The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had superheroes of different colors and genders, though one thing notably missing from the ranks are any LGBT characters. While the Marvel-Netflix series collaborations have done a decent job in terms of representation, the movies have lagged considerably behind and the notable absence of any queer characters has long been a sore point to some of the audience.
Then came “Avengers: Endgame” which technically introduced someone in the form of a single scene character – played by straight co-director Joe Russo himself and listed in the credits as ‘Grieving Man’. The character gets a throwaway line about his male partner disappearing during The Decimation and… that’s it.
At best it feels like a too little, too late bit of bone throwing and the backlash against it was swift and loud. A big part of the problem was the Russos spoke about the scene with media before the film was released – in the process their comments seemed like they were backslapping themselves for their effort and that fuelled the negative response even more.
Speaking with io9 this week, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige was asked about the backlash and he says:
“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.”
Feige has previously promised an LGBT superhero would debut in the MCU at some point soon with the upcoming “The Eternals” expected to feature an openly gay main character, but that’s not yet confirmed.