queer cinema

What Is the Gayest Marvel Movie?

Photo: Marvel Studios

[This list has been updated to include the newest Marvel movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp.]

I’ve never quite understood Marvel’s reluctance to introduce a gay character in their movies, mostly because have you seen those movies? They are gay, honey. They are fully on the precipice of coming out. They are so gay that I found pictures of Tom Daley in their search history.

But which movie is the gayest? To find out, I decided to rank them, evaluating each of Marvel’s 20 films for their homoeroticism, star casting, best outfits, and other gay intangibles.

A few housekeeping notes before we start: This list only contains films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it doesn’t feature Deadpool (who is pretty heteroflexible) or anything from the X-Men series, which once spent an entire movie on Oscar Isaac giving people makeovers. The points earned or lost by these Marvel entries are based solely on whether they tickled my queer sensibility, and are awarded almost at random because people take rankings way too seriously these days.

Also, we have to start with the least gay movies, but just hold on tight. It gets a lot gayer, quickly.


20. Thor: The Dark World (2013) 

- A gay movie would never kill off Rene Russo. (-400)

19. The Incredible Hulk (2008) 

- Edward Norton simply doesn’t have queer appeal, and if dating Courtney Love can’t give that to you, nothing can! (-200)

- Casts Liv Tyler, who will always possess bisexual cred thanks to Aerosmith’s “Crazy” video. (+30)

- But let’s face it, Edward Norton is as heterosexual as waiting in a line or naming your child after a Twilight character. (-100)

18. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) 

- This movie labors so hard to give Thanos a motivation when they could have just gone with “I love jewels.” (-75)

- They never tell us who the president is in Infinity War but when Cap greets Bucky with just two back pats, I found myself screaming “Trump’s America.” (-100)

- If you asked me whether Scarlet Witch should kill Paul Bettany, the only moral quandary would be whether she should do it vertical for the ’gram. (-10)

17. Iron Man (2008) 

- Robert Downey Jr. woos Leslie Bibb and Gwyneth Paltrow, and you know what, at least they’re both Ryan Murphy muses. (+50)

16. Ant-Man (2015) 

- First MCU movie to star a Clueless cast member. (+110)

- Evangeline Lilly’s hair is styled like Edna Mode for some reason (+50 because it’s Edna Mode, but also -100 because why would you do that to poor, trusting Evangeline).

15. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

- The only excuse for a film to feature just 5 minutes of Michelle Pfeiffer is if the film is 5 minutes long. (-50)

- I’m not saying the Wasp reminds me of a lot of lesbians I know, but she does love a limited dating pool and holding a grudge. (+90)

- Did Thanos rapture all the gays out of this version of San Francisco or what? (-50)

- In the moment where Michelle Pfeiffer gently cradles the villainess’s face with her hands, enough lesbian energy is generated to power five additional viewings of the Netflix special Nanette. (+75)

14. Iron Man 2 (2010) 

- The villain has a pet bird. (+72)

- Briefly features a Mara sister (+40 but no offense to Kate, it would be more points if they got Rooney).

- Features extremely heterosexual cameos from Bill O’Reilly, DJ AM, and Elon Musk (-100).

- Mickey Rourke is essentially playing Chaz Dean (+25).

- I apologize if that reference was too niche, but the polite thing to do when a gay man makes an obscure joke is to simply quote-tweet him and say, “OMGGGG.” (+25)

13. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) 

- Tony and Peter’s whole thing is the weirdest case of a billionaire exploiting a twink since [Peter Thiel joke redacted] (+0, don’t wanna get sued).

- The second character introduced in the film is Tyne Daly (+175, and I’m willing to add points if the sequel finds a role for Sharon Gless).

- Throws one gay-ish line to Champions star J.J. Totah. (+70)

- When Marisa Tomei discovers Peter shirtless with another boy, she just grins like, “I’ve done an Ira Sachs movie, I got this.” (+44)

12. The Avengers (2012) 

- I will never forget that even straight men gasped when the movie introduced Captain America butt-first. (+200)

- Jeremy Renner dresses like trade throughout. (+10)

- Features the least egregious ScarJo hair. (+100)

11. Iron Man 3 (2013) 

- The rare Shane Black movie with no gay jokes. (+40, proving it can be done)

- Literally the last movie Joan Rivers appeared in before her death! (+50)

- Guy Pearce consistently wears no-show socks. (+70)

- In the third act, Gwyneth Paltrow transforms into the sort of powerful female superhero I would pick in a Super Nintendo fighting game. (+175)

10. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 

- Captain America plunges his plane into an Arctic shelf of ice instead of going on even one date with a woman. (+122)

- The first MCU film to feature a cast member from The Devil Wears Prada. (+100 for Stanley Tucci)

- There’s a goddamn Alan Menken song, you gays. (+24)

- It co-stars Hayley Atwell (+200 because the letters in LGBTQIA all stand for Hayley Atwell).

- Real talk, though: Shouldn’t it be illegal to shave Chris Evans’s chest? Y’all flipped out about his Infinity War beard but let this happen? (-100)

9. Thor (2011) 

- First Marvel film to codify the gratuitous shirtless scene. (+300)

- Dutch angles are inherently gay. (+75)

- Co-starred Kat Dennings when she was still unsullied by 2 Broke Girls fame. (+10)

- Not only is there a rainbow bridge, but it’s called the Bifrost … representation matters! (+30)

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) 

- Stars a bitchy gay robot. (+200 for Ultron)

- There’s also a second gay robot! (+100 for Vision)

- Are all robots gay? (0 points, just wondering out loud)

- Elizabeth Olsen is forced to recite her lines like Isabella Rossellini on quaaludes. (+50, you heard me)

- Aaron Taylor-Johnson tries his best to sell a questionable dye job and truly, what gay man hasn’t? (+75 for a relatability that mitigates the wonderful, infuriating flash of his abs)

7. Doctor Strange (2016) 

- Doctor Strange bails on Rachel McAdams in order to better worship Tilda Swinton, and that’s the kind of man who doesn’t watch too many Guy Fieri shows, if you get my drift. (+122)

- Assumes we want to see Benedict Cumberbatch shirtless and sometimes it’s nice to be invited to the party even if you don’t actually want to go. (+11)

- The film’s breakout character is a fancy cloak that likes to maul evil hunks. (+100)

- At one point, Tilda Swinton conjures a spell by snapping and voguing (+200)

- This is the only MCU entry to canonically address the existence of the world’s most powerful superhero, Beyoncé. (+300)

6. Black Panther (2018) 

- Winston Duke choking Chadwick Boseman with his thighs … it is the scene I never had, the scene everybody would want, the scene that everybody deserves. I don’t know a better scene. I don’t know a better scene! (+500)

- Somehow, this movie has more shirtless wrestling than Riverdale and more tear-stained cheeks than a Julianne Moore clip reel. (+200)

- I believe that people are born gay but I also believe homosexuality can be traced to Angela Bassett wearing that one hat in Black Panther. (+100)

- I understand why you would make Erik and T’Challa cousins but it really inhibits our ability to ship them. (-200 because did you even see those homoerotic stare downs?)

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) 

- Features so many subplots about coping with repressed trauma that this may be the A Little Life of superhero movies. (+250)

- Elizabeth Debicki is painted in gold and runs an evil space gym. (+125 because Equinox could never)

- Crucial exposition about an alien fuckfest is delivered via ceramic figurines. (+100 because this is the gayest way to portray heterosexual encounters)

- The rare superhero movie that takes time for two sisters to truly work through their issues. (+250 because my gay ass lives for Gamora/Nebula scenes, to be quite honest!)

4. Captain America: Civil War (2016) 

- At one point, the film cuts from an explosion to Hope Davis playing piano in pearls. (+500)

- Later, the film cuts from a different action sequence to Vision standing in his kitchen, queening out about paprika. (+400)

- I’m not saying Vision reminds me of a lot of gay men I know, but he does love cashmere sweaters and Elizabeth Olsen. (+100)

- I got turned on when Daniel Brühl called Chadwick Boseman “beautiful” and then I realized he said “dutiful.” (+35)

- Somehow, this film has no shirtless scenes, which is the meanest thing Marvel has done since firing Edgar Wright. (-200)

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

- Cap and Bucky pound each other into submission in a homoerotic arc that involves back-from-the-dead reveals, hugs disguised as grapples, and Bucky dramatically wearing a mask over his mouth like he’s Valentina on Drag Race. (+800)

- Features the worst ScarJo hair, even though it is admittedly very editorial. (-40)

- Sebastian Stan bravely works a look that can only be described as “What if Norman Reedus showered?” (+10)

- Wow, a whole lotta compression garments. (+60)

2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

- In the first four minutes, young Peter falls down sobbing and cries out, “Mom!” So, basically my childhood. (+90)

- Look, we were all hot for Chris Pratt back then and there’s no sense in pretending we weren’t! (+225)

- The concept of a found family is very queer. (+100)

- The film’s visual aesthetic incorporates every Crayola crayon I was afraid to be seen using as a child. (+200)

- Benicio del Toro is basically playing a Julio Torres character. (+45)

- The villain is defeated through the power of friendship. (+110)

- Remember Glenn Close in the lipstick and that wig? (+95)

- Peter is Carrie, Gamora is Miranda, Drax is Charlotte, and Rocket is somehow Berger. (+30, but don’t ask me to explain it)

1. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

- I once saw Taika Waititi at a party and he was wearing a see-through mesh shirt. (+200)

- When I was thinking about which pictures I wanted for this article, my first instinct was “Shirtless Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Cate Blanchett,” and then I remembered those were all from the same movie (+500)

- Confirms that Cate Blanchett is using her late 40s in the same way Kristen Stewart has been using her late 20s: to turn everybody lesbian. (+300)

- Since Tessa Thompson is in it, we can safely assume this is Janelle Monáe’s favorite Marvel movie. (+200 but also -150 for not letting Valkyrie be bi like Tessa wanted)

- There’s a Hulk nude scene, if you’re into that. (+66)

- Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth strategize about “safe passage through the anus.” (+100)

- Thor’s haircut. (+100)

- Jeff Goldblum with that blue pop of color on his lips. (+50)

- Taika Waititi is married to a woman but I fully believe he would at least make out with himself. (+100)

- #TaikaWaititiMakeOutWithYourselfChallenge (+100 if he finds a way to do it)

So, there you have it. While Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy are the two gayest Marvel franchises, the single gayest movie is definitely Thor: Ragnarok. I don’t make the rules, even though I just made the rules. Happy Pride!

What Is the Gayest Marvel Movie?