LBGTQ+ Characters in Comic Books: Marvel Part II
I am back with another installment of queer characters present in Marvel and DC comic books. I’m going to continue showcasing the queer characters in the Marvel comic book universe belonging to Earth-616, and after that I will move on to the characters belonging to DC.
The X-Men franchise has introduced a lot of LBGTQ+ characters to fans around the world, and it’s going to take a whole post to talk about them all. So, let’s start!
His real name is Jean-Paul Beaubier. A member of Alpha Flight, he’s known as the first openly gay character in comic books. Northstar made his first appearance in The X-Men #120. His powers consist of flying at high speed and manipulating light.
Jean-Paul also married his partner, Kyle Jinadu, in Astonishing X-Men #51, which was published in June 27, 2012. He’s also a main character in the current run of Astonishing X-Men. I like Northstar as a character, and even though he’s openly gay, his sexuality is just a part of who he is as a person.
Karma, or Xi’an Coy Manh, is a member of the X-Men and one of the first confirmed lesbians in mainstream comic books. She made her debut in Marvel Team-Up vol.1 #100 and was created by comic book legends Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. She’s of Vietnamese descent and has the power of psychic possession along with varying degrees of telepathy.
Anole, or Victor Borkowski, is another gay X-Men team member. He made his debut in New Mutants vol. 2 #2 back in 2003. While he was supposed to commit suicide when rejected by his friends and family because of his sexuality, the story was changed and he survived.
He’s still a student at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, as well as one of Board Directors for Worthington Industries. His powers include superhuman strength, agility, regeneration, and resembling a lizard. His love life was the main focus in Amazing X-Men #13, and it was nice to see a story revolving around his insecurity regarding his sexuality and looks when it came to meeting a boy he met over the internet.
She has an amazing name: Roxanne “Roxy” Washington. Bling made her first appearance in X-Men vol. 2 #171. Her body is made of diamonds. She can also project diamonds of various sizes and throw them at high speeds to attack her opponents. Her sexuality was openly talked about in the current all-female X-Men team comic book run where she was shown to have a crush on Mercury. The two decided to go on a date near the end of their little story arc.
Jonas Graymalkin made his first appearance in Young X-Men #1 in 2008. His origin story is devastating. His family lived 200 years ago on the land the Xavier Institute was built on. Jonas was buried alive at the age of 16 when his father caught him messing around with another boy in the barn. Luckily his mutant powers kicked in and he able to wake up from his state of suspended animation. His mutant powers include night vision, superhuman strength and invulnerability.
Raven Darkholme, or Mystique, made her debut in Ms. Marvel #16 in 1978 and was created by Chris Claremont and David Cockrum. Her mutant powers allow her to shape-shift and have a healing factor. Both of these powers have made her ageless. Due to her shape-shifting powers, Mystique identifies as bisexual. A character named Destiny is one of the few people Mystique has truly loved.
Her real name is Irene Adler, and she made her debut in January 1981 in Uncanny X-Men #141. She was created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. She has the mutant ability to predict future events. Destiny was originally intended to be Nightcrawler’s biological parent along with Mystique, who would’ve taken the form of a man in the relationship. I would’ve loved to see this storyline occur. However, such an explicit portrayal of queerness wasn’t allowed at that time in comic books. They did adopt and raise Rogue as their own daughter, though.
Daken is Wolverine’s son, and he made his first appearance in Wolverine Origins #10 in 2007. While his powers are similar to Wolverine, he also has pheromone manipulation that helps him attract individuals regardless of their gender. He uses his bisexuality to get what he wants and doesn’t hesitate in killing the person he gave a sexual favor to once he gets the information he’s after. Daken even kissed Bullseye in Dark Wolverine #84 to make him leave the battlefield and protect himself.
Benjamin Deeds is a new mutant who made his debut in Uncanny X-Men #14 in 2013. He’s openly gay and has the mutant power to change his appearance and make people around him trust him due to pheromone control. The chemicals he secretes also disrupt surveillance equipment and other forms of technology. According to Emma Frost, his power set has the potential to make him one of most dangerous mutants when it comes to missions that require infiltration.
So, there you have it. This brings us to the end of the queer characters present in the Marvel Universe belonging to Earth-616. Next time I’ll be back with a list of LBGTQ+ characters from the DC comic book universe.
You can check out Part I here!
Who’s your favorite Marvel queer character? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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