Over the last few years, Marvel fans have been clamoring for increased diversity in their favorite superhero series. Despite the multitude of films and television shows in the MCU, the LGBTQ+ representation has been lacking. But with the upcoming release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, that could be about to change - and we have new merch to thank for the heads up.
The next Doctor Strange film won’t be heading to theaters until May of this year, but there’s already plenty of related merchandise to keep fans happy. Some of the Marvel swag even hints at more LGBTQ+ inclusion in the MCU. How so? Pop over to Amazon, and you’ll find America Chavez merchandise under the heading ‘Doctor Strange 2.’ Prominent examples include t-shirts and hoodies with a graphic recreation of the teen hero’s signature denim jacket. You can also snag tees with trippy images of Xochitl Gomez, the young actress that IMDb confirmed will play America Chavez. But the new merch shows that America is wearing a rainbow flag pin on her jacket in the highly anticipated sequel. Check it out below,
Fans are awaiting the arrival of America Chavez with bated breath, and rightfully so. If her film iteration corresponds to comic canon, she will be the first LGBTQ+ Latin-American character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the Marvel comics, America Chavez identifies as a lesbian and enters a relationship with an EMT named Lisa. She’s also close friends with Hawkeye’s prodigy Kate Bishop, and the comics have regularly hinted at a deeper connection. Given that Kate Bishop recently made her MCU debut in the Disney+ series Hawkeye, it’s not too crazy to think that the pair could meet up in a future movie or show - especially since Kate Bishop actress Hailee Steifeld has played multiple queer roles in the past.
If Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness does America Chavez justice, she would make a welcome addition to a tiny LGTBQ+ circle in the universe. While the Marvel comics have a fair amount of queer characters, the films have been slow to follow suit. In Eternals, Phastos was the first queer hero to actually have an on-screen relationship. Marvel fan-favorite Loki was confirmed as bisexual in the Disney+ series, but fans have yet to see any evidence of his sexuality beyond a line or two of dialogue. Actress Tessa Thompson has firmly stated that Valkyrie is bisexual, but so far that hasn’t been confirmed on the silver screen (fingers crossed for fingers crossed for Thor: Love and Thunder). LGBTQ+ fans are more than ready to see themselves portrayed as heroes - here’s hoping that America Chavez brings some kickass queer representation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness will arrive in theaters on May 6, 2022. In the meantime, you can check out more upcoming film releases in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.
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