Is Marvel Cinema Introducing Its First Gay Superhero, Or What?
LGBTQIA characters in blockbuster movies are the characters du jour. (I hate how that sentence sounds, but it's true.) A sizeable chunk of Beauty and the Beast's press tour was devoted to its "exclusively gay moment" and Power Rangers touted Trini's bisexuality in a similar fashion. LGBTQIA visibility is essential to the fight for equal rights, but these two instances were more pandering than revolutionary. (Sorry, Disney, but two seconds of a man dancing with another man who just so happens to be in drag at the end of a two-plus-hour movie does not an "exclusively gay moment" make.) The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), however, could be the one to do it right.
James Gunn, the writer of the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, said the MCU could very well have already been introduced to its first LGBTQIA superhero. "Absolutely," Gunn told DigitalSpy, responding to whether there'd be a gay character in Guardians 3. "I would love to be able to. We might have already done that [in Vol. 2]. I say watch the movie."
How elusive! I, having yet to see the movie, cannot pinpoint what nuanced coming out Gunn could be referring to. Movie Pilot assumes it's Pom Klementieff's Mantis character because she utters a variation of "you're not my type," the age-old "I'm actually gay" line.
The ambiguity of Gunn's statement raises the question of what/who above him is preventing the introduction of an LGBTQIA character to the MCU (probably the same forces that allegedly stripped Black Panther's lesbian character of her queerness for that forthcoming film). After all, Marvel Television and Marvel Comics have both featured LGBTQIA superheroes—what's preventing the movie side from doing the same? At least this bit of news surrounding the film isn't being used as propaganda to get people into to the movie theater. It's great LGBTQIA characters in blockbuster cinema are getting more screen time, but it becomes problematic when their queerness generates headlines and what's shown on screen underwhelms in terms of what's actually portrayed.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5.