There has been much talk about queer super heroes over the past few months, and it seems that Marvel Studios is finally putting its money where its mouth is. This weekend, Marvel and actress Tessa Thompson confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con that Valkyrie would be the first superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be openly LGBTQ+. This, my dears, is a place for legends.
"First of all," Thompson said in an unveiling of the screening of a preview for Thor: Love and Thunder, "As king, [Valkyrie] needs to find her queen. So that'll be her first order of business, she has some ideas." The comment referenced the ending of the film Avengers: Endgame, where Valkyrie is made king of Asgard by Thor. This new installment will pick up from there.
\u201cDuring their time discussing the fourth installment in the THOR franchise, Valkyrie (@TessaThompson_x) as King of Asgard first things to do is find her Queen. \ud83e\udd70 #BETxSDCC #MarvelSDCC #SDCC #SDCC2019\u201d
But to be frank, we all know how these things can be. Big studio movies have a history of giving queer nods and winks but never paying out in cut and dry ways. And you know, Valkyrie's "queen" could still be male! (We know quite a few male queens.) But Marvel seemed to confirm there would something more substantive this time around.
"The answer is yes," Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, told Io9 after Thompson's admission when asked about a specfically LGBTQ storyline. "How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you'll see across our films, not in just Thor 4."
It's been a bit of a long road to get here. Earlier this year, word circulated that Marvel was looking to cast an LGBTQ+ character for the upcoming film The Eternals. While Feige, at the time didn't specificy who the character was they were said to be looking for someone of any age, who was openly gay and 30-49. And before that, people were criticizing the studio for choosing to not include queer specific content for characters who are canonically queer, like Ayo in Black Panther. Valkyrie was a part of this latter conversation, too--there was apparently a scene cut from Thor: Ragnorok that confirmed the character's queerness. But however long the road, here we are.