As we've discussed new Number Ones HERE and HERE, I've begun to notice that LGBTQ characters have become so commonplace they're hardly worth mention (because we're not mentioning them). I mean, when Batgirl got a trans roommate and lesbian character Batwoman got her own title, that was NEWS! But now that doesn't appear to be the case any more. Marvel's Angela has her own title, and nobody's even bothered to mention that she co-stars with her female lover. (Has she always been gay? I've never read about her before.)
I'm thinking of writing a column about this. I will if the evidence supports my anecdotal observation. So help me out, Legionnaires -- how many LGBTQ characters of recent vintage can you remember? Or tolder characters who have recently been revealed to be gay -- I'm not picky.
I've got a few of my own I want to mention, but first I want to hear from you folks. Sound off!
The ones that jump out at me are Renee Montoya in Gotham Central and Marvel's Rawhide Kid.
Northstar in Alpha Flight. Of course he came out a looong time ago, but he was the first openly homosexual character - and also the first one to have a same-sex marriage
Maggie Sawyer, from post-Crisis Superman
Knockout and Scandal in Secret Six
Hercules has been established as bisexual as he was in the Greek myths.
Obsidian, Invisible Kid, Shatterstar, Rictor, Captain Metropolis, Hooded Hangman, Silhouette, the new Earth-Two Alan Scott, Extrano (from the New Guardians) and Graymalkin (X-Men) are among gay or revised as gay characters.
I greatly enjoyed Gotham Central and had no problem with their establishing Renee Montoya as a lesbian. I thought it was a little too on-the-nose that they started having her wear motorcycle boots, jeans and T-shirts when up until then she had dressed quite differently.
Also, since she is Latino, I am reminded of the character "Toofer," who was both African-American and gay, from the TV show 30 Rock. The implication is that instead of having a minority character AND a gay character you kill two birds with one stone.
Philip Portelli said:
Which version of Invisible Kid was that? I don't remember this being established while I was following the LoSH regularly. On the other hand, it was established (or at least strongly hinted) that Light Lass and Shrinking Violet had become a couple.
Of course, the Captain asked for characters of recent vintage, which Ayla and Salu certainly are not.
John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:
His coming out was handled rather nicely, as I recall, though again it wasn't done at all recently. Flash (Wally West) was chatting with him, and asked whether the Joker was gay. The Pied Piper responded something to the effect "I don't think he's gay. In fact, I can't think of any super-villains who are gay. Except for me, of course."
I was actually looking for stuff a little more contemporary. The question is, as Tec mentions above, have we reached the point where non-hetero characters are no longer comment-worthy? Are there a lot of non-hetero characters now where how they identify sexually isn't really mentioned or isn't important to their character?
For example, Angela, as mentioned above. I've been aware of her existence, but didn't know she was gay. Has she been gay all along, and it just wasn't important enough to be mentioned in the solicitations/reviews? I haven't read her appearances before her new title, so I don't know. Has her lover Sera appeared all along, or is she new?
The supporting cast of Squirrel Girl appears to be one trans and three gay. I could be wrong -- because it's being (strongly) implied, and not outright mentioned. Has that always been the case, or is this new?
Where was Hercules established as bi? Let me know, so I can look it up.
I'm familiar with Pied Piper, Northstar, et al -- and they don't count because it was NEWS that they were gay. My question is, are new non-hetero characters being introduced without fanfare? Are non-hetero aspects of older characters being established without notice? Hercules is a perfect example -- wherever he was established as bi, I don't know the particular issue, because it wasn't trumpeted in the fan press.
I'm thinking that the turning point for this was Young Avengers, and the famous "am I the only straight person on this team?" I actually hadn't noticed (or hadn't read enough) to know the sexual identification of all the characters, so it came as sort of a surprise to me to realize that young Hawkeye was right. And yet, it hadn't been smeared across all fan sites for months in advance. It was established slowly, in the background, and wasn't really important to the stories being told. And if you weren't reading Young Avengers, you probably wouldn't know about it at all.
So are any of the new Spider-people gay, or their supporting cast? What about all the new Inhumans? How about the new DC universe? Heck, what about Dark Horse, IDW, Image and the indies?
Again, I am seeing this sea change anecdotally, so I'm looking for confirmation or refutation that comics have become so LGBTQ-friendly that non-hetero characters are being introduced without that being a big deal. It may just be coincidence that I read a couple of back to back (Angela, Squirrel Girl) where gayness was in the mix, but not important.
I don't think anyone has mentioned DC Bombshells yet. Two of them are lesbian, but don't ask me which ones. I'm dropping this one... not because they're gay but because they're deadly dull.
Sorry to hear that, Jeff. I really like the Wonder Woman costume (more than the one she's wearing currently).
The young Iceman in Brian Bendis's All-New X-Men was revealed to be gay -- basically outed to himself by Jean Gray. (Older Iceman doesn't seem to be gay, however, and no, I'm not sure how that works. I still haven't actually read the issue where it happened; I'm probably holding off on the remaining Bendis X-Men until they're all available on Marvel Unlimited.)
At DC, I'd look toward Gail Simone's books, of course -- In The Movement, from what I recall, Virtue is a lesbian, as is Rainmaker (formerly of Gen 13), whom she dated. Tremor, also on the team, is asexual, another underrepresented group. And there was a demon boy named Burden on the team who was gay.
In Secret Six, Catman is bi, Porcelain is genderfluid, Scandal Savage is gay, Knockout (in the previous S6) is bi, and Ragdoll is attracted to anything and everything. I'm probably missing some.
I think Red Sonja is bi now, too -- but often too damn smelly to get laid by either sex.
Also, while it's old news that Pied Piper is gay, Barry's boss, Commander Singh, a fairly new character, is his boyfriend -- he's gay in both the comics and the TV show (although not dating Piper on the TV show).
Oh, and Earth 2's Alan Scott!