Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 quietly introduces mega-powerful, mega-queer new MCU character
The final outing for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy introduced a new hero in a post-credits sting – and in the comics, they’re a super-powered lesbian.
Warning: Super-powered spoilers ahead.
While Marvel’s relationship with LGBTQ+ representation has not always been the most glowing example for other studios to follow over the years, they’ve at least tried. The Eternals saw Phastos, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first openly gay superhero, complete with husband and child. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever included a queer warrior, played by Michaela Coel, giving her lover a forehead kiss – even though it was cut from some releases.
As evidenced, Marvel’s queer characters have often been treated as superfluous and expendable; so much so, that they’re very easy to leave on the cutting room floor if needed. And while we don’t know just how essential drag superstar Shea Coulée’s mystery role is in the upcoming Ironheart series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 quietly slid another queer contender onto the table.
The gang’s third film and final outing as the ‘original’ group follows Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) quest to save teammate Rocket the Racoon’s (Bradley Cooper) life and face up to his horrific past. To cut a long, alien-filled story short, the film ends with the Guardians disbanding, leaving Rocket as the leader of a different version of the team.
In one of Marvel’s signature post credits stings, we see the new Guardians of the Galaxy prepare to face off against yet more bad guys, with a line-up comprised of Rocket, Groot, Cosmo the Space Dog, Kraglin, villain-turned-ally-Warlock, Blurp (don’t ask) and, crucially, Phyla.
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Phyla, full name Phyla-Vell, is Marvel’s latest promise of decent queer representation in the MCU, should her comic book storyline be followed onscreen.
In those comics, not only is she mega-powerful, but her partner is Drax the Destroyer‘s daughter (who is alive in that universe). While that’s unfortunately not a possibility on-screen (she’s dead in the MCU), there’s a chance that the MCU will introduce the same character – named Moondragon, because gays have no chill – with a different backstory.
Phyla joins the Guardians of the Galaxy in a 2008 comic book run, but sacrifices herself shortly after by becoming the ‘Avatar of Life’, to the save Moondragon from death.
She has also held the ‘Captain Marvel‘ mantle – currently a position taken in the MCU by Brie Larson.
While her brief appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy teased only a slight blast of cosmic power radiating from her hands at a poor, unfortunate alien, it remains to be seen whether the superpowered sapphic will reach her full comic book potential – relationship or power-wise – in the MCU.
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