21 Comic Book Characters Who Should Come Out of the Closet
In late May, DC Comics announced one of their major characters who was previously identified as ‘straight’ would officially change his sexual orientation to ‘gay’. The story attracted major media buzz, but as any comic book fanboy (or girl) will tell you, LGBT themes in mainstream American comics have been prevalent for decades.
Of all the entertainment mediums, the comic book industry has arguably led the charge in bringing LGBT issues to the forefront of the public forum. Superheroes and villains like Northstar, Rawhide Kid, Colossus, Batwoman, Wiccan, Hulkling, Apollo, The Midnighter, Rictor, Shatterstar, Manhunter, Naked Justice, Pied Piper, and, yes, Sailor Uranus have either fought or committed crimes while openly gay or bi. Their stories paralleled the struggles between coming to grips with their super powers or abilities and with society’s acceptance of their sexuality.
So, with Alan Scott’s ‘outing’, we’re taking a look at other comic book characters who’ve predominantly been ‘classified’ as heterosexual that could probably be gay or bi-sexual. Are we judging based on archaic stereotypes? In some cases, yes. But, it’s all in good fun, so check your PC at the alternate dimension and get nerdy in the comments.
Aquaman (Arthur Curry)
This founding member of the Justice League of America dealt with A LOT of sailors and pirates while patrolling the seas. He was often ostracized for being half-human, half-fish. Fans will cite that while King, he met and married Mera, a queen from a water-based dimension. They soon had a son, Arthur, Jr. aka Aquababy (who’d become Aqualad). However, Aquaman would have to resign from the JLA to work on his marriage with Mera.
In modern retellings of Aquaman’s origins he’d met, fell in love with, and had a baby with a different girl before meeting, marrying, and having a baby with Mera. She would later blame him for their son’s death, attack him, and get committed to an insane asylum. When she left him to return to her dimension, she claimed he never really knew her. Smell like a beard to anyone else?
She-Hulk (JENNIFER WALTERS)
Bruce Banner’s cousin had a rocky relationship with her father, then deduced that her interaction with Starfox had not been consensual even though he hadn’t used his powers on her.
While engaged to Wyatt Wingfoot, corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. agents forced her to get nude under the guise of precaution only to use it for personal pleasure. She later married John Jameson aka Man-Wolf, the son of ‘Daily Bugle’ publisher (and Peter Parker’s boss) Jonah Jameson. However, that was determined to be the result of a ‘love zap’ from Starfox.
She’s also hooked up with Iron Man and made a pass at Wolverine. There were rumors she had sex with Juggernaut, which she denied. Her crush is Hercules but he failed to meet her expectations. Men have been nothing but trouble for her, and most of them can’t accept her in Hulk form. Maybe she just needs a woman who’s more in touch with her feelings.
The adoptive brother and archenemy of Thor started off as the God of Lies and Mischief but quickly became the God of Evil as he wouldn’t rest until Thor was vanquished and control over several worlds was his. After the ‘Ragnarok’ aka ‘The Twilight of the Gods’, in which Asgard appeared to be eradicated, Loki returned in female form. It was revealed that Loki retained his male form but hid himself inside a female body (which originally belonged to Thor’s reborn lover Sif) to convince Thor he’d changed. A man who’s comfortable in a woman’s skin? He’s like the Bugs Bunny of Asgard.
We’re no fanboys, but we’ve rarely read anything about his interaction with or affinity for females.
Wonder WomaN (PRINCESS DIANA)
The most popular female superhero in comics is also considered a feminist icon. Her creator, William Moulton Marston, described her as a ‘distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men’. It’s been reported the character is inspired by Marston’s wife and Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in a polygamous/polyamorous relationship.
Fans know that Wonder Woman’s powers would be removed in accordance with “Aphrodite’s Law” if she allowed herself to be bound or chained by a male. So, looks like she has to save the BDSM for the ladies.
Robin / NIGHTWING (DICK GRAYSON)
We really don’t understand why Batman – typically dressed in darker colors in an attempt to blend into the shadows – would take on an understudy that galavanted around town in bright yellow, green, and red – the three colors that catch the eye the most.
Regardless, Robin’s medieval look was inspired by ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ (ironic since that character’s known for robbing from the rich – like Bruce Wayne – and giving to the poor), and his creation was the result of Batman being forever alone – the Dark Knight needed someone to talk to instead of just thought bubbling all the time.
There have been five different people who’ve played Robin – Dick Grayson, Jason Peter Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne. But, it’s Dick who’s most closely tied to the character. The kid from an acrobat family who saw his parents killed has a close – some would say homoerotic – relationship with Batman / Bruce Wayne that goes beyond surrogate father-son or even big brother / little brother.
Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox)
This rogue member of X-Factor (the X-Men off-shoot, not the Simon Cowell American Idol knock-off) is a mutant with the ability to create instant duplicates or “dupes” of himself. Think Michael Keaton in ‘Multiplicity’, only funnier.
Anyway, the dupes often exhibit the most predominant trait when created / separated from the original. Some will fall in love with a girl but the original won’t have that love for her, same goes for dupes that display bisexual or gay tendencies. Still, the idea that these dupes have those feelings at all indicates they exist within the original. Of course, this has been an argument or theory of many sexologists – that all humans have traces of sexual attraction of both genders.
The Engineer (Angela Spica, The Authority)
The Brooklyn-born scientist replaced her blood with liquid machinery / nanotechnology given to her by the previous Engineer. Spica had an open on/off relationship with the God of Cities, Jack Hawksmoor, had slept with The Doctor Jeroen Thornedike, and had a brief but passionate affair with Captain Atom. She was also sexually assaulted during her school-age years by Renegade Doctor and later had a lesbian experience while in college. Sure, we could chalk that up to experimentation, but bisexuals have more fun.
Booster Gold (michael carter)
In the 25th Century, the star quarterback of Gotham University turned all Ben Stiller in ‘Night at the Museum’ becoming a night watchman at the Metropolis Space Museum. There, he pulls together components for a powerful suit from one of the exhibits so he can travel back in time to become a rich and famous superhero.
Many consider him to be a shameless self-promoter; a narcissist who ironically does battle with himself and his lineage for stealing the spotlight. Though, we do find out he had a son with his wife, he does, however, develop a very tight relationship with Blue Beetle that goes beyond… ugh, bromance.
Electro (Maxwell Dillon)
The electrifying enemy of Spider-Man and Daredevil gained the ability to control electricity after being struck by lightning while working on a power line. His family moved a lot, which led him to be reclusive. His father abandoned he and his mother, who subsequently became overprotective over him as he grew into adulthood.
Maxwell was married to a woman known as Norma Lynn, who eventually left him. Developing a personality that was both selfish and arrogant, others had trouble requesting Maxwell’s services or favors without him demanding something in return.
Many have considered him a glorified blue collar thief as opposed to a psychopath. Regardless,we’ve never seen a character die and come back to life more times than this guy. His persistence is admirable seeing how many battles he’s lost; some would say he’s obsessed with Spider-Man. How obsessive? In Marvel Knights a shape changing mutant hooker named Yekaterina implied Electro requested she take on the form of Spider-Man. Electro has also been quoted as saying that ‘prison brought out a new side to him’.
The Creeper (Jack Ryder)
Jack Ryder is a former Gotham City television talk show host fired due to his outspoken nature. He has two varying origin stories, the first of which indicates a scientist implanted a device that gave him his abilities, but the revised origin took it a step further – revealing that the implanted devices caused him to have split personalities that detest each other.
The Creeper reveals himself to be a masochist and likes to shock his enemies with his flamboyant mannerisms. Meanwhile Ryder has a borderline hatred of female affection and immediately takes his male coworker up on his offer to buy an apartment together.
Self-loathing? Closeted Jack Ryder vs. Out-and-Proud Creeper? Sure, he once hooked up with Batman’s girl, Vicki Vale, but who hasn’t.
Iron Fist (Danny Rand-K’ai)
Just as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle took ‘guy love’ to another level, Power Man and Iron First shared a bond that goes beyond BFFs. While Luke Cage aka Power Man was married, The Iron Fist fell in love with Misty Knight. However, when he and three other dudes (Weasel, Cable, Deadpool) got hit by Black Mamba, who has the power to make you see your deepest, darkest desire, there were suggestions the guys got down.
The Great Machine (Mitchell Hundred)
The civil engineer becomes permanently scarred and gifted with the ability to control and communicate with machines after an extradimensional device explodes at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. He takes on the name, ‘The Great Machine’ as an ode to Thomas Jefferson and wears a rocket backpack that allows him to fly. On 9/11, he saves the second World Trade Center tower from destruction, reveals his identity, runs for Mayor of NYC and wins.
Raised by a highly political single mother, Mitchell’s been asked on numerous occasions if he’s gay, but never gives a solid response. His best friend Rick Bradbury is a retired Marine who serves as Mitchell’s personal confidante and aide. While heading into mortal danger his last words were “Tell Bradbury I loved him”.
Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt)
“The smartest man on the planet” and superfan of Ramesses II was a founding member of the Watchmen and mastermind behind the plan to unite the world against nuclear war by destroying New York City and blaming it on Dr. Manhattan.
His political stance is liberal, and his personality can be described as ‘genial’, even though he has a superiority complex. He believes everyone is capable of personal greatness and is vegetarian. Rorschach noted he was “possibly homosexual”, which coming from a possible homosexual might hold water.
Deadpool (Wade Wilson)
His mother died of cancer while he was young and his father (who was in the military) was physically abusive. Wade was a delinquent as a teen. The disfigured, disgruntled, and mouthy mercenary flirts with guys and girls alike.
He wore Marvel Girl’s costume and showed off her yellow panties to distract Cable with his legs. When infected by Black Mamba, we found out his greatest fantasy was applying sun-tan lotion to Cable. Then, of course, there’s all the innuendo when talking about his genetic merging and ‘bodysliding’ with Cable. At some point, the joke become serious.
Deadshot (Floyd Lawton)
Growing up, Deadshot idolized his brother before accidentally killing him when trying to murder their abusive dad. Many believed this caused the assassin to have an attachment to Suicide Squad leader Rick Flag, and was the root for his inability to kill Batman. His later friendship with Catman in the Secret Six seems to continue Lawton’s unwitting gravitation towards surrogate brothers. Secret Six writer Gail Simone stated Deadshot’s partner, Catman, is bisexual. Other characters jokingly say the two are in love, but their final issue implied it may be legitimate. In a second mini-series released in 2005, Deadshot discovered he had a daughter. Could it be Deadshot is bi as well?
Blithe once served under vampire demon Carnivore whom she had a crush on. Comet was a male-female creature composed of Andrea Martinez and Andrew Jones that fused together. Blithe used her powers to exploit the Andrea’s feelings after getting rejected by Supergirl and convince him-her to work for Carnivore and attack Supergirl aka Matrix. However, Supergirl was able to help Comet overcome his-her manipulation and defeat Blithe, who was paralyzed as a result.
After Carnivore refused to help, Blithe flew to an evil scientist who merged her with the evil half of Matrix, thus reversing her paralysis. Though Comet’s got the best of both worlds, and Blithe is cool with either side, we see her loving Andrea more.
This super intelligent being joined the Time Institute in Metropolis on Earth and invented the Time Bubble, which became the primary mode of time travel for the Legion of Super-Heroes. He was attacked by the Green Lantern Corps and saved by The Legion whom he joined. He went on to collaborate with the first Invisible Kid, Lyle Norg, to invent the Legion Flight Rings. Hints were dropped during a rebooted version about a relationship between the Invisble Kid and Brainy. There was also a veiled reference to Brainiac-5 having illicit holo-vids of Invisible Kid.
Element Lad (Jan Arrah)
The lone survivor of a genocide, Element Lad became a member of the Legion of Super Heroes and was called Mystery Lad due to no one really knowing what the withdrawn hero’s true powers were. He began to open up after becoming romantically involved with the Science Police’s Legion liaison Shvaughn Erin, who was later discover was born a male. When Shvaughn reverts, Jan was unfazed.
Firelord (Pyreus Kril)
The man who would become the successor of Gabriel Lan aka Air-Walker as the Herald of Galactu had a very close relationship with his hero and mentor. Some would say he idolized Gabriel, while others believe it was infatuation.
Lightning Lass (Ayla Ranzz)
The Legion of Super Heroes member who was also known as Light Lass and Spark was romantically linked to Salu Digby aka Shrinking Violet aka Atom Girl after Violet broke up with Duplicate Boy then ended a short-term romantic relationship with Sun Boy. The relationship was erased following Zero Hour.
Miracleman aka Marvelman
The storylines are too lengthy to go into detail – long story short – Miracleman had a wife who left him, he met and fell for Miraclewoman, but also had over a thousand children via artificial insemination. Miracleman and Miraclewoman resurrected fellow test subject Young Miracleman who doesn’t get along with Miraclewoman. She claims YM’s probably gay and in love with Miracleman the convinces Miracleman to kiss YM to prove her hypothesis. There are probably easier ways to prove someone’s gay.