Did “Shazam!” Introduce A Gay Icon?

Image via Warner Bros. Studios

It goes without saying, but this article includes SPOILERS for the recently released film Shazam!

Shazam! has just finished its opening weekend with solid reviews and a Box Office revenue of $56 million. But one of the most talked about moments from the film is a single line.

The Warner Bros. film is fairly true to the current run of Shazam comics. It features a foster child named Billy Batson as he not only becomes the champion of several Greek God-themed powers but also learns to accept the love and support of a family.

One amazing moment from the film is when Billy’s new siblings share his powers and become the iconic Marvel family from the comics.

Among the group of new heroes is the shy teen named Pedro. Pedro is a Latin-American boy who doesn’t talk much… at all. Jovan Armand, who plays Pedro, is basically given four lines to emphasize the fact that he’s quiet. Its this very shyness that makes one of his lines so very poignant.

The Line

Jovan Armand as Pedro / Image via Warner Bros. Entertainment

In one scene, the characters are escaping from the evil Dr. Sivana, and end up inside a strip club. Once outside, Pedro mentions the subtle line, “Not my thing.”

While this is a small line said in passing, it could hold a lot of weight to it. Should the line be interpreted to mean that Pedro isn’t interested in women, it makes him the first gay superhero in Hollywood history. With rumors of Marvel preparing to cast an openly gay man as the lead in an upcoming film (or maybe a gay lead character), this means that DC beat Marvel to the punch.

Many fans, including myself, celebrated this line.


Opposing Views

Pedro in the Shazam! 2018 comic series / Image via DC Comics

That said, it’s also important to note the other side of the story. The simple line of “Not my thing” does not outright confirm Pedro’s sexual orientation. Frankly, Pedro could mean that he’s just not into the blatancy of strip joints. This is an argument some other DC fans have brought forward. (Along with the typical hate).

“Personally I don’t think having a kid say he’s not into strip clubs automatically makes him gay. Because some kids might just find strip clubs very awkward or uncomfortable but that doesn’t make them gay,” shared one commenter in a recent Beyond The Trailer YouTube review of the film.

“That line doesn’t mean Pedro is gay not all straight men or boys are into that stuff,” said another.



Gay Or Not?

Pedro in his adult/superhero form / Image via DC Comics

So, did Shazam! introduce not only a gay character but a gay superhero? Until a potential sequel or confirmation from the company/creative team, we’ll have to go on guessing. After all, one line of text isn’t outright confirmation.

In addition, Pedro’s comic book character doesn’t express his sexual orientation in any factor like the line from the film. As such, we can’t use source material to back and support the idea.

That said, it’s not as if a teen expressing sexuality or sexual orientation is out of the question for the film. After all, it was Billy and foster brother Freddy who first explored the strip club for their own curiosity.

In the end, the answer is up to viewer interpretation, which seems to be the name of the game in Hollywood. But for those who wish to see it as confirmation anyway, this is a good day to be a superhero movie fan.