Today is a monumental day for the United States of America. The Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states. All I can say is: it’s about damn time! We’ve waited a long time to see the nation start treating EVERYONE with the respect they deserve, and while we’re still a long way from complete and total equality, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Though the United States government has been a little late with the whole equality thing, comic books have been promoting equal rights for the LGBTQ community for years (it’s a bit sad when the comic industry is more in-line with equality than the government, isn’t it?). Here are six of the top gay comic book characters.
6. The Pied Piper
Back in 1991, in an issue of The Flash, writer William Lessner-Loebs casually inserted a brief dialogue between DC villain the Pied Piper and Wally West where the former admitted he was gay. The Piper has been around since 1959, where he fought Barry Allen’s Flash, but eventually became a close ally to Wally West’s Flash almost 30 years later. The Piper’s coming out was seen as a gutsy move because this was when there were hardly any openly gay characters in any form of mainstream media. However, Lessner-Loebs didn’t give two sh%ts and went ahead with penning the Pied Piper’s coming-out.
While Wally West was a little unsure about this revelation regarding his friend’s sexuality, the two soon reconciled and remained good friends until the New 52 took over. Wally West was thrown into a brief limbo, but Pied Piper is still around and is actually dating Barry Allen’s boss, David Singh.
A fun little fact: if you’ve been watching CW’s The Flash, both the Pied Piper and David Singh have made appearances, and both are openly gay (but they’re not dating each other – at least, not yet).
Hulkling and Wiccan go together like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, lamb and tuna-fish (Big Daddy, anyone? No? Okay, moving along…). These two characters were first introduced in 2005 as part of one of Marvel’s newest series, Young Avengers. What made them such prominent characters in the comics was the subtle ways in which they were introduced as a romantic couple. Allan Heinberg, an openly gay comic writer, originally portrayed them as just close friends, but readers were smart enough to see that there was much more going on. The two finally came out at the end of Young Avengers‘ first run, and shared their first on-panel kiss in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade. To this day, they are still happily together, snuggling in the morning and kicking ass in the evening.
4. Renee Montoya
DC’s Renee Montoya started out as just another background character in the Batman lore. It wasn’t until the events of Gotham Central that she received some true character development and was promoted to a major player in the DC universe. In the 2003 comic, writer Greg Rucka included a subplot where notorious Batman villain Two-Face publicly outed Montoya, causing her extremely Catholic family to disown her. This caused a chain reaction that led to her becoming an alcoholic and being fired from the Gotham City police force.
Despite her life going down the drain, Montoya refused to give up, nor did she try to cover up her sexuality in any way. She decided to take up a life of crime-fighting outside of the law. When she wasn’t training with Victor Sage to become the new version of the superhero the Question, she was smooching with another female hero (who is actually on this list). The only downside to this story is that the New 52 essentially erased Montoya from existence. The original Question is back to fighting crime, and his female successor is nowhere to be found. Come on, DC!