Now that Endgame is ready to round out the marketing race and prepare to break every box office record in the history of ever, Marvel is announcing what’s next.
What’s coming involves more diversity, more inclusion, and a few other superheroes you may not be familiar with in the grand scheme of things. Phase Four, to be exact.
Last September, news came out that Marvel is bringing us The Eternals, a cosmic race of superhumans with advanced biomechanics, metapowers, and of course, immortality. With Chloe Zhao at the helm, and an antithetical race of miscreants known as The Deviants, this movie could go anywhere in terms of creativity.
The first has already been announced — The Eternals will feature the first openly gay actor as the lead for a CBM. It’s no secret Hollywood tends to hire straight actors for gay parts for who knows why, but they do. With all the DC hate out there, the one thing no one can hold over WB’s head is they championed diversity and inclusion immediately.
Who will it be? Ikarus? Sersi? Whoever it is we don’t know. What we do know is this is the connection to Thanos, who is part Eternal, part Deviant. Man, Kevin Feige is a master architect.
Would this be the only gay superhero or villain you ever knew about?
When DC hired Ruby Rose to lead Batwoman on CW, nerd Twitter went full troll and proved why no one of them can get dates outside of a warm bottle of lotion, tube sock, and some cheesy Anime. A gay and outspoken actress, Ruby Rose has proven she was perfect for the role of a gay heroine, Kate Kane (and cousin to Bruce Wayne). Yes, Marvel was late to be first on this one, but since Eternals will be a movie, they get a pass.
Yes, yes. In 2015, Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis shared Bobby Drake has always been someone who hid who he really is–ice notwithstanding. One day, Jean Grey, friend of the X-Men and noted psychic, got a little nosy and read Bobby Drake’s mind. She confronts him about his sexuality and there was his admission (to himself, no less) that although he’s been with women, he’s makes ice cubes with the other team.
Jean-Paul Beaubier, aka Northstar, was the very first comic character to say in his or her story to be gay in 1992. It took 12 years but Northstar took his photon blasts and blew away the barrier about what nerds wanted in their heroes, and then he married Kyle Jinadu. Because he’s down with the X-Men. Maybe because he’s Canadian. Whatever.
While Ruby Rose and Batwoman pretty much shattered the mold about what a gay hero or heroine can do in a series, Sara Lance was the first on The CW’s Arrow. You may know her as ‘White Canary’, Lance is a former member of the ‘League of Assassins.’ Girl, can hold her own in fighting and in dating, with both The Arrow and Nyssa Raatko.
A solar-powered member of the Stormwatch faction in DC Comics, Apollo was in the military who would become much like the sun god with flight, strength, invulnerability, and heat vision. Oh yeah, and a boyfriend who would later become his husband. Apollo was cast in the mold of the son of Krypton but was given more opportunities to fly above the clutter for recognition.
Enter Apollo’s main man, Midnighter. This is the guy DC Comics used to change how superheroes are perceived. One of his gifts is the ability for lightning-quick perception. He sees attacks before they come. His artificial upgrades allow him to be just like Batman, only without the money and he doesn’t mind killing people. In fact, he loves that almost as much as his sun god husband.
This guy is a major component to the teen dream team, Young Avengers. Teddy Altman was raised by a single mom who is Skrull posing as a human. The thing is her baby daddy is a Kree. Teddy can do it all–shape shifting, super strength, warrior spirit, healing powers. As a new thinking teenager, Marvel gave him one other ability–be his own person. Today, Teddy is one of the benchmarks of the LGBT nerd community.
Did you know Scarlet Witch was a mother? Following the ‘snap’, Vision and her were finally able to settle down, which is how we meet Wiccan (earlier known as ‘Asgardian’). Well, kinda. He and his brother Speed are considered the reincarnations of Witch’s dead twin sons. Billy Kaplan is an extraordinary and electrokinetic warlock who is also deeply in love with Hulking, which is a romance still alive today in comics.
Wait, what? Selina Kyle? She loved Bruce Wayne. True, but the femme fatale has her eyes on others too. And not just the fellas. In a Vanity Fair article with Catwoman writer Genevieve Valentine, it was was revealed Selina purrs with the ladies as well. In Catwoman #39, Kyle gives the suit to her successor Eiko Hasigawa as well as a passionate kiss for good luck. This makes her one of the most mainstream LGBT heroes out there.
When DC Comics went through a rebrand on the publication side of things in 2013, Gail Simone (brains behind Birds of Prey) wrote in a modern update–he meows for women and men. You may not know it but Catman has been clawing up trees since 1963 but wasn’t considered a good enough substitute for Batman. These days, Thomas Blake is seen with Green Arrow in print. Sure, he’s been in the Lego Batman movie, but maybe he’ll get a screen debut soon enough.
Would you like to see these characters be given a larger piece of the spotlight? Let us know your thoughts. Comments are open.