A Brief History About a Few Queer Comic Superheros

A+Brief+History+About+a+Few+Queer+Comic+Superheros

Zofia Patel, Journalist / Editor

There have been many queer comic characters out there, helping to inspire and help kids understand themselves better, and though much of the representation isn’t perfect it is pretty good. We have characters like Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, whose relationship has spoken out to many. We have characters like Wonder Women, Kitty Pryde, and Tim Drake who have opened more eyes to the queer community and helped reduce threatening stereotypes. There are characters like Loki who help everyone who does not fit in the gender binary feel more comforted in who they are. And there are characters like Iceman who help young people come to terms with who they are and how they identify. There are many queer superheros out there who help lead a pathway not just in the fictional world but in the real world too by being who they are with out shame helping us move forward one step at a time.

Northstar / Jean-Paul Beaubier Earth-616

Among these characters is a mutant named Northstar, also known as Jean Paul Beaubier. He was created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in 1979 and first appeared in X-men: #120. He is credited with being one of the first, if not the first, gay comic superhero. Northstar was also the first Marvel character to have a same-sex marriage. He is also one of the fastest beings in the Marvel Universe, being fast enough to garrotte the world in half if he moved at his full speed, which would be a combo of flying and running.

As a young child Jean-Paul was separated from his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie, after an accident killed their parents. They were placed into different families. Jean-Paul was happy with his new family, but soon history repeated itself, and at the age of six, his adoptive parents died. As a result, he spent most of his childhood alone in foster care. In his teens, he met a man named Raymonde Belmonde who helped Jean-Paul come to terms with many aspects of himself before Jean-Paul left to join a circus in France. He later moved to Quebec and soon joined a separatist movement that was later revealed to be a terrorist organization, something he discovered after stoping a bomb. He ended up leaving the group without any official recognition ever of being a part of them. He then turned to his passion for skiing and quickly became an Olympic skiing champion. After gaining notoriety as a sports star, he was contacted by James MacDonald Hudson, who had already met his twin Jeanne-Marie who worked as Aurora. He was interested in meeting his sister and joined Department H as Alpha Flight’s “Northstar.” He was also there when Alpha Flight first fought the X-Men in Calgary in an attempt to reclaim Wolverine, who had once been Department H’s Weapon X.He eventually broke off from the team due in part to his abrasiveness and his original disdain towards his twin sister. There was much trial and tribulation with him throughout his initial years going in and out of work with Alpha Flight. Jean-Paul remained an active member of a reorganized Alpha Flight for a while though, surviving through the apparent abduction of his sister and then finding her again as a prisoner of a villain called Headlok. Following this Jean-Paul discovered a baby abandoned in a dumpster, while in combat. The child was HIV-positive and had already manifested AIDS symptoms, but Jean-Paul adopted her and named her Joanne. She died shortly after that though, but her life and death struck something inside Jean-Paul, and he called a press conference in which he announced “I am gay”. This happened in the Uncanny X-Men #120 which was released in April 1979 and is a huge moment in Marvel history.Northstar remained a member of Alpha Flight while the team still existed, but left angrily during a suspension of operations due to anti-mutant sentiment. He later got incorporated with the X-men during the Genosha events and helped take down Magneto, facing plenty of homophobia along the way. Soon after the “outing ” of the X-men as mutants, Charles Xavier, or Professor X, approached Northstar with a request for him to teach the mutants. Northstar originally declined though he did join a rescue mission to save a mutant later on. The mission ended up going south and both the mutant and Jean-Paul were injured badly, the mutant, a kid named Peter, ended up dying due to the injury. After the event, while regaining consciousness he agreed to Xavier’s request and started teaching the Alpha Squadron, a group of mutants.Northstar soon became a full time mentor for the squadron but died while working with them after being stabbed by Logan, also known as the X-men Wolverine. Northstar soon became a full-time mentor for the squadron but died during his time working with them after being stabbed by a brainwashed Logan, who is also known as the X-man Wolverine. He was then revived and brainwashed himself, becoming the leader of a death cult and managing to crash a S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier in his time with them before being “cured” of the brainwashing. Despite Nick Fury’s word that they did not have Northstar, he was kept with S.H.I.E.L.D. Later Jean-Paul was brainwashed again and ended up fighting the X-men along with his sister, before he was “healed” again. During the Skrull invasion of earth he fought with the X-men and his sister in San Francisco.Jean-Paul began to lead a more normal life after the invasion, founding a company for snow sports which he co-ran with his sister. He also met Kyle there, the man who would soon become his husband in the Astonishing X-men #51, which was released in June 2012 and became one of the first same-sex marriages in mainstream comics. This peacefulness didn’t last though, it was soon interrupted when Jean-Paul was approached by Wolverine who wanted him to rejoin the X-men because of the large power vacuum. After making sure that it was not a stunt by PR because he was openly gay, he agreed and soon got dragged into another reality where he fought some people discovered many things and then went back home to his husband.
Northstar became one of many mutants to join the nation of Krakoa and was chosen as the leader of a new X-Factor, a team of mutants. After starting an investigation into the death of his sister who was later revived, he moved to the Boneyard, though with his team, Polaris, Rachel Summers, Prodigy, Daken, and Eye-Boy, as well as his husband who would be the only non mutant living on the Island. Northstar is an incredibly vital charter in the Marvel Universe and the real world. His story continues in The Trials of Magneto.

Speed /Thomas (Tommy) Shepherd Earth 616

Tommy Shepherd first appeared in Young Avengers #10 and was created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung. He is a speedster like Northstar and can make things explode by smashing their particles together. He is a quite unproblematic character and never seemed to struggle with his sexuality unlike a lot of other characters have.
Tommy spent most of his life in and out of juvie halls after his parents Frank and Mary Shepherd got divorced. Tommy was always a problematic child, and in high school, he ‘accidentally’ vaporized his school using his powers, he was sent to a high powered facility with a lot of incredibly advanced technology, including power damping cells and robotic suits. He was held for months before he was found by the Young Avengers who were looking for him after Vision, an Avenger, suggested it. During the time of his imprisonment the center had been trying to make him a living weapon. Once the Young Avengers got him out of the holding cell, Stature, aka Cassandra Lang, Scott Lang’s daughter, immediately noticed that Tommy and another character named Billy looked almost like identical twins which, it was later discovered that they were. While escaping the facility, they were discovered and Kate Bishop and Patriot had to physically hold Tommy back when he started to cynically and cruelly attack the officers and fleeing doctors who had held him in the facility. After that Tommy helped the Young Avengers save Hulkling and adopted the name Speed. Tommy was quick to try to make himself a superhero and he succeeded.
During the Superhero Civil War, Tommy sided with Captain America and helped the Runaways, another superhero team. He quickly developed a close sibling-like relationship with Molly Hayes, a member of the Runaways. After this when Tommy’s twin brother Wiccan or Billy started looking for their ‘mother’ the Scarlet Witch. Tommy eventually decided to join Billy and they traveled through multiple places before arriving at Cresskill, New Jersey, the old home of Wanda and Vision. There they unsuccessfully tried to gain a notion of their ‘mother’s’ whereabouts through Master Pandemonium, though he did give them some information on Wanda.
Not long after meeting Master Pandemonium, Tommy went on a date with Kate Bishop to ease her tensions about losing her code name, and her bow to Hawkeye also known as Clint Barton. The night ended with them breaking into the New Avengers apartment and stealing Kate’s bow back. He later helped the Young Avengers during the Kree-Skrull invasion and then helped them once again when they had to confront another group of teens using their. During the fight, Tommy immediately recognized one of their members, Coat of Arms, who was someone he had known and had a relationship with in juvie.
After Tommy’s brother’s powers overloaded, his brother was put under observation by the Avengers. Speed and the rest of the Young Avengers freed him and along with Magneto, their grandfather, and they began the search for Wanda. They traveled to Transia where they met Quicksilver, their uncle whom Tommy shared a striking resemblance to, and a fake Wanda who turned out to be a Doom Bot. They later discovered an amnesic and de-powered Wanda who was engaged to Doctor Doom; they were then attacked by the

Doom Legion. The attack was stopped by the arrival of Iron Lad who took them into the time stream where the real Wanda soon remembered who she was and confirmed the fact that Tommy and Billy were her reincarnated sons.
When the Young Avengers team disbanded again, Tommy then went to join a company that hired super powered beings and worked on assembling technology at super human speed. It was here that Tommy met David Alleyne, the de-powered mutant formally known as Prodigy, and started to spend time with him. Soon though, someone broke into the company under the guise of Patriot. After confirming that the man who broke in was not really Patriot the two friends waited for him at night and soon caught the impostor but Tommy, while fighting him, was sucked in. The problem was soon solved a lot of fighting later when Prodigy kissed the mysterious entity who turned into Tommy who had no memory of the entire event and was confused as to why David was kissing him.
In the next comic Tommy and David appeared in they seemed to be dating and in a later appearance, after Tommy learned that David had been killed, he went to the island of Krakoa and told David that he had been with him the night of his murder, leaving the case open. It was later solved in X-Factor #10. While on the island Tommy also met Northstar, someone who he was really excited to meet and Northstar invited Tommy to come back anytime. Tommy later attended the Hellfire Gala where he discovered his mother’s corpse. Kyle Jinadu, Northstar’s husband, tried to comfort Tommy who had not left his mothers side since they had found her body. Being a sort of mainstream character like this can have a huge effect on the world, which is why he is such an important character. His story thus far continues in The Trials of Magneto.

Wiccan/ William (Billy) Kaplan Earth 616

Billy Kaplan made his first appearance in Young Avengers #1 which was published in February, 2005 innately as Asgardian and then in Young Avengers #6 August, 2005 as Wiccan. Billy had a relatively happy and uneventful childhood though he often had to deal with homophobia due to being openly gay and more feminine than many others at his school.
Wiccan is a more mainstream character and has lived through a lot so the narrative will be starting relatively late in the grand scheme of things. He started working with the Young Avengers and went on numerous missions with them, originally calling himself Asgardian because of his electrokinesis. The team disbanded later on but then came back together to do more stuff and eventually defeat a being

called Mother. Once they disbanded Billy then joined the New Avengers and while working with that team he ended up meeting a future version of himself. The future version of himself was being inhabited by an evil creature. There he also dealt with Aim and many others and had to deal with them.

At the beginning of the comic run Empyre, Billy was working with a team called Strikeforce and was unable to meet with Teddy due to the circumstances of the mission. Working with Strickforce, he helped relocate the Vidrai, an alien species to a new place they could call home considering the Vidrai were left without one after the War of Realms, their home turning out to be Deadpools Monster Island. In the end Billy was invited to join the Avengers Black Ops team, but refused claiming that he missed his long-term boyfriend, Teddy.
While Billy was away, Teddy was approached by the Kree-Skrull alliance who wanted to use him as a figurehead because of a prophecy. The alliance forbade Teddy’s and Billy’s relationship because Billy was from Earth. Before Teddy could leave they got hastily married. The alliance prompted an invasion of Earth by a species called the Cotati. During this Teddy’s grandmother, R’Kill, kidnaped him and pretended that she was Teddy.
After being tipped off by Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, and Human Torch, Jonny Storm, that there was something wrong with Teddy, Billy revealed to them that was 100% not Teddy, revealing that the two men were married in the process and then the group used magic to locate Teddy. After Billy freed Teddy and brought him to confront his R’Kill, but she had already started the pyre, Billy, Human Torch, and Captain Marvel had to contain it before Tony Stark could remotely disable it. Teddy then defeated his grandmother and the rest of the Earth heroes defeated the Cotati. In the aftermath of the war Teddy and Billy redid their wedding on the flag ship and then Billy was formally introduced to the Alliance as prince consort and court wizard.
Being one of the most mainstream queer characters and one of the most powerful characters. Billy has his mother’s reality warping abilities and others he has made a huge impact in the queer comic world. Wiccans story continues in The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling and The Trials of Magneto.

Mystique / Raven Darkhölme Earth-616

The well known character Mystique also known as Raven Darkholme was created in Ms. Marvel #16 published 1978, as a cameo character. She was later featured in Ms. Marvel #18 the same year, she had her first full appearance. Mystique was created by Chris Claremont and Jim Mooney. Raven is a relatively odd character, who likes to do things for seemingly odd reasons.
Mystique is married to a mutant called Destiny also known as Irene Addler, but has had numerous other relationships with many other people both serious relationships and not so serious relationships. During this time she has been said to have multiple children, the most notable ones being Nightcrawler and her foster daughter Rouge.
In Mystique’s earliest recorded life she worked as a consulting detective which led her to work with a woman named Irene Adler, a clairvoyant mutant who had written passages about the future of mutant kind that needed to be deciphered. During their partnership Raven became Mystique while Irene became Destiny. After deciphering some of the passages they started attempting to control the future. The more they tried the more they failed, a struggle that made Mystique angry and forced her to embrace more extremist solutions in order to achieve her goals. Alongside her wife Irene, Mystique reformed the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to assassinate anti-mutant politician, Senator Robert Kelly. The attack was stopped by the X-Men though.
Being a shapeshifter allowed Mystique to become a master deceiver and infiltrator. She managed to make her way inside many mutant-related organizations, becoming the leader of the Freedom Force and joining X-Factor, the Marauders, and even the X-Men. During Mystique’s journey, Irene’s death had the most tragic impact in her life. Although being seen as a treacherous ally Raven had proven her relevance for the fate of mutant kind with her actions aimed at shaping their future. This is shown while she helps her foster daughter Rogue become a significant mutant super-heroine, building a mutant-ruled criminal empire on the island of Madripoor, and eliminating Mister Sinister.
When Professor Xavier established a mutant nation-state on the island of Krakoa Mystique was granted a seat on the Krakoan government which was called the Quiet Council in an attempt to consider all parts of mutant kind with some level of representation. After this, once again Destiny’s predictions would influence Mystique’s actions, as they had knowledge about the rise of Krakoa, something that made Mystique work against Xavier’s flawed plans.Throughout all of this she repeatedly tried to revive her wife and has more than once tried to kill the X-men. Mystique is one of the lesser known well known characters and plays a vital role in a lot of things and there is much of her story that I haven’t shared.

Jonathan(Jon)Kent / Superman / (Formerly) Superboy Prime Earth

Jonathan is one of the newer characters in the world of queer superheros but is still a pretty important one being the son of one of the moste notorious superheros ever. Jon’s first appearance was July 15, 2015 in the comic Convergence : Superman #2 by Dan Jurgens. He is the child of Lois and Clark Kent and spent the first few years of his life not knowing about his powers or his fathers or mothers special jobs. Jon was always very suspicious of his parents and soon found out the truth, when he was kidnapped and his powers started showing. He is known to be just as powerful as his dad if not more powerful in some cases.
At the age of 10 Jon got into an accident while looking for a Christmas Tree but he was ‘saved’ from any future disasters by Nobody, a former assassin named Maya Duncan and Golith, a giant fluffy bat-dragon. They brought him to the Batcave where he first met Robin, a kid named Damian Wayne who had been watching Jon because he thought that Jon could have been a potential threat. At first the two boys did not get along well at all but as time went on they became closer and closer. Jon managed to break some of Damian’s emotional boundaries allowing them to form a similar relationship to the one that their dad’s have. They also ended up working together and teaming up and they started calling themselves the Supersons and they ended up fighting many villains.
Sometime after this, during a storm Robin and Batman visited the Kent family home. There they told the family that, based on an analysis on Jon’s DNA, something was probably suppressing his powers. They also informed the family that it was probably from the neighbor’s cow. While trying to get a sample of the milk, Batman was attacked by something in the milk and when Batman didn’t return later they went to look for him. They eventually found a giant squid monster, which Jon had to kill in an act of self defense. The group then discovered who was really suppressing Jon’s powers and fought them together. Jon soon developed the ability of flight.
Later in future adventures they ended up saving the Justice League after being sent to the past, they also went on an adventure with the Teen Titans. On that adventure a dark, future version of Tim Drake tried to attack them. It was revealed during this event that Jon had the ability to create solar flares, an ability mostly controlled by his emotions. After this whole debacle, Superman tried to break up the Supersons but Damian and Jon both disagreed saying that they would not abandon each other. Later they put in a vote as to whether Jon should join the Teen Titans to which everyone but Damian voted against. This was a symbolic moment because all previous times Damian had been the only one to disagree and deny that Jon should be a Teen Titan and the Teen Titans mostly fell apart after this another one being formed while the old members mostly join the Titans.
The whole event affected Jon more than he let on and he was later approached by Mr. Oz, Superman’s time displaced father who asked to take Jon on a trip through space to better educate him. The Kent’s initially refused but then agreed after Jon convinced them. Lois still came along with Jon and his grandfather, being wary of what might happen. Upon returning the ship crashed into a black hole and Jon was taken to Earth-3. A world where everyone is the reverse of what they are in the main time-stream. There he is taken prisoner by Ultraman, an evil Superman and imprisoned in a volcano for years before he eventually escapes and spends some time trying to help the people of Earth-3, before trying to break into the Crime Syndicate. He was immediately confronted by Superwomen who tried to fight him before he was saved by his grandfather who helped him return back to his world only to find out that, though it had been years where he was, it had only been about 3 weeks in his world. When he returned back to his world he was 17.
Jon was later confronted by the Legion of Heroes who wanted him to join them which he did for a while and then came back. When he came back he was worried for his father because of things he had seen in the future and tried to save him and succeeded but started to doubt what the history books in the future said. Jon soon became Earth’s Superman while his dad worked against threats from outer space. During this time Jon goes to California to stop a meta who was starting fires and ends up learning that the fires are not being started on purpose and that the meta can’t stop it. He then goes to see his friend Damian who gives him solace and tells him about an underground report called “The Truth ” while they are fighting ninjas.
After this Jon tried to go to school under the guise of someone else but it didn’t work well considering that before school even started he had to reveal his identity to save some people from a school shooter. After this he flew to the moon, talked with his dad who gave him some words of advice before he left and saved a group of asylum seekers. He later met ‘The Truth’ who was revealed to be a student that he had saved named Jay Nakamura after this the two became close and Jon later went to a rally with Jay where he allowed himself to get arrested when the police arrived as a political statement to the world. After being bailed out Jon takes Jay to dinner in Smallville with his family where they get attacked and it is revealed that Jay is a Meta human with the inability to get injured but before that Jon’s dad reveals that for some mysterious reason he needs to leave earth and go elsewhere through where and why hasn’t yet been revealed. Some of the Justice League then came and Jon had a brief talk with the Flash who revealed his identity and told him that they could talk anytime due to the fact that they had a similar shared experience. After this Jon discovered that the person behind the attack was the US President Henry Bendix.
After this Jay took him to meet two of his friends the hero/anti-heroes Aerie and Wink. Aerie who is some what credited with being the first non-binary superhero comic charter and the two of them being the first woman loving non-binary couple. He was later visited by Batman who gave him a crystal that had an artificial version of his father in it who talked to him about Lex Luthor who he then made some sort of pact with. After this he was attacked by the President Bendix after trying to talk to him who overloads his senses causing him to sort of lose control and he ends up trying to save everyone in the world before Jay can stop him through Aerie. Jay takes care of him till he is better and they kiss in the end before Jon remembers that he left a bridge in the middle of a major street and that there is currently an armed robbery going on.
In the next comic issue Jon ends up taking Jay on a sort of date where Jay reveals that he is related to the president of Gamorra and that it’s a big part of the reason he does what he does. Later they end up breaking into S.T.A.R labs where Jay bumps into Damian and then Lois. Damian also already has the information they need and later Jon and Damian reunite again and Damian deduces that Jon and Jay are dating. Later in the issue Jon stops a human trafficking project by Bendix and discovers that Jay’s mom is still alive. Jon is an incredibly mainstream character and his coming out and current actions in the comics help bring a lot of awareness to a lot of current problems. His story will continue in Superman-Son of Kal-El: #7.

Katrine (Kate) Kane / Batwoman Prime Earth

Batwoman is one of the most prominent and well know queer charters in the DC Universe. Having a similar moniker to one of the most famous DC superheroes can do that for you. Kate Kane has existed since 1956 first featured in Detective Comics #233 but the more common version of her is her New 52 counterpart in which case her current narrative starts in 2011. She was created by Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff.
Though Kate is the cousin of Batman they did not have very similar beginnings, though they do occasionally rhyme. At a relatively young age

Kate, her twin sister Beth, and their mother were taken hostage. Her mother and sister were killed in the process and though her father tried to save Kate from it she was still traumatized by the sight of their dead bodies. After this she joined her father in his work joining the military and doing incredibly well in the military academy. While in the military she developed a romantic relationship with another cadet named Sophie Moore, later though she was anonymously accused of being lesbian. In order to protect other closeted cadets Kate came out and was subsequently expelled under the Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell policy.
After this she got expelled and she left to explore the world and live outside the army. While on the trip she got into an accident and ended up on the island of Coryana where she quickly struck up a romance with the leader of the nation. The leader was a woman named Safiya much to the dismay of everyone on the island, especially Safiya’s former lover who tried to kill Kate on two occasions. Kate later left the island, due to disgust of Safiya’s willingness to kill a man and she returned to Gotham. In Gotham, she ended up fighting a man behind a bar, where she met Batman who stopped her from going any further. This was a pivotal moment, and Kate realized that she liked crime fighting. She began doing vigilante work for about a year before her father found and offered to train her. Kate accepted the offer and underwent 3 harsh years of training before going through a test her father setup to see if she could stop herself from killing others in important situations. After the test she finally became Batwoman and returned to Gotham where she quickly took up an investigation into the Religion of Crime after Batman admitted that she could do better with it than he could.
The new leader, a criminally insane villain named Alice, who often quoted Alice from Alice in Wonderland and had a large disregard for human life. Alice ended up spitting a poisoned razorblade at Kate giving her hallucinations before she was saved by someone in the group. After being saved and recovering Kate went to a charity ball where she met Margret (Maggie) Sawyer who she ended up entering a long term relationship with. Later when trying to stop Alice on a plane Alice almost fell off but Kate managed to catch her. Alice looked at Kate and told her that she had their fathers eyes before stabbing her arm, causing Kate to let go. She realized that Alice was actually her sister and was forced to watch her sister plunge to her death. Little did she know that wouldn’t be the end of Beth, that she would later return under the moniker of Red Alice.
After this Kate spent some time fighting Medusa and Falchion as well as dealing with a being called the Weeping woman. After these debbocials Kate approached Maggie and while revealing her identity asked Maggie to marry her. While engaged they moved into an apartment together. During this time Kate also gained a protege named Bettie who would later become Hawkfire. Skipping a little into the future in issue #34 of Batwomen Kate ends up breaking up with Maggie after Maggie’s homophobic ex-husband tells her that if they break he will release their child into Margrets custody. Her story continues long after this and she gets into numerous more relationships with women, most noticeably Ranee, someone who she had had a relationship with before.. She also gets her sister back, saving Beth’s mental state and they end up becoming an incredible dynamic duo. Kate’s story continues in other issues that have been covered already and issues that have not been covered. Batwoman is an amazing character that shows that you don’t need to care what others think about you and that it is good to be undeniably you.

All these characters are amazing and wonderful characters who help show readers of all ages that even though you may go through some tough times and struggle with your identity there will always be a way for you. They also help others see and understand the LGBTQIA+ community more and give clear representation of all kinds.

 

 

 

https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Jean-Paul_Beaubier_(Earth-616)  https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Katherine_Kane_(Prime_Earth) https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Jonathan_Samuel_Kent_(Prime_Earth) https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/William_Kaplan_(Earth-616) https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Thomas_Shepherd_(Earth-616)https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Raven_Darkh%C3%B6lme_(Earth-616)