Less than a month ago, Superman’s son Jon Kent came out as bisexual in his own spinoff comic Superman: Son of Kal-El with a kiss heard around the internet. While the attention has resulted in the comic staff being targeted by anti-gay threats, the response has otherwise been overwhelmingly positive, leading to a surge in sales.
Queer characters are, of course, nothing new to superhero comics. But is it too soon to hope that this renewed interest might lead to a breakthrough for queer inclusion in the DC and Marvel cinematic universes? Probably. But let’s imagine anyway by taking a look at some of the more likely candidates for on-screen LGBTQ superheroes.
Wiccan and Speed
Earlier this year, WandaVision wrapped up as a resounding success for Marvel. But of more importance to us gays in this surreal tour through heteronormotive television was the introduction of Wanda’s twin sons, Billy and Tommy.
In the comics, Tommy grows up to become Speed, who came out as bi and in a relationship with Prodigy last year. Billy grows up to become Wiccan, whose relationship with Hulking in Young Avengers is one of the most iconic gay romances in comics history.
Although Jon Kent has stolen the spotlight for the moment, Tim Drake—one of Batman’s Robins—also came out as bisexual earlier this year. Although Drake does not currently have his own comic series, he joined the cast of HBOMax’s Titans in the recently released third season.
In the comics, Loki is genderfluid and bisexual, but the onscreen representation of his queer identity so far has been lacking to say the least… All the same, his Disney+ series has been renewed for a second season, so there’s still hope this side of his character will be explored further.
Thor’s Asgardian ally and sometimes love interest Valkyrie was introduced to moviegoers in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. A deleted scene would have made her the MCU’s first explicit LGBTQ character (that honor now goes to Phastos in Eternals). We’ll have to wait and see if Marvel gets their act together when Valkyrie returns in 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
Alan Scott/Green Lantern
Alan Scott, the Golden Age incarnation of the Green Lantern, was recently rebooted back into the DC comics universe as openly gay. That same character is now going to get a live action TV series on HBOMax starring Jeremy Irvine as Alan Scott. Could this be his redemption for that 2015 whitewashed Stonewall movie? No. Because nothing can redeem that.
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn
The state of LGBTQ superheroes onscreen is pretty depressing, so let’s end on some good news. The animated series Harley Quinn’s second season wrapped up with a cliffhanger in which Poison Ivy confessed her feelings for Quinn with a kiss. No official date has been announced yet for season three, but we’ll get to look forward to the aftermath on HBOMax in 2022.