6 LGBTQ Superheroes Who Can (And Should) Star in Their Own Movie
The Black Panther movie in February will mark the first major superhero release starring a black superhero. And Wonder Woman this past Spring was the first major superhero release starring a female superhero. Both of these are and were late in coming for minority representation, considering the current superhero boom is nearly 20-years-old at this point. But progress is being made, and that’s going to have to be good enough.
I am eagerly looking forward to the first major superhero release with an LGBTQ hero in the lead role. But the problem is…which superhero is that even going to be?
There simply aren’t that many prominent LGBTQ superheroes at either Marvel or DC. And those that are prominent are in no condition to have a feature film made about them as a solo superhero. Feel free to disagree with me, but as awesome as Batwoman is, there’s no way a Warner Bros. studio executive is going to make a Batwoman movie when they could just make another Batman movie. Same goes for the likes of Catman. And while Catwoman is bisexual in the comics, she’s about as bi as Wonder Woman. And two of Marvel’s most prominent gay characters — Iceman and Northstar — are second and third-string X-Men, respectively. So not only are they not going to get solo films, but straight Iceman already had a good run with the X-Men franchise, and Northstar is too much like movie Quicksilver to get any sort of starring role.
A lot of existing LGBTQ characters work great for comics, but the current Marvel and DC movie franchise landscapes don’t really have room for them, I’m afraid. DC can’t really make a Midnighter and Apollo movie because they’re clearly just knock-offs of Batman and Superman, and that’s already a lot to throw at movie audiences.
But all hope is not lost! Looking over all the LGBTQ superheroes and villains out there, I think I’ve found six who could actually support a solo superhero film in today’s Hollywood, considering all of the conditions in place! Join me after the jump to see my ideas! And I’d love to hear your own thoughts in the comments!
A big deal was made ahead of the release of Thor: Ragnarok that actress Tessa Thompson was playing the character as bisexual — which links up with recent comic book stories. Unfortunately, no signs of that bisexuality appeared in the actual movie. We’ve since been told that there was a brief scene cut of a woman leaving Valkyrie’s quarters. It would have been nice if they’d left it in.
Fortunately for us all, Tessa Thompson was amazing as Valkyrie and hopefully the character will be around for a long time to come! She was funny and heroic, while also being flawed and relatable. So when Marvel launches Phase 4 and has to start dealing with the fact that all of their major actors are probably going to leave the franchise, they could do worse than having Valkyrie take over the Thor franchise! She could keep up the fun, mythical energy of the Thor side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while including a bit of same sex romance.
This one is a bit more of a stretch, but hear me out. The current Giant-Man at Marvel Comics is a gay fella named Raz Malhotra. He’s a pretty cool guy, introduced as a supporting character/friend in the latest Ant-Man comic. Not much has been done with Raz yet, but if Marvel ever wants to pursue Giant-Man as a movie character, he’d be a great choice! The Giant-Man powers already exist as part of Ant-Man’s repertoire. We saw them in action in Captain America: Civil War, and we may see them again in the upcoming sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp. So why not just give them to a new character to be Giant-Man alone? If Marvel turns the Ant-Man/Wasp series into a trilogy like the rest of their films, they could introduce Raz and make him Giant-Man by the end of the series. Then once he’s established and the Ant-Man trilogy wraps up, they can keep going with those movies and their new Giant-Man!
I’ll grant you, Raz Malhotra is hardly a household name. But nobody had heard of Scott Lang before Marvel decided to make him their MCU Ant-Man and built a successful movie franchise around him!
4. Renee Montoya
The DC Cinematic Universe is kind of a mixed bag and there’s no telling what we’re going to get when it’s all over. I’m pretty sure DC has already nixed plans for everything to be connected, so they might just make a bunch of distinct superhero films. Who knows? Suffice to say, if they’re looking to make a crime noir film, Renee Montoya as the Question would be pretty perfect. It’s gritty, it’s gothic, it could be jam-packed with both action and investigating. And it would have a pretty nifty lead character in Renee. After quitting the Gotham City Police Department in disgust, Renee became a vigilante detective with no face. It would tangentially connect to Batman, if that’s what DC wanted, while also telling its own unique story. I think it could work.
Plus you can use that classic detective noir trope of a leggy dame sauntering into the detective’s office, only now the detective is a woman!
3. John Constantine
I’m perfectly happy with the Constantine movie that already exists, with Keanu Reeves. Granted, I knew nothing about the Constantine character at the time, so I wasn’t bothered by what was and wasn’t adapted from the comics. It was just a good supernatural detective movie (with an amazing performance by Peter Stormare as Satan). A lot of time has passed since that movie and the John Constantine character is definitely cool enough to get a movie reboot. The TV show was pretty great and cancelled before it’s time. Perhaps a 2-hour movie would be more palatable for viewers. And this time, DC could be a bit more closely related to the Hellblazer comics and Constantine’s bisexuality. Couldn’t hurt.
I feel a little iffy about this one, but I definitely think the new Quasar, Avril Kincaid, is the best choice for the first openly gay superhero to star in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. As I said before, Marvel just doesn’t have any LGBTQ characters who could fit into the MCU as it stands today. America Chavez is great, but her origin story is insane! Most of the LGBTQ X-Men are such minor characters that they’d be lucky to get a cameo appearance in the background somewhere (And even then, they wouldn’t be MCU (at least as of this blog post)). Hulkling and Wiccan are too tied into the Young Avengers, same with Karolina Dean and the Runaways or Julie Power and the Power Pack. Angela and Sera’s story just got replaced by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Nobody even remembers Freedom Ring.
There just aren’t any gay Marvel superheroes who are also major and individual enough to star in their own solo movie.
Except for Quasar! Maybe!
Granted, Quasar is also not a household name, but he’s a superhero who has been around since 1989, so he’s got some name recognition with comic book fans. Plus, Quasar is a cosmic superhero, putting the character in league with the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is inarguably one of Marvel’s hottest properties. Marvel could forgo any plans for a Nova movie and instead make Quasar, about an unassuming person from Earth getting chosen to be the savior of the universe! But instead of using classic Quasar host of Wendall Vaughn, Marvel should instead chose their brand new Quasar, Avril Kincaid!
As much as fans might insist on using Wendall Vaughn, nobody can tell me that Vaughn has any real standing in the fandom. Vaughn is in no way important and is as much of a blank slate as Kincaid. So just go with Kincaid. Or, if you want, you could make it more of a legacy thing and have Vaughn passing on the power to Kincaid. And since the movie would be set in space, you could even include Phyla-Vell, the second Quasar and another LGBTQ hero at Marvel!
When Marvel looks to expand their cosmic movie storytelling with new characters in Phase 4, I think Quasar is a solid choice. And considering the character can be whatever they want, I think they should go with the third Quasar, Avril Kincaid, and give the world the first solo Marvel superhero film starring an LGBTQ hero!
1. Harley Quinn (with Poison Ivy)
Of course, Marvel is once again probably going to be beat to the punch by DC when it comes to LGBTQ representation. DC already has Harley Quinn cast, and considering she was everyone’s favorite part of the Suicide Squad movie, it doesn’t take a genius to green light Margot Robbie in her own Harley Quinn solo film! I’m pretty sure Robbie even recently said she’s working on a solo Harley film. So forget Suicide Squad 2! Bring on Harley Quinn!
And when DC goes ahead and makes that solo film, they would do well to introduce Poison Ivy as the love interest! All these superhero movies need love interests, and there’s no reason why the first solo LGBTQ superhero film shouldn’t also get a same sex romance! Make the movie about Harley freeing herself from the Joker’s influence, with help from the love of Poison Ivy! It works like gangbusters in the comics and could be even better on the big screen!
A Harley Quinn solo film would be the easiest, quickest and most guaranteed successful of any possible LGBTQ solo superhero film coming up. Make it happen, Hollywood!
Honorable Mention: Gamer Girl & Vixen
Sorry, sorry, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to plug my own book! Please forgive this shameless self-promotion! If Hollywood is reading this, Gamer Girl & Vixen would make a great movie or TV show about two lesbian larcenists! And we’ll gladly sign over the movie licensing rights for a song! Just saying! And if you haven’t read the Gamer Girl & Vixen graphic novel yet, we’ve still got plenty available! Order your copy today!
What LGBTQ heroes or villains do you think could support their own movie? Do you think I’m wrong to so readily dismiss Batwoman or Apollo and Midnighter? Let me know in the comments!