Who could Shea Coulee play in ‘Ironheart’?

shea coulee ironheart marvel
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Marvel

RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Shea Coulee has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the upcoming Ironheart series, but who exactly are they playing in the Disney Plus-exclusive miniseries?

In a world as expansive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it makes sense we’d see more gender diverse roles make up the universe, and here are our picks for who they’ll play in Earth-616.

Who could Shea Coulee play in ‘Ironheart‘?

Here are our guesses, including a very rock solid idea of who they might be playing.


Image via Marvel Comics

Making their debut in an issue of Iceman in 2018, Darkveil is considered Marvel’s first drag super hero. Known off-stage as Darnell Wade, they’re a mutant capable of teleportation and lip-syncing according to the Marvel database. Literally based off of Shea Coulee as well as several other drag performers, it’d be astonishing if this wasn’t who Coulee was playing.

A close friend of the mutant hero Iceman, Darkveil even performed at the X-Man’s birthday celebrations, before returning to their day job as a retail assistant. Frankly, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has lacked heroes who have very ordinary and dull retail jobs on the side. Aside from Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and his brief stint at Baskin-Robbins, but Baskin-Robbins always finds out about ex-convicts.

“There was no cinematic beauty to my conceiving Shade. I was probably in a coffee shop, thinking: “Wouldn’t it be rad if . . .” I always toyed with the idea of a drag queen who becomes a reluctant hero, and I had an unused character in a Generation X proposal that never saw the light of day: a young girl named Shade who could create pocket voids (all for the “throwing shade” pun.) I quickly put the pieces together and sent series artist Nathan Stockman a sketch of what Shade would look like: a drag queen of color who had bold curves and a penchant for incorporating X-Men visual motifs into her “lewk.” She’d have green hair like Polaris, the X emblem on any corner of her body, and more pouches than every ’90s X-character combined.”

Sina Grace, Darkveil/Shade creator


A bit of a cop-out, Shade is another persona taken on by Darnell Wade outside of their drag name of Darkveil. Shade is an alias that’s belonged to several characters in the comics canon, including a former foe of Doctor Strange. In all likelihood though, Coulee will play both the Darkveil and Shade personas, as there are very few drag characters in Marvel’s history.

Ironheart is due to be released on Disney Plus in late 2023, with it filming in Coulee’s hometown of Chicago.