Avengers: Endgame featured a pretty important first for the MCU: the first ever openly gay character in the franchise. This got a lot of attention when the movie came out back in April, but what should’ve been a positive thing garnered substantial criticism from those who felt the minor role had been blown out of proportion. You see, the character in question is an unnamed part who appears in just one scene, played by co-director Joe Russo.
While speaking with io9, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige addressed the blowback, admitting that this character wasn’t supposed to be such a big deal. He explained that the purpose behind it was to include a gay person in an organic, “matter-of-fact” way.
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.”
It’s easy to see what happened here. The filmmakers had the best of intentions when creating the character, but as it was something people had been waiting for, it got more attention than intended. Some felt the Russo brothers were patting themselves on the back for doing the bare minimum when it came to LGBT representation, but Feige’s words make clear that Marvel knows there’s a long way to go yet.
In fact, Feige went on to promise that “We haven’t been shy about saying that that’s coming and that there’s much more prominent LGBT heroes in the future” and that it’s “coming soon.”
This echoes comments he’s made many times before on the topic. Recently, the Russos told us to expect an official announcement of this kind to come soon. It’s expected that it’ll be to do with The Eternals, which is rumored to include the MCU’s first gay superhero lead. And then there’s all that talk of Captain Marvel potentially coming out, which hasn’t been ruled out by the filmmakers.
On the topic of Avengers: Endgame though, make sure to catch the re-release – which contains new post-credits scenes – in cinemas next weekend.