bewitching casting

Will ‘Heartstopper’ star Joe Locke play this canonically gay superhero in the MCU?

Image Credits: Getty Images (left), Disney / Marvel Studios (right)

After the runaway success of Netflix‘s gay teen rom-com Heartstopper, fans have been eager to see what the series’ breakout stars would do next. Kit Connor joined a buzzy romance and Yasmin Finney is partnering up with the Time Lord in Doctor Who. As for Joe Locke, well… it was Agatha all along.

As reported by Variety, Locke will be joining Kathryn Hahn in Marvel’s upcoming WandaVision spin-off series, Agatha: Coven Of Chaos, which is expected to premiere in late 2023. This is major news for Locke, as it marks only his second acting credit after debuting with Heartstopper.

Related: ‘Heartstopper’ just made this TV host break down on the air

Locke’s undisclosed character will appear alongside Hahn’s witchy Agatha Harkness as well as WandaVision star Emma Caulfield Ford, who is reprising her role as Dottie. But, as is par for the course with most Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) properties, other details for the series are thus far top secret, with no further plot or character information revealed.

Within minutes, this sent the internet into a storm of theorizing, guessing at which Marvel character Locke might potentially be portraying. And, if the prevailing theory turns out correct, that means the young actor could be playing a canonically gay superhero—one who’s expected to be a crucial part of the MCU moving forward.

Will Joe Locke be the MCU’s Wiccan?

In Marvel Comics canon, Wiccan (a.k.a. William “Billy” Kaplan) is a powerful warlock superhero who happens to be one of the twins sons of Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff and the “synthezoid” Vision. He was first introduced in Young Avengers #1, published in April 2005.

In the MCU, Billy and his twin brother Tommy first appeared as young children in the WandaVision Disney+ series. They were Wanda’s magically conjured sons created via the witch’s grief in “the Westview Anomaly.” (Look, we know that sentence is a head-scratcher if you haven’t been keeping up with the increasingly cumbersome MCU, but just go with us here).

Though Billy and Tommy “disappear” by the end of Wandavision, Wanda devoted herself to bringing them back, which played out to violent ends in this year’s Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness. But, considering the characters’ importance in the comics, fans have long suspected they would return to the MCU, and the announcement of Agatha: Coven Of Chaos provided hope.

Locke’s casting adds further fuel to that fire, especially because he could easily fit the bill for the Billy/Wiccan character as depicted in the comics.

Now, this becomes extra interesting for those of us here at Queerty because Wiccan is a canonically gay superhero. In the comics, he begins dating his fellow Young Avenger, Hulkling (a character with powers similar to The Incredible Hulk, if that name didn’t give it away), and the two eventually marry, making them one of the series’ most prominent super-powered queer couples.

Related: Gay Geek Gasp! Is the gay superhero Wiccan coming to the MCU?

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, it seems likely that the movie studio is building toward a feature that brings all of its Young Avengers together. Though the roster has changed over the years, prominent members have already appeared in Marvel movie/TV properties: Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez was in the aforementioned Multiverse Of Madness, the Hawkeye series introduced us to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, and Kathryn Newton’s Cassie Lang will play an important role in 2023’s Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania. Could Locke be joining them?

Even the recent She-Hulk series introduced us to The Hulk’s son, Skaar. And while that character is technically different from the aforementioned Hulkling, one has to wonder if the MCU might cut corners and combine the two, condensing some elements of the unwieldy comics lore.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Of course, this is all just speculation for now, but the announcement of Locke’s casting has set the fandom abuzz.

The star shared the news on his Twitter, quote-tweeting the Variety announcement with a series of purple hearts and a crying-face emoji:

This comes less than 24 hours after Locke’s Heartstopper co-star, Kit Connor, came out as bi on Twitter as a result of mounting “queerbaiting” allegations from so-called fans. Locke shared his support earlier this morning, replying to Connor’s tweet with, “You owe nothing to anyone. I’m so proud of you my friend.”

Below, read some fan reactions to the announcement of Locke’s casting in Agatha: Coven of Chaos:

Related: Heartstopper’s Kit Connor comes out as bisexual, says he feels forced to do so

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