In honor of pride month (with a special nod towards New York’s fantastic marriage equality victory last week), geek girl blog The Mary Sue has issued a fantastic list of 10 badass gay characters from comics/genre fiction. Because the editorial staff is awesome and lady-centric, they even made sure to balance it evenly between men and women, though that unfortunately left Willow to the honorable mentions list. The ladies who made the prime time include Renee Montoya (The Question) and Batwoman from the Batman universe, Mystique from X-Men, Jack Phantom from Alan Moore’s Top Ten, and Utena Tenjou from the Revolutionary Girl Utena series. That’s a diverse group if I’ve ever heard of one.
This isn’t just a one-and-done list, no way – each entry is extensively researched, both in terms of how we know the character is queer, and how historical factors (including the “Comic Code Authority” wherein no LGBT characters were allowed), including the wishes of the writers and artists themselves, helped bring these icons into being.
For example, take Mystique’s back-story. From the post:
Mystique… is a canonically bisexual character and, unlike some of the characters on this grid, was intended to be from her initial appearances in 1978, fifteen years into the X-Men series. However, like Northstar, Mystique was created under the Comics Code and Marvel’s editorial ban on gay and bisexual characters. Writer Chris Claremont’s initial plan of giving Mystique a long-term relationship with fellow mutant Destiny and even a child between the two of them (conceived while the shape-shifting Mystique was in a male form), had to be shelved. Or closeted, to use a different sort of cabinetry.
It wasn’t until 1990 that Claremont was able to reveal that Mystique and Destiny had actually been off-again-on-again lovers for almost a century.
I would really love for the X-Men films to pick up on this particular fact about our favorite blue shape-shifter, wouldn’t you?
And apparently, the Batman universe is rife with lesbian action hero dating:
Because every superhero is paired up at some point with every other compatible superhero, Renee Montoya and Kate Kane (Batwoman) dated before they got to the costumed phase of their lives. They met when then Officer Montoya pulled Kate over for speeding; Kate managed to walk away with a ticket and Renee’s phone number.
What about you, geeks? What lesbian/bi superheroes or supernatural ass-kickers count among your favorites?