With this past weekend’s debut of the latest X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse, many fans were introduced to characters that they love. The X-Universe has always been quite expansive, with more mutants than anyone can keep track of on their own. With the news of Secret Wars and the changes it brought with the All-New, All-Different Marvel universe, X-fans were worried what would happen to everyone’s favorite mutants. Now, over six months post-Secret Wars and many fans still don’t know where all of their favorite X-Men characters are. Among my favorites are a dozen queer characters who I have been keeping an eye out for. Here is a roll call for the queer X-Men we have and can see in the X-books:
Northstar: The first openly gay superhero in the Marvel universe was this lightspeed mutant. We have yet to see him post-Secret Wars, but he was continually featured in the last couple story arcs of Astonishing X-Men (where he married his partner Kyle) and Amazing X-Men. Northstar has been a mentor to other gay mutants, such as Anole. And creators have been able to use his character to explore relevant issues at the time, such as immigration laws. In Astonishing X-Men, Northstar has to deal with deportation threats, since he is a Canadian citizen who was superheroing in the US before marriage equality, which would give him the right to stay in the country.
Anole: One of Northstar’s students back in the days of New X-Men: Academy X, Anole has had quite a decent amount of development the last couple years across a bunch of the X-books. He has dealt with his own issues of identity and place within the gay community, while supporting other LGBT X-Men and students. He is now in the newly launched Extraordinary X-Men, where he is featured among a small group of X-Men trainees under Colossus’s tutelage.
Iceman (Young): A member of the All-New X-Men main cast. He is time displaced along with the other original first class X-Men. As a newly out sixteen year old, he has a lot to work through and figure out.
Iceman (Present): Currently, he is in the main cast of Extraordinary X-Men. Adult Iceman is figuring out his place as one of the oldest X-Men members and a newly out gay man.
Bling!: She first debuted as a pupil of Gambit’s squad, the Chevaliers, when Xavier’s school grouped up all of the students into squads. She expressed a crush on Gambit and Foxx (a new student of Gambit’s who was actually Mystique in disguise). Bling! was last featured in X-Men, where she started dating Mercury after an altercation between the two. Recently seen in the background of All-New X-Men during a birthday party for Genesis, which hopefully means she has not been forgotten.
Shatterstar & Rictor: These lifelong friends became a couple when Shatterstar joined up with X-Factor Investigations. The sweethearts ran off together at the end of the X-Factor series. We’ve yet to see either of them post-Secret Wars, but it would be great to see what adventures they’ve had since going out on their own.
Karma: An original member of the New Mutants and an out lesbian, Karma was last seen at the end of Bendis’s run of All-New X-Men living as a Utopian with a few other mutants who had no interest in the perpetual Cyclops versus Wolverine drama. She agreed to join the New Charles Xavier school but hasn’t been seen post-Secret Wars.
Prodigy: A former student at Xavier’s who was in the New Mutants squad, Prodigy lost his powers during M-day, but retained all the knowledge he gained through his former limited telepathic ability. Most recently he was a member for the Young Avengers, where he came out as bisexual. He hasn’t been seen post-Secret Wars with either team.
Morph (Benjamin Deeds): A newer mutant who was recruited to Cyclops’ Uncanny X-Men after Avengers vs. X-Men made Cyclops a wanted fugitive. When Emma Frost takes a special interest in teaching him how to control his powers, he reveals that he is gay. His ability makes it so that anyone who meets him is accepting of him and feels comfortable around him. A homosexual man who can instantly make anyone accepting of him could make an interesting future story line about his role in potentially making people who have negative feelings toward the queer community accept a gay person.
Graymalkin: An ancestor of Charles Xavier who was born in the 18th Century, Graymalkin ended up in the present when his father beat him close to death and then buried him alive after finding him kissing another boy. He survived for 200 years buried underneath the institute because his powers were activated in darkness. Readers learned most about Graymalkin in the Young X-Men where he and Anole became close friends. Afterwards, he was mainly at the Jean Grey Institute; however, he hasn’t really been seen post-Secret Wars. Hopefully we can see him alongside Anole in Extraordinary X-Men.
Daken: Wolverine’s son, who has displayed bisexual tendencies, uses his sexuality as a weapon most of the time. However, he once spared his male lover from a massacre he committed, suggesting he does have romantic feelings for some of his sexual conquests. Daken was last seen in the Wolverines miniseries and hasn’t been seen post-Secret Wars as of yet. There is a good chance he will pop up in All-New Wolverine or Old Man Logan.
Mystique: This deadly shapeshifter can currently be seen in the Uncanny X-Men series post-Secret Wars. Mystique actually has a long queer history involving her and her true love Destiny. Together Mystique and Destiny have had a hand in manipulating events with Destiny’s ability to see the future. They are also responsible for adopting and raising Rogue, a character beloved by many X-fans.
Jubilee: In the last X-Men series, Jubilee was adjusting to motherhood with her adopted son Shogo while unofficially joining the team of X-ladies. While she wasn’t always on main missions with them, she was shown leading the students on related side missions. While being tied to the students more she found herself in the middle of a romantic feud between Bling and Mercury. This involved Bling kissing Jubilee in an attempt to make Mercury jealous. Jubilee didn't have a negative reaction to this and helped the girls to reconcile. This didn't seem to point to Jubilee being queer until Secret Wars happened. During Secret Wars, Marvel did a tie-in series called Runaways which featured Jubilee as one of the main protagonists. The Jubilee in this miniseries was openly queer, so hopefully a new writer will pick up on this plot thread and bring her queerness to light in the main universe. Now fans have to wait and see which Jubilee we will get.
With at least a dozen characters for creators to play with, there’s so much potential for more queer storylines in the X-Universe going forward. Fingers crossed fans will see more of their favorite queer X-Men across the Marvel Universe.
Follow me on Twitter @RudelyPoetic