It’s been a long time coming, but Marvel has finally, finally, confirmed the existence of its first LGBTQ+ superhero on the big screen, and it’s none other than fan favourite MCU character, Valkyrie.
Speaking at the Marvel Studios’ panel during San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2019, actress Tessa Thompson hinted at her on-screen persona’s sexual orientation, announcing to the audience, “As new king, she needs to find her queen. So that will be the first order of business. She has some ideas. I’ll keep you posted.”
Her statement was later followed up with an official confirmation by MCU head honcho Kevin Feige, who responded to io9’s query of whether the warrior will have an LGBTQ+ storyline, “The answer is yes. How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you’ll see across our films, not just in Thor 4“.
It’s indeed a great cause for celebration, and an apt one at that. Valkyrie is, after all, bisexual in the comics, and there’s nobody more fitting to take up the role than the openly-bisexual Thompson.
The newest installment of Thor, which sports an official title of Thor: Love and Thunder, won’t just leverage on the initial promise of Valkryie’s bisexuality. In fact, it will provide the perfect platform for other LGBTQ characters to reveal themselves as Phase 4 of the MCU kicks in, with the next on the list being a character from The Eternals.
Marvel has faced backlash for its lack of diversity and LGBTQ+ representation in recent years, and having the studio work on developing LGBTQ+ character certainly makes for a good step towards embracing diversity in films, especially for superhero titles.
Still, there are some concerns. While there have been positive representations of LGBTQ+ individuals (Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Raymond Holt and Rosa Diaz comes to mind, never mind that it’s a television show, as well as Deadpool 2‘s Negasonic Teenage Warhead) on the screen, Hollywood isn’t known for giving them well fleshed-out portrayals and developed personalities. Queerbaiting and lazy depictions of the community are fairly common, and there needs to be progress on this front moving forward.
As for Thor: Love and Thunder, fans can look forward to the return of Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman), who will follow in her comic counterpart’s footsteps to become the next Thor.
The movie is currently slated for release on November 5, 2021.