Some Gayish Comic Books

We’ve introduced you to comic books in depth before, and, like a great many great and many-ful things, we queers seem to have our passion for the illustrated word in common. Below are ten comics books I like a lot on the shelf I am looking at right now (in no particular anything).

1. New X-Men (Morrison & Quitely)**

2. Wonder Woman (Rucka)**

3. Ex Machina (Vaughan)*

4. Y: The Last Man (Vaughan)*

5. Hellboy (Mignola)†

6. All Star Superman (Morrison & Quitely)†

7. Bone (Smith)†

8. King City (Graham)**

9. Runaways (Vaughan)*

10. Astonishing X-Men (Whedon & Cassaday)**

** gay (lowercase)

* Gay (uppercase)

† Gay because of its proximity to me

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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. Thanks for the list. I don’t really read any gayish comics but I just like to pretend that any female character that I like in every comic book I read is secretly gay.

      • i actually just said “what” aloud. all happily. seriously? i loooooved y the last man but the runaways left me out in the cold, how would you say ex machina compares to the two of those, quality-wise?

      • What? I may have to go back to that series. I left before anything explicit was said. I don’t remember any love interests, so I never gave it much thought.

  2. Young Avengers has adorable gayboy teens !
    The Authority has married daddy badasses.
    And of course, one can never forget Batwoman.

    When real gays are lacking, it’s incredibly easy to find (or make up!) homoerotic subtext in basically any comic book too haha

    • Promethea by Alan Moore has some queer representation, even though a few of the characters are self-hating at first, stuff gets better. There’s a lot of metaphysics in the series, and gender, sex, and sexuality play into that.

      It’s not a bad starter comic. Female super hero, Alan Moore, mysticism, and some cool experimental stuff.

      *I hesitate to call him trans, for reasons that will become apparent when you read the series.

    • Promethea by Alan Moore has some queer representation, even though a few of the characters are self-hating at first, stuff gets better. There’s a lot of metaphysics in the series, and gender, sex, and sexuality play into that.

      It’s not a bad starter comic. Female super hero, Alan Moore, mysticism, and some cool experimental stuff.

  3. In mainstream DCU, it currently doesn’t get much gayer than Secret Six. I like BKV and Wildstorm/Vertigo/MAX as much as the next nerd, but I’m always far more impressed when the regular imprints go gay successfully. Gail Simone definitely doesn’t write Scandal Savage and Knockout as gay to meet some sort of diversity quota (see also: Marvel’s Northstar); their sexualities and relationship are an integral part of that entire comic.

    Very good stuff from the lady who also writes Birds of Prey to basically be a lesbian romance between two straight women.

  4. 1) Bone! <3

    2) Buffy Season 8? Buffy & Satsu define gayISH.

    3) I love that this is an article on Autostraddle!

    • I am in volume 7 of Buffy Season 8. I’m so excited to finish and see where Season 9 goes. I also loved the scenes with Kennedy and Satsu talking about being the lesbian slayers and ‘wrinkling sheets’ with straight girls.

  5. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Unfortunately it only lasted 19 issues, but it was totally cool and had the first ever openly gay man in Star Trek.

    Also – The Sandman! So much LGBT content. Me loves.

  6. Hellboy is my absolute favourite. Also, All Star Superman! The first time I’ve ever read a Superman comic and actually liked it. So good!

    • I looooove Hellboy!!! And Superman. Batman is a bit too grumpy for me. Actually, I have a Superman comic collection.

  7. Aren’t comic books automatically gay? Because comic books are awesome, and if they are awesome, they must be gay. Because everyone knows all awesome things are gay. The whole world is gay. They just don’t know it yet. And If they don’t figure it out soon, I shall turn them homogay. Then abduct Natalie Portman and keep her in my dorm room.

    • And…why is my avatar always a freakin sandwich? Always a sandwich. Is the world trying to tell me to secretly make it a sandwich? Does Autostraddle want me to make it a sandwich?

    • man, where were you when i was looking for cool girls with comics…….where were any of you—-I just found heaven

  8. Because of Ex Machina, I like to pretend my favorite politicians are superheroes with actual human emotions and flaws.

  9. the new batwoman comic is pretty fun, I’m not sure if its actually new but they’re selling it in issues at forbidden planet now. kate kane is a lesbian but her queerness isn’t like a dooper centric theme or anything so far as I’ve seen. I like her outfit, too.

  10. I have just decided to buy a comic book. I feel like I could definitely be that sort of person… but I do not know where to start. Are there drawn naked ladies in any of that one? That might be a decent place to start.

    • Start with Y the Last Man! It’s about a dude who is, literally, the last man alive. so every single character who isn’t in a flashback is a lady, and a large number of them are queer. It’s an insanely well-written story, the art is nice, and unlike superhero comics, there isn’t any complicated continuity to keep track of.

  11. Please don’t forget Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 & the new BatWoman. Kate Kane, not only a super hero but an out lesbian!!!

  12. wants me to read Y: The Last Man so badly! But I am just finishing Scott Pilgrim (there is some girl-girl action in the books that didn’t make it to the movie) and catching up with Buffy Season 8 (lesbian slayers and witches!) and starting The Walking Dead, so I can’t start another series right now. But it’s on the list.

  13. I enjoy talking about comics/graphic novels, etc. One of my friends recently gave me ‘The Ballad of Halo Jones’ as a belated Christmas present, and I like it very much. I have also decided it is at least a bit gay, not least because I have developed a complete crush on Halo. She’s both kickass and hot!

    But to be honest, I was pretty sold on Halo Jones when I opened the present, turned the book over and the blurb said “2000 AD is proud to present the all-time classic feminist space opera ‘The Ballad of Halo Jones’written by comics legend Alan Moore (‘Watchmen’) and drawn by Ian Gibson (‘Star Wars’)”. I am a huge geek, and so already liked it before I even read it.

  14. I never read your Comics 101 post before, it’s good!

    Everybody (who is into superhero comics and Gotham … so a very flexible definition of everyone) must read Batwoman, and everyone is really lucky because Batwoman: Elegy is out right now. You guys, this is a beautiful trade with amazing art about an ex-military lesbian woman who has probably my favourite origin story ever: she wears the Bat because of the symbol the Bat is for Gotham, not because Bruce Wayne asked her to be. She wears the Bat because, completely independently of the poor little screwed up Wayne orphans and their family, she *needed* to wear the Bat and protect Gotham. Also, she used to date Renee Montoya (the hottest lesbian in comics) (and if anyone can tell me if the Question second feature is included in Elegy I’d be SO GRATEFUL – I haven’t been able to buy it because I’m so, so poor right now). Batwoman: Elegy is a trade collecting the run [IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS SENTENCE READ TAYLOR’S INTRO TO COMICS POST] during which Batwoman was starring in Detective Comics (this was a Big Deal, to me anyway, because Detective is like a Big Serious Batman Book and she starred for a long time. Detective Comics is the company’s signature monthly, and for a year, it was 100% lesbians 100% of the time.) It’s written by Greg Rucka who is terrific. If you’ve been thinking about getting into superhero comics, Batwoman: Elegy is a great place to start! Also because SOON HOPEFULLY (it just got delayed, !@#$) she’s getting her own monthly.

    ALSO, Taylor is so right about Runaways, it is cute and gay AND you don’t really need to know anything about anyone’s backstory (it’s like, the only Marvel book I have ever read) AND if the digest editions are still available it’s also super-affordable! It would also be a really good my-first-comic-book, IMO.

    • Alas, those issues of the second-story Question storyline are in a different TPB titled “The Question: Pipeline”. Having read them when they were in the weekly ‘Tec issues about Batwoman, I would say that they’re a good read–but not necessarily worth the TPB price, so bear that in mind. I read them all faithfully as a Renee fan but they didn’t really do a whole lot to flesh out her (new) character, which was a bit of a let-down because well, that’s what Rucka does best in my mind.

      I’m still so sad Rucka left DC. No Man’s Land is what revitalized my interest in Bat-comics, and I have ongoing concerns that my oldest monthly will be turning back into something overly masculine I have no connection to now that Rucka’s left. [Post-him issues of Tec have not been amazeballs so far, in any event.]

      • GDI DC, why so annoying :( I agree with your assessment of the Question storyline’s worth (although I did kinda like seeing Renee hang out with Huntress which makes me cross my fingers she might show up in Birds now and again) so I was really hoping it was in Elegy which I really want.

        I also agree 100% with your feelings about Rucka, DC, No Man’s Land, and the Batfamily. I read No Man’s Land really early on when I started reading comics (I wasn’t really into them as a kid) and I adored it, it’d probably still be my first rec for getting-into-Bats (although maybe it would be Gotham Knights) and apart from anything else it introduced Cass Cain who is my whole heart. I’m still reading Batbooks – Batgirl is really terrific at the moment, for the record, and Red Robin’s OK, and I mostly like Batman & Robin – but to be honest Bruce himself has never been my favourite, so I was only a sporadic reader of ‘Tec in the first place.

        On the other hand, sometimes “not horrendous” is all I feel I can really ask from DC. :-////

        • “On the other hand, sometimes “not horrendous” is all I feel I can really ask from DC. :-////”

          Hah, I feel you. I know some creators and all of them basically personally apologized to me for 52 happening, as they realized that their general audience would have to bail completely for cost-related reasons–and that was before it turned out to SUCK BALLS and explain nothing/ruin everything.

          I stopped reading Batgirl basically because of 52 (I just sort of gave up on comics altogether for a while) but am considering adding it to my pull on the basis of this recommendation–can’t go wrong with someone else who isn’t bothered by Marvel.

          Incidentally, if you enjoy strong woman investigative policing type things, have you read Alias (the Brian Michael Bendis comics, not to be confused with anything starring Jennifer Garner)? I will recommend this book high and dry to anyone even though it is Marvel; and actually quite like Bendis’ new bi-monthly, which is again about a female doing her thing but very different. It’s called Scarlet, first two issues were very good.

          I also ridiculously am reading Gotham City Sirens but refuse to discuss that. I don’t know why. It had three ladies in it, I felt mildly obliged, and sometimes it ISN’T written like it’s aimed at three year olds. ‘Not horrendous’ indeed.

          • I had stopped a little before 52 myself – I was a big fan of Teen Titans and they killed almost everyone I cared about (I came up from Young Justice), they’d killed Stephanie Brown like two years before and I was still pissed about that, and then I found the whole Crisis bullshit so offensive – so I said see ya and basically read nothing for a couple years and didn’t really go back to it (other than following along what Tim Drake was doing) until they retconned Steph’s death, which is by way of telling you that I was pretty much doomed to like Batgirl (because Steph is Batgirl right now) BUT that I have heard from a lot of people who had hitherto really disliked her that they’re enjoying the book, so yeah, give it a go? I think it’s good fun, fantastic character development and hard work on relationships. Also, at one point she slaps Bruce, and I am pretty weak for that.

            I have a friend who is really REALLY into Alias and I have always meant to read them – I’ve heard lots of good things. And I’ll have a look at Scarlet – I really need to make some effort to not just read Batbooks all the time, it’s so lazy.

            HAH re: Sirens. Sometimes I look at it in the shop and then put it back down again; I totally sympathise wrt: ladies & obligation, though.

          • YOUNG JUSTICE. Ommmgggg. I can’t really ever explain to a third person what makes it so great because the first few issues of it are so juvenile, but the overall awesome of YJ’s run is totally unmatched to my mind. It’s my favorite Tim Drake and I love Cissie King-Jones; it’s also the only time I’ve ever liked Cassie and Kon, so… oh, I’m getting all retroactively happy just thinking about that series! TT was also great for a very long run in the mid-2000s (concurrent with that bizarre Devin Grayson Nightwing run which: I still can’t believe that ever happened) so I feel you completely.

            I will try Batgirl! Am due to call my comic book store (now 200 miles down country but they are independent and totally awesome, I am happy to pay the postage) tomorrow and will add it to the pull then.

  15. Runaways was among the first of many thing to help me realize that I wasn’t so straight… or straight at all for that matter.
    I remember staring at a certain kiss and having my heart melt. <3

  16. I have to ask, why no Batwoman? Also, I’m really glad someone out there appreciates King City! I work at a comic store, no one checks that book out.

  17. RENEE GODDAMN MONTOYA, that’s all I got to say.

    Also my girlfriend keeps bugging me to read Secret Six but I am too poor at the moment so I’ll have to mooch off her comics.

  18. I can’t believe no one has mentioned Lost Girls by Alan Moore. If you like graphic novels, Alan Moore, lesbian erotica, and/or just want to see the all-grown-up-now leading ladies of Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland get it on: get Lost Girls!!! Run, don’t walk!

    • “Like the Lost Boys
      in ‘Peter Pan,’ right?

      Except we’re the Lost Girls, right?

      ‘Lost and Delirious.'”

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