Mainstream comic companies such as Marvel and DC haven't had the best track record with their gay characters. The few they feature are usually killed or pushed to the sidelines altogether. Northstar, the was the first openly gay comic book character, was introduced in 1979 (though he didn't officially come out until 1983) as part of the Canadian X-Men team, "Alpha Flight." A few years ago Northstar was killed three times in three different continituties (don't ask), but like any good comic character, was resurrected, spirit fingers and all.
Midnighter and Apollo (pictured above) -- whose names may sound more at home on the cover of a porno than a comic book -- are two of the best examples of gayness done right in modern comics. The couple first appeared as part of the superhero team The Authority and most interpret Midnighter and Apollo as parallels of Batman and Superman. The two became a couple, and eventually adopted a daughter with one of the best drag names ever, Jenny Quantum. The fact that they are both gay and in a relationship is never an issue, and when you have to save the world from aliens and apocalyptic disasters on a daily basis, being queer is probably the least of your worries.
These characters are just scratching the surface of gays in comics, and while today was a bit of a superhero sausage fest, next week's installment will be girls' night out when we discuss comicbook lesbians including the day Batwoman came out as a lady lovin' lady!