Tessa Thompson will be playing the first-ever canonically LGBTQ+ superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed to iO9 that Thompson’s character, Valkyrie, will be the MCU’s first non-straight superhero! “The answer is yes,” Kevin Feige said when asked about Valkyrie having an LGBTQ storyline.
Feige’s comment comes after Thompson herself hinted at Valkyrie’s sexuality during the Marvel Phase 4 panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. “First of all, as new King [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen,” the actress announced.
As for specifics, while nothing other than her non-heterosexuality has been confirmed, Thompson has stated before that Valkyrie is bisexual. There was also a storyline in the comic books in which Valkyrie dates a woman. Her bisexuality looks set to be confirmed in Thor: Love and Thunder.
— Ryan Gajewski (@_RyanGajewski) July 21, 2019
Earlier this year, Avengers: Endgame featured an openly gay character. The unnamed man (played by Endgame co-director Joe Russo) was featured in a group therapy session alongside Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans). The character was struggling to move on from the death of his husband, who was temporarily “dusted” by Thanos’ snap. The man told the therapy group about how he went on a date where both he and the other man cried. The moment was sweet, but fans criticized it for being too insignificant. Kevin Feige defended the scene, saying that [Russo’s character] “was never meant to be our first focused character.”
Looks like we’re finally getting a “focused” character. Valkyrie, or Brunnhilde, first appeared in Taika Watiti’s Thor: Ragnarok in 2017. While Ragnarok did have a scene confirming Valkyrie’s attraction to the same sex, it ended up being cut from the final product. Watiti and Thompson had both fought hard to have the scene included, but it was ultimately cut on account of it distracting from the overall plot.
However, based off of Thompson’s and Feige’s remarks, it appears that Valkyrie’s sexual orientation will play a bigger part in the next installation of the Thor series, also known as Thor: Love and Thunder. After all, she’s been appointed the leader of Asgard. Seems like she’ll need someone to rule by her side.
Fans of Valkyrie are, of course, extremely excited about the news. Many have posted Tweets in favor of Valkyrie getting a girlfriend, with some accounts even coming up with a few potential suitors for the Asgardian king. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) seem to be popular contenders, but it’s possible that Marvel will introduce an entirely new character for Valkyrie to fall for.
🕯 female thor 🕯
end up together
🕯 🕯 pic.twitter.com/Y3aSgoc2IK
— ⍟ maria ⎊ (@cevanschild) July 22, 2019
the king of asgard and bisexual icon, brunnhilde the valkyrie❣️ pic.twitter.com/LoxK5nOF6J
— ✵ stef ✵ (@CAPTAlNERD) July 22, 2019
gay!joe russo walked so bi!valkyrie could run
— cléa JANAE DAY! (@homecominqs) July 21, 2019
the new thor movie is called thor love and thunder and valkyrie is bisexual THE GAYS KEEP MF WINNING https://t.co/dqA3GL1ZFr
— ashley (@faIIingstar) July 21, 2019
Marvel’s Phase 4 is set to be their most diverse yet. The next stage of the MCU will give the first female Avenger her own movie. Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson and directed by Cate Shortland, will be released next May. Chloe Zhao will direct The Eternals, which features a deaf superhero. To top it all off, Shang Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings will be the first Asian-American superhero film. Shang Chi will be directed by the Japanese-Hawaiian director Destin Daniel Cretton.
Phase 3 was leagues ahead of Phases 1 and 2 in terms of diversity. And it paid off. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, the first MCU film focusing on a nonwhite superhero, grossed $1.34 billion worldwide and $700 million domestically. This film, which had a mostly black cast, made more than every MCU film with the exception of Avengers: Endgame. The first female-led film of the franchise, Captain Marvel, earned $1.12 billion earlier this year. Both films made more than other recent releases such as Doctor Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch ($667 million) and Ant-Man with Paul Rudd ($519 million). Both Doctor Strange and Ant-Man had white male protagonists. If the most diverse MCU films of Phase 3 did so well in the box office, there’s no telling the heights that Phase 4’s films will reach.
Will you be seeing Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters during November 2021? How do you feel about Marvel including their first LGBTQ+ hero?
Featured image via Twitter