Avengers: Endgame gave us the first openly gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it left a lot of fans (who have spent the last decade waiting to see a gay superhero join the Avengers) pretty underwhelmed. The character wasn’t a superhero or a villain or a cop or a soldier or a scientist.
It was just a shoehorned-in director cameo in which a grieving man recovering from his losses in “the Decimation” and getting back out on the dating scene refers to his date as a ‘he.’ Still, viewers can hope that this was just the start of things. Here’s a selection of openly gay Marvel characters who deserve their time to shine in the MCU.
Updated on January 6th, 2022 by Quinn Levandoski: The Marvel Cinematic Universe has continued to grow exponentially, and the franchise now contains hundreds of characters across both film and streaming series.
While many fans hope that Marvel Studios continues to diversify the superheroes they bring to live-action, Eternals recently took a significant step forward by presenting Phastos as part of the first openly gay superhero couple in the MCU. Now, with Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s film division, the door has been opened to several mutants with various sexualities that could be part of exciting, fresh, and memorable stories.
Remember Captain Marvel‘s politically-biased war between the Skrulls and the Kree? Well, Hulkling – whose real name is Theodore Altman (actually, his real name is Dorrek VIII) – is a hybrid of Skrull and Kree, so he’s a little conflicted. Hulkling began as a younger version of the Hulk, but Hulkling’s shapeshifting abilities are far more advanced than any of the Hulk’s popular or lesser-known powers.
Hulkling could have an awesome character arc in the MCU, being saved from the Kree-Skull conflict by Captain Marvel and then becoming Professor Hulk’s apprentice before settling into a long-term relationship with Wiccan.
Iceman had been fighting alongside the X-Men in the comics for decades before he stunned audiences by coming out as gay, but fans quickly accepted his sexuality. Everyone loves Frozone from The Incredibles movies, but he was just a parody of Iceman, the mutant who can control ice.
Ice on its own doesn’t sound too intimidating, but Iceman’s seamless manipulation of it makes him a formidable foe to any villain who decides to take him on. With Marvel Studios hoping to fix the X-Men film franchise after acquiring it from Fox, this could be a good call for the MCU’s first gay character.
Vivian is a synthezoid who was created by the Vision. Now, with Vision making a post-Infinity War appearance in WandaVision, it’s likely that he’ll continue to be involved in the MCU. Viv is as powerful as the Vision, so she could even replace him in the MCU’s version of events if White Vision goes down a different path.
Viv’s sexuality hasn’t been confirmed in the comics, but she’s kissed Ironheart and it was strongly suggested that she’s either gay or asexual when she said, “an attraction to boys is nowhere within me.” The MCU could easily portray the character as gay.
12 Karolina Dean
Karolina Dean can fly, she can manipulate solar light, and she can take on the form of a Majesdanian. Over the years, she’s taken on names like “Lucy in the Sky” and “L.S.D.” to reflect the trippy visuals that splash across the page when she uses her powers. She’s the daughter of two Hollywood movie stars, which is an interesting backstory angle that the MCU has yet to explore.
Karolina was one of the most powerful characters in the Runaways Hulu series, but with Disney+ shaking up which TV series have ties to the MCU and which ones don’t, the canonical status of this is pretty up in the air. Karolina has had (or entertained the idea of) notable relationships in the comics with characters such as Xavin, Julie Power, and Nico Minoru.
Hercules is heterosexual in the main 616 Marvel Universe, but he was briefly depicted in a relationship with Wolverine in the 2012-2013 X-Treme X-Men series. While this series took place in an alternative universe, it was still Hercules.
Many fans hoped that this additional element to Hercules’ character would continue into his 2015 solo series, but Marvel decided not to do so. There was speculation that Hercules would be a lead in The Eternals when Marvel announced that the film would star a gay lead, but the reference was instead to Phastos.
Phyla-Vell is a hybrid of Kree and Titanian and the daughter of Mar-Vell. In the movies, Mar-Vell was gender-swapped to be a woman, but she could still be Phyla-Vell’s mother. The character is one of several cosmic Marvel heroes fans want to see, and there are reams of exciting storylines to draw from. Phyla-Vell was first identified as gay when she admitted to and acted on her attraction towards Moondragon.
In the comics, she’s been a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and taken on the Captain Marvel moniker, so it would be pretty easy to integrate her into the MCU. She can’t take the name Captain Marvel since it’s already taken by Carol Danvers, but the MCU could show Phyla-Vell with her other superhero alter ego, Quasar.
In any discussion of who will be the first openly gay superhero in the MCU, it’s important to mention the first openly gay superhero in Marvel Comics. Northstar was a landmark character for comic book history because he was one of the first gay superheroes, the first to come out in a Marvel book, and in 2012, he became the first character to have a same-sex wedding in a mainstream comic.
Northstar has been involved with several teams including his own Canadian team Alpha Flight, but the most notable is the X-Men. He’s a mutant with the powers of super speed, flight, and light control.
8 Ms. America
Ms. America, whose real name is America Chavez, is an immensely powerful character. She can fly, she has superhuman strength and speed, she can generate star-shaped energy blasts, and she can jump from reality to reality. In the comics, she’s the best friend of Kate Bishop, the skilled archer who took the mantle of Hawkeye from Clint Barton.
The two of them were members of the Young Avengers team. America Chavez has been confirmed to appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, and fans can assume that her sexuality will remain comic-accurate.
In the MCU, Dave Bautista’s screen version of Drax the Destroyer might just be a vengeful alien who lost his family, but in the comics, it’s more complicated than that. In the source material, Drax was originally a human who was reborn as an alien so that he would have the strength to take on Thanos. That’s where Moondragon plays into the Marvelverse.
She’s Drax’s human daughter, Heather Douglas, who got taken along for the ride and went on a bunch of intergalactic adventures with him. Eventually, she became a long-time member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The story would need to be altered slightly for the MCU, but James Gunn could easily make it work, perhaps including her famous relationship with Phylla-Vell.
Wiccan was first conceived as a blend of Thor and Scarlet Witch, with both Thor’s strength, flight, and love of Asgard, and Scarlet Witch’s magical powers and control of reality. But he has since grown into an iconic and beloved character of his own. He’s a key member of the Young Avengers, first recruited by Iron Lad.
WandaVision introduced a child-aged (and possibly completely real) version of Wiccan, but fans are excited with the possibility of an older and more concrete version appearing in the future. In the comics, he’s been involved in an ongoing relationship with Hulkling, so introducing both of these characters into the MCU could also lead to the franchise’s first same-sex couple.
5 Aaron Fischer (Captain America)
Aaron Fischer’s story in Marvel comics begins after he ran away from home to escape his abusive father. Aaron went to Las Vegas and became entangled with Roxxon after discovering that the corporation was behind several missing teenagers from the area. Fischer created a makeshift Captain America outfit to don as he fought back against Roxxon and eventually traveled the country with his boyfriend as Captain American of the Railways.
Aaron finally met Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson when Speed Demon attacked a train he was on. He became a spokesman for the Captains Network, a group of people standing up for what’s right under the iconography of Captain America.
4 Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Phastos may be half of the first openly gay relationship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Negasonic Teenage Warhead was part of the first gay superhero couple in all of superhero cinema several years earlier.
Now, with Marvel having acquired the rights to Fox’s film division (including Deadpool and X-Men), fans are hoping to see Negasonic again soon. The character is dramatically different from her comic counterpart, but with nothing canonically contradicting her cinematic romance, Negasonic may be brought back into the fold alongside her girlfriend, Yukio.
Rictor, a mutant with the ability to induce seismic activity, is notable for his relationship with Shatterstar, which was complicated by the pair’s differing opinions about love and monogamy. The two shared the first gay kiss between major characters in a Marvel comic back in X-Force #45 while Rictor was hunting for Multiple Man in New England.
Rictor has also dated women in the Marvel Universe, such as Wolfsbane and Boom Boom, but he stated in X-Force #20 that he always knew deep down that he was gay. Rictor may be one of the characters joining the MCU whenever mutants make their official introduction.
Shatterstar may have made a brief appearance in Deadpool 2, but his character was played off as more of a temporary joke than the important character that he is in Marvel Comics. Shatterstar comes from the future where he was bred to be a superhuman warrior in Mojo’s Mojoverse. Shatterstar is also notable for his complicated relationship with Longshot.
Due to alternate dimensions and time-traveling, various comics have allided to Shatterstar being both the child and identical twin to Longshot. Shatterstar had a famous relationship with the mutant Rictor, which brought forth the first romantic and sexual feelings that Shatterstar had ever felt.
1 Ultimate Spider-Woman
In 2000, Marvel released a new batch of comics that reimagined popular characters and settings from the brand’s long history. Almost every character received some update, and Spider-Woman was no exception. In the Ultimate Universe, this character is a combination of prime Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman), Julia Carpenter (Spider-Woman), Ben Reilly (Scarlet Spider).
While Spider-Woman is heterosexual in the standard 616 Universe, Ultimate Spider-Woman is very open about her sexuality and attraction to women. With no version of this character currently in the MCU, fans are excited for her possible introduction in future films.
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