It's no secret that there's been a lot of chatter lately about representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe â especially following the whole Doctor Strange white-washing debacle that raged over the past months.
A question often posed to the filmmakers is another of representation, namely, when will we see an LGBT character appearing in a Marvel film? Captain America: Civil War and The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo recently had this question posed to them, and their response was pretty positive:
"I think the chances [of seeing an LGBT character soon] are strong. I mean, itâs incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible. Itâs sad in the way that Hollywood lags behind other industries so significantly, one because you think that it would be a progressive industry, and two itâs such a visible industry. So I think itâs important that on all fronts we keep pushing for diversification because then the storytelling becomes more interesting, more rich, and more truthful."
But which heroes could we see joining the MCU? Here's five badass LGBT characters who we think could find a place in the cinematic universe. Tell us your top picks in the comments below!
1. Wiccan â William Kaplan
With Doctor Strange opening up the MCU to magic and mystery towards the end of this year it's pretty reasonable to assume that we'll be seeing some more magical characters being introduced as Phase 3 draws towards Infinity War. Wiccan/Billy Kaplan could be a good addition.
Bullied at school for his sexuality, Billy Kaplan discovered his electro-kinetic powers when his favorite Avenger Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff encouraged him to stand up to his bully. He nearly killed the boy in the incident when his powers emerged, so sought out Scarlet Witch again to better understand his newfound abilities.
Both a magician and mutant, it's been suggested that Wiccan is in fact the reincarnation of Scarlet Witch's son. He can affect reality, generate electro-kinesis, teleport, read minds, fly and heal others. He's been in a long standing (and super adorable) romantic relationship with Hulkling (Theodore/Teddy Altman), and been involved with the Young Avengers, New Avengers and Secret Avengers teams.
Wiccan has a strong link to Scarlet Witch/Wanda â one of the breakout characters of Captain America: Civil War. Scarlet Witch could have an important future in the MCU if that Infinity Stone reveal means anything, so giving her a protÃ©gÃ© of her own isn't too crazy an idea.
2. Northstar â Jean-Paul Beaubier
Northstar/Jean-Paul Beaubier is perhaps the most high profile gay character in Marvel comics, and was the first mainstream superhero to outright state "I am gay" on the page, back in 1992. Fast-forward to 2004, and Northstar was one half of Marvel's first same-sex wedding in in Astonishing X-Men #51, when he married his long-time partner Kyle Jinadu.
Coming from a rough upbringing, Jean-Paul was an orphan who spent time as a thief, a circus acrobat and briefly part of a radical separatist group before going on to become an Olympic champion skier. He joined up with Alpha Flight and became Northstar as a means of reconnecting with his long-lost twin sister Jeanne-Marie (Aurora).
Northstar's mutant powers grant him the ability to generate bright bursts of light â amplified when in contact with his sister â and produce highly damaging concussive blasts. He also possesses the standard superhuman strength, reflexes, durability and healing. He can fly, and push his body to superhuman speeds â becoming a human projectile.
Though Northstar has commonly been associated with the X-Men, he began superhero-ing as a member of Alpha Flight and has recently re-joined with them.
We haven't seen Alpha Flight in the MCU yet, but when Carol Danvers is introduced in Captain Marvel that could change, as she is currently the Alpha Flight Commander in the comics.
3 & 4. The Midnight Angels â Aneka & Ayo
Aneka and Ayo have only had a brief history in Marvel Comics, but they left've an impression regardless. They popped up back in the "Doomwar" storyline and in Marvel's Ultimates, but they've recently become major players in Black Panther's new 2016 series.
Aneka and Ayo were combat instructors in the Dora Milaje â the Wakandan tribe of bodyguards trained to protect the Black Panther. In Black Panther #1 Aneka was sentenced to death by Queen Ramonda for killing a village Chieftan who was sexually abusing the girls of his village, and Ayo went before the Queen to plead her case.
With Aneka denied reprieve for her actions, Ayo took it upon herself to defy her kingdom and save the life of her beloved. Breaking Aneka from her prison at Fort Hahn and narrowly escaping, Ayo stole the Midnight Angel armor prototypes being developed by the royals.
They abandoned the Dora Miliaje, travelling throughout Wakanda in the midst of civil war, fighting for their version of a better future and liberating the oppressed peoples forgotten by the royal family.
Aneka and Ayo's storylines are still unfolding, but their current path is taking them directly into conflict with Black Panther himself. It's possible they could pop up in the upcoming Black Panther solo movie â either as part of the Dora Milaje we saw in Civil War, or as antagonists/freedom fighters.
Let's get extraterrestrial now with Xavin. Born Prince Xavin to the Skrull Royal Family, they are notable as one of the few gender-fluid characters in mainstream comics. Xavin's Skrull heritage allows them to change gender at will, and as such they appear as both male and female as their mood takes them.
Xavin was betrothed to the Majesdanian Karolina Dean/Lucy In The Sky through means of an arranged marriage designed to end conflict between the Skrull and the Majesdanian races. Xavin appeared as a male Skrull prior to this, but shifted form to that of a human female to please Karolina, who identified as a lesbian and was only attracted to women.
Though the two fell in love, violence broke their wedding apart and they escaped to Earth to join the Runaways. After playing a part on the side of the heroes in the Skrull Invasion of Secret Invasion, Xavin sacrificed their freedom to protect Karolina.
When the Light Brigade came after Karolina to punish her for the sins of her parents, Xavin disguised themselves as Karolina to go with the Light Brigade in their place. Xavin hasn't been seen since leaving with the Light Brigade in 2009, and presumably is still imprisoned in Karolina's place.
As a Skrull Xavin possesses shapeshifting abilities, and was trained as a Skrull super-soldier, experienced in aviation, unarmed combat and military marksmanship.
Xavin is a cool character not just because they're one of the few heroic Skrulls, but because of the way they deal with comments about their gender-fluidity. When asked by Molly Hayes / Princess Powerful why Xavin doesn't remain in female form all the time to make others feel more comfortable, they compare their gendered appearance to wearing a different hat.
Xavin also states that she won't change form to make others feel more comfortable and that the Runaways will have to accept them as they are, as they did Karolina's sexuality and Molly's mutation.
The MCU is still getting ramped up when it comes to exploring beyond Earth's boundaries, but with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War things are about to get a whole lot more alien. Plenty of room for Skrulls, Majesdanians, gender-fluid characters and more.
Which is your favorite LGBT Marvel character? Tell us in the comments below!
Sources: Collider (Russo Brothers quote)