As we slowly crawl into the modern world, dragging the old traditionalists behind us, many creatives have started to take note of where society is headed, deciding to put the changes they see in the real world into their chosen medium. This is no different when it comes to comic books.
While comics are sort of seen as a forgotten art form at this point, this outsider status gives them the ability to be much more progressive than other forms of artistic expression. We only have to look at the furor that arrives when a gay character is placed in a video game to see how regressive human beings can ruin a step forward. It's nice to know that comic books don't have to worry about this.
Let's also note that comic books have a tendency to rework their worlds and reboot universes at the drop of a hat for some minor narrative convenience. This means that we're going with the generally accepted answer to this question for all of these characters, otherwise we'd be here all day.
Reckon you're a comic book master? Want to find out exactly who has and hasn't had a gay experience in your favorite comic books? Then you've come to the right place!
It may be his brother who is known more widely, but it's good to know they're both getting some airtime. The Marvel universe's version of Thor and Loki is a great look into how artists can take the work of others and adapt it into something entirely their own. While we imagine the original story of Loki, Thor and the entirety of Norse mythology is more interesting than a Marvel comic, it'd be a lie to say that most people will ever bother to read about it.
Our first look at Rogue came when we saw the series of X-Men movies that came out in the early noughties, and we always thought that they underutilized her the entire time. The actress wasn't great, but the main problem was that the writing had very little for her to move with. We thought it was insane that Wolverine got his own spin-off series when they could've been telling us the stories of a woman who cannot physically interact with people and the turmoil that comes with that.
When we say Hulk, we guess we mean Bruce Banner, the man who regularly turns into the Hulk whenever he gets angry, a state that we're sure we wouldn't like him to be in. Hulk doesn't actually seem like he has a sexual preference, either way, to be honest. He seems way too preoccupied with that whole anger emotion to fit any love or libido into his brain. Maybe that's just a bit of prejudice on our part. Is there a comic where Hulk has a love, gay or otherwise?
We never really understood Aquaman. That being said, we've never bothered to try and understand him for very long either. Is he a man who happens to be able to control fish due to some insane experiment gone wrong, or is he a half-fish man that lives under the sea, like some sort of fishy God? Seriously, if none of these is the right answer, we're going to be seriously annoyed. No other origin story would make sense for this guy!
Another way that it seems like comic book writers get away with laziness is that it's generally accepted that a protege or a related superhero in the same universe as another can be named something very similar. We're not saying that Batwoman isn't a fine name, it just seems like they could've at least tried to come up with something a little bit more inventive. Everybody knows the name Batman already, so it comes off as derivative even if you never plan on reading it.
The very concept of a blind superhero is actually something we can get behind as a fundamental idea, but it's impossible to argue that the writers have done much with it. Maybe it's one of those ideas that seems great until you actually sit down to sort out the execution. While we're not sure what it is, we reckon there's much more that could be done with Daredevil that isn't being done. Maybe it's the fact that he's a lawyer? Lawyers are always boring.
One of the most famous comic book characters of all time, this man has a career that spans decades at this point. Oddly enough, we find ourselves coming back for the villains in the Batman universe rather than the hero. There's a lot to like about the narratives, but Batman as a character doesn't seem like he's allowed the chance to be interesting. Maybe the writers feel like they have to keep him as bland as possible to have the audience enjoy him.
Quite possibly the female villain that Batman goes up against the most, Harley Quinn is a woman who is ruled almost entirely by her obsession with The Joker. Now, as we said earlier, that doesn't mean there hasn't been some reboot or a universe where she took part in a gay relationship, does it? Honestly, as a writer, the knowledge that you can write in whatever you want to a comic book must be a pretty heavenly concept. Want to make a character gay? Go ahead!
Quite possibly the original when it comes to comic book superheroes, Superman is the power fantasy of every human being made real. Rather than a human being affected in some way to become a superhero, Superman is actually an alien. Some might argue this means he's not beholden to the same sexuality that we have as human beings, but he was raised on Earth, so we think that at least qualifies him. What do you think about the man of steel?
Of all the comic book characters that we know of, the most boring ones are those that are written based on the fact that they have superhuman strength. There's nothing interesting about that superpower, as it is so bland and has been done so many times. The only way you can make characters like that narratively interesting is to delve further into their personality and their backstory to bring out some turmoil beyond their ability to crush everything in their path.
Was there any young man in his teenage years who didn't wish he was Spider-Man? This guy not only got awesome spider powers that allow him to fight crime, he ended up with the girl, which is something that would never happen to the real-life high school nerd. However, there have been a lot of Spider-Man comics. Did he stay with the girl forever, or did he ever move onto someone else? Was that someone else ever a man at any point?
If you've got an interest in the fictional occult or any sort of horror based fiction, you could do a lot worse than the Hellblazer series, in which the character of John Constantine manages to prove that a Hunter S. Thompson-style Gonzo approach to the occult really can work. We may be biased, as it's essentially an amalgamation of our various influences pumped into one single comic book series, but we can tell you now that if you sit down with it, you will not be disappointed.
Everything about Deadpool is what we love in comedy comics. The self-referential nature of the character brings in all of the metafictional stuff that can make any narrative fun to read, and alongside that is the fact that Deadpool himself couldn't care less about the reader. He's out there, he knows it, and he loves it. So, think there's any chance the writers decided to include references to male relationships? It certainly seems like something they'd do with a character like Deadpool!
Seeing as he's essentially the physical embodiment of all things American, you'd have to imagine that Captain America is actually deeply homophobic, but then he's come a long way as a character since his humble beginnings. Rather than just being comic book propaganda, many writers have attempted to inject some actual narrative into Captain America's stories, so it's not beyond ridiculous to think he may have had a gay relationship in the past. What do you guys think? Is America gay or straight?
It's weird to think that some of the most famous comic book characters to this date, Wolverine included, were pretty much unknown until their comic book was adapted into a film. Unsurprisingly, once you get the advertisers in and start turning everything into a franchise rather than a comic book narrative, children start to take notice. Not only that, but it moves adults interested in comics to pick up character narratives that they would've otherwise ignored. This can be both a good and a bad thing.
We always thought it was odd how characters like Iron Man and Batman were revered as some sort of superhero when their only special ability seems to be that they have an impossibly large bank account. It'd be a lie to say that money usually causes people to become heroes. In fact, the exact opposite is closer to the truth. To turn a good man evil takes little more than a large amount of money with which they can realize their own selfish dreams.
Is it just us, or is Green Lantern quite possibly one of the most boring superheroes of all time? He's totally the land equivalent of Aquaman if you ask us. We know that comic books have been going for a very long time now, but if we could go back and tell the main players how to do things better, it'd probably be centered around the concept that less is more because this number of pointless superhero characters is ridiculous.
So, if you didn't know, Jean Grey is a mutant who has some absolutely insane abilities that rank her outside of the usual class of mutant. Seriously, this woman can pull off some pretty amazing stuff, which is why it comes as even more of a surprise that she has gone by her own name! Surely someone that amazing deserves a very specific nickname that will have her remembered forever. Nobody will ever forget the name Superman. They will almost certainly forget Jean Grey.
One of the more interesting things that came out of the X-Men series of films was the rivalry they set up between Wolverine and Cyclops. This may have been part of the comic book series, but even if it wasn't we can tell you now that they seemed like they were blistering with homo-erotic energy! "Who is this guy coming into my patch and acting all big? Better knock him down a peg by making veiled threats while getting way too close to his face."
We're not going to pretend that we know loads about comic books or comic book lore, but we've read our fair share of graphic novels and have played various video games based on them, so we've got a foundation of knowledge. Through that foundation, we can tell you that Gambit is one of the most interesting comic books characters that nobody is utilizing. Why are we not seeing video games, films and television shows about this guy rather than the Green Lantern?!
We'd be lying to say that we've ever read any comic books that memorably contained this character, but then, can you blame us for that? You could not have picked a more generic name for a character. Look, we know that things like Batman, Superman, and Captain America have worked in the past, but it's really time that we started looking into how we can get more inventive names thrown into the comic book writer's consciousness. Iceman? You're just not trying anymore.
The Joker is rightly regarded as one of the all-time greatest comic book villains. It's well known that Batman is a boring human being who subsists entirely off the fact that he's a rich man who lives in decadence and privilege. It is his villains that make him interesting, with The Joker being at the top of that list. The Joker helps the Batman see who he could quite easily become, a man who seeks power through chaos rather than power through conformity.
It's easy to argue that The Punisher is a pretty standard character when it comes to the kind of anti-hero plot that many narratives have gone for in the past. His family was murdered and now he must spend his time going on gore-filled revenge through the seedy underbelly of his city to find justice. Boring, right? Somehow, the mixture of revenge plot and comic book gore actually provides enough to keep you coming back for more. Certainly not the best comic book series, but not the worst either.
We won't pretend to know everything about this character's backstory, but we always found the general concept behind their superhero abilities to be lacking when compared to the more impressive superheroes. The Silver Surfer is also a pretty terrible name. It makes him sound less like a superhero and more like some sort of Californian dude who happens to have found a magic surfboard. Like we said, that could actually be the backstory of this guy for all we know, but we really hope it isn't.
For those who don't know, Swamp Thing was pretty much a forgotten property, one that had been placed on the back burner for a long time by the comic book community, and nobody really expected it to return. However, Alan Moore did what he always does, came in, and managed to use his fantastic writing skills to bring back the Swamp Thing character. It's amazing how quickly some good character writing and narrative can bring back an otherwise unused character.