Silhouette, Captain Metropolis, Hooded Justice, and Ozymandias (Before Watchmen: Minutemen and Before Watchmen: Ozymandias)
Revisiting the characters introduced in Alan Moore’s groundbreaking 1980s series, The Watchmen, the Before Watchmen comics are much more explicit about the Minutemen’s three gay members: Silhouette, Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice (the latter two of whom were in a kinky S&M relationship). The Ozymandias mini explores the title character’s sexuality—though its still not clear if he’s gay, bisexual or omnisexual.
Current status: With limited runs of 4-6 issues, the Before Watchmen comics are a short jaunt into the past, but well worth the trip.
Anole (Wolverine and the X-Men)
First appearing in 2003’s New Mutants #2, Anole (Victor Borkowski) fled his anti-mutant hometown in the Midwest and enrolled at the Xavier Institute, where his life mirrored many of his classmates; academic classes, battle training, and the occasional assault on the X-Mansion. What set him apart from other X-Men (and other gay characters) was his mentor-student relationship with older gay heroes Karma and Northstar, creating an inter-generational LGBT support system which has helped Anole come to terms with his sexuality.
Current status: Anole has taken on the role of mentor himself with Graymalkin, a mutant teen from the 1800s who was buried in suspended animation under the mansion for centuries.
Rictor and Shatterstar (X-Factor)
Rictor and Shatterstar literally come from different worlds: While Julio Ricter grew up in Mexico with an arms-dealer for a father, Shatterstar was essentially grown in a vat in an alternate future to be the ultimate killing machine. The two met as members of the 1990s mutant team X-Force, but it wasn’t until their first kiss years later, in X-Factor #45, that the gay rumors were confirmed.
Current status: As series writer Peter David continues to expand the heroes’ relationship, we see them facing an oddly familiar dynamic: While Rictor has been around the block (albeit with women) and is ready for a commitment, this is Shatterstar’s first romantic pairing and now the reformed assassin is wondering about all the other fish in the sea. Could this be comicdom’s first open relationship?