There is nothing quite like seeing yourself represented on the big screen. This is especially true when it comes to big blockbusters featuring larger than life heroes. For the longest time, superheroes, especially on the big screen were only limited to straight white males with the likes of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Luke Skywalker dominating our pop cultural landscape since the late 70s. However, things have slowly started to change. Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten women led comic book movies (Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel) as well as a comic book film centred around African Americans (Black Panther). The same can be said about the new Star Wars movies which have been significantly more diverse than the original and prequel trilogies.
And in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios introduced the first ever openly gay character in the MCU. While it was indeed a blink and you’ll miss moment — the post-snap support group led by Steve Rogers sees a character played by co-director Joe Russo talk about dating another man — it was still a first step in the right direction. And Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige says the MCU will introduce more prominent LGBT characters in the future. In an interview with io9, he said:
“That was never meant to be our first focused character. That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth. And I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact. It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together. It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. I guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention. We haven’t been shy about saying that that’s coming and that there’s much more prominent LGBT heroes in the future. It’s coming soon.”
The folks at Marvel Studios have been open about introducing a more diverse slew of characters in the coming years. The studio is currently developing a Shang-Chi movie, which will centre around Marvel’s first Asian superhero. And if you’re wondering about brown Asians? Previously, Joe Russo mentioned that he would love to bring in someone like Priyanka Chopra into the MCU, which would, of course, get this writer very, very excited!