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Inclusion and diversity are slowly-but-surely coming to superhero movies. Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel have all been massive successes, but even after 22 movies and 11 years, there has yet to be an openly gay Marvel superhero on the big screen. Marvel has promised the MCU will become a more diverse place in the near-future, and the first LGBTQ character looks to be right around the corner.
While one Marvel producer has stated we’ve already met the upcoming LGBTQ big screen character, there’s no doubt new heroes will be introduced as the MCU enters Phase Four. With that in mind, there’s no shortage of gay comic characters who have yet to make the leap to the big screen. Marvel likely already has its picks, but these are perhaps some of the strongest candidates for the MCU’s first gay superhero. Take a look.
Wiccan doesn’t have that long of a history in the comics compared to some other characters, but he’s built up a loyal fanbase and appeared in numerous books since he debuted in 2005. He’s a powerful magic user and is so strong that he’s one of the candidates to be the Sorcerer Supreme. Wiccan is frequently associated with the Young Avengers and his long-term boyfriend, Hulkling.
If Wiccan does show up in the movies, he likely won’t be the exact same character from the comics universe. That’s because his backstory is that he’s actually the long-lost son of Scarlet Witch and Vision, but he’s conceived by an ordinary couple because of confusing reality-altering magic which is complicated to explain. With Vision being dead and all, the MCU version of Wiccan might not have any relation to Wanda other than as a mentor figure.
Teddy Altman may have based his identity after the Hulk, but he’s got nothing to do with Bruce Banner. Hulkling is a Kree/Skrull hybrid, possessing the powers of both races. His shapeshifting powers let him take a Hulk-like appearance, in addition to growing wings, claws, or whatever else he needs in a given moment. Like his boyfriend Wiccan, Hulkling was a frequent member of the Young Avengers.
It wouldn’t take much to bring Hulkling into the MCU fold. His father is actually Captain Marvel (the original, not Carol Danvers), who doesn’t really exist in the movies. Annette Bening’s Mar-Vell could always end up being his mother though, so perhaps he’d get introduced in Captain Marvel 2 before getting a Young Avengers film? There are options, is all I’m saying.
Moondragon has got one hell of a complicated backstory, but she’s definitely a candidate. Her real name is Heather Douglas and she is the human daughter of Drax the Destroyer. In the MCU, Drax has always just been an alien, but in the comics, he was a human who was reborn into a cosmically manufactured body to kill Thanos. Heather gets dragged along for the ride and goes on a bunch of space adventures, learning psionic powers and becoming a martial arts master.
Moondragon has long been associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy and her comic book history with Drax is an interesting wrinkle. Making them father and daughter in the movies might be too ridiculous, but The MCU has found clever twists to tie back to the comics before. As the MCU expands its cosmic world, Moondragon is a pretty logical choice to make an appearance.
One of the youngest characters on this list, America Chavez has nevertheless been making an impression on readers. Operating under the name Miss America, she possesses strength, durability, and the ability to kick open portals to other dimensions. With all of this talk of a multiverse in Spider-Man: Far From Home, that power becomes awfully useful.
America is known for being on a bunch of different superhero teams such as Young Avengers, the Ultimates, and the all-female team A-Force. There’s no Avenger who’s tied to her in the same sense as say, Captain Marvel and Miss Marvel, but there should be simple ways to introduce her to audiences should that be the direction Marvel chooses. America is Marvel’s first Latin-American LGBTQ character to star in an ongoing series, so she’s already trampled one record.
I’m cheating a little bit with this one, because it’s technically an alternate universe version of Hercules that is bisexual, but I think he would be a stronger addition to the MCU than the “canon” version. Hercules is the same demigod from Greek mythology and much like Thor, he spends his time nowadays adventuring with Earth’s modern-day heroes. Hercules is a frequent member of the Avengers, and his habit for boasting and storytelling often makes him a fun personality to throw into the mix.
Seeing as how Hercules has a lot of similarities to Thor, I think Marvel could ditch the Greek god angle to help set the characters apart. It might be a great idea to make Hercules one of the Eternals, the advanced race of beings who will be the focus of the upcoming Eternals movie. There’s been no indication he will be in that movie, but it could be a smart way to include him and his core character traits while really only altering his backstory a little.
Phylla-Vell is another of Marvel’s cosmic characters who has yet to make the jump to the comics. Phylla is a member of the Kree and has held a couple of different titles in her career. She was notably Captain Marvel for a time and she also served as a hero known as Quasar. She possesses a couple of different powers such as super strength, flight, and energy projection, and she’s most commonly associated with carrying a big energy sword around. Phylla is usually in a relationship with Moondragon.
Much like another character on this list, Phylla is the daughter of Captain Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, so there’s a legacy angle to explore if Marvel wants. Phylla has done some time as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, so she could also have a future in that franchise depending on how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shakes out.
The X-Men have no shortage of gay members, and while we wouldn’t get to see any of these characters in the MCU for years, we can cherry pick a few of the most notable for speculation. That list would have to include Iceman, who made headlines a few years ago when he finally came out of the closet after decades of publication history. Iceman is an original member of the X-Men and one of the most powerful mutants alive with the near-unlimited control over ice.
Introducing Iceman (and really any mutant character)into the MCU is super complicated, but it’s something that will happen eventually. How it does is anyone’s guess right now, but I don’t think that there’s any question that he will be a gay man. It’s possible that Marvel will keep his closeted story line, but that might be too similar to the scene in which Iceman “comes out” as a mutant to his family in X2.
It’s hard to talk about introducing the first gay hero without mentioning Marvel’s actual first gay hero, Northstar. A frequent member of the X-Men, Northstar is one of the first openly gay characters in comics and the first openly gay character to come out in a book published by Marvel Comics. He married his husband, Kyle Jinadu, in the first-ever same-sex marriage in Marvel and DC, so it would be extremely fitting for him to be the first gay MCU character.
Being a mutant, it’s tough to introduce Northstar without dealing with how a whole section of the populace that suddenly gained superpowers, but in Northstar’s case, I think we can get away with side-stepping that. While he’s a member of the X-Men, I don’t think he has to be introduced as one. Maybe he can be out on his own and then join the X-Men later when those characters can be brought into the fold? Either way, when the X-Men do show up, Northstar is a strong candidate to be on the team.
Marvel has said it will be focusing on bring more diversity into the movies during Phase Four. Marvel comics made a lot of history in that area, so it’s nice that the movies are finally making strides to catch up. There are plenty of options for characters who have yet to arrive on the big screen and with so much unknown about the future of Marvel, it’s a very exciting time to be a fan right now.
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