The world of superheroes from Marvel to DC has always been one with limitless potential, and the ability to not only push boundaries, but to blow through them altogether! While the comics have reflected this for well over 30 years with the inclusion of explicitly LGBTQ+ superheroes, film and television adaptations of our favourite heroes are often straight-washed.
Only recently it was announced that the latest incarnation of Captain America is to be a gay teenager – Aaron Fisher – in a new comic series which sees ordinary people take up the mantle.
So while both big and small screens have a lot of catching up to do, here is a list of LGBTQ+ superheroes who are out and proud in the comics, that we’d love to see make the jump to film and TV!
Loki of Asgard has been on our radar as a potential source of LGBTQ+ superhero representation since their appearance in the MCU back in Thor (2011) played by Tom Hiddleston. However, the MCU’s Loki has remained notably sexless despite the character being canonically bisexual and non-binary in the comics.
With the upcoming Loki series to follow the success of WandaVision on Marvel’s run of Disney+ shows in Summer 2021, we are hopeful that Loki’s role as a main character will bring with it an acknowledgement and celebration of the character’s LGBTQ+ identity.
With Marvel having recently re-acquired the rights to the X-Men franchise, the possibility of seeing a diverse crew of LGBTQ+ superheroes reborn on screen in the next few years is very possible! One character we would love to see revived in the MCU is Iceman. A founding member of the X-Men, Iceman appeared in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s very first comic in 1963. In a 2015 issue Iceman was confirmed to be gay when he was outed by Jean Gray.
While Iceman appeared on screen in 2003’s X2 played by Shawn Ashmore, we hope that Marvel’s incarnation of the character will keep up to date with the recent evolution in the character’s sexuality.
MISS AMERICA AKA AMERICA CHAVEZ
While it is yet to be officially confirmed, it seems clear that the MCU is setting up the Young Avengers for an appearance in Phase 4 or 5. The Young Avengers bring a number of LGBTQ+ superheroes to the fore.
Among them is America Chavez, aka, Miss America. Chavez is bisexual and Latinx in the comics. Her appearance in the MCU would be a double-whammy for some much needed representation in the film franchise.
Powered up with the abilities of super-speed and flight, Northstar has already made a name for himself in the world of LGBTQ+ superheroes. In 1992, Northstar became the first hero to utter the words “I am gay” in a mainstream comic (Alpha Flight #106). In 2012, Northstar made history yet again when he and his partner, Kyle, staged the first same-sex wedding in the Marvel Universe in Astonishing X-Men #51.
Wiccan, aka Billy Kaplan, was officially introduced to the MCU as one of the Scarlet Witch’s twin sons in WandaVision (2021). A key player in the undoubtedly upcoming Young Avengers, Wiccan is a powerful magician like his mother. Wiccan’s romance with fellow Young Avenger Hulkling is one of several ongoing LGBTQ+ superhero romances in the Marvel comics right now.
We hope that Wiccan’s appearance in WandaVision is only the beginning of his storyline within the MCU – and if his mother’s powers are any signifier of his eventual power, those super villains better watch out 😉.
Speaking of Wiccan, his arrival in the MCU hopefully signals the eventual introduction of his love interest, Hulkling. Also known as Teddy Altman, Hulkling possesses shape-shifting abilities and super strength, much like Bruce Banner’s Hulk. In September 2020, Wiccan and Hulkling were married in Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1, signaling yet another hopeful gay wedding for the MCU.
Harley Quinn’s bisexuality is often overshadowed in her on-screen appearances in favor of portraying her as love-sick over the Joker. In fact, apart from a throwaway scene at the start of Birds of Prey (2020), the anti-heroine’s bisexuality has been erased completely on screen.
Given the character’s ability to compel audiences despite several cinematic incarnations, we are hopeful that an explicitly queer Harley Quinn remains a possibility in the future!
ANGELA & SERA
The next LGBTQ+ superheroes we’d love to see on screen are Thor’s long-lost sister Angela, and her girlfriend, Sera. Much like her brother, Angela is blessed with superhuman speed, strength, and the ability to fly. In her original comic appearance Angela ventured to Hel to rescue Sera, after which the two became romantically involved.
Sera is an angelic warrior from Heven. Apart from being an absolute powerhouse of a fighter, Sera is notably one of the first trans women of colour to appear in a mainstream comic series. We are dying to see an appearance by this dynamic duo in an upcoming addition to the Thor line of MCU films.
In the Marvel comics, Moondragon is the bisexual, telepathic daughter of Drax the Destroyer. Strictly speaking, Moondragon was mostly killed by the titan Thanos prior to the introduction of her father, Drax, in The Guardians of the Galaxy films. While this makes her appearance in future films unlikely, the incorporation of the multiverse being a huge factor in Phase 4 makes anything possible! We aren’t giving up hope just yet on a dramatic return from Moondragon!
DESTROYER AKA UNION JACK & DYNA-MITE
Many fans of the MCU have accused the films’ directors and writers of queer-baiting audiences with the relationship between Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier). While neither of these characters are canonically queer in the comics, Brian Falsworth, a hero who was mutated by a variant of the Super Soldier Serum that gave Bucky and Steve their powers, was Marvel’s first gay superhero!
Originally known as Destroyer, Falsworth got his powers after being captured by the Germans during WWII. After swallowing a variation of the serum given to him by an imprisoned scientist in order to keep it out of the hands of the Germans, Falsworth used his super-strength to fight the Nazis on their own territory. Later Falsworth would adopt the moniker Union Jack from his father.
Union Jack is joined by his romantic partner and best friend, Roger Aubrey. The victim of scientific experimentation at the hands of the Germans, Aubrey was shrunk to the height of less than a foot while retaining the strength of a grown man, similar to Ant-Man. Could we see Union Jack and Dyna-Mite in an upcoming addition to the Captain America or Ant-Man storylines in the MCU? We certainly hope so!
ANEKA & AYO
The relationship between warriors of the Dora Milaje, Aneka and Ayo, was nearly presented to fans of the MCU in Black Panther (2018). While filmmakers shot a scene introducing the lesbian Wakandan warriors (replacing Aneka with Okoye – played by Danai Gurira) the scene was ultimately cut from the final film. This has happened twice now in Marvel’s history that scenes between LGBTQ+ superheroes have been filmed and cut by Marvel, the second being an alleged scene involving Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnorok.
Following the tragic passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman in 2020, the future of the franchise is uncertain, but perhaps Aneka/Okoye and Ayo have a future as the leading lesbian ladies of the Wakandan Dora Milaje in future sequels.
Wonder Woman of DC comics fame has always been surrounded by sapphic subtext. Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston was inspired by he and his wife’s polyamorous lover, Olive Byrne, when conceptualising the character. Since her creation, several DC writers have confirmed that the Justice League heroine is indeed canonically bisexual.
Following the release of the 2016 Wonder Woman film with Warner Bros, fans started a petition to have the character’s bisexuality shown explicitly on screen in sequels. However, while Wonder Woman 1984 (2021) teased the character’s queer identity, it was hardly the explicit expression fans were hoping for.
In Guardians of the Galaxy #9 (2020), writer Al Ewing confirmed that Star-Lord, aka Peter Quill, is bisexual! After being lost in a parallel reality for nearly 150 years, the comic sees Star-Lord engage in a polyamorous relationship with Aradia and Mors – a couple of blue-skinned, humanoid aliens who shared in Quill’s nomadic lifestyle. While the romantic aspects of the relationship are mostly between Star-Lord and Aradia, who is female-aligned, Ewing is explicit in showing that all three members share a sexual connection.
While the MCU’s Star-Lord has recently come under fire regarding actor Chris Pratt’s ties to an actively homophobic church, can we expect to see an explicitly queer Peter Quill on out screens in the near future? It seems unlikely that fans will be supportive of the idea so long as Pratt maintains the role, but only time will tell!
Valkyrie, the Pegasus riding warrior from Asgard, is canonically bisexual in the Marvel comics, but fans are anxious to know when that will be (finally) reflected on screen. According to MCU director Kevin Feige, it may be right around the corner! Having taken over the rule of Asgard from Thor as the close of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will return to our screens as a main player in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder alongside Natalie Portman.
In the fourth addition to the Thor franchise, Feige promises that Valkyrie will have an explicitly queer storyline, making her one of the first openly LGBTQ+ superheroes in an MCU film!
The Eternals set for release in late 2021 left MCU fans disappointed when openly gay superhero Hercules appeared to be left out of casting breakdowns. In Marvel Comics Hercules (yes, that Hercules) fights alongside the other members of the Eternals and many fans, ourselves included, were excited for the first MCU film with a gay lead!
However, as production on the film comes to a close, the likelihood of a Hercules appearance seems less and less likely. For now we will hold out hope for a Hercules cameo in the upcoming film, perhaps setting us up for a solo film featuring the gay hero in the upcoming phases of the MCU.
Did we miss any of your favourite LGBTQ+ superheroes that you’re dying to see on screen? Whether they hail from DC or Marvel or beyond, which LGBTQ+ heroes are you excited to see in film and tv in the future?
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