This Pride Month, EW is celebrating the best LGBTQ representation in pop culture. In addition to our RuPaul cover story and our reunion of The L Word cast, we’ve also rounded up a list of some of the best inclusive comics currently available.
Recent years have seen a spike in comics prominently featuring LGBTQ characters, even at powerhouse publishers like DC and Marvel. So, below, check out our list of 10 suggestions for diverse, inclusive comics to get into the spirit of Pride Month. Plus, at the end, we’ve included an additional summary of other great Pride reads.
Gabby Rivera (writer), Jose Quinones (artist)
A former member of Marvel’s Young Avengers, America Chavez finally has her own solo comic, and writer Gabby Rivera and artist Joe Quinones are definitely making each issue count. So far the queer Latina has punched Hitler, encountered Peggy Carter herself and fought alongside Storm (of legendary X-Men fame). But the series doesn’t just lend itself to big action sequences. Rivera and Quinones are also intent on exploring America’s inner life now that she’s in college (albeit an inter-dimensional one) and newly single. Rivera’s writing celebrates Latinx culture while telling the story of a young woman (who just happens to have super powers) figuring out what her future holds, and Quinones captures both emotion and action, making each issue a vibrant and fun read. Order it here.
James Tynion IV (writer), Rian Sygh (artist)
What its spiritual sibling Lumberjanes did for summer camp and all age adventuring, Backstagers is doing for the magical world of high school theater. The titular gang — Hunter, Aziz, Sasha, Beckett, and new student Jory — get into all kinds of trouble as they explore life behind the stage. Amid all the encounters with strange creatures and shifting doorways is a rambunctious, joyful series about finding the people you belong with, and celebrating those friendships to the max. The series’ central cast is filled with queer and trans characters, and thanks to Sygh’s charming artwork and Tynion’s zany jokes it is easily love at first sight gag. Order it here.
Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV (writers), Steve Epting (artist)
The 21st-century incarnation of Batwoman (a.k.a. Kate Kane) is more than just the hardened daughter of a military man and a badass Bat-themed superhero in her own right. She’s also an out-and-proud lesbian. This new solo series from Bennett and Tynion (who has been writing her as a burgeoning team leader in the pages of Detective Comics) features her returning to the island where she once spent a “lost year” with a mysterious lover named Safiyah. Kate Kane is finally in control of her own destiny – but what will she do with it? Order it here.
Josh Trujillo (writer), Levi Hastings (artist)
The year is 1776 and revolution is slowly brewing in America. But behind closed doors, there’s another kind of revolution happening as lovers Hiram and Zacherius declare their feelings for one another. Trujillo and Hastings’ first issue in this independent series sets up a few issues that will no doubt test the lovers as the country edges closer to war. It’s a fine start as the creative team has crafted a romance with its own share of obstacles (both men are of significant class difference — not that they notice). Nonetheless, readers will be rooting for the central characters. That’s not a statement. That’s a declaration. Order it here.
Sina Grace (writer), Alessandro Vitti (artist)
Bobby Drake was one of the five original X-Men, and he’s still one of the most powerful. As Iceman, he can control the very temperature around him, encase himself in ice armor, move along ice slides, and more. One thing he has slightly less experience with, however, is dating men. Bobby recently came out as gay, and the new series finds him struggling to adapt to the dating-app scene while still kicking supervillain butt with power and panache. Order it here.
Chip Zdarsky (writer), Erica Henderson & Jack Morelli (artists)
Riverdale ran into some fan controversy earlier this year when its version of Jughead (Cole Sprouse) entered a romantic relationship with Betty (Lili Reinhart). This on top of the fact he didn’t even eat one of his beloved cheeseburgers until the season finale. By contrast, Archie Comics’ recent Jughead solo series not only plies its protagonist with plenty of cheeseburgers, it also portrays him as asexual. Although there has been a slight uptick in pop culture asexuals recently, it’s still an identity that lacks representation (hence why some fans felt so protective of Jughead when Riverdale changed that aspect of the character). What does one do without sexual tension in a high school story? The answer for Jughead is “daydream,” and several issues feature the character killing the time (and escaping school boredom) by fantasizing himself as a pirate or a spy. Order it here.
Kim & Kim
Magdalene Visaggio (writer), Eva Cabrera (artist)
The adventures of best friends (and interdimensional bounty hunters) Kim Quatro and Kim Dantzler is a wild ride from issue to issue as both women go in pursuit of each of their targets. With a cast of inclusive characters and two unapologetically queer leads, this Black Mask Studios series all but screams “punk rock.” Visaggio’s writing brims with an energy that Cabrera’s art only magnifies as the
Fighting Kims continue to kick butt and take names (and bounties) as they continue to figure out their lives. Order it here.
Sarah Graley (writer/artist)
It’s hard enough having a crush on a cute girl – even harder when she’s also a Grim Reaper. Sarah Graley’s new comic focuses on university student Becka’s infatuation with her cooler-than-death classmate Kim. She soon finds out there’s more to Kim’s other life than meets the eye, however. Graley’s bouncy cartoon style accentuates the characters’ mutual crushes as well as the insane visuals of skeletal ghouls haunting a sunken ship and a muscular man using his pet cats as armor in a fight. Order it here.
Midnighter and Apollo
Steve Orlando (writer), Fernando Blanco (artist)
In Steve Orlando’s first run on Midnighter, the titular hero (originally created in the ‘90s as a gay pastiche of Batman, but since developed into a strong and resonant character in his own right) was adrift after breaking up with his lover, the solar-powered strongman Apollo. They finally reunited at the end of that story, and this six-issue miniseries finds them reunited and kicking butt, superhero style. There’s sweet romance and epic superhero adventure, two currents that combine when Midnighter must save his true love from the depths of Hell itself. Order it here.
Grace Ellis (writer), Shae Beagle & Kate Leth (artists)
A werewolf with a massive crush, a centaur with (thus far) unrequited feelings for a Minotaur, a gorgon in a band with a vampire, and an oracle with an ominous prophecy — Ellis and Beagle’s soon-to-debut Image Comics series injects the supernatural world with double shots of caffeine and cuteness thanks to their new series which is set in a coffee shop operated and frequented by beings of all creeds and sexualities. Ellis’ writing captures the intricacies of blossoming love (and the lengths we go to in order to tend to the spark), while Beagle’s art reveals a lush and welcoming world, brimming with inclusivity. Leth’s brief bursts of art hilariously parody ’90s classics like The Baby-Sitters Club and Nancy Drew, making this whole series one perfectly brewed combination. Preorder it here.
Goldie Vance (written by Hope Larson, illustrated by Brittney Williams): An inquisitive teen detective — the titular Goldie Vance — solves mysteries set in the resort town where she lives with the help of her girlfriend Diane, best friend Cheryl, and hotel detective Walter. Order it here.
Heathen (written and illustrated by Natasha Alterici): When a young Viking is cast out of her home for the crime of loving another girl, she decides to take it up with the Norse gods themselves. With her trusty horse Saga by her side, Aydis might even be able to give Odin a run for his money. Order it here.
Steven Universe: Anti-Gravity (written by Talya Perper and Queenie Chan): Based on the hit Cartoon Network series about a young boy and a team of alien superheroes called the Crystal Gems, this graphic novel sees the core team (all of whom are female) travel to an alien Moon Base in order to figure out who (or what) might be causing the electrical disturbances that are causing objects to mysteriously hover all over town. Order it here.
The Woods (written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Michael Dialynas): An entire high school of teens is transported to an alien forest where they must learn to survive and figure out how to get home — while also dealing with the pains of growing up and the emotions that come with it. Order it here.