5 things we want to see in Marvel’s Phase 5

Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+.
Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. /
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High-profile LGBTQ characters

While the MCU has come a long way from having a group of white men saves the world with some help from a handful of token female and POC characters, it still has a long way to go on the road to diversity.

It took the studio nine years to give a female superhero equal billing (with 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp), with Black Widow being treated as little more than a supporting character in the adventures of Captain America and Iron Man up until then. Marvel Studios also waited nine years before featuring a hero of color as the lead in a film, with Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther in 2018. It took ten years to release the first film with a female superhero lead, 2019’s Captain Marvel, which broke box office records and, hopefully, helped clear the way for more female-focused MCU live-action projects.

However, having LGBTQ heroes seems to be the last frontier for Marvel Studios. While Disney’s aversion to queer storytelling has been discussed quite a bit, as recently as the switch of Love, Victor from Disney+ to Hulu, now is the time to bring more high-profile LGBTQ characters to the forefront of the MCU. Or, at least allowing previously introduced queer characters, like Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, to be a little bit more vocal about who they are. Thompson has stated that she did have a line in Thor: Ragnarok that would’ve confirmed her character’s bisexuality, but it was cut from the final version of the film. Queer audiences were apparently supposed to be sated by the first out character in the MCU, played by one of the Russo brothers in Avengers: Endgame, who got all of about thirty seconds of screen time.

The ironic thing is that there are plenty of queer characters in the Marvel comic book universe that haven’t been utilized at all. Even a few previously-established live-action characters like the X-Men’s Kitty Pryde and The Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Quill have recently come out as bisexual in the comics.

Not to mention that MCU television shows like Netflix’s Jessica Jones and Hulu’s Runaways have been featuring queer characters in their main casts for years. The recent announcement of Xochitl Gomez, as lesbian superhero America Chavez, appearing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a step in the right direction, though it’s unclear exactly how big of a role she will have in the film.