31 queer Marvel Comics characters you need to know about
You might not know it from watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, but the world of of Disney’s Marvel comic books is incredibly queer.
Writers might only have recently been allowed to make characters obviously queer but, to us, the abundance of LGBTQ+ identities represented within the multiverse has always been plain to see.
Under rules of the Comics Code Authority, comic books were not permitted to show “sexual anomalies” or “sex perversion” – and being LGBTQ+ was considered both of these.
Despite this, Marvel’s first depiction of queer characters came in the form of a 1979 scene where two men attempted to sexually assault Bruce Banner in an issue of the Hulk comic – a scene later defended by then-editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter.
Things are very different now, and the Marvel comics are bursting with queer characters and LGBTQ+ stars.
Here are just a few of the LGBTQ+ characters in Marvel’s multiverse. Each character’s universe designation is mentioned – and for those who don’t have an official designation, the Temporary Reality Number (TRN) system from the Marvel Database is used.
Shatterstar and Rictor (Earth 616)
Marvel’s first gay kiss was seen in 2009, when former X-Force allies Shatterstar and Rictor shared their feelings for each other.
It was a landmark moment for queer storytelling in comics – and for legions of LGBTQ+ fans who had longed to see a gay romance played out in print.
Introduced in 2022, trans mutant Shela Sexton, known by her alias Escapade, is one of the latest LGBTQ+ additions to the X-Men roster.
A member of the New Mutants, Sexton can switch locations, trade possessions, and even abilities, with anyone close enough to her.
Much like his Earth-616 counterpart, the MCU’s fan-favourite revolutionary warrior Korg, was revealed to be queer by Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder director, Taika Waititi, in an interview with Out Magazine in July 2022.
The star-trekking nomad known as Star-Lord was confirmed to be bisexual in 2020 following the release of Al Ewing’s Guardians of the Galaxy issue nine. Also known as Peter Quill, he is transported to an alternate dimension for 140 years, and is seen in a polyamorous relationship with male and female companions, Aradia and Mors.
Quill is also the ex-fiancé of another bisexual character, Katherine Pryde, also known as the mutant hero Shadowcat.
Black Cat (Earth-1048)
Many of Felicia Hardy’s multiverse renditions identify as bisexual, although Marvel’s Spider-Man Black Cat counterpart in Earth-1048 came out as bisexual during the intense chase scene between her and Miles Morales.
Following the chase, Hardy says she has a girlfriend in Paris and that she is back to her criminal ways to protect her.
Potty-mouthed Deadpool – aka Wade Wilson – has a complicated history with sexuality. Despite several writers having confirmed his sexuality as pansexual, some critics have argued it hasn’t been justified as there’s hardly any explicit evidence.
Regardless, Wilson still identifies as pansexual in the live-action movie universe and it’s as valid as his love of chimichangas.
The comic-panel-jumping fan-favourite Gwendolyn Poole came out as Marvel’s first asexual and aromantic hero last year in Love Unlimited: Gwenpool Infinity Comic issue 48.
The beautifully tender moment was interspersed with important lessons on the ace umbrella, which is always good to see in a Marvel comic.
Betsy Braddock and Rachel Summers (Earth 616)
Many X-Men readers long felt that Rachel Summers (Cyclops and Jean Grey’s daughter from an alternate timeline) was a queer-coded character, but she finally got the same-sex relationship fans had longed for in 2022.
In the pages of Tini Howard’s widely acclaimed Knights of X series, she became romantically involved with Betsy Braddock, formerly known as Psylocke and now Captain Britain, making the pair – in every sense of the word – one of Marvel’s power couples.
America Chavez (Earth-616)
America Chavez, also known as Ms America, is a proud lesbian mainstay in the prime Marvel universe. She was also among one of the first LGBTQ+ Latina heroes in the comics.
While her MCU counterpart has been the subject of much debate, the prime Marvel universe rendition of the character is proudly LGBTQ+.
Eddie Brock/Venom Symbiote (Earth-616)
Aside from Venom – as well as all other symbiotes – being agender, the relationship between Eddie Brock and his symbiotic partner, which he has previously called “darling” and “my love,” is far too queer-coded not to mention.
The always luxuriously dressed Cooper Coen debuted in issue five of Edge of the Spider-Verse Vol. 2 as an alternate universe twist on the fabled radioactive spider story.
In this universe, Coen, not Peter Parker, is bitten by the spider and, after being kicked out by his homophobic parents, went to live with his aunts Laurie and Mel Coen. He then became Web-Weaver to protect the community.
Loki Laufeyson (Earth-199999)
Arguably one of the most famous LGBTQ+ Marvel characters, the MCU’s rendition of Loki came out in episode three of the Disney+ series Loki.
While the moment was criticised by some as a “feeble gesture” towards Loki’s queerness, it still remains one of the more heart-warming LGBTQ+ moments in the MCU’s history.
Loki Laufeyson (Earth-616)
Because Loki is such an iconic queer character in the Marvel universe, we couldn’t not list him twice.
The prime Marvel universe rendition of Loki is equally as queer as his MCU counterpart, arguably even more so.
The Living Tribunal (Multiverse)
An encapsulation of the multiverse itself, the Living Tribunal sits alongside the One Above All as one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel multiverse.
It is also agender because it is a personification of the entire multiverse, which we think is pretty damn queer.
As Marvel’s first drag artist super hero, the mutant known as Darkveil, made history in 2018 after debuting in Iceman Vol. 4 Issue four.
AKA Darnell Wade, Darkveil’s mutant powers first manifested after drama with another drag queen, discovering that she could manifest into different locations using darkforce energy.
Being a cosmic being and the personification of death itself, Death identifies as genderfluid thanks in part to her existence as the representation of an abstract concept.
The comic incarnation of the character has had several love affairs in the past, most infamous of all being her love triangle between Thanos and Deadpool.
The Unstoppable Wasp (Earth-616)
The Unstoppable Wasp, aka Nadia van Dyne, came out as last year as part of the Marvel Voices Pride line of comics. She was once asked by Gwenpool to join a team of asexual super heroes.
She sadly declined the offer since she was already part of The Champions at the time, though we’re still holding out hope!
The Doctor (Earth-5556)
Since Marvel has previously created Doctor Who comics, The Doctor is indeed a canon character in the Marvel multiverse and, given his ability to regenerate, identifies as genderfluid. He is also believed to be asexual to some degree.
Shape-shifting Mystique, aka Raven Darkhölme, is arguably one of the earliest known Marvel characters to be seen as possibly LGBTQ+. She first showed a romantic interest in her partner-in-crime Destiny as far back as 1988 after sharing a romantic dance with her in Marvel Fanfare issue 40.
Many fans picked up on the queer-coding at the time, but this wasn’t absolutely certified until Mystique fought for her pre-cognitive lover to be resurrected in 2020.
For a queer bonus, the two are now known to be the parents of iconic X-Men hero Nightcrawler, with Mystique impregnating Destiny while in the form of a man. It doesn’t get much more LGBTQ+ than that.
Bisexual Julie Power, better known as Lightspeed, was first seen in 1984, as a former super hero. She wouldn’t come out until 2019, in Fantastic Four Vol. 6 issue 12.
During her run in the Avengers Academy, Lightspeed grew fond of fellow hero Karolina Dean and the two dated for a very brief period.
Charlotte Webber is not only a fan-favourite queer member of the Spider-verse, but also one of the only Marvel characters who has the connective tissue condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The character also made her debut in Across The Spider-Verse, where she asked Miles Morales if “Spider-people too often use comedy as a crutch.”
Fenris Wolf (Earth-616)
A shape-shifting, inter-dimensional wolf who is believed to be an offspring of Loki, Fenris identifies as genderfluid.
Fenris is also considered genderfluid during their appearance in Thor: Ragnarok.
The Earth-1610 – better known as the Ultimate Universe – rendition of Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, has previously said she is a lesbian, having first mentioned an attraction towards “redheads” during a 2014 issue of All-New Ultimates.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Earth-41633)
Eloise, the live-action version of Negasonic Teenage Warhead, reveals that she has a girlfriend, Yukio, in Deadpool 2, confirming that she is a lesbian like her comic counterpart.
The couple is believed to be one of the first gay superhero couples in Marvel cinematic history.
Billy Kaplan, also known as the Wiccan, is a super-powered warlock who is currently married to the Hulkling.
While in the Young Avengers, the hero inadvertently came out as gay whilst trying to tell his parents he was a superhero.
Reformed villain Pyro, aka St John Allerdyce, was revealed to be gay during X-Men Gold Vol.2 issue 32 several years after the controversial legacy virus storyline of which he was a part.
The legacy virus was a metaphor for the Aids crisis, and Pyro was one of a handful of Marvel’s mutants to succumb to the condition. During his final days, his close relationship with fellow mutant Avalanche suggested the pair shared a deeper relationship than many readers previously believed.
One of the earlier Marvel characters revealed to be gay, Jean-Paul Beaubier, aka Northstar, came out in 1992 during an issue of Alpha Flight. He married his partner Kyle in the pages of Astonishing X-Men in 2012, which was Marvel’s first same-sex marriage in print.
Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, has had a number of sexual partners over the years, including Pyro, aka St John Allerdyce, and Christian Frost.
As a member of the original 1960s X-Men, he is arguably one of the most high-profile queer characters at Marvel, having been a well-known name for more than 60 years.
Emperor Hulkling (Earth-616)
One part of arguably the most legendary LGBTQ+ couple in Marvel Comics, Emperor Hulkling is married to Billy Kaplan – better known as Wiccan to readers.
Viewers of Disney’s Wandavision have already met Kaplan: he’s the son of Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch character, and it has been widely rumoured that Wiccan will be played by Joe Locke in upcoming spin-off, Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
While legendary X-Men Colossus, aka Piotr Rasputin, remains firmly heterosexual in the mainstream comic books, his ultimate universe counterpart was revealed to be gay in Ultimate X-Men issue 65.
His sexuality was implied several times in the lead-up to his eventual coming out, culminating in a cute scene in which he is asked out by Northstar while tending to his wounds, which triggers Colossus’ fight or flight response, transforming into his metal form.
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.