Marvel's Ironheart Series Adds Superstar Drag Queen Shea Couleé

Her name is Shea Couleé, and she didn't come to play, she came to slay! The winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" season 5 and finalist on the recently ended "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars All Winners" is joining the cast of the upcoming Marvel Studios TV series "Ironheart" in an undisclosed role. "Beyond excited to be strutting out of the Werkroom right into the Marvel Cinematic Universe," Couleé said in a Twitter post regarding the announcement. "Words cannot express how excited I am to be a part of this amazing project!" Couleé continued by noting "Acting was my first love, and I'm thrilled to be doing it again in such a big way!"

Couleé joins an already impressive cast for the Disney+ series including Dominique Thorne ("If Beale Street Could Talk," "Judas and the Black Messiah") as engineering genius and superhero Riri Williams, Anthony Ramos ("Hamilton," "In the Heights"), Alden Ehrenreich ("Solo: A Star Wars Story"), Lyric Ross ("This Is Us"), and Manny Montana ("Good Girls"). The highly-anticipated feature film "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" will mark Riri Williams' introduction into the MCU a full year before her solo series hits the streaming house of mouse. While we don't know any details regarding Couleé's character or if the character will be played in drag, Couleé is a remarkable talent and the MCU is lucky to have snagged the "legendary legend" to join the show.

Bringing eleganza to the MCU

Shea Couleé is the drag persona of Jaren Kyei Merrell, and there's a possibility that Merrell will appear as themself out of drag in "Ironheart" similarly to the way RuPaul Charles has appeared out of drag in films like "But I'm A Cheerleader." Couleé is easily one of the greatest performers to ever step on the "Drag Race" stage, consistently turning out high-fashion looks that keep us gagging, delivering reads with a whip-smart sense of humor, and proving their acting prowess during "Snatch Game" challenges.

Couleé is a standout performer and Merrell has described their drag persona as "a love letter to Black women," which only adds to the reasons why Couleé is a perfect fit for "Ironheart." The MCU has been genuinely putting in the effort to add diverse representation to their repertoire, and casting an unapologetically Black, non-binary drag performer in their cast is a surefire way for Marvel to put their money where their mouth is, proving that their quest for diversity is not just lip service. 

As a treat, here's the video from "All Stars" season 5 when Shea Couleé rapped a verse about how much she loves Chadwick Boseman, winning her the week's challenge and eventually the crown. A perfect fit.