With a promise to bring diversity (and some queer superheroes) to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many LGBTQ fans are awaiting the MCU’s first gay on-screen superhero. And while the films have included hints of both Valkyrie’s and Deadpool’s bi-/pansexuality, we’ve yet to see a gay Marvel character truly embrace their sexuality on-screen. Where are all the queer superheroes?
Rumors are now circulating about a gay lead character in the upcoming Eternals film, though which character it will be has yet to be confirmed.
But let’s take a look at 10 Marvel superheroes who have had gay storylines in the comics throughout the years. Some of these may even shock you.
Here are 10 queer superheroes who have had gay Marvel comic book storylines in the past (or, in some cases, the present).
Hints at Iceman’s sexuality can be traced as far back as the early ‘90s, but it wasn’t until 2015, with the help of Jean Grey’s mental prowess, that it became official: Bobby Drake is a gay man. Since then, Iceman got a standalone series, written by Sina Grace, in which he fought bad guys and struggled with entering the gay dating scene. Iceman has since become one of our favorite queer superheroes.
For decades he was a popular supervillain to the X-Men, but in 2018 Pyro’s sexuality was revealed after he hooked-up with none other than Iceman. In X-Men Gold Issue #32, we see the two towel-clad super-studs discussing how much fun they had the previous night.
When Alpha Flight became its own series in 1983, its creator John Burn intended for Northstar to be gay, but editor-in-chief Jim Shooter forbade openly queer superheroes. It wasn’t until 1992 that Northstar was able to utter the words “I am gay,” making him the very first gay Marvel character to ‘come out’ in a comic book. In 2012 he made history again when he got married.
He’s been a core member of the X-Men for more than 40 years, but did you know that as part of the X-Men Ultimate storyline, Colossus was dating Northstar? In that same storyline, he also temporarily left the X-Men due to unrequited feelings for his fellow teammate Wolverine.
Introduced in the late ‘80s, Rictor was always a supporting character in the pages of X-Force. But when he was brought back in 2005, we started to get hints at Rictor’s sexuality. Since coming out as one of today’s queer superheroes, Rictor has fully embraced his identity as a gay man, making him one of the few canonically gay Marvel superheroes.
Shatterstar, a character with alien origins, was originally introduced as a sort of asexual hero. But while part of X-Force, Shatterstar and Rictor began to develop feelings for each other. The two heroes made history in 2009 when they shared the very first gay kiss in a Marvel comic book.
Giant-Man was often an alias for the Avenger Ant-Man. Both Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas in the MCU) and Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) have at-times been known as Giant-Man. But when computer technician Raz Malhotra stepped into the Giant-Man suit, it was revealed that he was gay and had a boyfriend. Maybe we can expect to see Giant-Man in a future MCU film.
A hero in the films and a villain in the comics, Mystique has always been a favorite of gay Marvel fans. Former X-Men writer Chris Claremont has said that not only is Mystique bisexual, but she and her partner Destiny were originally supposed to be Nightcrawler’s parents — something about Mystique morphing into a male body for the act of conception. But at that time, the Comic Code Authority had a ban on openly queer characters.
Originally part of Thor’s storyline, Hercules has since branched out, teaming up with the Avengers, the Defenders and the Eternals. In one alternate universe, Hercules was in a same-sex relationship, which caused Zeus to banish him. Some are speculating that Hercules could be the queer character promised to us by Marvel execs in the upcoming Eternals film.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Even Wolverine has had a gay Marvel storyline. It was the alternate universe of X-Treme X-Men Issue #10, written by Greg Pak, in which Wolverine and the Greek god Hercules were lovers. We even got to see the two queer superheroes kiss after they killed a dragon together.