GLAAD’s Best Gay Comic Books of 2013

Husbands Comic

By TJ Acena, PQ Monthly

GLAAD recently posted it’s nominations for 25th GLAAD media awards, which as they phrase it “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.” You can check out the full list here, but I wanted to talk about the five nominations in the comic book genre, because I get to write about whatever I want and I love comic books.

 Batwoman – Continuity in DC is a strange thing. Every few years it seems that the entire universe changes, like when Superboy Prime punched the walls of reality and changed the history of the universe. So if you aren’t sure who Batwoman (Kathy Kane) is I don’t blame you. Batwoman is not Batgril, any of the batgirls (totally different), her character first showed up in the 1950s (partially to make Batman seem less gay) and eventually disappeared (she possibly stopped existing). In 2006 DC reintroduced her as a hero again, but also as a lesbian.  In 2010 Batwoman got her own series, making her the most high-profile gay or lesbian superhero (not the first) in print. You might remember when we reported that the creative team of Batwoman left the series after DC said it would not let Batwoman marry her girlfriend. That was a bummer.

Fearless Defenders – The Fearless Defenders was an all female super hero group created in 2013 by Marvel Comics, it featured a ton of amazingly badass super heroines and introduced Annabelle Riggs, a lesbian Indiana Jones type. Sadly, this series was cancelled after 12 issues.

Life with Archie – A few years ago Archie comics introduced its first gay character, Kevin Keller, causing me to think “Archie Comics still exist?” Sure enough, they do — and since his introduction in 2010 Keller has gone on to have his own series, which won the GLAAD Award last year.

Young Avengers – I love Young Avengers. I love the art, I love the layouts, I love the characters.  It features a bunch of young adults with superpowers who struggle for independence, struggle to keep relationships together, and struggle to fight off an inter-dimensional parasite who wants to consume them. At the heart of the team are Wiccan and Hulking, these boys are adorable and have a surprisingly normal and stable relationship for superheroes. It also features a sexy space man who dances to the Ronettes in his underwear (it’s totally not weird to think that comic book characters are sexy). This series is currently on hiatus.

Husbands – ‘Husbands’ was actually a digital comic produced in 2012, but went to print in 2013 (also, there are a ton of digital and webcomics with LGBTQ characters and stories but no GLAAD nominations for that category). It’s set in an alternate universe where we already have marriage equality (mind blown) and a mystical amulet can send you into even more alternate universes. It’s a really fun series that plays a lot with comic genres. It’s produced by Dark Horse Comics, just outside Portland and features some talented local illustrators from Portland proper (Natalie Nourigat & Ben Dewey who both part of Periscope Studios).

What’s your pick for best gay comic book of 2013? Let us know in the comments!

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