — anyone can get Constantine fired up."
Korra | The Legend of Korra
Although she doesn’t wear a cape and tights, Korra, from the Avatar: The Last Airbender spinoff The Legend of Korra, definitely has super abilities. She saves the world — well, both the Spirit World and the physical world; she can bend, or control, the elements of fire, water, air and earth; and her eyes go all glowy when she harnesses what’s known as the "Avatar State." Needless to say, she’s at least superhero adjacent.
Korra’s series finale was also a landmark moment for children’s television — and television in general. Despite her on-again/off-again romance with male lead Mako, Korra begins to develop romantic feelings for her friend, Asami Sato, during the last few seasons. At the time, fans thought the romantic tension was just subtext that wouldn’t go anywhere. But, in the last few moments of the show, the pair clasp hands and embark on a new journey together — just the two of them. Subsequent comics have gone on to flesh out the pair’s queer romance.
(Potentially) Hercules | (Hopefully in) The Eternals
Marvel hasn’t given up too many details when it comes to Chloé Zhao’s upcoming Eternals film, which will surely help crack open the new phase of the MCU post-Avengers: Engame. However, there are rumors that the film will star Hercules, the immortal strongman from Greek mythology and long-standing Marvel hero. (Not unlike Thor.)
While most of the cast has been announced, there doesn’t seem to be a listing for Hercules. Nonetheless, Marvel did put out a casting call for Eternals specifying their search for an openly gay actor. Fans who are familiar with Hercules’ canonical bisexuality — which includes an alternate timeline high-profile relationship with James Howlett (a.k.a. Wolverine) — think this might point to this inclusion in the film. Even if Hercules isn’t in Eternals, the team behind the movie has promised we’ll see a queer character onscreen.
Trini a.k.a. the Yellow Ranger | Power Rangers (2017)
The 2017 reboot of Power Rangers, which starred Elizabeth Banks as the villainous Rita Repulsa, didn’t quite get the positive reception producers were aiming for. Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregate review consensus says the film has "neither the campy fun of its predecessor nor the blockbuster action of its cinematic superhero competitors." Nonetheless, Power Rangers did try for some LGBTQ+ representation, which was more than Marvel could say at the time.
Despite headlines heralding Power Rangers as the first mainstream film to feature a gay superhero, the queer moment was small — but still a good step. While hanging out with her Ranger pals, Trini (the Yellow Ranger) says she doesn’t want her family involved in her relationships. "Boyfriend problems?" one of her friends asks, and, when she doesn’t quite answer, he asks, "Girlfriend problems?" Trini says she’s never talked about her identity before and, while the moment’s short, it certainly feels genuine for this (super-powered) teen.
Canonically Queer Characters Who Shouldn’t Be Straight-washed for the Screen
Comic books are known for exploring multi-verses and alternative timelines, for being remade time and again. Although different iterations of fan-favorite characters exist, it’s always exciting to see a character rebooted in an effort to represent a marginalized or underrepresented group. For the most part, characters — like folks in our very own world — are often presumed straight and cis until it’s explicitly stated otherwise.
The following characters are ones who, like John Constantine, have, in some iteration, been written as queer. Unlike Constantine, however, these characters are still being "straight-washed" for film and TV adaptations — meaning their queerness is erased, or not spoken of. In short, we’d love to see some of these already-established characters represent the LGBTQ+ community in future live-action media.
Okoye & Ayo | Blank Panther Series & Avengers Series
In the same way Valkyrie’s bisexual moment ended up on the cutting room floor of Thor: Ragnarok, a queer romance between Dora Milaje warrior Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and Dora Milaje general Okoye (Danai Gurira) was filmed for, but later cut from, Black Panther. Of course, film audiences will remember that Okoye is romantically linked to a man named W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya).
However, in World of Wakanda, Ayo falls in love with Aneka, the (on-page) general of the Dora Milaje. For Black Panther, Okoye is, in a sense, a combination of her character and Aneka’s. According to Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson, filmmakers cut a flirtatious scene between Ayo and her onscreen general, Okoye. Here’s hoping that future Marvel films provide queer Black folks with the represenation they deserve, with these characters and others.
Wonder Woman — or Any of the Amazons | Wonder Woman & Wonder Woman: 1984
Since her debut in the 1940s, Diana, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, has been associated with feminism, agency and empowerment. She grew up on Themyscira, an island paradise inhabited only by women — the fearless Amazon warriors. Since there aren’t any cis men in Themyscira, there are undoubtedly queer relationships, and it would be great to see some of that on the big screen.
As for Diana herself, her creator, Professor William Moulton Marston, was himself in a polyamorous relationship with his wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and their partner, Olive Byrneboth. Famously, he drew on both of these women for inspiration when creating Diana — and, after the professor passed, Elizabeth and Olive remained together. Needless to say, Diana was inspired by queer women. Moreover, recent comic book adaptations have put her bisexuality front and center. Here’s hoping Wonder Woman: 1984 does the same.
Loki | Thor Series, Avengers Series & Loki (Forthcoming on Disney+)
Loki’s perhaps best known for his shapeshifting abilities, which allow him to take on both masculine and feminine forms. In 2014, Marvel writer Al Ewing posted on Tumblr (R.I.P.) about Loki’s sexuality and gender identity. "Loki is bi," Ewing wrote, "and I’ll be touching on that. He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well." Confirmed: Thor’s brother is both gender fluid and bisexual.*
In the comics, Loki explains how Asgardians don’t adhere to the same heteronormative standards humans contend with on Earth, stating, "There are sexual acts. That’s it." In terms of Loki’s gender identity, his father, Odin, calls him "my child who is both son and daughter." It would be great to see some of this expressed onscreen — and there’s a chance representation will happen thanks to Loki’s upcoming Disney+ series.
*Note: Some sources state that Loki is pansexual, not bisexual.
Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool | Deadpool Series
Although Deadpool is one of Marvel’s most beloved characters, he technically hasn’t shown up in the MCU yet. But thanks to Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox — now 20th Century Studios — we might see Deadpool and some of the X-Men crop up in future MCU films. And while Fox was pretty open with introducing a queer romance between Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio, they didn’t quite commit when it came to Deadpool himself.
In the comics, the fourth wall-breaking mercenary is attracted to a variety of folks — and certainly doesn’t pay a ton of attention to the gender binary. Marvel writer Gerry Duggan said Deadpool is "ready and willing to do anything with a pulse." Although Duggan is trying to point out the character’s canonical pansexuality, this quote underscores part of the problem. In the films, Deadpool’s queerness is alluded to only in jest — or as just another zany quirk. Here’s hoping filmmakers do right by both the character and his fans in the future.
Midnighter | Midnighter & the Wildstorm Universe
Midnighter would probably describe himself as more of a super soldier than a superhero as he’s known to go a bit rogue as a member of the team The Authority. Logo has hailed Midnighter as "a gay vigilante who makes Batman look like a pacifist." Despite being the epitome of a tough-as-nails "masculine" character, Midnighter subverts that paradigm — and its toxicity — by queering it.
Married to fellow Authority teammate Apollo, Midnighter and his partner even have an adopted daughter together. Steve Orlando, a bisexual writer who helmed the Midnighter series, stated in an interview with Newsarama that "People were given a queer icon that they deserved, and they connected with him." This GLAAD Media Award-nominated series clearly needs a silver screen adaptation — pronto.
Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel | Captain Marvel Series & Avengers: Endgame
In the wonderful wide web that is Marvel, several characters have taken up the mantle of "Captain Marvel." The MCU has chosen to focus on the Captain Marvel that is Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a canonically straight character. Other iterations, however, see Phyla-Vell — the artificially created daughter of Carol’s mentor Mar-Vell — take on the code name.
An essential part of Phyla’s arc is her tragic queer love story with Heather Douglas (a.k.a. Moondragon). While the filmmakers may choose to keep Carol and Phyla’s characters separate, they have been known to take some creative liberties in the past, including casting Mar-Vell — originally a Kree man — as a Kree woman (Annette Bening). Who's to say they wouldn’t pull from various Captain Marvels to create the MCU Carol Danvers? Also, as we mentioned earlier, Thor: Love & Thunder’s Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is looking for a queen — just sayin’.
Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique | X-Men Series
Raven Darkholme, better known by her alias Mystique, is a mutant with the ability to shapeshift. She’s been portrayed by two actors now — Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence — in various film adaptations of the X-Men series. Sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain and most often an anti-hero, Mystique made her debut in Ms. Marvel before becoming the perpetual thorn in the X-Men’s side.
In X-Men: First Class, viewers learn of Mystique’s backstory — that she grew up with Charles Xavier, a.k.a. Professor X. But, in the comics, her origins go back much, much further and involve a relationship with Irene Alder, or Destiny, a mutant who can see the future. At the time, Chris Claremont wanted to explicitly show that Mystique and Destiny were lovers, but the comic code didn’t allow for the portrayal of same-sex couples. Only time — and Destiny — will tell if a queer, canonical Mystique will appear on the silver screen.
America Chavez a.k.a. Miss America | America, Young Avengers, A-Force & West Coast Avengers
A member of the West Coast Avengers, A-Force and more, America Chavez is also Marvel’s first Latinx LGBTQ+ character to star in an ongoing series. Raised by her mothers in the Utopian Parallel, a reality that exists outside of time, America possesses super strength, the ability to fly and the uncanny talent of being able to kick open holes in reality, making multiverse travel a cinch.
While seeing her powers on the big screen would be incredible, Miss America also offers much-needed representation as a queer Latinx woman who dates folks of various genders. All we’re saying is this: Someone needs to pick up that star-spangled mantle now that Captain America’s MCU run is over, and who better to do so than this bisexual badass?
Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman | X-Men Series
When the X-Men debuted in 1963, Bobby Drake — better known as Iceman — was one of the founding members of the mutant team. For decades, readers and critics alike have noted the parallels between mutants and the LGBTQ+ community. Unlike other Marvel superheroes, who are often suddenly transformed into powerful beings, mutants are born with their powers and struggle with being accepted by society, "cured" of their innate abilities or even hunted down.
Needless to say, there were huge reactions when the news broke in 2015 that Iceman would come out in All-New X-Men #40. Thanks to the wonders of time travel, a young Iceman confronts his repressed adult self, who admits that he couldn’t cope with being gay and a mutant at the same time. In the future, we’d love to see filmmakers nix the love triangle mess between Rogue, Shadowcat and Iceman and instead portray this out version of the character.
William “Billy” Kaplan a.k.a. Wiccan & Theodore “Teddy” Altman a.k.a. Hulkling | WandaVision, Young Avengers & New Avengers
Son of Avengers teammates Scarlet Witch and Vision, Wiccan is a Young Avenger with magical abilities. His teammate, Hulkling, is of course mirrored on Hulk, with his shapeshifting abilities allowing him to mimic Marvel’s infamous green monster. Although the two were portrayed as close friends at first, readers began writing in to Young Avengers writers — some excited about the idea of the two being romantically linked, while others were against the portrayal of gay superheroes.
Allan Heinberg confirmed that writers intended to reveal the pairs’ romantic connection in issue #12, and was surprised that readers made the connection so quickly. In Young Avengers Special, the two heroes are asked if the rumors about their romance are true, to which Hulkling replies, "Why should Northstar have all the fun?" With Hulkling set to appear on the Disney+ show WandaVision, it would make sense if two of Marvel’s most prominent gay superheroes made it to the big (and little) screen.
Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar | Alpha Flight & the X-Men
Northstar first appeared in X-Men #120 as a member of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight. As a mutant, Northstar has some uncanny traits, such as superhuman speed, flight and the ability to project photonic energy blasts. But, outside of his incredible powers, Northstar made a name for himself as one of the first openly gay superheroes in American comic books.
He was certainly the first openly gay character in any Marvel Comics book and, in June of 2012, he continued to make history when he married his husband, Kyle Jinadu, in Astonishing X-Men #51. This issue marked the first depiction of a same-sex wedding in mainstream comics. Northstar paved the way for other queer superheroes and more than deserves a silver screen debut.