The latest in the Twittersphere, rampant LGBT inclusion and very loud noise about representation is the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend campaign. Aiming to put Cap together with another guy and inject a little more LGBT into the MCU, the hashtag is currently at 38.5k tweets in the United Kingdom. It’s a fairly loud amount of noise being made over this and I can see why, but I can also see how this is against the whole of what Marvel have set up with the MCU and the Cap’s characterisation.
On the one hand, I would love to see a lot more thought and care put into how the MCU is handling relationships and love interests. Blackwidow x Hulk does not really work for me, and it felt kind of rushed on screen. As if directors and producers suddenly got worried they had no way of controlling Hulk so needed to add a Miss Macguffin device to calm him down. Whereas Tony Stark and Pepper Potts relationship felt quite real, passionate and there was a lot of good chemistry between the two actors on screen. It didn’t feel rushed, it felt planned, although her sudden disppearance after IronMan 3 seems very rushed and sudden at first glance. It also can be seen in a way that allows us to feel what Tony is really feeling since she left him. Alone. This really hits home in the most recent addition to the MCU, Captain America: Civil War. Where we see Tony trying to pick up the pieces of what’s left of his relationship, all whilst we never see or hear from Pepper directly. He’s really cut off, and so are we.
So the MCU can do love interests well, and it would be interesting to see how they handled LGBT love interests, my issue is that I don’t think Cap is your boy for this one. In the MCU alone, Cap’s love interest is Peggy Carter. Always. Their story reads almost like a Shakespeare tragedy. One sacrifices themselves to save the other and the world, only to find out on their deathbed that they never actually sacrificed themselves and are still alive. The only difference is our Romeo here doesn’t kill himself, he just goes into isolation and struggles to deal with the modern world without his love interest.
If Cap were to just suddenly get over this and start dating a guy as if it was nothing, even a guy like Bucky; his best friend. It would massively undermine all that characterisation, all that incredible drama and Shakespearean tragedy that was woven into the MCU Cap’s life.It would make Peggy Carter entirely moot as a character, which Cap himself would not ever want to happen.
I’m not anti LGBT in anyway, I just disagree that this is the way to put more of it into the MCU. I think its okay to change characters to reflect our more modern ideas and sensibilities, within reason. Cap is already established as a character and his tragic love story is one of those things that shouldn’t really be altered.
If you asked me who I’d pick to LGBTify out of the current roster? I’m not sure. Star Lord would be my first thought, but obviously his sexuality probably can’t be defined that well in human terms, having lived in space with aliens most of his life. All I would suggest is that we make it so that it makes sense for this character be LGBT within their characterisation that has already happened in the MCU. Not just blindly pick people for the sake of representation. Representation is good, but making a forced and crappy love story in a movie isn’t.