Comic books have slowly been introducing more LGBT+ representation into their four-color worlds. They’ve come a long way from questionable depictions of queer characters, to modern comics that feature LGBT+ couples in (relatively) stable, loving relationships. Here’s a quick look at a few of those characters.
Kate Kane is one of many to have worn the mantle of Batwoman over the decades, but is perhaps the most well-known, thanks to her featured role in the Batwoman television series on the CW. In the comics, she was romantically linked to Gotham (and formerly Metropolis) detective Maggie Sawyer. A storyline was planned where the two would get married, but when DC editorial scrapped those plans, the creative team for the Batwoman comic book series quit en masse.
Apollo & Midnighter
Originally a pastiche of Batman and Superman created for Wildstorm Studios, Apollo and Midnighter ended up becoming characters in the DC Universe when Wildstorm merged with DC. The two were married in the Wildstorm continuity before it was rebooted and merged with DC during the New 52 event, which also rebooted the DC Universe. The two were once again married by the time of the Apollo and Midnighter series in 2016.
Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy began as a Batman villain and eco-terrorist. Harley Quinn began as the Joker’s love interest on Batman: The Animated Series before transitioning to the comic page. Along the way, something interesting hapened. The two teamed up, first on screen, then in the comics, and their chemistry was instantly apparent. Before long, they were romantically involved, and in at least one timeline, they were even married.
Notable as the first transgender superhero in the “Arrowverse” family of shows, and perhaps in all of televised superherodom, Dreamer was created for the Supergirl series, and is the ancestor of a member of the Legion of Superheroes, also named Dreamer, from the 31st century, who had previously appeared in the comics.
The Norse god of mischief’s genderfluid history goes back millennia, to the original mythological tales. A shapeshifter, Loki has been both male and female, as well as humanoid and animal, and both father and mother. In the Marvel comics, and most recently the Loki series on Disney+, Loki has appeared as both male and female as well, though much of the character’s mythological backstory has been changed in both the comics and the films. In the original Norse mythology, Loki was the father of Hel (depicted in the film Thor: Ragnarok as Hela, and the daughter of Odin), a goddess of death; Jormungandr, a giant snake that encircled Midgard (Earth), holding it in place; Fenrir, a giant wolf also depicted in Thor: Ragnarok; as well as Narfi, who was killed by his half-brother Vali, also a son of Loki, who had been turned into a wolf. Loki was also the mother of Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse.