#lovewins! My favorite LGBTQ characters in comics + their representation

#lovewins, US, LGBTQ, LGBTQ characters in comics, LGBTQ representation, depepi, depepi.com
(C) Marvel, Fearless Defenders

#lovewins in the US! These last days have been a shower of rainbows. Even if I am a little bit late, I’d like to share my favorite LGBTQ characters in comics and talk a little bit about their representation. LGBTQ+ representation in media has been growing during the recent years, while it has been slowly shattering old stereotypes. While not all media have portrayed LGBTQ+ characters in a good way, there has been progress.

Before starting with my character list, I’d like to stress that comic books can be a great medium to make people aware of social causes. One example can be found in Judd Winick, a comic book author whose work portraying homosexual supporting characters in DC’s Green Lantern and a HIV-positive sidekick in Green Arrow; and his autobiographical graphic novel called Pedro and Me, made him won several national awards, along with one from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). (More in The Power of Comics)

Mainstream publishers have usually maintained the views of those who are in power, usually, conservatives. So, it is normal to find out biased stereotypes in comic books and other media before the ’90s. Media favors the dominant ideology and tries to appeal to mainstream so that it can market their products in an easy way.

With the Underground Comix movement it started a clash of views: while mainstream continued to conform with the conservative ways, Comix tried to depict sexuality from another perspective: that of the minority. However, we could see that rebellion could also be found in mainstream comic books. It is only when mainstream stereotypes crumble and the power starts shifting hands that we can see social change reflected more and more within media.

Independent comics tend to challenge dominant forces more than mainstream comics due to who owns them. However, we can argue that comic books, as a whole medium, is a great catalyst for making people aware socially of different realities that might be obscured by mainstream media.

Now, my favorite characters. Though my top one is Loki, I will start with a fun couple that I liked a lot: Annabelle Riggs (a geek) and Valkyrie. If you don’t know who they are, see the picture above and get yourself Fearless Defenders. What I like about them is this panel, and how their personality is just so natural. We know that Annabelle likes girls, because of the caption and her other love interest in the comics. However, what’s important here is how they depicted all these women: intelligent, strong and with wits.

#lovewins, US, LGBTQ, LGBTQ characters in comics, LGBTQ representation, depepi, depepi.com
(C) Marvel, Loki Agent of Asgard

On my top of favorite LGBTQ+ characters there’s Loki Agent of Asgard. He is gender fluid and bi (though he turned himself into a Unicorn and somewhat it remembers me about mythology and he kind of looks more pan or omni than just bi as Marvel canon states). I love that he can be both male and female. His wardrobe is also cool, since he can be quite geeky, though his Asgardian fashion is what he wears most of the time.

He is intelligent, mischievous, resourceful, manages magic and technology in equal parts, and echoes layers of geek personality all over the pages of the comics. I highly recommend you reading all about him. Remember: you’ll find them in Loki Agent of Asgard.

#lovewins, US, LGBTQ, LGBTQ characters in comics, LGBTQ representation, depepi, depepi.com
(C) Marvel, Young Avengers

Another sweet couple is Teddy (Hulking) and Billy (Wiccan) from Young Avengers. These two are too cute, really. Two teenagers who explore their identities while love each other in difficult times. What I like about them is their natural ways and how young they are (in their thinking and doing). These are teenagers having teenager problems into a grownup Superhero landscape.

Don’t know them? Read Young Avengers.

#lovewins, US, LGBTQ, LGBTQ characters in comics, LGBTQ representation, depepi, depepi.com
(C) Marvel, Young Avengers

And more Young Avengers! America Chavez is the example of an angry teenage girl. She is angry, she is badass and she will punch you without problems. Though she was experimenting with a guy, she later on defined herself as a Lesbian. Her character is basically that of a revel teenage girl who is discovering her personality, what she likes and doesn’t like, and who is incredibly angry. She is nice, cool and has lots of style.

Don’t know her? Read Young Avengers. (It’s a really cool series, highly recommended.)

#lovewins, US, LGBTQ, LGBTQ characters in comics, LGBTQ representation, depepi, depepi.com
(C) Marvel, Runaways

And finally Karolina Dean, from Runaways. She has to come into terms that she is not human (her parents are aliens and evil) and that she is homosexual. In spite of the trauma with her parents, she is warm, compassionate and a vegan. What I like about her character is how she is depicted, with rainbow colors, and that she seems so natural and easy to relate to.

Don’t know about her? Read Runaways.


Sources:

About pepi

A Geek Girl interested in Geek Anthropology, comic books, books, Superheroes and discovering all about pop culture.

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  • Wow, both great timing and great article.

    I’m only getting into the superhero universe now because of the Marvel movies (have never been one for comics) and I had no idea homosexuality was a topic in them. Thanks for showing me!

    • Thanks! Well it’s a question of representation in mainstream comics, that’s why you might find tons of articles online angry because of different reasons. For example, Spider-Man.. many people wanted Miles Morales, but we won’t see him on the big screen… At least, not any time soon.

      Independent comics are always faster in representing all types of groups, and causes. They follow less rules, thus they can portray whatever they want with less marketing/bossy constrains.

      And yes, you will find LGBTQ+ characters in the pages of Marvel & DC. You will find out that some are controversial depictions, very stereotyped, while others are great. I don’t know if you started reading comics now or if you plan to read old ones as well, but just take into mind the year in which they were drawn, so you will have an idea of the status of society in that time. 😉

      Welcome to the amazing world of Superhero comics <3

      • Haha, thanks for the welcome! 😉

        I don’t think I’m going to get into the comics themselves anytime soon. I have so many things going on at the moment, so many interests taking up my time, I just don’t see it happening (sorry if I disappointed you now). I think I’m doing quite well already having seen all Marvel movies!

        I was never really drawn to stereotypes (and thus, comics, or so I thought), so the LGBTQ content really was a surprise! (A good one, naturally.) I can understand that it may be something you have to search for, what with the historical context and all, but I still think it’s really cool.

        Uhm, a bit off-topic, but about historical context: I love how they handled that with Captain America in the movies (especially the second one). For instance, how he’s this real gentleman that doesn’t want any swearing – made me chuckle every time.

        • xDDDD Don’t worry! It’s okay! Stereotypes are a technique used in comics, because you have to convey in few pages information about the character. Think about hooking up your audience in just a few issues of around 30 pages each.

          In movies you’ll see something similar. But portrayals can be even trickier. So, you might find more discussion about stereotypes in movies.

          Oh yes, I think it’s good that they made Captain America this way. You get the impression that he is all sweet and peaches till you see the nightmare he had in Age of Ultron (I won’t spoil here). He is a man of his times, and it must be difficult for him to understand our world. So, yeah, they’re doing a great job with his character 🙂