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Diversity is a growing topic in the world of comics. Archie Andrews recently died to protect his gay best friend. Thor's mighty hammer is being handed down to a newly minted super heroine. And the shield of Captain America will be carried by a beloved black character. On the movie front, Joss Whedon's been credited as leading the charge, fighting to keep Black Widow in The Avengers after she was poorly introduced in Iron Man 2. With Avengers: Age of Ultron, the creator of such female-empowering properties as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly has revealed he has four female leads lined up for his next Marvel outing. Do the math. This could mean an exciting new addition to the Marvel movie universe. Perhaps Ms. Marvel herself?

Hey U Guys spoke with Joss Whedon at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in London, where the writer-director of Avengers: Age of Ultron revealed, "There are four prominent female roles in the center of the movie. And I think a more balanced presence throughout the movie." But before sexist fanboys start gnashing their teeth, he's quick to add, "But you know, the guys are all there. There are more of them too. Hopefully it will satisfy everybody. I'm not trying to fulfill an agenda. But I'm interested in men and women. I'm interested in grown-ups who act like children and dress like clowns and punch each other."

But who are the four women Avengers: Age of Ultron will hold in its central circle? Obviously one is Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). The second is new-to-the-crew Wanda "Scarlet Witch" Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). The third could conceivably be SHIELD agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), whose been an imposing supporting player in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But who could #4 be?

The red carpet reporter threw out an educated guess of his own, asking directly if Ms. Marvel Carol Danvers will have a role in the upcoming Marvel movie. To that Whedon said:
"I like her too. That's all I can say. I'm a fan of most Marvel comics. It's like a disease. I can't stop. "

Full disclosure: Before Whedon gave the quote above, the reporter asked for a wink or nod or some facial cue to tip if Marvel would be looping in Ms. Marvel. To that, Whedon responded with this:

Is it possible that Whedon has secretly cast and shot a Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel for Avengers: Age of Ultron? I mean he secretly shot an entire movie in between Avengers's production and post, so why not? Or could the fourth woman mentioned be Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter, despite the fact that the noble veteran was seen frail and bed-ridden in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Or could it be a totally different Marvel universe heroine or villainess? What do you think? Sound off in comments.

To see the Joss Whedon red carpet interview in full, click to the next page.

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