Where to Read Queer Protagonists Now [Out-of-Date]

[This page is on indefinite hiatus and is no longer current. Consider checking out the LGBTInComics Tumblr for similar information]

Searching for current comics that feature queer* protagonists? Look no further! Whether you’re looking for characters to identify with or diverse comics to support, this list (should) have it all.

For a current, recurring comic to be included on this list, it needs to feature an openly (to the reader) queer protagonist.

Here’s how I define “protagonist:”

  • If it’s a solo or duo series, it’s anyone with a character name in the title (Spider-Man, Red Hood/Arsenal)
  • If it’s a “team” series, any member of a team the series is named after (Teen Titans, Uncanny Avengers)
  • If it’s none of the above, I will use my judgment. The story, covers, and promotional material factor into this.

When it comes to Big Two comics, the title indicates which character or team is the series’ priority. There may be gay characters in Astonishing Ant-Man, but the series’ story isn’t about them. I’ll count miniseries spanning at least three issues.

If a character here is wrongly included or is missing, let me know. This list will be updated monthly. It does not vouch for quality. If you liked this list, consider subscribing to my blog or Twitter account: @HonestlyJon.


BOOM! Studios

Attracted to Women:

  • Molly in Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Carolyn Nowak
  • Mal in Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Carolyn Nowak
  • Jo in Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Carolyn Nowak
  • Karen Jacobs in The Woods by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas
  • Sanami Ota in The Woods by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas
  • Maria Ramirez in The Woods by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas
  • Goldie Vance in Goldie Vance by Hope Larson, Jackie Ball, and Noah Hayes

Attracted to Men:

  • Isaac Andrews in The Woods by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas
  • Ben Stone in The Woods by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas

Attracted to Men and Women:

  • Daisy Wooton in Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Treiman

Transgender Protagonist:

  • Jo in Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Carolyn Nowak

DC Comics

Attracted to Men:

  • Ray Terrill, a.k.a. The Ray, in Justice League of America by Steve Orlando, Joe Prado, and Ivan Reis
  • Kaldur’ahm, a.k.a. Tempest, in Teen Titans by Benjamin Percy, Khoi Pham, and Wade von Grawbadger

Attracted to Men and Women**:

  • Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a.k.a. Harley Quinn, in:
    • Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin, and John Timms
    • Suicide Squad by Rob Williams, Riley Rossmo, Scott Williams, and Phillip Tan
  • Diana Prince, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, in:
    • DC Comics Bombshells by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, and rotating artists
    • Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp
    • Justice League by Bryan Hitch, Matthew Clark, Sean Parsons
    • Trinity by Francis Manapul

Attracted to Women

  • Kate Kane, a.k.a. Batwoman, in :
    • DC Comics Bombshells by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, and rotating artists
    • Detective Comics by James Tynion, Javier Fernandez, and Marcus To
    • Batwoman by Marguerite Bennett and Steve Epting

Attracted to Multiple Genders

  • John Constantine, a.k.a. Constantine, in Hellblazer by Simon Oliver and Moritat

Image Comics

Attracted to Women:

  • Kate Kristopher in Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Luca
  • Betty in Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe and Owen Giene
  • Domino Swift in Motor Crush by Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, and Cameron Stewart

Transgender Protagonist

  • Sebastian in No Mercy by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil
  • Braga in Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe and Owen Gieni

Attracted to Men:

  • Dan Knossos in Ringside by Joe Keatinge and Nick Barber

Attracted to Men and Women:

  • Laura Wilson in The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
  • Andromache of Scythia in The Old Guard by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez

On Hiatus:

  • Odyssia in ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward
  • Gharta in Autumnlands by Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey

Marvel Comics

Attracted to Men:

  • Billy Kaplan, a.k.a. Wiccan, in Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme by Robbie Thompson and Javier Rodriguez
  • Val Ventura, a.k.a. Flatman, in Great Lakes Avengers by Zac Gorman and Will Robson

Attracted to Women:

  • America Chavez, a.k.a. Ms. America, in Ultimates 2 by Al Ewing and Travel Foreman and America by Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones
  • Dr. Toni Ho, a.k.a. Iron Patriot, in USAvengers by Al Ewing and Paco Medina
  • Aikku Jokinen, a.k.a. Pod, in USAvengers by Al Ewing and Paco Medina
  • Chelli Lona Aphra in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra by Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker
  • Jovana, a.k.a. Swain, in Royals by Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers

IDW Publishing

Attracted to Women:

  • Mary “Stormer” Phillips in Jem: The Misfits by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge
  • Lilly in Satellite Falling by Steve Horton and Stephen Thompson

Transgender Protagonist:

  • Leah “Blaze” Dwyer in Jem: Misfits by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge

Aftershock Comics

Attracted to Women:

  • Mariah in InSexts by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina
  • Lady Bertram in InSexts by Marguerite Bennett and Ariela Kristantina

Transgender Protagonist:

  • Chalice in Alters by Paul Jenkins and Leila Leiz

Archie Comics

Asexual Protagonist:

  • Forsythe Pendleton Jones III, a.k.a. Jughead Jones, in Jughead by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson

Attracted to Men:

  • Kevin Keller in Life with Kevin by Dan Parent

Attracted to Men and Women:

  • Melody Valentine in Josie and the Pussycats by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, and Audrey Mok

Oni Press

Attracted to Women

  • Kim in Kim Reaper by Sarah Graley
  • Beka in Kim Reaper by Sarah Graley

Dark Horse

Attracted to Women:

  • Rani Arturus in The Once and Future Queen by Adam P. Knave, DJ Kirkbride, and Nick Brokenshire

Dynamite Entertainment

Attracted Men and Women:

  • Red Sonja in Red Sonja by Amy Chu and Carlos Gomez

Black Mask Studios

Transgender Protagonist:

  • Natalie in Quantum Teens are Go! by Magdalene Visaggio and Eryk Donovan

Chapterhouse Comics

Attracted to Men:

  • Lance Valiant, a.k.a. Freelance, in Freelance by Andrew Wheeler, Jim Zub, and Vaneda Vireak

Upcoming Additions to the Protagonist List

  • April
    • Bobby Drake (teen version), a.k.a. Iceman, in X-Men: Blue by Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina
  • May
    • Roxanne Washington, a.k.a. Bling! in Generation X by Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna
    • Benjamin Deeds, a.k.a. Morph, in Generation X by Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna
  • June
    • Leah “Blaze” Dwyer in Jem and the Holograms: The Misfits: Infinite by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge
    • Aja Leith in Jem and the Holograms: The Infinite by Kelly Thompson and Stacy Lee
    • Kimber Benton in Jem and the Holograms: The Infinite by Kelly Thompson and Stacy Lee
    • Mary “Stormer” Phillips in Jem and the Holograms: The Misfits: The Infinite by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge
    • Bobby Drake, a.k.a. Iceman, in Iceman by Sina Grace and Alessandro Viti
    • Professor Plum in CLUE by Paul Allor and Nelson Dániel
  • July
    • Raven Darkhölme, a.k.a. Mystique, in Astonishing X-Men by Charles Soule and rotating artists
    • Betsy Braddock, a.k.a. Psylocke, in Astonishing X-Men by Charles Soule and rotating artists

Upcoming Removals from the Protagonist List

  • April
    • Val Ventura, a.k.a. Flatman, in Great Lakes Avengers by Zac Gorman and Will Robson
    • Leah “Blaze” Dwyer in Jem: Misfits by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge
    • Mary “Stormer” Phillips in Jem: The Misfits by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge

*Minorities of sexuality and gender
**Comics, like all media, is super prone to bi-erasure. A character may be shown as bisexual in one issue, and then never have it brought up for years or decades at a time. That’s not how identity works. As I don’t want to contribute to bi-erasure, I’ve erred on the side of caution and have included characters who have, at least occasionally, identified or have been outed by some creators as bisexual or pansexual. That does not, however, mean that a given series will fairly represent that.

22 thoughts on “Where to Read Queer Protagonists Now [Out-of-Date]

  1. You may want to add Image’s ‘The Wicked + The Divine’. It has multiple queer characters. The main character is openly interested in men and women and there is a reoccurring trans character very important to the plot. It’s pretty much the most diversely queer comic I’ve ever read.

    Like

    • Inanna and Cassandra are already on the list, though in the recurring section. I wasn’t aware Laura had explicitly made her interest in women known, so I’ll check up on that and add her. Thanks!

      Like

    • I’ve talked with some genderfluid people about Loki, and, based on their input, I’m not sure how well he fits under the genderfluid umbrella. He can shapeshift between masc and femme presentations, but it’s not clear if he does it because wants to or if he’s doing for some utilitarian reasons.

      In my reading experience, his reasons for shapeshifting femme have been for an external purpose. Otherwise, he presents masculine. If I’m missing something, I’d love to hear about it.

      Like

      • Both Al and Lee have said that Loki’s canonically genderfluid. Odin has referred to them as both son and daughter and my child who is both on a number of occasions, at least one of which when Loki was in male form, and therefore why bring it up if it’s not part of his identity? Odin brought it up while saying that he knows all of Loki and accepts them. Loki stayed female throughout the whole of Original Sin, when her original reason for doing so was lover. When she’s in female form Loki and her family refer to her with female pronouns. Loki refers to himself with male pronouns when he’s in male form, and female pronouns when she’s in female form, as far as I’m aware this is different from the Old Loki when he was posing in Sif’s body, but confirmed he still thought of himself as male.

        Loki retained only three things when they became god of stories, their brother, their friend, and their desire to be themselves, they don’t remember anything else. One of the first things they do after the change is change into female form, this serves no purpose and is actually counterproductive, as Verity’s never seen them do this before and she’s already unsettled and unsure if they are who they say they are, they were making a declaration of identity (“I’m me, first, last, and always”, which mirrors what Loki said about only being able to shift into things that were inherently Loki, the first time we saw them shift into female form. It’s on purpose that they make these statements of identity as they shift genders) . Loki then remains female for no other reason than she feels like it, for at least the whole next issue.

        I’m a genderfluid person, and I know it’s made complex and inexact by the fact that Loki’s a fictional space Viking god who can literally shift sexes, but I think there’s evidence that they also shift genders when they do, and it’s not always for some ulterior motive (and even if it were, there would be no reason to also shift genders, which they do). I think they count as genderfluid character (especially because their creators say they are, and we see that more and more as the comic goes on). What with no trans protagonists on the list, please don’t disqualify one we actually have because it’s not an exact real-world example.

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      • Thank you for this information. Based on that, I’ll absolutely re-add Loki to the list.

        It’s a fine line of not wanting to contribute to erasure but also not offer false representation. And often I hesitate to add based solely on a creator’s confirmation, because there are times when cis/straight creators don’t understand what they’re saying. “[X Character] is pansexual; he’d have sex with a toaster!” is a thing that’s happened, and that character’s sexuality is treated 100% as a joke. I’ve had metaphorical/magical trans characters on this list, but have been told I was incorrect for featuring them.

        Comments like yours help to clarify and keep the list more accurate. Thanks!

        Like

  2. This list is super helpful, but I was wondering if you could add Baal from WicDiv to the list because he had a relationship with Inanna and was also attracted to Laura. Thanks! And keep up the good work.

    Like

    • WicDiv has a tricky relationship with this list. When I include characters here, I want them to pretty clearly to be who readers can expect to see month in and month out. WicDiv—especially now—does not settle on any one character or point of view consistently or for long.

      Someone like Laura definitely could’ve counted. But, while WicDiv’s in this rotating character guest issues stint, I don’t feel comfortable billing any one character as a consistent protagonist. Baal is great, though.

      Like

  3. Cool list. Thanks for putting together. I notice that you have an “upcoming removals” section. Do you have any sort of archive of past protagonists who have been removed (presumably because their series ended)? Just trying to catch up on some back reading 🙂

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      • So only gay characters who are still alive ? haha. The characters have their slow story evolving in the first season which contains the first 4 paperbacks plus the begining of the second season. So we have these 2 characters running around at least in 5-6 paperbacks I would say. For a new starter its quite a bit. 😉

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  4. A Distant Soil at Image Comics. Multiple queer, genderfluid, bi-sexual characters. The lead romance is a gay romance between main characters Rieken and D’mer.

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  5. Pingback: Weekender: Queers & Comics, Terry Blas, and #OccupyArtistAlley – IdiotBox Reviews

  6. Should there be notes on Transgender protagonists for their sexuality as well. Since as it reads now one could take it as the trans protagonists are attracted to the “opposite sex” exclusively as opposed to their varying sexuality?

    So like for Jo in Lumberjanes a small note on attraction to woman or for Kim Q from Kim and Kim there would be a note attracted to all genders (or attracted to woman and men)?

    Like

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