Marvel Phase 4 is looking like one of Marvel’s most diverse phase yet.
At a recent visit to the New York Film Academy, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige responded to a question about bringing on more LGBT+ superheroes, particularly transgender superheroes. Feige replied “very soon, in a movie we’re shooting right now,” and promised that there would be more queer-identifying characters in the future.
“We want the movies to reflect the audience and we want every member of our global audience to see themselves reflected on the screen,” Feige previously said.
Fans have speculated that the transgender character could be Sera especially since reports emerged mid last year about Marvel planning to cast a transgender woman in Thor: Love and Thunder to be filmed this year (via GeeksWorldwide).
In the comics, Sera is an Anchorite angel, kept inside a temple until Angela, Thor’s sister, helped her escape. The two then went on many adventures across the Nine Realms and eventually fell in love.
The news of a transgender superhero coming “very soon” has been making quite a buzz but the studio came forward shortly after to state that Feige was only addressing the question of LGBT+ characters and that there isn’t a transgender superhero on the way (via Variety).
A full cast list of Thor: Love and Thunder have yet to be released so we don’t actually know if Sera or any transgender character for that fact may appear after all. The film will be directed by Taika Waititi and star regulars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson.
Thompson’s character, Valkyrie, identifies as bisexual. After being crowned king in the last Avengers film, Thomspon said that her “first order of business” in Love and Thunder will be “to find her queen.” Valkyrie is just one of the many queer characters in the Marvel universe.
This November will see the release of The Eternals, which will introduce Marvel movies’ first gay hero. Marvel’s first deaf superhero will also feature in the same film. In 2021, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also promises the first Asian superhero in the titular Master of Kung-Fu.
The news of the first trans hero received mixed responses. Some are embracing it with open arms while some are concern that Marvel is just another corporation running after queer folks’ dollars.
Disney has been hotly criticised for its LGBT+ representation. Avengers: Endgame and Beauty and the Beast featured gay characters that served as background characters and the recent Star Wars film included a fleeting kiss between two women that was edited out of showings in Singapore and Dubai.
With the recent statement from Marvel, it is safe to say that the studio is not at that stage of inclusivity yet. We’re hoping that Marvel to step up their diversity game one day and to be honest and true about it because flip-flopping like this is incredibly uncool.