Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has made it clear that progressive storytelling and inclusivity will be an even bigger part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the wake of the Infinity Saga. We've seen some of this already, of course, from Black Panther's "Wakanda Forever" being embraced globally, and how audiences have greeted the message of feminism in Captain Marvel.
Of course, the Brie Larson-helmed film has opened the door for the studio to make an even bigger statement by presenting the new face of the MCU as a straight-up LGBT character.
Larson has already playfully stoked these flames on social media, enthusiastically sharing fan art of her and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie in a romantic lock-up. Valkyrie is bisexual in the MCU, though we haven't seen it on-screen, and there's something deeper to mine here than mere 'shipping. Why can't the strongest Avenger out there, the one who's leading the new era of Marvel movies, be gay?
Fans have already found hidden context in Captain Marvel that has led them to theories about Carol's sexuality. She has no male love interest in the movie, and always appeared hellbent on bringing the patriarchy down, whether on Earth or Hala. Some even feel there might have been more than just adoration between her and Annette Bening's Mar-Vell, or with her best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).
By the closing credits of Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel may very well have become the most popular hero in the MCU as well as the most powerful, a designation she's already well on her way toward claiming. Outside of her fictional reality, where she'll play a key role in taking down Thanos, her film is nearing the $1 billion box office mark, and that's despite a dogged campaign of comic book fans to ensure the film's failure. The general audience has embraced the hero's progressive style and what she stands for, inspiring girls and women globally. By making her queer, the studio would jump to the forefront of gay rights everywhere. By presenting Carol Danvers as a feminist, a strong woman, and a hero with an unbreakable will who just so happens to be an LGBT representative would be a remarkable way to help shape the MCU's future.
Not only would this revelation fit Carol Danvers' character, it would be a remarkably relatable and inspiring moment for teens and adults worldwide who feel under-represented as "the other." Disney appears to no longer be afraid of facing backlash from a small yet vocal contingent of people, as evidenced by James Gunn being rehired to bring Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to theaters. The fact is, Disney can't just afford to take risks -- it can't afford not to.
The MCU as a brand is more than strong enough to make this move. The first step has already been taken by looking at a gay lead for the Eternals, but revealing Captain Marvel as queer would make an even bigger impact. It would illustrate that the studio is truly genuine and unapologetic about celebrating equality for all, giving them -- and us -- the biggest real life superhero move we could ask.