Marvel, as well as DC Comics have never really been shy about creating gay characters. In reality, there are people out there with lifestyles other than what we know and we as people may not understand, but comic book companies do their best to try and show that they accept and praise people with the courage to be themselves. In honor of Gay Pride month, I wanted to bring to you 5 characters who came out. Each character did it differently and one character isn't the same as the next.
In an issue of All New X-Men where the original X-Men came to the present, Jean Grey read Iceman's mind and told him he no longer had to hide who he really was. She told him she knew he was gay. After a few moments, Iceman and Jean talk and he seems OK with her knowing (Stan Lee shared a similar sentiment).
Brian Michael Bendis should be applauded for the way he wrote Iceman's coming out and Jeff Lemire should as well for continuing to portray Iceman in Extraordinary X-Men without changing him and turning his character into a stereotype.
Maybe since this weight was lifted off of his shoulders he's become more comfortable in his own skin — whether it be ice or human.
4. Wolverine and Hercules
In X-Treme X-Men, Hercules and Wolverine were the Earth's greatest heroes. When they killed the greatest monster to ever threaten Canada, they confessed their love for each other (as the image above shows). Hercules eventually told Zeus and Zeus didn't approve. Apparently, only Zeus can get it on with mortals. That didn't stop Herc and Wolverine from continuing their relationship.
When Hercules died, Wolverine said he always wanted to go to Hades. Looks like Logan was determined to get his man back no matter what. Two men from two different worlds and walks of life who found love for each other. It would have been cool to see the story of Wolverine and Hercules before they joined the reality-hopping X-Treme X-Men.
3. Jean-Paul DuChamp (Frenchie)
Moon Knight had a pilot and friend named Jean-Paul DuChamp that was with him through the good and the bad. DuChamp was so dedicated that he lost both of his legs in service to Moon Knight and his god Khonshu. Later, Marc Spector abandoned his Moon Knight persona and years later visited Frenchie at his restaurant. When Frenchie told Marc he took a partner, it took Marc a moment to realize he meant a relationship and not a business owner. Marc was upset because DuChamp was his friend and was hurt that Frenchie never told him. Marc was confused because there were so many female partners.
Marc stormed out and called Frenchie a liar for never telling him he was gay. Frenchie was later attacked and put in the hospital. Marc visited Frenchie in the hospital and met Frenchie's partner. The two shook hands and Marc left. Once Marc calmed down, he went to see Frenchie again and the two became friends once again. Frenchie was Marc's friend and who Frenchie decided to be with was of no concern to him; he was just happy his friend was happy.
2. Rictor and Shatterstar
In the '90s and early 2000s comic book fans used to joke about Shatterstar and Rictor being a couple. Apparently, we weren't that far off. In an issue of X-Factor, Shatterstar was mind-controlled and attempted to kill Strong Guy and Rictor. Once Shatterstar was freed, he immediately kissed Rictor. Strong Guy was shocked (later Strong Guy tells Jamie Madrox and Jamie was confused about how he didn't know). Rictor and Shatterstar had their ups and downs due to Shatterstar not really understanding what monogamy is and why it's important. But Rictor stayed with him and helped him find his way.
Earlier in the series, Rictor and Rahne (Wolfsbane) were intimate, and when she found out that Rictor liked men, she freaked out. When Rictor and Rahne finally talked about Rictor being gay, she thought that her leaving him made him gay and that saying that she was pregnant with his baby would make him straight again. Rictor laughed and tells Rahne that what he did wasn't wasn't fair to her and that he had been someone else too long. The two left as friends. Rahne may not have understood, but she definitely accepted who he was.
1. Ultimate Jessica Drew
In this Universe, Jessica Drew is cloned from Peter Parker's DNA. She ended up not only getting all of Peter Parker's powers, she also got all of Peter's memories and feelings. That included how that she was into redheads (Mary Jane Watson) and apparently Jewish girls too (she flat out told Kitty Pryde that).
In an issue of New Ultimates, Jessica Drew, Kitty Pryde, Lana Baumgartner, and Tandy Bowen were discussing their current and past relationships while they took some much-needed down time at the beach. During this talk, Jessica openly admitted to her team that she liked women. It was such a well-written moment. While it was a big deal for Jessica Drew, her teammates and friends it made easier by openly accepting who she is.
Xi'an Coy Manh (Karma), William Kaplan (Wiccan), Kate Kane, are just a few of the plethora of comic book characters that have come out over the years and decades. Thankfully, the writers tend to do a great job of not making the characters any different because of their sexual preference. While we may be reading fantasy, a lesson should be taken from this is:
If anything, having the courage to be who you are in the face of a world that may not accept you makes you stronger.
These are few of my favorites. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below!