Marvel Superheroes
Marvel Superheroes

7 LGBT Superheroes for the MCU

by Daniel Tessier about a month ago in superheroes

It's time for the MCU to broaden its horizons

7 LGBT Superheroes for the MCU
Phyla-Vell

While DC/Warner Bros. have made strides including LGBT superheroes into their TV properties (albeit not such a great record on the movie front), Marvel/Disney is lagging behind. Things have been a little better at Fox, who've given us hints at Deadpool's bisexuality and paired him with the lesbian Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and made a series for the LGBT-friendly Runaways. Now that Disney has the rights to the Fox/X-Men characters, it's time they moved forward and gave us some serious LGBT representation on the big and small screens.

Marvel comics has a great history of LGBT representation, especially in recent years. Here are seven characters we'd love to see.

1) PHYLA-VELL

Phyla-Vell is one of several characters in Marvel comics who've gone by the title of Captain Marvel. While the current Captain Marvel in the comics – Carol Danvers - is also the one in the MCU, and there are certainly hints in the Captain Marvel movie that she might be gay, to really push the envelope in the MCU an out lesbian cosmic superhero would be wonderful.

Phyla-Vell is the brother of Genis-Vell, another holder of the Captain Marvel mantle, and both are children of the first Captain Marvel, whose name is actually Mar-Vell. Both Phyla and Genis are half-Kree, half-Titanian Eternal, and while all of this would have to be streamlined for a movie appearance, it would tie into both Captain Marvel and the upcoming Eternals film. Phyla-Vell's powers are similar to those of Danvers, including super-strength, energy absorption and manipulation and sometimes “cosmic awareness.” She could make for a powerful rival, ally or even a love interest for Danvers in a Captain Marvel sequel.

2) MOONDRAGON

Moondragon, real name Heather Douglas, is another powerful character from Marvel's cosmic titles. She has a very complicated backstory, and happens to be the daughter of Drax the Destroyer, but since his own backstory was simplified for the Guardians of the Galaxy films it's likely Moondragon's would be separate. In the comics she was raised by Mentor, Thanos's father, and the monks of Shao-Lon on Titan. The monks train Heather with incredible martial arts skills, psychic powers and scientific knowledge, before she is corrupted by a powerful entity called the Dragon of the Moon.

Now calling herself Moondragon, she struggles with using her powers morally, and moves between hero, antihero and villain over the years. She allies herself with hero teams on several occasions, and opposes Thanos in his universe-threatening plans. Moondragon is openly lesbian and has relationships with several women in the Marvel universe, eventually ending up with Phyla-Vell. They both battle Thanos and other cosmically-powered beings and are members of the Guardians of the Galaxy for a time. Moondragon could easily be a major character in the third Guardians of the Galaxy film, with a simplified background, although her signature look – slender as hell with a shaven head – would be very similar to the MCU version of Nebula. Moondragon and Phyla-Vell could be introduced in different films before meeting in a crossover.

3) NORTHSTAR

The Canadian superhero Northstar (Etoile du Nord), Jean-Paul Beaubier, was introduced in the X-Men series way back in 1979, and while allegedly he was always intended as gay, he didn't come out until 1992. A member of both the X-Men and the Avengers' Canadian equivalent Alpha Flight, Northstar is a mutant with the powers of flight, super speed and light-energy manipulation. On the page he fought against villainous mutants, while behind the scenes, his creator Johnny Byrne fought against Marvel's then-editorial edict against anyone queer appearing in the comics. The coming-out issue, Alpha Flight #106, is the only comic to have made it into the Gaylactic Hall of Fame for its importance as LGBT SF literature.

Marvel later had an unfortunate spell of killing off Northstar, doing him in over several realities in short order, but he got better. While he had an unrequited interest in Iceman, he's had several gay relationships over the years (including, it's implied, with Hercules), but he eventually married his long-term boyfriend Kyle Jinadu in X-Men #51 in 2012, the first ever same-sex wedding shown in American comics.

Now that Disney have acquired 20th Century Fox and thus have the X-Men rights, including North Star would be a brilliant move. The fact that he's Canadian makes a Deadpool crossover tempting, and you just know 'Pool would fancy him.

4) MARVEL BOY

Noh-Varr is another Kree from the Marvel universe, who most commonly goes by the name Marvel Boy. Initially a member of the Kree military – like Carol Danvers – he falls under the influence of villainous powers and is captured and imprisoned by SHIELD, pitting himself against Earth in a one-man war. He later reconciles with humanity and works with various Marvel teams including the Guardians of the Galaxy, but he's best known these days as one of the Young Avengers. That title is one of the best modern comic series by Marvel, and Noh-Varr's strips in particular have played with different visual styles over the years. Noh-Varr is openly bi, and has had a relationships with Kate Bishop (the young Hawkeye) and flirted with young Loki (it's complicated). As well as being a toughnut Kree, he's also enhanced with insectoid DNA – kind of an alien version of Spider-Man.

Noh-Varr is unlike many male superheroes in that he's portrayed as an outright sex symbol in the same way many female heroes are. The MCU films have happily focused on the sexiness of their male stars, but Marvel Boy could begin a new generation of young, hot, queer characters. A movie or series for the Young Avengers could be a big hit with teen viewers, and Noh-Varr's love of Earth music could give it the feel of an updated Guardians of the Galaxy.

5&6) WICCAN AND HULKLING

Two further members of the Young Avengers, Hulkling and Wiccan represent one of the few ongoing gay relationships in Marvel comics. From the beginning it was planned that the two young men would be revealed as gay, originally only hinted at in the pages in preparation for a later reveal. Much controversy resulted on the Young Avengers' letters page, but the plan went ahead.

Hulkling is another alien, this time a Kree-Skrull hybrid, unifying the two antagonistic alien races seen in Captain Marvel. Actually the emperor Dorrek VIII, he goes by Teddy Altman on Earth. While he's based on the Hulk, being big, green and superstrong in his mutated form, he's actually a far more powerful being with considerably shapeshifting powers. Raised on Earth, he is the key to peace between the Kree and the Skrulls and heir to the Skrull throne. He happens to be Mar-Vell's son as well, so he's Phyla-Vell's half-brother.

Wiccan, aka Billy Kaplan, is the son of Scarlet Witch and the Vision, which is more complicated than it sounds, given that she's a mutant and he's an android. This might be tricky to work into the MCU seeing that Vision was killed in Avengers: Endgame, but then again, the upcoming WandaVision series on Disney+ will see the two reunited. Like his mother, Wiccan has incredible reality-altering powers, which manifested when he suffered bullying at school for his sexuality and he lashed out at the aggressors.

The Young Avengers storyline saw Billy and Teddy become a couple. Eventually Hulkling became the focus of the Empyre storyline, which focused a great deal on his relationship with Wiccan and their life together. The two eventually marry. We see Wiccan enjoying a rich queer lifestyle, including attending a drag brunch with Kid Loki and fellow Young Avengers Prodigy and Speed (also a gay couple, and the latter being Billy's brother). Basically, I'm saying we desperately need a Young Avengers production in the MCU.

Plus, Billy is a big fan of Thor and modelled his first superhero persona, Asgardian, after him. That could make for some wonderful screen interaction with the God of Thunder.

7) MISS AMERICA

One final member of the Young Avengers who should definitely appear in the MCU is America Chavez, the modern day holder of the Miss America name. The first Latin-American LGBT character to have her own series, America is perhaps the coolest member of the Young Avengers and has powers that would be ideal for bridging the disparate universes of the MCU and their now-acquired Fox/X-Men universe.

America is from a timeless, magical reality called the Utopian Parallel, where she was raised by her two mothers. As well as being cool as hell, she's incredibly powerful and possibly the most useful superhero the MCU could use right now, plus, you know, sexy as hell. America, as well as super strength, super speed, flight and an energy blast, has the ability to jump between realities. This would be perfect for bringing together the different realities of the MCU and Fox-verse, possibly tying into the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. The great news is that there are already rumours that the MCU overlords are planning on doing this very thing.

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Daniel Tessier
Daniel Tessier
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Daniel Tessier

I'm a terrible geek living in sunny Brighton on the Sussex coast in England. I enjoy writing about TV, comics, movies, LGBTQ issues and science.

See all posts by Daniel Tessier