Marvel Studios' latest Disney+ series What If...? has already given us plenty of memorable dream scenarios for our favorite superheroes (hello Captain Carter, please call me!) but this week's episode got fans' attention for another, gayer reason. That reason is SHIELD agent Phil Coulson.
The latest episode of the anthology series sees potential Avengers being murdered before Nick Fury can put together the legendary team of heroes. But it also sees Phil Coulson acting gay as hell every time he sees a male superhero, reigniting fan theories that the character is bisexual.
The first time fans got a whiff of something queer going on was when Coulson first sees Thor. When describing the god to Fury, Coulson says he's "gorgeous" and has "really great hair." Later, when Thor dies, Coulson sniffs his corpse and says it smells terrific, like lavender.
Now, Marvel definitely doesn't get any points for queer representation here, this is all about the fans. Marvel has famously been stingy when it comes to allowing characters to be queer in their properties. If Coulson really is gay, this would be the most extensive gay rep in the MCU so far.
Another queer character, Valkryrie, had a scene confirming her bisexuality cut from the final version of 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Thankfully, she's reportedly getting a full same-sex romance storyline in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, where she'll be searching for her queen.
Marvel's first gay superhero, Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, will make his debut in The Eternals this November. It's been a long time coming.