Discover the 9 Best Lesbian Comic Books of All Time

Lesbian representation in comic books has come a long way since the earliest days of the genre, and today we can celebrate a plethora of stunning stories, legendary characters and talented creators. In this article, we’re going to explore the history of LGBTQ+ representation in comic books, delve into some of the most iconic lesbian characters and creators, and of course, recommend some must-read LGBTQ+ comic book series. So, buckle up and get ready to discover the best lesbian comic books of all time!

Discover the 9 Best Lesbian Comic Books of All Time

The History of Lesbian Representation in Comic Books

Like most forms of media, comic books have had their share of ups and downs when it comes to representing LGBTQ+ characters. While queer individuals have always existed in society, it was not until the late 20th century that they began to make their way onto the pages of mainstream comic book stories.

Early Beginnings and Pioneers

The first representations of LGBTQ+ characters in comic books were often vague and coded, meant to appeal to queer readers while still flying under the radar of censors and conservative critics. One of the earliest pioneers was Tarpé Mills, who created the iconic character Miss Fury in 1941. While not overtly queer, Miss Fury’s adventures often depicted subversive or non-traditional gender roles and hinted at a more fluid sense of sexuality. Other notable early comic book projects featuring queer characters included “Gay Comics” launched in 1944, featuring a comic book character named Gay Desperado, and “The Gay Ghost,” who first appeared in 1945.

Despite the coded nature of these early representations, they were still important in paving the way for more overtly queer characters in the future. These characters helped to create a space for queer readers to see themselves reflected in the pages of comic books, even if it was not always in a direct or explicit way.

The Rise of LGBTQ+ Characters in Mainstream Comics

The 1980s and 90s saw the increased inclusion of queer characters in popular comic book titles. Marvel Comics introduced Northstar, a gay superhero, in 1983, and DC Comics followed suit with the introduction of Extraño, also a gay superhero, in 1987. However, even during these years of progress, queer representation remained fraught with issues of stereotyping, tokenism, and misrepresentation.

It wasn’t until the 21st century that comic book creators began to push beyond the boundaries of previous queer representation and to do justice to complex and nuanced queer identities. This was particularly true when it came to the representation of lesbian characters. One notable example is the character of Renee Montoya, who was first introduced in the Batman comics in 1992. Montoya was a lesbian character who struggled with her identity and the discrimination she faced as a queer woman of color in law enforcement. Over time, Montoya’s character developed into a complex and nuanced portrayal of a queer woman, paving the way for other lesbian characters to follow.

Independent Publishers Championing Diversity

Bitch Planet

One of the most significant shifts within LGBTQ+ representation in comic book media has been the rise of independent and niche publishers. These publishers gave a platform to queer creators and authors who could tell their stories in their own voices and from their own experiences. Today, comic books from these publishers – such as Image Comics, Aftershock Comics, and Oni Press – have gained widespread critical acclaim for their representation of queer characters and themes.

Lesbian representation has been particularly strong in these independent comics. For example, the comic book “Bitch Planet” by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro features a diverse cast of women, including queer and trans characters. The comic book “Lumberjanes” by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters features a group of young girls at summer camp who all have different backgrounds and identities, including a lesbian character named Jo.

Overall, while there is still a long way to go in terms of representation and inclusivity in comic books, the history of lesbian representation in comic books shows that progress is possible. From the early pioneers who paved the way to the current crop of independent publishers who are championing diversity, queer characters are finding their place in the pages of comic books, and lesbian characters are a vital part of this ongoing story.

Iconic Lesbian Characters in Comic Books

As queer representation in comic books has evolved, so too have the characters we’ve come to know and love. Below, we’ll take a closer look at three of the most iconic lesbian characters in comic books today, highlighting their significance and contributions to the genre.

Batwoman: A Trailblazer for LGBTQ+ Superheroes

Batwoman by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams (Detective Comics (1937-2011))

Batwoman, also known as Kate Kane, made her debut in DC Comics in 2006, and quickly became an iconic figure in the genre. As a lesbian superhero, Kate Kane broke barriers and challenged expectations. She is one of the most prominent representations of LGBTQ+ characters in comics, and has been celebrated for the way her identity is portrayed as a proud and significant part of her character.

One of the most interesting aspects of Batwoman’s character is her backstory. She was expelled from the military under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prevented LGBTQ+ individuals from serving openly in the military. This experience gave her a unique perspective on the world and made her even more determined to fight for justice and equality.

Batwoman has faced many battles and challenges, both in her crime-fighting and personal life. Her complex and interesting character has become an exciting addition to the comic book landscape.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy: A Complicated Romance

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy (2019-2020)

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy were two of Batman’s most ruthless foes, but the two supervillains soon found solace in each other. Over time, their relationship turned into one of the most iconic lesbian relationships in comics, challenging gender roles and making a political statement about identity and sexuality.

Their romance is not without its complications, however. Poison Ivy is often portrayed as a villain, while Harley Quinn is a complex character who has both heroic and villainous tendencies. This dynamic has made their relationship all the more interesting to follow, as readers are never quite sure what will happen next.

Despite the challenges they face, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s chemistry has been explored extensively throughout the comic book and film industries, and their complex and nuanced romance is one of the most beloved in the industry.

Maggie Sawyer: A Groundbreaking Police Officer

Maggie Sawyer first appeared in “Adventures of Superman” in 1987, and quickly became a pioneering force against the tyranny of crime in the big city. Her inclusion was groundbreaking as she was one of the first LGBTQ+ characters to have a leadership role in mainstream comics.

As a police officer, Maggie Sawyer is a strong and capable leader who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She has faced discrimination and prejudice, but has always remained true to herself and her values. Her courage and determination have made her a role model for young girls and LGBTQ+ individuals alike to look up to.

Maggie Sawyer’s character has also been explored in depth in various comic book storylines. Her personal life, including her relationships with other women, has been a significant part of her character development. This has made her a more well-rounded and relatable character, and has helped to break down stereotypes and stigmas surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals.

Celebrating Queer Female Creators

The comic book industry has seen immense growth in recent years, with more and more female creators gaining recognition for their work. Below, we’ll explore the work of three of the most celebrated queer female creators in the industry today.

Alison Bechdel: Creator of “Dykes to Watch Out For”

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

Alison Bechdel has been an influential voice in the queer community since the 1980s. She is the creator of the groundbreaking comic strip, “Dykes to Watch Out For” which ran between 1983 and 2008. The strip focused on a group of lesbian friends, providing both a unique perspective and a humorous take on issues of LGBTQ+ identity, gender, and politics. Her work has received critical acclaim, and she has since published several graphic memoirs, including the award-winning “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.”

Mariko Tamaki: Award-Winning Writer and Artist

This One Summer

Mariko Tamaki is a Canadian artist who has contributed some of the most dynamic and celebrated graphic novels to date. Her work explores the intersections and complexities of race, gender and sexuality. Along with Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki created “This One Summer,” which was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal.

Noelle Stevenson: The Mind Behind “Lumberjanes”


Noelle Stevenson is the award-winning writer and artist behind the beloved comic book series “Lumberjanes.” The comic follows the adventures of a group of girls at summer camp as they navigate various supernatural phenomena. Stevenson uses her platform to promote diversity and representation in comics, playing an important role in creating a new space for underrepresented characters and creators in the genre.

Must-Read Lesbian Comic Book Series

Whether you’re new to the world of comic books or a seasoned reader, there are plenty of must-read series featuring lesbian characters and representation. Below, we’ll take a look at three of the most compelling and celebrated series to add to your reading list.

“Strangers in Paradise” by Terry Moore

Strangers In Paradise

Strangers in Paradise” is a groundbreaking comic book series by Terry Moore, which explores the lives and relationship of two women, Francine and Katchoo. The series tackles issues of love, loss, and identity and remains one of the most celebrated and iconic lesbian comic book stories ever written.

“Sunstone” by Stjepan Šejić


Sunstone” is a webcomic series written and illustrated by Stjepan Šejić. The series follows the romantic entanglements of two women, Ally and Lisa, exploring their developing relationship as they navigate life’s challenges. The webcomic has been widely praised for its portrayal of the complexities of desire and relationships, and has earned a dedicated following of fans.

“Heathen” by Natasha Alterici


Heathen” is a Norse mythology-based series from Natasha Alterici which stars Aydis, a lesbian Viking warrior who goes on a quest to challenge the patriarchal and heteronormative traditions of her society. The series has been praised for its inventive take on Norse mythology and has been celebrated for its strong representation of LGBTQ+ themes.


As we’ve seen, the world of lesbian comic books has come a long way since its early beginnings, with fascinating and inspiring stories being told by talented writers and artists. With more representation and diverse perspectives than ever before, there’s truly never been a better time to dive into the world of lesbian comic books – and we hope this article has given you some great ideas to get started!


What are the best comic books about lesbian romances?

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, Princess Princess Ever After by Kay O’Neill, Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash, and Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin are some of the best comics following lesbian romantic relationships.

What are the best comic books with a lesbian protagonist?

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel, The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, and Moonstruck by Grace Ellis are all great comics with lesbian leads.

Who are the best lesbian comic book writers?

Paige Braddock, Erica Friedman, Molly Ostertag, Kabi Nagata, and Alison Bechdel are some of the best lesbian comic writers.

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