For decades, comics books have been a leading force in LGBTQ media representation. It's true what they say, representation matters; and comics have given readers something they can connect with, relate to and find relief in. To not feel alone in a world that is often discriminatory is extremely uplifting, and the acceptance and inclusivity in comics is vital for the LGBT community.
There are many queer characters in comics who have empowered us with lessons about embracing who we are, coming out, and coping with the world around us. Their relationships (that of course, do not define who they are) have helped us celebrate our own, no matter who we love.
1. Mystique and Destiny (Marvel)
When they became adversaries of the #XMen in the '80s, Mystique and Destiny were intended to be lovers. Unfortunately, the Comics Code Authority wouldn't allow it to be openly depicted at this time. Thankfully, that didn't stop the couple from creating a beautiful relationship filled with acceptance and devotion. Though Destiny eventually lost her life, Mystique always kept their strong connection and experiences close to heart.
2. Kate Kane/Batwoman and Renee Montoya (DC)
Classic #Batwoman fans can't get enough of her romance with badass cop, Renee Montoya, in titles such as 52 and Detective Comics. After Renee pulled Kate over for speeding, the two began dating. They eventually broke up due to Kate's lack of direction and Renee's refusal to come out to her colleagues. Their strong personalities often caused clashes, but they were always there for each other regardless. Overall, it's tough to deny that Kate and Renee are soulmates.
Take a look below at their flirtatious scene from the animated movie, Batman: Bad Blood (2016).
3. Kate Kane/Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer (DC)
This list wouldn't be without another epic Kate Kane romance. Kate and Maggie's relationship was depicted in the New 52 solo series Batwoman (2011). Their love was built around trust and communication, and they never failed to notice the strength in each other. Maggie always accepted and saw through Kate's fallibility. It was incredible to witness this connection grow, and I truly miss it.
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4. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy (DC)
There's a reason why #HarleyQuinn and #PoisonIvy have one of the most famous and adored queer relationships in comics. Even Batman: The Animated Series hinted at the girls' intimacy in the '90s. Later on, their relationship became much clearer in the Gotham City Sirens comic, where Harley questioned if Ivy loved her as more than a friend.
Their endearing connection revolves around encouragement and genuine care. It also brings a few intricacies of both characters to light: Ivy, who would rather isolate herself from mankind and only find solace in flora, has finally found a human connection. Harley, sadly accustomed to the Joker's abuse, can finally experience true love. Here's hoping that we'll see this come to life in the live-action #GothamCitySirens!
5. Karolina Dean and Xavin (Marvel)
In the Runaways comics, shapeshifter Xavin came to Earth with a mission to marry Karolina, in an effort to create peace between the Skrull and Majesdanian worlds. Karolina initially refused, since she is gay and Xavin was in male form at the time. But when Xavin takes their female form, an adorable relationship ensues. Their bond was a wonderful journey through acceptance, and taught readers some remarkable lessons about gender fluidity.
6. Teddy and Ano ('The Infinite Loop,' IDW Publishing)
The Infinite Loop is an essential queer comic — here are five reasons why you should check it out. The sci-fi story follows Teddy, a professional time traveler who is in charge of protecting the world from anomalies who muddle time. But as a result, she meets a beautiful girl by the name of Ano, whom she begins to fall in love with. Together, they learn about hope, freedom and fighting for equality.
The Infinite Loop will receive a second volume entitled, Nothing But the Truth — look out for it later this year!
7. Lisa Williams and Ally Carter ('Sunstone,' Image Comics)
From sensational webcomic to New York Times Best Seller, Sunstone is an erotic rom-com that centers around Lisa and Ally's blossoming romance. Not only did it contain elements of BDSM culture, but also explored the depths of love and true human connection. The Sunstone arc concluded after its fifth graphic novel, but the book's creator and artist, Stjepan Sejic, confirmed that the couple's story is definitely not over. Until then, the love between its two female protagonists is impossible to forget.
8. Angela and Sera (Marvel)
This fearless warrior couple had an unbeatable, intense romance in Angela: Queen of Hel (2015). Together, they experienced sacrifice and many tough battles, but their love for each other always remained strong. Angela and Sera are often regarded as one of Marvel's best queer relationships. Sera is also a transgender woman of color, which was a ray of hope for representation and diversity that is much needed in today's media.
9. Holly Robinson and Karon (DC)
Holly and Karon made #Catwoman's acclaimed solo series even more special in 2002. Their close bond was underpinned by their unwavering trust and support. In one storyline, Karon helped Holly to recover from her drug addiction, which led Holly to grow as a person and experience a security that she never knew existed. The positive portrayal of Holly as an openly lesbian character won Catwoman a GLAAD Media Award in 2004, which was well-deserved.
While we still strive for uplifting representation, it's always important to honor the stories that have excelled. Our favorite queer comic characters, and their relationships, have the power to influence our lives — what is more remarkable than that?