Carol and Maria: Captain Marvel’s ‘great love’ highlights a glaring issue


Brie Larson said the relationship between Carol and Maria is the movie’s great love, but it brings to light a huge issue that the MCU still hasn’t addressed.

The MCU has a big problem with queer representation on screen. That problem is that it still doesn’t have any representation (at least in its movies). While there have been off-screen references by creators for characters like Valkyrie, for example, being bi, there hasn’t canonically been an LGBTQ character in any MCU film so far. While there are a lot of fan pairings and characters that could be viewed as LGBTQ, nothing has ever been confirmed or shown on screen.

In Captain Marvel, one of the most important relationships in the film looks to be that between Carol Danvers and Maria Rambeau. In the comic, it’s Maria’s daughter, Monica, who is featured and is a superhero herself. But Captain Marvel is reshaping that by focusing on Maria, Monica’s mother, and her relationship with Carol. And, it sounds like this friendship is very important to both women.

During a press conference, Brie Larson and Lashana Lynch (who plays Maria) talked about how the friendship between the two women is very strong, saying that it’s the emotional core of the story.

Larson described the close relationship saying:

"Without being too showboating about it, this is the love of the movie. This is the great love. This is the love lost, this is the love found again, this is the reason to continue fighting and to go to the ends of the Earth for the person that you love. And it’s her best friend and her best friend’s daughter which, to me, is so natural."

As a queer woman, reading this quote had me feeling some strong emotions.

On the one hand, having a complex, tight-knit platonic friendship between the two is important. There really hasn’t been a lot of that in the MCU. Having more women interact in meaningful ways on screen is essential, and friendships are valuable and beautiful.

At the same time, these kinds of quotes are often said about relationships between two people of the same gender that are platonic. These quotes can give LGBTQ people hope that they will finally be represented, only to have that not be the case. While it likely wasn’t Brie Larson’s intention, quotes of this nature and calling the two the “great love” of the movie can feel a little disappointing when you’re waiting for the MCU to embrace on-screen LGBTQ representation.

The MCU has had issues with this in the past with other characters, such as with another important MCU captain. There have been multitudes of articles and quotes referring to the relationship between Captain America and Bucky Barnes as a love story. The structure of their story lends itself to this interpretation, yet, of course, they aren’t romantically involved at any point in the canon story.

Related Story. 15 Captain Marvel fan theories to know. light

Talking about the relationships between Carol and Maria in a similar way seems like a repeat of a problem the MCU has had in the past, and it would be nice to see some progress. Even if Maria and Carol aren’t in a romantic relationship, Marvel really needs to show LGBTQ representation. Many of us are tired of holding our breath.