Could Bucky be finally made queer in canon? (Picture: Disney)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has long been called out for its lack of canonically queer characters, forcing fans to invent their own LGBTQ+ backstories.
But a joke in the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has fans hoping that Bucky Barnes could be made canonically bisexual.
Episode one, New World Order, dropped last week on Disney Plus, with Anthony Mackie back to play Sam Wilson/Falcon and Sebastian Stan returning as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier.
During the episode, Bucky goes on a date with a waitress named Leah, who asks him: ‘Have you dated much since half the fish in the sea came back?’
Bucky says: ‘Not really. I tried the whole online dating thing, it’s pretty crazy. A lot of weird pictures’ – before elaborating: ‘I mean, tiger photos? Half the time I don’t even know what I’m looking at, it’s a lot.’
Now, people could have just really started loving tiger profile pictures following the Blip, but in real life, profile pictures on dating apps with tigers is a specifically male trend – so much so that blogs named Tinder Guys With Tigers and Tigers of Tinder were established.
Back in 2017, Tinder even requested that users stop posting tiger selfies, saying: ‘It’s time for the tiger selfies to go. More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment.
‘Wild animals deserve to live in the wild. PETA says now is the time to rid the platform of tiger photos in honour of International Tiger Day on Saturday July 29th, and we could not agree more.’
The joke has viewers thinking that Bucky seeing so many tigers on his dating app means that his preferences are set to both men and women.
While Bucky has never been queer in canon, fans have always shipped him and Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, noting that their close relationship moves on storylines in ways that are usually reserved for love interests.
They even have a couple name – Stucky – and Marvel boss Kevin Feige was once spotted wearing a Stucky jumper, giving fuel to the fire that one day, they could end up together.
Captain America ended up with Peggy Carter at the end of Avengers: Endgame, though, after handing over his shield to Falcon, so the Stucky dream might be dead, but that doesn’t mean all is lost for Bucky.
Marvel writer Mark Waid previously hinted at Bucky possibly being bi while discussing a possible romantic reunion between the character and Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow #9.
He said: ‘[Both] have had a crush on Steve Rogers at some point in the past.’
So far in the MCU, there has not been an out character on film, unless you count Joe Russo’s cameo as an unnamed gay man at grief counselling meeting in Endgame (and nobody counts that).
However, The Eternals will feature the MCU’s first openly gay superhero in the form of Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry.
It has also been confirmed that in Thor: Love and Thunder, Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, will be out and queer, having already appeared in Thor: Ragnarok and Endgame.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier streams weekly on Disney Plus.Credit: Original article published here.