In a never-ending spectacle of comic book heroes coming to life, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has spent the last decade depicting the perfect actor, attitude, and wardrobe to represent the Avengers on the silver screen. From Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man to Tom Holland’s more recent portrayal of Spider-Man, the MCU seems to have a knack for getting the right actor to be our favorite comic heroes. While it’s something we’ve come to appreciate (and slightly obsess at) over the years, fans can’t help but come up with their own unique versions of the Avengers that you won’t see in the films.
If you dive into the cosplay and art community, you will see that avid fans have imagined the Avengers cast in a more unique light. Fan art in particular has shown an intense interest in seeing the Avengers portrayed in gender swapped roles. Can you imagine a Scarlet Wizard instead of the typical Scarlet Witch or seeing the Avengers run by wrath of female Nick Fury? How about a femme Falcon or a woman wielding the Mjolnir? Well now you don’t have to imagine it because we have found incredible photoshopped artwork that shows Marvel superheroes in swapped gender roles. Check out these 15 genderbent Marvel photoshops:
15 SANDRA BULLOCK AS IRON MAIDEN
Genius, billionaire, playgirl, philanthropist; what could be more enticing to Marvel fans than using these titles to describe a female? A Tonya Stark is the last Avenger you think could pull of a gender-swap, but this photoshop of Sandra Bullock as Iron Maiden does just that. These days, with solidarity and equality being at the forefront of political talk, a comic (or even a live-action version) of Iron Woman would surely appease both male and female Marvel fans alike.
The only time that a female version of Tony Stark appeared in the comics was in an alternate reality discovered by Reed Richards. In search for a different outcome to the Civil War, Richards discovers Earth-3490. In this world, Tony was actually born a female, and so named Natasha Stark. In this version, Natasha and Captain America become romantically involved, which eliminated the Civil War event from ever occurring.
14 ZOE SALDANA AS FALCON
Again, this genderbent photoshop shows an established MCU actress portraying another character. In this version, Zoe Salanda portrays a female Falcon instead of her regular role as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Falcon was first written by Stan Lee in 1969 for Marvel Comics. Sam Wilson’s alter-ego was the first ever African-American superhero in mainstream comics during the height of the Civil Rights movement. The Falcon was a major character in the '70s Marvel Comics, having teamed up with Captain America to defend the streets of New York City in the series Captain America and the Falcon. Anthony Mackie makes a great Falcon in the MCU, but seeing this femme version is a great inspiration for female cosplayers who could represent this character.
13 AMBER HEARD AS THORA
"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." The original writers must have never fathomed a ‘she’ possessing the power of Thor! Jane Foster (portrayed by Natalie Portman in the Thor films) has been the primary love interest of Thor since her first appearance in the 1962 comic Journey into Mystery #84. It wasn’t until 2014, under writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman, that the idea of a female Thor emerged.
This photoshop features one of the stars of the upcoming Aquaman film, Amber Heard, stepping in for Chris Hemsworth as the Goddess of Thunder. The creator, Josh, is the mind behind the Fan Art Exhibit, and you can bet that you'll be seeing a ton of his excellent work throughout the feature.
12 CHRIS PINE AS BLACK WIDOWER
Natasha Romanoff is the assailant behind the pseudonym Black Widow. The ex-Russian assassin was brought into Marvel Comics in a 1964 issue of Tales of Suspense. Natasha was taught under Ivan Petrovitch for the Black Widow program, which was a team of elite female sleeper agents for Russia. Natasha’s disguise as a discreet, unsuspecting female enabled her to gather intelligence against the enemy. After all, who would suspect a professional ballerina to be a spy?
It may seem a little too familiar cast a male as a spy (James Bond, for instance), but in juxtaposition with female superheroes like a female Thor, the concept is intriguing. Who would ever suspect a male ballerina to be an ultimate spy and assassin? Disimilis thinks that seems like the perfect disguise for a gender-swap role, and Chris Pine to take over the role from Scarlett Johansson and pull of this clever swap.
11 KERRY WASHINGTON AS NICOLA FURY
This photoshop of Kerry Washington as Nick Fury meets the expectations that a female Fury could be just as powerful and intimidating. Washington is known for her role as Olivia Pope on the television series, Scandal, in which she plays a crisis-manager who fixes political situations. Sound familiar? As a leading agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and recruitment officer for the Avengers, Nick Fury is responsible for managing the Avengers.
A lot has happened to Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury since he first appeared in the end credits scene in 2008's Iron Man. But even with all of the character changes in The Winter Soldier, it seems like Washington is already playing a female Nick Fury on her show. If there ever comes a time when Marvel creates these genderbent superheroes for live-action films, they’ll know who to cast.
10 TERESA PALMER AS QUICKSILVER
Quicksilver is a superhero most commonly associated with the X-Men, but who later appears as a regular member of the Avengers. Pietro Maximoff and his twin sister, Wanda (Scarlet Witch), were born as mutants and were seen as villains due to their superhuman abilities.
This photoshopped version of Hacksaw Ridge actress Teresa Palmer as Quicksilver would actually mesh very well with the capabilities and traits that this superhuman possesses. Quicksilver moves and thinks at lightning speed. Because of this, the rest of the world seemingly moves in slow motion, which explains the character’s abrasive and impatient demeanor that is represented in the comics. A superhero that can multitask at lightning speed and tends to get frustrated? It seems like an entertaining female superhero just begging to be written!
9 JARED LETO AS SCARLET WIZARD
On the other hand, a male Scarlet Witch, or Scarlet Wizard, would be an interesting switch from the female version we see today. Wanda is the twin sister to Quicksilver, with her own superhuman abilities. She and her brother later join the Avengers, where Wanda uses her abilities to wield magical energy to aid in combat. She also has the power to alter reality when needed.
It would be interesting to see how the dynamic of a female Quicksilver and a male Scarlet Wizard would play out. Jared Leto would be a compelling choice to portray a genderbent version of this superhero, but Scarlet Witch’s witchcraft has been said to be genetically inherited from other women in her family, making the likelihood of a male Scarlet Witch less likely.
8 ADRIANNE PALICKI AS LADY DEADPOOL
Lady Deadpool is already an established character in the comic book realm. Lady Deadpool was essentially fabricated as simply a genderbent version of Deadpool, with all the same personality traits and superhuman powers of Wade Wilson. Wanda Wilson became Lady Deadpool in Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #7 when she decided to join a group of rebels in the alternate reality, Earth-3010. This character was only moderately liked by comic readers due to her lack of unique characterization and backstory.
Despite the character’s insufficiency in the comics, Deadpool is still a favorite among the cosplay community and many fans of both gender enjoy dressing up as both the normal version and as Lady Deadpool. Artist Disimilis works his magic with this amazing photoshop of actress Adrianne Palicki as Deadpool, taking over for actor Ryan Reynolds in this instance.
7 RACHEL WEISZ AS SHE-HULK
She-Hulk is another character that has been represented in the comics, but one that we unfortunately will probably never see in the MCU. This photoshopped female version of Hulk features actress Rachel Weisz is a close representation of the genderbent version we know as She-Hulk. Also known as Jennifer Walters, she is the cousin to Bruce Banner. This accomplished lawyer came to possess the power of Hulk transformation once she received an emergency blood transfusion from her cousin.
After she possessed superhuman strength, she went on to aid the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and S.H.I.E.L.D., among other notable superhero teams. She-Hulk is typically dressed in a more scantily clad uniform, so it’s nice to see this edit of a female Hulk dressed more closely to the original Hulk attire that we all know and love.
6 WILLA HOLLAND AS SPIDER-GIRL
Spider-Girl made an appearance in Marvel comics in 1998 when writers Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz introduced the concept of creating a story for Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s daughter. The comic was widely accepted by fans during her official introduction in 1998. The Spider-Girl comics told the story of May “Mayday” Parker who only learned of her father’s past as Spider-Man when she started to develop web-like powers of her own. May is equal parts Peter and Mary Jane, being both popular and known for her intelligence in high school.
Interestingly enough, this photoshop version of Super-Girl in disguise is represented by Arrow actress Willa Holland, who plays Speedy in the Arrowverse. While Spider-Girl is not likely to appear in the MCU since we are just getting to know high school Peter Parker (Tom Holland), it would be interesting to see who fans would cast as Peter Parker’s (possible) future daughter.
5 ROONEY MARA AS LOKIA
Rooney Mara as a genderbent Loki might just be the photoshop alteration you didn’t know you needed. While Tom Hiddleston makes a devilishly charming Loki, it would be amazing to see how an actress like Mara would characterize Thor’s younger brother. Loki is known for his antics and his constant desire to overtake his brother Thor. He’s often depicted as a villain and anti-hero, though we do see Loki’s softer side in the latest MCU installments.
Female versions of Loki are very popular in the cosplay community. Some versions appear to be exact replicas of the Loki garb worn in the Thor films, while other give it a more feminine twist by adding a corset or skirt. Genderbent Loki’s typically receive high praise in the cosplay realm, which is why a comic (or film) adaptation of a female Loki might not be such a bad idea.
4 ALISON BRIE AS CAPTAIN AMERICA
If there’s one Marvel superhero that represents masculinity and the “All-American” man, it’s Captain America. This character is one of the original Marvel superheroes, coming to print in the early '40s to tell the story of Steve Rodgers’ unexpected metamorphosis into a super soldier. Captain America’s patriotic duty is not only to represent America, but to help lead soldiers in World War II.
This genderbent photoshop by Fan Art Exhibit shows Alison Brie in a particularly stunning representation of a female Captain America. The photo shows that women will also put their blood and sweat into the fight when it comes to saving the world. A female Captain America is a refreshing look at female superheroes and would also be a great depiction of women in the military today.
3 SHAILENE WOODLEY AS HAWKEYE
Kate Bishop is the female counterpart of Hawkeye in the Marvel comics. She made her first appearance as her alias Kate Bishop in the 2005 comic titled, Young Avengers #1 and made her debut as Hawkeye in Young Avengers #12 in 2006. Kate is of no relation to the previous Clint Barton’s previous alter-ego, Hawkeye. Kate and the other Young Avengers steal weaponry and costumes from the senior Avenger’s mansion and quickly take to the streets of New York to fight crime.
The young Hawkeye’s costume customized by a black and purple leather outfit, complete with the former Hawkeye’s bow and arrow. In this genderbent version of the original Hawkeye, Shailene Woodley is photoshopped in the custom garb of red and black. It’s more a tom-boyish look than the female Hawkeye in the comics, but either one would be fantastic to see in live-action.
2 EMILY BLUNT AS THE WINTER SOLDIER
Bucky Barnes was originally casted as a young sidekick to Captain America in 1941's Captain America #1. He was later remodeled to be the superhero the Winter Soldier. Stan Lee is said to have never liked the idea of a young sidekick, but what about a female counterpart? This photoshop artwork of Emily Blunt as Winter Soldier is still something to consider since Bucky is one of the only characters that hasn’t made a comeback in recent comics.
In the MCU we know Bucky to be an old friend to Steve Rogers, who becomes brainwashed by HYDRA. He takes on the role as an anti-hero and is fashioned with a cybernetic limb which aids him in his enhanced abilities as a HYDRA assassin. This is another character that is frequently seen in genderbent form among cosplayers, with the MCU version of the Winter Soldier used as inspiration.
1 NATALIE DORMER AS STAR-LORD
It’s difficult to imagine anyone but Chris Pratt portraying the charismatic Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. However, after seeing this genderbent photoshop of Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer as a female Star-Lord, Pratt might be given a run for his money.
A cover for Guardians of the Galaxy #1 that was released in 2015 gave comic readers the first insight into a female Star-Lord. Writer Brian Michael Bendis created a story wherein Peter Quill leaves the Guardians of the Galaxy to be the Emperor of the Spartax. In no time at all, Rocket becomes the leader of the team. That is until Kitty Pryde, the new Star-Lord, comes into the picture, proving that a female can take on the mantle of Star-Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy would not miss a beat.