Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau in 'The Marvels'

‘The Marvels’ Tosses a Few Crumbs to Queer Captain Marvel Fans

Make Carol Queer, you cowards.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has unfortunately lagged behind a lot of media in terms of queer representation. Loki and Valkyrie are currently the only main MCU characters who are canonically queer. The Marvels continues this trend by dangling hints of Carol Danvers being queer, only to never officially confirm anything.

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Maria Rambeau

Lashana Lynch and Brie Larson star as Maria Rambeau and Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel.
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Carol Danvers’ sexuality in the MCU remains unconfirmed. As far as we can tell, she is one of the few female characters in Marvel who has never had a romantic relationship with a man. That, combined with Carol’s close “friendship” with Maria Rambeau, led a lot of Marvel fans to interpret her as queer. Monica calls her “Auntie Carol” and Maria’s dialogue about losing Carol makes it sound like she lost a lover. The Mary Sue‘s own Chelsea Steiner previously advocated for reading Carol Danvers as queer.

This reading of their relationship is further solidified with the reveal that Carol did come back to visit her friend as she was dying and promised to care for Goose the Flerken and Monica if/when she came back from being Blipped. Indeed, Monica treats Carol much like an estranged parent, holding her at arm’s length out of fear of being hurt again.


Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in The Marvels
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Despite only appearing in a short cameo in The Marvels, the relationship between Carol Danvers and Valkyrie has stuck with queer fans. Coming Soon actually published an explainer for viewers who wondered if Carol and Valkyrie are in a relationship, indicating that the queer subtext is clearly visible to casual audiences.

It is especially interesting that Carol is close friends with one of the few canonically queer female Avengers and is openly affectionate with her. However, the cameo is so short that it feels like borderline queerbaiting. “Oh, you like this queer character and this not-officially-queer character? We’ll have them be good friends and kiss on the cheek, but nothing explicit.” The kiss on the cheek is perhaps the most ridiculous part, as Marvel reserves kissing almost entirely for established couples.

Prince Yan

Park Seo-joon as Prince Yan in key art for 'The Marvels'
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

You’d think that Carol having a husband would end the debate about her sexuality, but it actually strengthens the argument. Carol describes her marriage to Prince Yan as her helping him get out of “legal trouble” and describes Yan as a friend. Indeed, marriages of convenience have historically been very common amongst LGBTQ+ people as a means of skirting around anti-LGBT laws.

Heck, you could also read it as Carol being bi and in an open relationship, though that reading appears to be less popular in the fandom.

Comic vs. movie canon

Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel Cover
(Marvel Comics)

Technically, Carol Danvers is straight in the Marvel comics, having had relationships with many male characters, including Rhodey, a.k.a. War Machine. However, it’s important to remember that the MCU characters are not one-to-one adaptations of their comic counterparts. In the comics, Carol had nothing to do with Monica or Maria Rambeau and was the best friend of Jessica Jones. That’s not the case in the MCU, and therefore, Carol should be allowed to differ from her source material, especially when it enhances the story being told.

In short, Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel is not queer. But she could be, if Marvel were willing to make her such. And considering that people seem determined to hate Captain Marvel either way, it would at least give her fans a little more fodder for their fanfics.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.