#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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
- History of Comics in the US. (You’ll find info about Comix).
- Stereotyping in Comics & Movies.
- The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture.
Copyright: Images on this post (C) Marvel