Flashback Friday: The Punisher

We celebrate with a spotlight on some of our LGBTQ characters!

The House of Ideas continues to offer characters of all kinds a place to go their own way. Packed with heroes, villains and everyone in between, there’s room for everyone to live their truth and love who they choose.

With LGBTQ Pride Month wrapping, we look at a variety of the Marvel Universe’s most well-known members of the community.


Northstar

Jean-Paul Beaubier debuted alongside his fellow Canadian heroes in 1979’s UNCANNY X-MEN #120. When ALPHA FLIGHT launched in 1983, creator John Byrne hinted at Northstar’s homosexuality, but he didn’t come out as the first openly gay Marvel super hero until 1992’s ALPHA FLIGHT #106. More recently, Jean-Paul married his longtime sweetheart Kyle in ASTONISHING X-MEN #51.

America

America Chavez has been kicking ass and taking names since she debuted in VENGEANCE #1 in 2011. The super-tough dimension-hopper gained much of her inner strength from her mothers, who sacrificed themselves to save not just her, but the Utopian Parallel. After making her way to the Marvel Universe, she joined the Young Avengers and nonchalantly came out in YOUNG AVENGERS #15. Her adventures continue in AMERICA and ULTIMATES 2.


Mystique

Though not directly stated early on, Mystique and Destiny proved one of the longest lasting couples in the Marvel Universe. The duo raised Rogue as a baby, but came apart when Legion killed Destiny in UNCANNY X-MEN #255. Later we learned that they first met when the shapeshifting Mystique lived as a man, becoming partners first and eventually lovers regardless of gender.

Hulkling

Teddy “Hulkling” Altman first appeared alongside his fellow high school aged heroes in the first volume of YOUNG AVENGERS in 2005. He and Wiccan seemed very close, but the pair waited to reveal their relationship in YOUNG AVENGERS SPECIAL. Since then, Teddy realized he’s part Skrull and part Kree, got engaged to Wiccan, and continues to play a big part in the Marvel Universe.

Wiccan

Magic wielder Wiccan first appeared in YOUNG AVENGERS #1 with now-fiancé Hulkling. Billy and Teddy remained major fixtures of both volumes of the title and moved on to play big parts in NEW AVENGERS. A future version of Billy even appears in the pages of DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME, where he’s taken over as the number one wizard around and he and Billy have settled down and had children.

Karolina Dean

Karolina Dean discovered that her parents dedicated themselves to extra-dimensional beings called the Pride and that she belonged to the Majesdanian race of extra-terrestrials as RUNAWAYS kicked off. Around the same time, she also developed an attraction for Nico who had eyes for someone else, but eventually Karolina began a relationship with former Power Pack member Julie Power.

Daken

The product of Wolverine’s brief liaison with Itsu, Daken took his dad’s place when Norman Osborn put together his own Dark Avengers. In addition to regeneration, claws, and enhanced senses, Daken also possesses the ability to manipulate people with his pheromones. He uses this on both men and women to get what he wants as he carves his way through the world.


Angela

After entering the Marvel Universe in Age of Ultron and joining up with the Guardians of the Galaxy for a time, Thor’s sister reunited with lover Sera in ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN. Later, when she realized that Sera had died and served in Hel, Angela became queen of that very realm to save her!


Bling!

Roxy Washington might be the daughter of two hip-hop stars, but her mutant-powered diamond skin makes her the shiniest person in her family. First appearing in 2005’s X-MEN #171, she developed feelings for Gambit as well as Foxx, who turned out to be Mystique. These days the bisexual mutant spends her time with Jubilee in GENERATION X.

Julie Power

During the run of AVENGERS ACADEMY, while conversing with Striker, Julie Power—formerly of Power Pack, Excelsior and the Loners—said that she falls in love with people, not their gender. “Can’t you just like someone without it being a political statement?” she asked. Striker agreed and the two had a very honest heart-to-heart in AVENGERS ACADEMY #23.

Shatterstar

As a denizen of the Mojoverse, X-Force alumni Shatterstar had a “genetic bond mate” named Windsong who died, essentially leaving him partner-less. He took on a kind of asexual viewpoint until he and Rictor shared a kiss in X-FACTOR #45. The couple dealt with a lot, including ‘star leaning toward a more open relationship, but seems pretty stable these days.

Rictor

Throughout the course of their time in X-Force together, Rictor and Shatterstar had a strong bond that eventually turned into a romantic relationship. Though originally de-powered by Scarlet Witch at the end of House of M, Ric regained his earth-shaking abilities at the end of AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE thanks to that same mutant witch!

Anole

First appearing in 2003’s NEW MUTANTS #2, Anole became a squad leader in Northstar’s Alpha Squadron. When his mentor briefly died at the hands of a brainwashed Wolverine, Anole took the news hard because he could only talk to the Alpha Flight alumni about being a gay mutant. Nonetheless, continues to fight the good fight alongside his fellow X-Men.


Karma

Original New Mutant Karma left the hero game behind to raise her younger siblings, even going to college in Chicago at the same time—until Moonstar showed up in NEW MUTANTS #4 to see if she’d like to join Xavier’s new school. While talking, Xi’an revealed that she almost told Kitty Pryde about her feelings for her, but decided against it, fearing it would get awkward. Lately she’s been hanging out with the Utopians, a group living in the ruins of Utopia.


Rawhide Kid

Originally created back in 1955, Rawhide Kid became a big topic of conversation when he starred in his own Marvel MAX series in 2003. Jam-packed with innuendo, the series clearly established the cowboy as a gay man. His Wild West adventures continued in the pages of RAWHIDE KID: THE SENSATIONAL SEVEN, seven years later.

Iceman

The metaphorical connection between mutants and the LGBTQ community has offered strength to some people who consider themselves outcasts. Therefore, it seems more than appropriate that one of the very first X-Men came out recently, twice! Both the younger ALL-NEW X-MEN Iceman and his older counterpart talked about this in the pages of UNCANNY X-MEN #600. Now, with both young men open about their true selves, they continue to explore their love lives in ICEMAN and X-MEN: BLUE.

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