Image via Marvel Comics

10 characters that Marvel could gender swap for the MCU

The comics tell many stories of classic characters with female counterparts, and it leaves plenty of material to mine for the MCU.

From the early days of the MCU, Kevin Feige and the rest of Marvel Studios have striven to give movie, television, and streaming audiences a fresh, new Marvel experience. Oftentimes, that involves alternate depictions of classic characters. 

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Instead of making every story and figure as comic-accurate as possible, the studio has put its own spin on things. Whether its changes to characters’ backstories, giving them comedic stylings, or creating entirely new characters, the MCU has grown into something that stands alone from its comic inspirations. 

As Feige and company continue to shape an MCU unique from the comics, it’s not uncommon for them to change characters’ genders. The Ancient One, Mar-Vell, Taskmaster, Karl Morgenthau, Ghost, Ajak, and Makkari were male characters in the comics but played by women in the MCU. By and large, these are all important but supporting characters, but the time is coming for a marquee name to be gender swapped for the big screen. On that note, here are 10 game-changing characters that could be perfect for a female lead with roots straight from Marvel Comics.

10. Mister Sinister

There’s so many reasons to believe that Mister Sinister will be the X-Men’s first major villain upon their MCU debut. Actor Jon Hamm recently confirmed that he was in talks to play the character before Disney bought Fox, and he says he is up for doing the role. Sinister also got a more comedic personality makeover in the House of X comics in 2019, which happened to be the same time Disney purchased Fox and all its properties. It was recently announced that next year, Sinister will star in his own crossover, The Sins of Sinister, and that could be the icing on the proverbial cake. 

In the comics, the former Nathaniel Essex happens to have a female duplicate of himself. As the story goes, Sinister planned ahead for his own death. In a moment of pure comic book logic, he managed to turn his DNA into a virus, which he injected into a human test subject, Claudine Renko. When Sinister died, it activated the virus, effectively copying all of his traits onto her DNA and leading her to becoming Miss Sinister.

9. Black Panther

Marvel Studios unveiled its mesmerizing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. The footage revealed Namor the Submariner and his Atlantean army as well as Ironheart herself, Riri Williams. The real mystery is who will be the next Black Panther? Kevin Feige has said the studio won’t recast the role of T’Challa following Chadwick Boseman’s death. That has led to theories on which character will hoist the banner.

Most pundits tend to agree that the most likely candidates are Shuri and Okoye. The comics saw Shuri take over as Black Panther during 2009’s Dark Reign crossover event. The Wakanda Forever trailer teased just enough of the new Black Panther to leave us guessing, so it could be anyone under the mask. 

8. Kang

Of course Kang would have a female counterpart. After all, the time-traveling, interdimensional Conqueror has a wide range of variants, ranging from genius kids to old men and all points in-between. That includes versions of Kang that are good, evil, and somewhere in the middle. With so many variants of all shapes and sizes, it’s only logical that some worlds have given birth to female Kangs.

Kang has been combined with some surprising choices to make for interesting female Kangs. One possibility for the MCU is Kamala Kang, a Kamala Khan variant who became her dimension’s Kang the Conqueror. There has also been a Sue Storm-Kang mashup in the Ultimate Universe. Once the Fantastic Four are established under the Marvel Studios banner, this Sue from an alternate future could be in line for a live-action debut. 

7. Venom

What does Marvel Studios have in store for Venom? Symbiote fans were mightily disappointed when that hyped Tom Hardy/Tom Holland onscreen meeting was tossed aside for a cheap laugh in the post-credits scene for Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, after Eddie Brock got run down in The Infinity Saga, he was sent back to the Sony-verse. On his way out, Venom left behind a piece of the symbiote. There’s supposedly leaked No Way Home artwork that featured the black suit crawling over Holland that has lit the beacons.

Between Hardy and Spider-Man 3’s Topher Grace, fans already have seen two male Venoms. Marvel Studios may be looking for a drastic change, and that could be in the form of She-Venom. The first Venom movie from 2018 teased the character when Eddie’s ex-wife, Anne Weying, briefly wore the Venom symbiote. This is straight from the comics as Anne was briefly possessed by Venom. The ordeal was so traumatic for her that she later committed suicide. 

6. Deadpool

There’s no question that Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool. Feige has said that we will see Reynolds return as the “Merc with a Mouth” in Deadpool 3, a film that the Marvel chief added will be rated R. Considering the state of the MCU and the vast importance of the Multiverse, it would not be surprising for Deadpool to take a hilarious trip through time and space as he had done in the comics. Along the way, he could venture to other dimensions where he would meet a couple of female versions of himself.

The most obvious choice is Deadpool’s wife, Wanda Wilson, aka Lady Deadpool of Earth-3010. However, there’s a more interesting pick lurking in the comics. As the name suggests, Gwenpool is a Gwen Stacy variant hailing from Earth-TRN565. In fact, Deadpool discovered her during his spoof story, Deadpool’s Secret Wars. Gwenpool is just as insane and comical as the original, and they would make for a great, bloodthirsty buddy-cop pairing. 

5. Moon Knight

The world was introduced to Marvel’s first Egyptian superhero, the Scarlet Scarab, when Layla El-Faouly became Taweret’s avatar in Moon Knight. Up to that point, the show hinted that Layla might succeed her husband, Marc Spector, as the next Fist of Khonshu. After the finale, Layla had committed herself to Taweret while Marc/Steven was back at Khonshu’s side. However, that does not mean a female Moon Knight is not on the table, and there have been multiple versions in the comics.

One of the most famous came about during the Infinity War crossover event. Created by Magus, the evil version of Adam Warlock, Moon Shade was sent across the Multiverse to absorb all variants of Moon Knight. Moon Shade ventured across dimensions to find all versions of Moon Knight, which included two women, Crescent Moon and the mermaid Moon Knight, Moon Maid. That sounds like a plot point for a second season, especially since it neatly fits into The Multiverse Saga.

Speaking of the Multiverse, there’s been strong indications that the world of Earth-928 will finally come to the MCU. We’ve already met Spider-Man 2099 in the Into the Spider-Verse post-credits scene, and he will be a featured character in next year’s sequel, Across the Spider-Verse. Don’t forget that Loki hinted at the Marvel 2099 universe, and it’s led to many theories that we will eventually see Earth-928 in some fashion. If we do, that could lead to the future Moon Knight, known simply as Tabitha.

It doesn’t stop there. In an alternate-reality tale, Marc Spector died of cancer, and his daughter inherited the mantle. As a trained martial artist and archaeologist, Jessica Spector carried on the Moon Knight legacy.

4. Daredevil

Since the Netflix Daredevil universe is being inducted into the modern MCU, fans can’t wait for Charlie Cox to appear in costume. Over the coming phases, we’ll get our fill of Daredevil as he is set to make several appearances on his way to his own series, Daredevil: Born Again. While we know Cox will be under the mask leading to that moment, there’s nothing that says he will be the only DD by the time that show premieres.

Two years ago, the comics saw Matt Murdock jailed for his vigilante escapades. In his absence, Elektra took up the Daredevil mantle, and she’s remained in that role since. That could be on the agenda for Born Again with Elodie Yung behind the mask by the show’s end.

3. Spider-Man

The vast Spider-Verse and the seemingly limitless number of Spider-Man variants lends itself to plenty of options for gender-bending Spidey. We saw a take on this in Into the Spider-Verse with the anime-inspired Penni Parker and, more importantly, Spider-Gwen. We could see an MCU adaptation of Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy, who was bitten by the radioactive spider, rather than Peter Parker. Don’t forget that there is a Spider-Girl, Mayday Parker, who is the daughter of Peter and Mary Jane on Earth-982.

2. Doctor Doom

In the alternate reality of Earth-99315, Doctor Doom is regarded as a hero. While it is not clear if he is a combination of Reed Richards and the traditional Doom, in this dimension, Victor Von Doom is the leader of the Fantastic Four. Stepping in for Mister Fantastic, Victor marries Sue Storm, and the two raise a child together, Valeria Von Doom. However, this is not their biological child.

On Earth-616, Reed and Sue conceived a child while in the Negative Zone. Because of this, the unborn Valeria began emitting radiation. Despite their best efforts, the couple could not save their baby, and she was stillborn. Her brother, the omega-level mutant Franklin Richards, was so pained by Valeria’s death that he willed her back to life and sent her body into another dimension, where she was raised by Earth-99315 Victor and Sue Von Doom. Years later, Valeria Von Doom traveled to Earth-616 to meet her biological parents.

This would be an interesting twist for Marvel to employ in the Fantastic Four franchise. Having Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman’s daughter become the Marvel-616 Doctor Doom would be a moment from left field. 

1. Wolverine

The most likely gender-swapped character in the MCU’s future is Wolverine, and fans of the X-Men movies have already met her.

Odds are, Taron Egerton will be the next Wolverine. The actor has confirmed he has spoken with Marvel Studios about that specific role, so it’s likely a matter of time before the official announcement. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t eventually see the female Wolverine, Laura Kinney. 

As we saw in Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine sendoff flick, Logan, the most popular X-Man has a number of clones. The best known of those clones is Laura, aka X-23. After Marvel Comics’ Death of Wolverine in 2014, she dropped the X-23 name and took up the Wolverine mantle. After Logan returned from the dead, the two have since shared the codename. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for a similar story to take place in the MCU.

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Matt Tuck
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.