Happy Pride month Nibblers! To celebrate we’re going to do a weekly post of bingeables that we’d recommend with great queer rep! If you’ve been watching anything great that you think we should check out, let us know in the comments.
For Week 1 we’re gunna do SUPER SERIES!
Whilst the superhero movie industry continues to be a sad letdown when it comes to queer rep, either straight washing characters altogether (Okoye – we’re looking at you) or giving us the slightest flicker at a flirtation before bringing back a dead lover to avoid any possibility of queerness in the plot (mmmhmm Wonder Woman 1984) the series do much better in terms of representation.
DC absolutely smashes it out of the park with Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine, Supergirl and Batwoman.
Black Lightning follows school principle Jefferson Pierce as he shapes young minds during the day and patrols the streets as the electrifying super hero/vigilante Black Lightning at night! The series doesn’t pull its punches when dealing with issues like race and police brutality in America. In terms of queer rep Pierce’s daughter Anissa (AKA Thunder) is openly lesbian. Her parents completely accept her and we don’t have any of the tired cliches we usually have to tolerate with queer representation. What we get here is a lesbian super hero – no drama. Well obviously there’s drama, but not about being a lesbian… you get it.
Legends of Tomorrow sees former Arrow regular Sarah Lance offer some time travelling bi representation. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is much lighter in terms of subject matter than Black Lightning. Sometimes the representation can be a bit awkward (in earlier series it felt rather like Sarah had to keep kissing random people to prove she liked all genders!) but it’s fun, and as the series develop so do the characters. It also has regular guest appearances by John Constantine, the bi warlock, who sometimes helps, sometimes hinders the team as they try to fix the timeline. Some of the characters are a bit annoying, and the plots can be outrageous, but it is fun and compelling, so give it a try.
Supergirl is not backwards about coming forwards with its political opinions, and overtly dealt with the issues in America during the Trump administration, including immigration and white supremacy. Whilst if you read the internet “ships” you would not be blamed for believing that Cara Danvers (aka Supergirl) and Lena Luther are a couple – this not (yet) in fact the case (come on writers – be brave) we still get queer rep in the form of Alex Danvers (Cara’s sister) who comes out as a lesbian, and the Nia Nall, aka Dreamer who is the first trans superhero on television.
Season 1 of Batwoman blasted to our screens with the incomparable Kate Kane donning the cowl of possibly the most famous lesbian superhero to date – Batwoman. The first series was strong, and I particularly enjoyed the different relationship between Supergirl and Batwoman in comparison to their male counterparts, who spent an entire film comparing sizes whilst Wonder Woman weakly attempted to interject. In comparison, the two communicated, and talked out any disagreements and came to amicable compromises. When Ruby Rose decided to leave at the end of series one, I was dubious as to how the series would continue. Would they recast Kate? How would that work? But I would go as far as to say that what they did has made the second season even better. Javicia Leslie has made the role completely her own, and the decision to make the character of Ryan Wilder Batwoman, instead of recasting Kate Kane has allowed the series to explore different issues. For example, Kate was still a billionaire, with all the privileges that come with it. Ryan is an ex con who starts the series living out of her van. It has given Series 2 of Batwoman a whole new dimension and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Whilst Marvel series are a bit disappointing from a representation point of view, in the interest of fairness I will give a shout out to Runaways. It’s a bit teenage angsty, but it does have Karolina Dean and Nico Minoru who have a very teenage angsty relationship… for those of us who weren’t born this century, there is also the cast of parents, who are a who’s who of 90s TV, which is quite fun, and a cameo from Liz Hurley also makes the series worth a watch. There is also a dinosaur, so there’s that.