There’s more comic-book movies and TV shows coming in the next 12 months than ever before. And a surprising number of them have queer heroes on the roster. (Well, at least canonically queer in the comics they were based on.)
Let’s take a look.
Karolina Dean, “Marvel’s Runaways”Marvel's Runaways/Hulu
The latest page-to-screen adaptation from Marvel sees a group of teens on the run after they realize their parents are actually a clan of vicious criminal masterminds. Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner) has enough trouble coming to terms with being a lesbian—how will she deal with finding out she’s actually an alien?
Marvel’s Runaways debuts November 21 on Hulu.
The Ray, “Arrow”
In DC Comics, the Ray is a gay hero with light-based powers on a version of Earth where the Nazis won WWII. In the CW’s upcoming four-part Arrow-verse crossover, he’ll be played by out actor Russell Tovey (Looking, Quantico).
Tovey will also voice the character on The CW Seed’s Freedom Fighters: The Ray, the first mainstream animated series with a gay lead.
“Crisis on Earth X,” begins November 27 on the CW, with back-to-back episodes of Arrow and Supergirl, followed by The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow on November 28.
Korg, “Thor: Ragnarok”Thor: Ragnarok/Marvel
When Thor: Ragnarok storms into theaters on November 3, it’ll introduce fans to the alien world of Sakaar, where the God of the Thunder is pitted against Hulk in gladiatorial battle. Among their allies is Korg, a rock-covered bruiser who was revealed to be gay in Incredible Hulk #619.Marvel Comics
“We wanted to change the idea of what a hulking guy made of rocks could be. He’s huge and heavy, but with a light soul,” said Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. “We wanted to make him funny and a relatable entry point into this world. And Thor needs friends.”
Waititi will actually portray Korg himself via motion-capture.
Wonder Woman, “Justice League”Wonder Woman/Warner Bros
In 2016, writer Greg Rucka made the Amazon warrior explicitly queer when he introduced Kasia, a lover Diana left behind when she left Paradise Island to fight evil in Man’s World.DC Comics
While the Wonder Woman movie didn’t address any lady loves in particular, Diana (Gal Gadot) did tell Captain Trevor she knew all about “pleasures of the flesh,” despite growing up on an island populated entirely by women.
Wonder Woman next appears in Justice League, hitting theaters November 17.
Traci Thirteen, “Young Justice: Outsiders”Young Justice: Outsiders
The daughter of occult detective Dr. Thirteen, Traci has had several different incarnations—the most recent of which was the girlfriend of Natasha Irons, niece of John Henry Irons, a.k.a. the superhero Steel.DC Comics
In the upcoming Young Justice: Outsiders cartoon, she’s a supernatural hero who lives in Metropolis’ slums after defying her father and learning magic. Hopefully, her queerness will remain intact.
Thunder, “Black Lightning”The CW, Mike Coppola/Getty Images
In the upcoming CW series, Cress Williams plays Jefferson Pierce, who retired from the superhero game after it destroyed his marriage. But he’s forced to don his mask again to take down a vicious crime syndicate threatening his city. In DC Comics’ Outsiders, Pierce’s daughter Anissa was out superhero Thunder.DC Comics
“Debrii,” New Warriors
In the Marvel comics universe, Deborah Fields was Debrii, a telekinetic superhero and an out lesbian. A sitcom version of the Warriors is coming to Freeform in 2018, with Kate Comer playing the character.
“It’s not all about ‘Hey, I relate to the show because I want to have a squirrel tail,’ but ‘Hey, this is the story about someone who’s out as a lesbian and maybe it’s not that easy,’” says executive producer Kevin Biegel.
Ayo, “Black Panther”
Ayo is amember of the Dora Milaje, Black Panther’s all-female bodyguards. She’s not exactly a superhero, but she kicks serious ass and ison the side of angels.
In World of Wakanda, written by written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and queer writer Roxane Gay, Ayo gets into a romantic relationship with fellow guard Aneka, and the two are torn between their love for each other and their obligations to their king.Marvel Comics
After Vanity Fair reported in March that the affair was intact in the movie, a Marvel rep insisted “that specific love storyline from the comic was not used as a source.”
A lot can change in six months, though—maybe we’ll get to see these passionate warriors embrace each other and their duty.
Black Panther hit theaters February 16, 2018,
Shatterstar, “Deadpool 2”Marvel
In the comics, Shatterstar is an other-dimensional warrior named Gaveedra Seven, whose parents were the X-men Dazzler and Longshot. (In a weird bit of comics wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey Shatterstar is also sort of Longshot’s father).
In Peter David’s acclaimed run of X-Force, Shatterstar revealed he was gay—or at least bi—and started a relationship with fellow hero Rictor.Marvel
Shatterstar is slated to appear in the Deadpool sequel, though casting hasn’t been announced. He’ll probably be at the side of Cable (Josh Brolin), onetime leader of X-Force. But will he and the Merc with a Mouth hook up?
Find out when Deadpool 2 opens June 1, 2018.