WandaVision Episode 6 Just Introduced the MCU's First Gay Superhero

David Opie
·5-min read
Photo credit: Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

From Esquire

WandaVision episode 6 spoilers follow.

Even with Pietro's speed, it would be tough to quickly cover all the ways that WandaVision has been a genuine game-changer for Marvel, both visually and thematically.

The decision to tell Wanda's story through a sitcom lens has opened the MCU up to a whole new realm of possibilities, and that's true in a literal sense too following the arrival of Quicksilver – although it's worth noting that Pietro might not be who he seems...

Episode six rewrote the rules yet again by extending the boundaries of Westview beyond what we once assumed to be safe, but WandaVision's latest episode also achieved something far more important, introducing a hero who will go on to inspire queer Marvel fans everywhere.

Following a leaked casting call in 2019, comic book readers were ecstatic when the first WandaVision trailer confirmed Wanda's children would make their onscreen debut in the show. At the time, it seemed unclear if her twins would grow up or remain babies, but now we're five episodes in, Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) are almost teenagers already.

Watch: WandaVision cast and creator talk integrating the Blip in episode four’s big “reset”

This gave the writers a perfect excuse to channel some Malcolm in the Middle vibes in WandaVision's most recent episode, but the jokes didn't last long. That creeping sense of unease which lurks just under the surface grew stronger than ever as Vision's hunch led to a failed escape which almost killed him outright.

Around this time, the special abilities Billy inherited from Wanda kick in, alerting the boy to his father's pain – "I hear Daddy. He's in trouble!" And this in turn led to that wild cliffhanger scene where Wanda expanded her reach beyond the limits of Westview.

Although comic book fans basically assumed that Billy and Tommy would develop powers, much like they do in the source material, this is the first time these abilities have been confirmed on screen. On top of that, both boys wear Halloween versions of the superhero costumes their adult counterparts wear in the comics.

So that's essentially Wiccan (Billy) and Speed (Tommy) confirmed in the MCU. But they're just kids still, so why is this important?

First off, their arrival sets up a new team of heroes called the Young Avengers which also comprises characters we've already seen like Hailee Steinfeld's Hawkeye and Ant-Man's daughter, Stature (Kathryn Newton). Kevin Feige has teased that this group will play a key role in Phase 4, and we wouldn't be surprised if older versions of Billy and Tommy help found the team after WandaVision.

But more importantly than that, Wiccan is also one half of Marvel's most prominent gay couple in the comics. Ever since the grown-up version of Billy made his debut, he's been romantically entangled with another teen superhero called Teddy Altman, otherwise known as Hulkling.

Critics have long praised the way their relationship has been portrayed, and in 2020, they became the first two heroes to share a same-sex marriage in Marvel Comics (Yes, Northstar married Kyle Jinadu back in 2012, but his husband didn't possess powers or fight crime).

Obviously, we're not there just yet. For starters, Hulkling hasn't appeared on screen, although it's likely he'll debut in Captain Marvel 2 or Secret Invasion thanks to his Kree/Skrull background. Also, Billy's sexuality hasn't been confirmed yet in WandaVision. Of course, that could change soon given the rate he and Tommy are growing.

There's a small chance that Marvel might make some changes to the source material and turn Billy straight, but that seems unlikely though given how popular Wiccan is with queer comic book readers. Marvel has made mistakes before in this regard, and robbing us of the chance to finally see queerness represented properly in the MCU would cause more outrage than Captain America shaving off his beard.

But in all seriousness, LGBTQ+ representation in Marvel movies has been underwhelming at best, and to many, it's actually been quite offensive. Apparently, the Eternals may soon help change that, but in the meantime, a teen version of Billy who is openly gay could add some much-needed LGBTQ+ representation to this world.

It's also worth noting here that Tommy, Wanda's other son, has also been portrayed as queer in the comics, but not as overtly as Billy, so there's some scope here to even improve on the source material in that respect.

This all sounds promising, particularly given how queer the Young Avengers are in general thanks to other characters like Prodigy and America Chavez. However, that doesn't mean this will all come to fruition any time soon, and in fact, we're still worried that Billy and Tommy might not even make it out of WandaVision alive.

Watch: "WandaVision" Cast Shares Their Preferences For The Perfect Home

After all, it seems that the twins are intrinsically tied up with the suburban dreamscape that Wanda's created in Westview, just like their father, and we all saw what happened to Vision when he tried to leave. There's also a worrying amount of comic book precedent here which suggests that Billy and Tommy could be erased from reality, perhaps by whatever Big Bad is actually behind all this (Mephisto did exactly this in the source material).

But even if the kids do go past Ellis Avenue, and even if Wanda's bubble is destroyed, this still marks the onscreen debut of a pivotal gay superhero. And either way, it does seem like Marvel has some game-changing plans in store for the new Maximoff twins.

As comic book fans already know, Billy and Tommy eventually returned from limbo to become grown-up heroes, and WandaVision's version of these kids will likely do the same, heralding a new and decidedly gay version of the MCU moving forward.

WandaVision airs weekly every Friday on Disney+

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