"Ant-Man and the Wasp" is just a preview of the female, LGBTQ+ and minority heroes available at Marvel's disposal.
After facing some earned criticism for how very white and male their first decade of movies have been, Marvel is promising more diversity than we've ever seen before after "Avengers 4" blows everything up next summer.
They're even getting started a little early with Evangeline Lilly being the first woman to share a lead position in this weekend's "Ant-Man and the Wasp." She'll quickly be followed by Brie Larson as the first female lead proper in "Captain Marvel."
Clearly, audiences are hungry, receptive and ready for some diversity in their superheroics. Luckily, there's plenty of that material already available in the Marvel Comics archives.
We've combed through them for you to gather the 15 most representative teams and solo heroes we'd love to see represent the diversity of America in the next wave of Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters.
A team of badass women came together originally in an alternate reality during the "Secret Wars" event under the leadership of She-Hulk, but the idea of a true girl-powered version of the Avengers was too tantalizing to let die with that reality, and so an all-powerful young female being named Singularity reunited them in the Marvel Universe.
The team also included Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Medusa of the Inhumans and Nico of the Runaways. Unlike a standard team, "A-Force" could be about the right group of women being brought together for a specific reason, harkening back to the original "Avengers" movie. Plus, it could serve as a crossover of sorts with other films and TV shows by drawing in strong women from them as the roster is not inflexible.
Originally dubbed as Canada's premier super team, recent iterations have seen this team serving as Earth's last line of defense against alien invasions under the leaership of Carol Danvers, making it a logical follow-up to the forthcoming Captain Marvel film.
The team is incredibly diverse in so many ways, including Marvel's first prominent gay superhero in Northstar, as well as Shaman, a member of Canada's First Nations indigenous people, and Snowbird, an Inuit demi-goddess, not to mention Marvel's first little person hero, Puck. If the Avengers disband, Canada stepping up with a team of their own makes perfect sense.
Sure, he's already had several movies, but with the introduction of magic in the MCU through "Doctor Strange," the supernatural can't be far behind. One of Marvel's most prominent black superheroes, Blade also brings a cool factor that squares like Captain America will never get.
There's a dark underbelly to the Marvel Universe that the bright and shiny heroes of the Avengers never see. But Blade doesn't care about the spotlight or accolades. He cares about getting the job done. And as the daywalker, a half-vampire who can walk in the sun, the job is killing as many of his kind as he can find.
Not even a specific hero, per se, Captain Universe is the Uni-Power, a bizarre force of energy that coalesces into a specific person when times are dire to create Captain Universe. There have been several hosts for the Uni-Power over the years, including Spider-Man and Deadpool.
But we're thinking about one of its latest hosts, Tamara Devoux, an African-American woman hurt in a car crash and in a coma for 10 years. Both her and the Uni-Power were dying when it found her, and so theirs was a mutually beneficial union. To add to the tragedy of her story, her daughter was in the car during the accident, so learning her fate could be a driving force of their story.
After the chaos of the second "Civil War" story in the comics universe, the younger generation of heroes grew disillusioned with all the in-fighting of the Avengers and set off on their own, forming the Champions team.
Made up of Amadeus Cho Hulk (Korean-American), Miles Morales Spider-Man (Hispanic/African-American), Kamala Khan (Pakistani-American), Sam Alexander Nova (Hispanic), Viv Vision (synthezoid-American) and a time-tossed teenaged Cyclops, this diverse group represents American diversity and youthful optimism at its best.
Originally Brother Voodoo, Marvel went with the less offensive name a decade ago when he briefly took over for Doctor Strange. Jericho Drumm is a Haitian psychologist who trains in the mystic arts of voodoo under Papa Jambo.
Upon his death, Jambo joins Jericho's brother Daniel's spirit with his own creating the new hybrid Doctor Voodoo. Daniel's spirit has the power to possess others for a time as well before rejoining with Jericho, creating a unique investigative and heroic style between the brothers.
If you thought "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Ant-Man" were fun diversins, you ain't seen nothing yet. This newer character is Gwen Poole, a comic book fan from our world who suddenly finds herself trapped in the fictional Marvel Universe.
Imagine a movie where the protagonist falls into a superhero film and knows it's a movie, knows none of it is real, knows what's a special effect and what isn't. It's so bizarre and fourth-wall breaking, but it works. In the comics she develops the power to move through the comic pages, which could be adapted in very creative and entertaining ways.
Riri Williams is a 15-year-old African-American teenager who also happens to be a brilliant engineer. When Tony Stark goes missing, she cobbles together her own Iron Man armor and takes up the mantle. But for all her brilliance mechanically, she has absolutely no idea how to be a superhero.
In the comics, that meant a Tony Stark A.I. to argue with her and help her along, kind of like Stark does for Spider-Man in "Homecoming." Robert Downey, Jr. is going to step down eventually, and War Machine can't be that far behind him. They could do far worse than Riri to usher in a fresh new generation of Iron hero.
At only nine-years-old, Lunalla Lafayette is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, and she's got the arrogance and cockiness to go with it. She also has school responsibilities and the Inhuman ability to switch brains with a giant red t-rex called Devil Dinosaur.
Even better, she can't control when they switch minds, which sometimes leaves a rampaging beast in her school classroom (in her body). Needless to say, her classmates find her eccentric at best, crazy at worst, and she remains one of the most unpredictable and engaging characters in recent memory.
The superheroine of Jersey City, Kamala Khan comes from a devout Muslim family. She is enthusiastic and optimistic with the Inhuman ability to stretch and reshape her body possibly even more than the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards.
As much attention has been given to her strict Muslim family as it has to her superheroics, shining a spotlight on one of the most misunderstood faiths in America, and humanizing it through this teenager who is trying to find herself, crushing on cute boys and seeking that balance between being a teenage girl and a great superhero.
Sam Alexander is a Latino teen and the son of a Nova Corps member. One day, Rocket Raccoon and Gamora reveal to him his father's secret life and gives him his father's helmet after his father has gone missing.
In the comics there have been multiple storylines where the Nova Corps vanished, so a great way to reintroduce them into the next phase would be to send this young man on a personal quest to find his father, resurrect the Nova Corps and not be driven crazy by the sentient Worldmind that gives them their power.
Jennifer Walters is Bruce Banner's cousin, who inadvertently gained a similar power set to the Hulk when he gave her a life-saving blood transfusion. The main difference, though, is that she usually maintains her intelligence while in She-Hulk form, and actually prefers to stay green.
She-Hulk is beautiful and confident, while Jennifer is just so small and ... ordinary. Her psychological relationship with her alter ego has always been fascinating, as has her profession. As a lawyer/superhero, she often finds herself representing various heroes and villains in court, which could make for some very entertaining film sequences.
Her comic is "The Unbeatable Squiarrel Girl" and Doreen Green has proven that true by taking down the likes of Thanos and even Galactus. She can talk to squirrels and has a squirrel tail which she can somehow tuck into her pants (she says it gives her a great booty).
A college student, she has worked alongside several other animal-based superheroes, and even Howard the Duck. But mostly she gets into her adventures with her African-American roommate Nancy, who has no powers and is just an ordinary girl. But she's got spunk!
The obvious immediate successor to Iron Man is the guy who's been his right-hand man for years, James "Rhodey" Rhodes. It's unclear how much interest Don Cheadle has in continuing appearing in Marvel movies after "Avengers 4," but if he's down for it, there is a tradition in the comics of him donning the Iron Man mantle.
Rhodes has taken over while Stark struggled with alcoholism, stepped in when he retired, and even stepped up when Stark died. At one point, he was even the government's own version of Iron Man, but his loyalty has always been to Stark, so honoring his legacy after death would be the most poignant way for him to carry the torch.
The Winter Soldier
It was seemingly a throwaway line back in 2016 about an upcoming issue of "Black Widow" featuring Bucky Barnes, writer Mark Waid said that both Black Widow and The Winter Soldier "have had a crush on Steve Rogers at some point in the past."
Also, at some point in the past, Bucky took on the mantle of Captain America when Steve Rogers was unavailable to do it, adding a grit and edge to the character. Considering how beloved Sebastian Stan's portrayal of the character is, Marvel would be foolish not to explore Bucky further, if Stan is up for it.
After the Avenegers disassembled in the mid-2000s, a group of young heroes banded together to try and pick up the slack. Their membership included Patriot (the African-American grandson of the real first Captain America, a younger female Hawkeye, Ant-Man's daughter Stature, the shape-shifting gay Skrull Hulkling, who struck up a relationship with Wiccan (reincarnated son of Scarlet Witch and Vision).
There were a lot of members throughout the year, including the lesbian Latina hero Miss America, the bisexual mutant Prodigy. They even teamed up with a young bisexual Loki and Kree Marvel Boy, whose people are more open sexually, making Young Avengers the most LGTBQ superhero team in the history of comics.
Sony doesn't seem totally keen to let Marvel have all of the Spider-Man characters, which is a shame because recent storylines have established a whole multiverse of multicultral Spider-Men, including popular ones like Miles Morales (from the Ultimate Universe), Miguel O'Hara (from the 2099 Marvel Universe) and even Spider-Gwen (from a universe where Peter Parker died and Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman).
It might be better news soon for the X-Men universe of characters, which is easily one of the most diverse in comics. As they were an amalgam of race relations in America, it makes sense that minorities of all kinds would be represented, and they absolutely are from Storm to Iceman, Bishop, Warpath, Forge, and on and on. Even Professor X is a representative for the capabilities of handicapped people.