Life can be challenging when you live outside the gender binary. Sometimes, it feels like a constant barrage of having to clarify one’s pronouns, justify one’s outfit, and be cautious about every breath drawn in public. Add to that the almost complete lack of nonbinary representation in media and you’ve got a big depressing can of ugh.
Take heart, though, my sweet enbies! Life outside the gender binary is also full of freedom, friendship, and even some sweet, sweet comic books.
That’s right, folks. Below you will find a pull list of comics, new and old, that feature characters outside the gender binary so that you can geek like an enby.
Please note: Without regard for the pronouns used within the comic books, I’ve opted to use they/them for each character to honor their gender identity.
Swamp Thing (Saga of the Swamp Thing)
Swamp Thing once thought they were a man trapped in a vegetative body, but then they realized they were conscious vegetation mocking the form of a human, for want of a better blueprint. They lack the organs humans have, but they do not lack passion. While Swamp Thing’s number one love is definitely the Green, the collective consciousness of all plant life, they also have a witchy girlfriend named Abby who they are devoted to. In Volume 2, Swamp Thing decides they want to be intimate with their boo, but instead of engaging in intercourse, they offer Abby a psychedelic tuber. Swamp Thing plucks the tuber from their own side and the root vegetable takes them both through a hallucinatory, sensual journey that will make you think, “Sure sex is great, but have you ever eaten a psychedelic tuber and tripped through time and space with a giant, sentient, patch of swamp?”
Loki (Loki: Agent of Asgard)
Loki is best known for being a trickster god who annoys their brother, Thor, but they’re also a gender-fluid god(dess) who enjoys many forms, including a masculine and a feminine form. In Loki: Agent of Asgard, our favorite jerk learns that being a jerk comes at a cost (and being a murderer comes at an even higher price). As they try to redeem themselves and their future, they have to come to terms with the duality of being the god of lies and the goddess of stories. Pick up these issues and get ready to enjoy the many sexy faces of Loki.
A great companion and underappreciated comic is Angela: Assassin of Asgard, which contains a beautiful tale of Angela and Sera, two rejects from the realm of Heven. The two fall in love and fight to save the Ten Realms from a demonically-infused Asgardian heir. The series is notable for its narrative and art, as well as the fact that Sera is a trans woman of color and total badass.
Barney started out as a Scouting Lad, a fictional version of the Boy Scouts, but they didn’t really enjoy their experience. But, when they meet the children of the Roanoke Cabin, their whole life changes. Barney decides to join the more feminine summer camp, formally called Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, and leaves behind the regimented masculinity of the Scouting Lads. As they find acceptance at the new camp, Barney finds that they are more comfortable expressing their gender identity and begins using they/them. Lumberjanes is a powerful comic book about the power of friendship, the redefinition of gender, and magical adventure—what’s not to love?
In Volume 2 of Runaways, Xavin, a Skrull with the power to shape shift, arrives on Earth in pursuit of their betrothed, Karolina, aka Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. When they first appear, Xavin uses a human male form and tries to woo Karolina into honoring the agreement made between her parents and theirs. After Karolina makes it clear that she’s a lesbian, Xavin changes into a female form. While the Runaways find it strange that Xavin is gender-fluid (and Nico is a real jerk about their gender), they say, "For us, just changing our gender is no different than changing our hair color." Louder for the people in the back!
Rebis (Doom Patrol)
Starting with Issue #19, Doom Patrol brings to life the nonbinary being Rebis, who is an amalgam of three people: a black female doctor, a white dude, and an energy being. The form they take is covered in mummy-like bandages, floats around, and wears sunglasses most of the time. Rebis likens themself to an ouroborus, the snake eating its own tail, in part because they mate with themselves to give birth to the next iteration of themselves. Part of the procreation (in-creation?!) process requires Rebis to work through the deaths of the human selves that came together with the energy being to make Rebis. As Rebis fights for an existence beyond the gender binary, they also save the world. No biggie. It’s just what we enbies do.
Webcomic bonus: Eth (Eth's Skin)
A pull list implies that there is something to pull and webcomics don’t typically fit that bill, but Eth’s Skin is just too good to leave off this list.
There is a lot to love about Eth’s Skin, not least of which is the main character, Eth, a nonbinary person who accidentally steals a selkie’s skin, forcing the selkie to live in a human female body. Even though Eth never intended to do her any harm, they have to figure out how to make things right. Eth lives in a world filled with magic, queer people, and considerate humans who ask for pronouns without any additional hubbub. This webcomic is beautiful, powerful, and worth reading.