Marvel Comics introduces its first drag queen superhero, Shade

Marvel Comics Drag Queen Superhero

Marvel has introduced its first drag queen superhero, an X-Men mutant named Shade. Photo: Marvel Comics.

Marvel Comics has introduced its first drag queen superhero, an X-Men mutant named Shade.

She’s fierce and fabulous with her flowing, bright green wig; thigh-high boots with giant lifts; and a one-piece bodysuit emblazoned with a huge yellow X.


Shade sashayed into comic books history in last month’s “Iceman” No. 4.

“Iceman” is Marvel’s only monthly series featuring a queer lead character.

Shade only appeared in one panel of the comic book, but left a lasting impression. Shade introduced herself to fans when she used her teleporting superpowers to make a dramatic entrance of stepping out of her hand-held folding fan at the Mutant Pride Parade.

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Shade returns in this month’s “Iceman” No.5, which came out Wednesday, and will be seen in the special “X-Men: Winter’s End” annual issue, which will be released in February.


Openly gay Marvel Comics writer Sina Grace and artist Nathan Stockman created “Iceman,” which debuted in 2017. Iceman came out as queer two years earlier. “Iceman” was cancelled after 11 issues, but given another chance in 2018.

“I really wanted this series to push readers to new and better stories about the whole queer experience and how it applies to being both a mutant and a superhero,” Grace recently told The Advocate in an interview.

“There’s a million different queer perspectives,” Grace said, “and we’re only scratching the surface.”

Phillip Zonkel can be reached at 562-294-5996 or [email protected]

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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