Any comic book fan will tell you that the sprawling multiverse that is Marvel Comics includes a ton of queer superheroes. But so far none of those characters have made it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo say the ball is in their court when it comes to including LGBT superheroes in future films. “It’s incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to…diversify as much as possible,” said Joe Russo in an interview with Collider. Meanwhile, Anthony suggested that the massive success of the blockbuster franchise could give the filmmakers the leeway to include queer characters without affecting their appeal in less LGBT-friendly markets like China and Russia.
Of course, many of Marvel’s most popular and prominent gay heroes are tied up in the X-Men franchise, which is owned by 20th Century Fox. (Gay director Bryan Singer has included characters like Iceman and Colossus, who were later revealed to be gay in the comics, but oddly has avoided any mention of Mystique’s long established bi-sexuality.) But Marvel Studios presumably still owns the film rights to Young Avengers and long-time couple Wiccan and Hulkling. And with Spider-Man and Black Panther appearing in Captain America: Civil War, that opens up the possibility of future appearances by Ultimate Spider-Woman (a lesbian Peter Parker clone from the same universe as Samuel L. Jackson’s version of Nick Fury) and the Dora Milaje (Black Panther’s all-female bodyguards, two of whom were revealed to be lesbians in writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’s run on the series).
Though the Russo bros. stopped short of promising to include any specific queer characters, it’s definitely encouraging that they’re open and enthusiastic about the idea of a more diverse super squad. Which other LGBT heroes would you like to see in Marvel movies?