So I was reading Mortal Dictata’s article about the lack of asexual characters in science fiction and I realized that I only really knew about one asexual character in comic books. I literally could not think of a second. Eventually, I remembered one, but it was a sobering thought.
Those two characters, however, come from two very different books, but both books are ones that you should take a look at and read. Both books go out of their way to include various sexualities and character types, much moreso than a regular comic book.
The first is The Movement by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II. It’s set in the DC universe and is about a group of outcast superheroes in a corrupt city called Coral City — however, unlike a lot of other “outcast” heroes, Simone and Williams made sure that they were made of up actual minorities and had various sexual orientations. Three characters in the book (Virtue, Burden, and Rainmaker) were gay, while one (Tremor) was asexual.
The reason it’s known that she was asexual was that another member of the team, Mouse, had a crush on her and she carefully explained to him that she couldn’t reciprocate (meaning that she is aromantic as well).
The second book is Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. This is an Image comic about a couple who found that when they orgasm, they are able to stop time. They use this ability in the first arc to rob banks. It is much, much better than it sounds.
The first thing you have to understand about Sex Criminals is that it uses this highly strange concept not as a joke, but in order to look more in depth at the characters and how they understand not just their own sexuality, but sexuality in general. There is quite a lot of characters looking at porn, even gay porn, as they figured out what they could do. (It’s also very NSFW and very hilarious.)
The second arc has continued the theme by having the main characters finding other people who could do the same (or similar) things when they orgasm. The thirteenth issue, “BAce,” focused exclusively on Alix, a new character who was asexual and how she realized it.
Eventually, Alix realizes that she just doesn’t feel the same as everyone else. She has no sex drive, even as she goes out when men and women. Instead, she finds something else: base jumping.
This is actually the most recent issue of Sex Criminals, so it has yet to be collected in book form yet. The hardcover collection Big Hard Sex Criminals has the first ten issues however and there are two smaller trade paperbacks.
And that’s it. Those are the only two characters I could think of that were asexual in comic books (leaving aside webcomics, which I know very little about). In fact, the DC wiki only lists two characters as asexual, one of whom is Rorschach from Watchmen (and there’s really no proof one way or another that he’s ace). It’s worse for the Marvel, since the two characters the Marvel wiki lists are both AIs that appeared in Avengers AI and should properly be cataloged as agender rather than asexual.
It’s strange that there are so few examples in comics of asexuality. But perhaps that’ll change as comic books catch up to reality. After all, it took them quite a while before there were as many gay characters as there are now.