One Equal World

5 Awesome LGBT Superheroes Part One

Posted on: April 27, 2015

*I recently started writing about some of my favorite LGBT superheroes and may have gotten a little carried away. Okay, a lot carried away. So, I’ve decided to split this blog into two parts. I hope you enjoy it!

We currently live in an age of revival for superheroes. From the widely popular Christopher Nolan Batman movies, to installment after installment in the captivating Marvel Cinematic Universe, superheroes and comic books are becoming more popular in the mainstream.

Unlike the Silver Age of comics that many think of when they think of comic books, comic books are becoming much better in terms of inclusivity, adding women, people of color, and LGBT characters to their stories with higher frequency—and writing them as fully fleshed-out characters as well, instead of crude stereotypes.

Inspired by Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron’s impending release in theaters across the US, let’s dive in and learn about 3 LGBT comic book superheroes, in order of appearance.

Union Jack

First appearance: The Invaders #21, July 1976

Union Jack is quite possibly the first, chronologically speaking, homosexual Marvel Comics superhero. The first Union Jack was James Montgomery Falsworth, who first appeared in The Invaders #7. However, he was eventually replaced by Brian Falsworth, appearing in The Invaders #18 as the Destroyer, and becoming Union Jack in The Invaders #21.

Brian’s Union Jack has enhanced peak human conditioning, is a superb athlete, an expert in hand-to-hand combat, and has the ability to project bolts of magical lightning.

Interestingly enough, the origin of Brian Falsworth’s powers might sound familiar. In the late 1930s, Brian and his lover Roger visit Germany, supporting peace between it and the UK amidst the beginnings of World War II. After discovering the evil nature of the Nazi regime, Brian is thrown in Jail and Roger is given to German scientists. With the assistance of a German scientist, Brian gains his superpowers through the same Super Soldier Formula that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America!

Tasmanian Devil

First appearance: Super Friends #7, October 1977

The Tasmanian Devil is a supernaturally large and intelligent representation of the animal bearing the same name—Hugh Dawkins is the name of the metahuman who can turn into The Tasmanian Devil (if you’re confused, think Bruce Banner’s relationship to the Hulk.)

In Justice League Quarterly #8, Hugh Dawkins is revealed to be an openly gay character. He has previously had a crush on Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), was romantically interested in Justice League liaison Joshua Barbizon, and dates Starman, Mikaal Thomas—a superhero himself.

Batwoman

First appearance: 52 #7, June 2006

Batwoman, and her alter ego Kathy Kane, have appeared in comics as early as 1956. However, Kate Kane as a lesbian character first appeared in the 52 series in 2006. Unlike previous versions of Batwoman, who were all attracted to Batman, the new Batwoman revealed that she was romantically involved with Renee Montoya, a former Gotham City Police detective who eventually took up the mantle of The Question.

According to DC Comics Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Dan DiDio said about the decision to make Batwoman a lesbian:

“It was from conversations we’ve had for expanding the DC Universe, for looking at levels of diversity. We wanted to have a cast that is much more reflective of today’s society and even today’s fan base. One of the reasons we made her gay is that, again when you have the Batman Family—a series of characters that aren’t’ super-powered and inhabit the same circle and the same city—you really want to have a point of difference. It was really important to me to make sure every character felt unique.”

Who is your favorite superhero, real or fictional? Let us know in the comments section below!

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