Comics/Graphic Novels

Read Harder Recommendations: Comics that Feature LGBTQ Characters

Chris M. Arnone

Senior Contributor

The son of a librarian, Chris M. Arnone's love of books was as inevitable as gravity. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. His novel, The Hermes Protocol, was published by Castle Bridge Media in 2023 and the next book in that series is due out in winter 2024. His work can also be found in Adelaide Literary Magazine and FEED Lit Mag. You can find him writing more books, poetry, and acting in Kansas City. You can also follow him on social media (Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, website).

The Panels 2015 Read Harder Challenge consists of 26 challenge categories spanning the breadth and depth of all things that may be considered comics. Every week we’ll give you reading recommendations from one of the categories.

Art reflects life. No matter your political or religious stance, the presence of LGBTQ characters in art is required if art is to be an accurate mirror to our daily lives. As a big supporter of LGBTQ rights, I jumped at the chance to write about comics that include such characters.

BatwomanBatwoman by Greg Rucka, J. H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, and Amy Reeder

Bob Kane certainly didn’t imagine Kate Kane like this when he originally created her, but she’s become an icon for lesbian superheroes, particularly because she leads her own book. The current Batwoman took up the mantle following Final Crisis and Batman’s (sort of) death, helping to fill the vacuum left by Bruce Wayne’s absence. She proved more than capable and not just a lady in bat clothing. The rich, Jewish, lesbian crimefighter has seen success in the New 52 as well, despite DC editorial not allowing her to marry. — Chris Arnone


SSIX Cv19 dsSecret Six by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Jim Calafiore, and Ken Lashley

Gail Simone’s Secret Six has been one of my favorite titles since it spun out of Infinite Crisis back in 2005 as Villains United. Simone brought together an eclectic team of mostly B-list villains and made them funny, brutal, and yet sympathetic. Pre-New 52, the team featured Scandal Savage (lesbian) and Knockout (bisexual), with Simone alluding to Catman’s sexuality having some ambiguity. With the new series that launched in December 2014, Simone made it very apparent very early that Catman is, indeed, bisexual. — Chris Arnone


Other Recommendations and Resources:

Dykes to Watch Out ForAnything by Alison Bechdel — Swapna

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker — Swapna

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe – Andi





Young AvengersYoung Avengers by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie –Ali

Drama by Raina Telgemeier –Ali

Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore –Ali