LGBTQ+ Supervillains: Ranking the Top 5

Coded, Schmoded

Rosie: [spots Charlie] “Who’s this you brought with you? Come now, Alastor, she’s much too young for you! Oh, I’m just kidding, I know you’re an Ace in the hole.”
Alastor:A what now?”

Hazbin Hotel “Hello Rosie!” (Season 1, Episode 7)

LGBTQ+ people have walked a long road. For decades, they often hid who they were and who they loved. At best, society viewed them as an oddity not to be spoken of in polite company. You couldn’t find a lesbian hero or an un-mocked transgender sidekick, but there was one archetype that could get away with embodying those identities: the villain.

Villains coded to have LGBTQ+ traits appear in hundreds of movies. This allowed filmmakers to feature different characterizations without offending conservative viewers. Disney in particular loves making queer-coded villains, from foppish Scar to Divine-inspired Ursula. So who are the Top 5 LGBTQ+ Supervillains? Let’s find out. 

Honorable Mention: Sadako Yamamura

Played By: Rae Ino, Tae Kimura, Yukie Nakama, others
Identity: Intersex

[Sadako appears next to a victim who is being pulled from her well]
Sadako:Why were you the only one saved?

Ring 2

Gay and bi people get most of the media’s rainbow-colored spotlight, but other identities deserve love. Some are different because of their biology, such as this LGBTQ+ Supervillain.

Sadako Yamamura was an odd child. She was born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Her mother was a psychic, and her father is implicitly an ocean god. During one of Ms. Yamamura’s demonstrations, Sadako psychically murdered several reporters who accused her mother of being a fraud. Ms. Yamamura killed herself shortly afterwards.

Sadako was sexually assaulted in her teens. The rapist discovered that she had female and male genitals and hurled her down a well. Sadako survived for thirty years in the well, psychic powers and rage sustaining her as they merged into a curse.

Her curse was caught by a passing UHF signal and recorded onto a videotape. The cursed tape shows hints of her backstory and caused Sadako’s ghost to murder the viewer one week later. 

Viewers can only survive by making a copy of the videotape and showing it to someone else, thus spreading the curse. These tapes create new instances of Sadako that are both a clone and her child. Ironically, the infertile Sadako’s name translates to “chaste”.

Sadako is an honorable mention because the intersex plot point only appears in the original novels and not the more famous movies. 

#5 LGBTQ+ Supervillain: Pied Piper

Played By: Andy Mientus
Identity: Gay

[Flash and Pied Piper are debating The Joker’s sexuality]
Flash: “Guys like that, you can always tell. There are signals.”
Pied Piper:
He kills people, Wally. He’s a sadist and a psychopath. I doubt he has real human feelings of any kind. He’s not gay, Wally. In fact… I can’t think of a single villain who is.
Flash: “Not one?”
Pied Piper: Well, except me, of course.”

Flash #53 (1987)

Many people think that it’s easy to identify an LGBTQ+ person by their looks. That’s rarely the case, but the thought persists that stereotypes will out them. This LGBTQ+ supervillain is invisible to people who think that way.

Hartley Rathaway was born deaf. His parents bought advanced cybernetics to help him hear, leading to his obsession with music. By studying his implant’s technology, Hartley discovered a sonic frequency that mind controlled people. Taking inspiration from the German myth, he became a modern Pied Piper.

Pied Piper committed many crimes with his weaponized flutes and fell into an amicable rivalry with Kid Flash. He later came out of the closet and began dating Flash’s boss, Cpt. Singh. Flash and most of The Rogues accepted Pied Piper, but he had to endure homophobia from Captain Boomerang and The Trickster.

#4 Poison Ivy

Played By: Diane Pershing, Uma Thurman, Lake Bell
Identity: Demiromantic Bisexual

Poison Ivy: “Hey, this is kinda weird for me to say, but your occasional willingness to help people even while blowing the shit out of them is inspiring to me. Like, to-a-bad-level inspiring.”
Harley Quinn:Aw, thanks Ive! But it’s a real pain in the ass being in the middle!
Ivy: “Babe, you’re not in the middle. You’re on the outside, and that’s what I love about you. It’s… it’s your superpower.”

Harley Quinn “Killer’s Block” (Season 4, Episode 10)

Many LGBTQ+ characters only have one identity. Gay, Ace, Bi all have one trait that the writers stick with. But that isn’t always the case. There’s a wide spectrum of identities and sexual preferences. This LGBTQ+ supervillain doesn’t limit herself.

Dr. Pamela Isley was a botanist in love with a coworker, Dr. Woodrue. He experimented on her, transforming Isley into a half-human plant elemental. She could control all plant life, but also heard its pain from pollution, deforestation, and other ecological ills. Dr. Isley became an eco-terrorist called Poison Ivy.

Poison Ivy targets businesspeople running large corporations, seeking to punish them for polluting. She also became a misandrist serial killer because she blamed her condition on Woodrue. Sex is a weapon in Poison Ivy’s arsenal, which she uses to lure in victims for a poisonous kiss.

Poison Ivy is only attracted to people she has a strong emotional bond with. She views Batman as one of the few worthwhile men and is in love with Harley Quinn. Writers hinted that she and Harley were lovers for decades before they came out in 2016.

#3 LGBT+ Supervillain: Kale

Played By: Dawn M. Bennet, Yukana
Identity: Lesbian

Goku: [deflects a blast] “I hate to ask, but this is our fight! Can you stay out?
Kale:I’m sorry, sir. I just… Caulifla is my… We face everything together. Caulifla, you don’t think I’m interfering, do you…?
Caulifla: [dismissively turns away to resume fighting Goku]
Kale: [bursts into tears] “You’re making it seem like I’m not good enough for her again, like I’ll always let her down! THIS IS YOUR FAULT! [screams as she transforms] You’re taking my one and only away from me! I’ll make you regret that, Goku! I’LL MAKE YOU PAY!”

Dragon Ball Super “Rampage! A Crazed Warrior’s Savagery Awakens!” (Season 5, Episode 24)

Villany isn’t static. For every monster like Darkseid or the Red Skull, there’s a minor thug like Captain Cold. They might not even be evil, just portrayed as an antagonist or pushed too far. Watch out when this LGBTQ+ supervillain loses her cool.

Kale is a Saiyan, a human-like alien with energy powers. Despite their fierce, challenge-seeking culture, Kale is shy and has an inferiority complex. She joined a gang of Robin Hood-esque thieves led by delinquent Caulifla. Kale admired her confidence and fell in love.

Caulifla and Kale were recruited for a multiversal fighting tournament where losing universes would be destroyed. Their ally Cabba taught them about the Super Saiyan transformation, which Kale struggled to harness. Self-loathing and fear of letting Caulifla down caused Kale to achieve the much more powerful Super Saiyan Berserk form. It made her a combination of Captain Marvel and The Hulk, utterly focused on killing anything she thought was between her and Caulifla.

Kale’s newfound strength made her a vital member of her universe’s team, but she struggled to use Super Saiyan Berserk at will. Fighting alongside Caulifla and a heart-to-heart talk helped Kale take control of her transformation and retain all the power without the jealousy or bloodlust.

#2 LGBTQ+ Supervillain: Destiny

Played By: Ellen Kennedy
Identity: Gay

Destiny: “I will tell you exactly what you must do. Listen carefully, my love. And I will bring you your destiny.”

Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy

Being LGBTQ+ was a scandal for centuries. Being outed could mean an actual death sentence. But with time, expressing one’s identity has become more acceptable. Many never lived to see a tolerant world. This LGBTQ+ supervillain saw it coming.

Irene Adler was born with the ability to see the future.  She foresaw many disasters in the 20th and 21st centuries and made plans to avert them even as her overtaxed mutation blinded her. Irene needed help to understand what she had seen and visited a famous consulting detective living at 221B Baker Street. A detective who became her shapeshifting lover, Mystique, or known to normies as Sherlock Holmes.

Mystique and Irene made plans to stop the worst disasters, from planting supplies to assassination. Both were long-lived because of their mutations, loving and fighting alongside each other for two hundred years. Irene adopted a golden mask and the name Destiny to hide from her enemies.

Destiny’s precognition is strongest when viewing the immediate future. She constantly uses it to help her walk or to aim her signature crossbow. Destiny’s foresight loses accuracy the further she looks into the future. Even accurate visions are unhelpful if she doesn’t understand the context.

#1 The Brain

Played By: Glenn Shadix, Jessie Inocalla
Identity: Gay

The Brain:Let’s stop pretending, Mallah. All these years we’ve worked together. Lived together.  I can’t lie to you any longer. I love you, Mallah!”
Monsieur Mallah: “You don’t know how long I’ve waited to hear those words.

Doom Patrol #34 (1990)

LGBTQ+ supervillains have come a long way over the past four decades, but someone had to walk so that they could run. The Doom Patrol’s archnemesis was the first openly LGBTQ+ supervillain.

The Brain was a French scientist working alongside future Doom Patrol founder Niles Caulder. He experimented on a gorilla named Monsieur Mallah, making the ape a genius able to speak. The scientist was caught in a lab accident and survived as a brain in a jar that Mallah cared for. Blaming Caulder for the accident, they became supervillains.

The Brain founded the Brotherhood of Evil, gathering other superpowered outcasts to kill the Doom Patrol and conquer the world. He upgraded the jar into a Dalek-esque tank to fight his foes, backed up by Monsieur Mallah’s expertise in guerilla warfare.

Over time, The Brain and Monsieur Mallah started acting like an old married couple, discussing death rays alongside dinner plans. Brain eventually married Mallah creating a wholesome ending for the villains that almost makes you forget that one is a mad scientist’s brain in a jar and his lover is a talking gorilla in a beret.

Who is your favorite LGBTQ+ supervillain? Should someone else have made the list? Tell us in the comments.

Image: Kale (Yukana) in Dragon Ball Super.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get Netflix Dates emailed free to you every week