Things We Love: Superheroes

Things We Love: Superheroes

There are few things to love more than a super powered (or super talented) individual who slaps on the skin-tight lycra and jumps to save the world. And more so, we love it when they’re queer.

With the advent of Batwoman making history as the first lead character who is a lesbian, played by a lesbian, and was out since day one, I felt it was important to look back on the ladies who love ladies and got us where we are today.

Let’s count up the ladder of the shoulders on which Batwoman’s success stands.

Batwoman

Let’s start with where we are today. From the moment we saw her on last year’s Arrowverse crossover, I was all in. When I saw the premiere at SDCC, I was in heaven. Batwoman has been one of my favourites ever since she was reintroduced in 52. Every Sunday I’m excited to get to watch her.

She’s the first main (headlining/titular) lesbian superhero and she’s the first lesbian superhero played by a lesbian. But she wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for people like …

Nico Minoru

Coming out stories are popular, especially with teens. Nico’s wasn’t the normal one. Oh, sure, we got her dating a boy, having her sister die, going Goth, finding out her parents are murderers, and then her friend falls for her … But that could happen to anyone!

Nico holding her staff and smiling.

Nico’s anything but your typical bisexual, and her road to understanding herself isn’t just tied to her sexuality, which is really nice.

Alex Danvers

Speaking of coming out … Alex is very super-adjacent. Her only extraordinary power is not realizing she was a lesbian all this time. Also her genius when it comes to science. She’s wildly overqualified to be Director Danvers of the DEO, but we’re glad she is.

Alex Danvers having Gay Panic coming out to her sister.

I absolutely love her little gay panic here and that she was the first queer female coming out story we got on the CW.

Karolina Dean

It wasn’t enough to find out her father isn’t her father, Karolina had to find out her dad is an alien and her mom is a murderer trying to keep him alive. In the middle of all that? She realizes she’s not into boys.

Karolina marvelling that she's a glowing rainbow alien.

You have to give her props for handling her sexuality and being her own personal Pride Rainbow as well as she has.

Nyssa al Ghul

Being a bad-ass assassin is a super power, and you can’t tell me otherwise. Nyssa is complicated, which happens when your father is the leader of assassins and your girlfriend dies in your arms so you throw her in a Lazarus Pit to save her.

Nyssa saying "I am Nyssa. Daughter of Ra's Al Ghul. Heir to the Demon."

Is Nyssa good or bad? Impossible to tell. What we do know is that she knows who she is, and just hasn’t deigned to tell us everything.

Ava Sharpe

One day you wake up and you’re the director of the Time Bureau, charged with fixing time aberrations. Everything’s going okay, if you ignore the part where your former boss went loopy, and his other replacement is running around time and space with a bunch of misfits. Then you had to fall for her. And then you found out you’re a clone and all your memories are fake.

Ava wanting to kill John Constantine (can we blame her) because he and Sara slept together. Also he's John.

Poor Ava has to deal with a lot, too. Her girlfriend’s exes show up way too much, and said girlfriend shows up in a teddy in her office. But I’m pretty sure Ava didn’t mind that too much.

Dreamer

Who knew narcolepsy could be a superpower? By controlling her micro-naps to see the future, Nia turned into a force to be reckoned with. She can take a mini nap, predict where you’re going to throw a punch, and then just not be there. Pretty bad-ass.

Nia Nal in her Dreamer costume, showing off her powers.

Nia also broke barriers by being the first queer female superhero played by a real life queer woman. That makes it all the more poignant when she talks about coming out as a super, a part alien, and a woman.

Grace Choi

Bartender by day, closeted meta by night, total comic nerd, Grace is a conundrum. She’s both alike and not her comic’s counterpart, and makes me wonder who she really is inside. Besides a walking intimacy issue poster child.

No matter how far apart they are, ThunderGrace keeps pulling each other back in. An episode later this season will have ‘teen Grace’ so we’re finally going to get some backstory.

White Canary

I challenge you to find me someone else who’s died as often as Sara and lived to tell about it. Sara is so self-assured about who she is, we can’t help but adore her. She even went to hell to help her clone girlfriend and built furniture with her. That’s love, y’all.

Sara Lance spinning a knife to carve turkey. Like you do.

Oh Captain our captain, Sara Lance remains the best bisexual time traveling space captain assassin there is. She reminds us there’s no reason to be anyone other than who you are, no matter when you are.

Thunder

She comes with the stomp and changes the world. Like her name, Thunder charges into things head-first and without a look back. She’s bold, brash, and (thank god) bulletproof. Add in the fact that she’s a med student, you’ve got brains, brawns, and ethics all in one.

Thunder being beautifully bulletproof.

Thunder was our first main character lesbian superhero, and having her be bulletproof is icing on the cake.

Who Are You Favourite Heroes?

As thrilled as I am for Batwoman (and let’s be serious, I’m ecstatic), we wouldn’t have her on the CW were it not for these wonderful predecessors. So remember to tip your hat to who came first. And if you’re me, you’re privately hoping Renee Montoya will show up as The Question on Batwoman before the season is over.

From coming out to out and proud, we have a wonderful variety of queer women and can (and should) celebrate all their firsts. From the first lesbian super (Thunder) to the first queer-playing-queer (Dreamer), we have more than I would have expected when I started this site.

The best news for you is all those shows? They’re on air. Check them out and enjoy the Worlds Finest.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.

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