Marvel should have made Captain America gay, Vanity Fair writer laments

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |

LOS ANGELES (Christian Examiner) – A Vanity Fair writer says Marvel made a mistake in its latest movie by not at least implying that Captain America could be gay – if not writing his homosexuality directly into the script.

"Captain America: Civil War" grossed $179 million over the weekend, and in it Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America) makes his heterosexuality well-known when he kisses Sharon Carter.

The Vanity Fair writer, Joanna Robinson, covers Hollywood and said there is an "intensely devoted section of the Captain America fan base who consider Bucky Barnes" – and not any other woman "to be the true object of Steve Rogers' ... affection." Barnes is Captain America's friend in the series and also known as Winter Solder.

The rumor about Captain America's sexuality was advanced when "Civil War" directors Joe and Anthony Russo refused to address it during interviews with the media, Robinson wrote.

"[But ] doesn' t Captain America: Civil War go out of its way to 'define' Bucky and Steve's relationship when Cap smooches Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) while Bucky looks on approvingly?" Robinson asked in her column. "Where's the room for interpretation in that moment? ...Marvel seems to think it has to have its heroes in heterosexual love affairs in order to maximize audience appeal."

The kiss, Robinson argued, seemed out of place.

"So while Marvel was likely never going to make the homoerotic subtext of Cap and Bucky into text, would it really have hurt to keep their relationship more ambiguous?" she asked. "As if to put the nail in the coffin of speculation, Bucky and Cap paused for a moment in the middle of snowy Siberia to reminisce about their days chasing skirts in pre-War Brooklyn. It's a sweet, human bonding moment but one that also bristles with heterosexual virility. If Disney isn't inclined to give audiences a gay superhero, couldn't they have at least left us the dream of Bucky and Cap?"

But while Captain America apparently isn't gay, Joe Russo said in a recent interview that future Marvel movies likely will include gay superheroes.

"I think the chances are strong," Joe Russo told Collider . "I mean, it's incumbent upon us as storytellers who are making mass-appeal movies to make mass-appeal movies, and to diversify as much as possible.

"It's sad in the way that Hollywood lags behind other industries so significantly, one because you think that it would be a progressive industry, and two it's such a visible industry," Russo said. "So I think it's important that on all fronts we keep pushing for diversification because then the storytelling becomes more interesting, more rich, and more truthful."