Agents of SHIELD Introduces New LGBTQ Character

The season premiere of Agents of SHIELD is in full swing, and it’s already introduced an array of new characters. One of the latest people to join the SHIELD team is Dr. Marcus Benson, played by Barry Shabaka Henley. The episode follows May and Mack as they recruit Benson to be the department head in their plan to reopen SHIELD Academy. During their meeting, Benson reveals that he lost someone important to him.

“I used to share a cocktail with the love of my life, but when he died, this became a way to remember him… or forget. I don’t know,” he shared.

In addition to being the new brains on the team (since Simmons is off in deep space looking for Fitz), it’s revealed that Benson was also a teacher, college, and friend to May’s late husband, Andrew. He's already proving himself useful in the science department, and we look forward to finding out what he’ll bring to the table.

Benson isn’t the first LGBTQ character on the series. Back in season three, Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba) joined Daisy’s short-lived Secret Warriors team, but his time on the show only lasted six episodes. However, Joey is considered to be the first openly gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (despite claims that the title belongs to Joe Russo’s unnamed character in Avengers: Endgame).

While we’d love to see an LGBTQ romance on the show, we’re going to assume that it won’t be coming from Benson. Not that older romances aren’t enjoyable to watch (have you SEEN a Nancy Meyers movie?), but there are currently no other characters to pair him up with. We’re still hoping a romance could blossom in the future for Piper (Briana Venskus), the only other LGBTQ character currently on the series. While her sexuality has never been explicitly discussed, she has alluded to being attracted to May in the past, and once (sadly) claimed that Daisy was not her type.

Agents of SHIELD stars Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson/Sarge), Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May), Chloe Bennet (Daisy “Quake” Johnson), Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons), Iain De Caestecker (Fitz), Henry Simmons (Mack), Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez), and Jeff Ward (Deke).

Agents of SHIELD airs Friday nights on ABC at 8/7c.

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