Words: Alastair James; pictures: Marvel Studios
Tessa Thompson, the star of Marvel and Disney's Thor: Ragnarok, has been speaking about her character Valkyrie being one of the first openly LGBTQ characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Thompson took on the role as the Asgardian defender in the 2017 blockbuster and reprised the role in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. She will reprise the role again in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set for release later in 2022.
The character of Valkyrie is canonically queer in the comics and was said to have come out as bisexual in a cut scene from Thor: Ragnarok, so the character's queerness is yet to be properly recognised in the MCU.
"There’s still so much work to be done"
In an interview with The Wrap, Thomspon addressed her character being "the MCU’s first openly LGBTQ character" and is asked if that's exciting.
She says, "It’s totally exciting. We talk so much about representation and obviously, in terms of the LGBTQIA community, there’s still so much work to be done. But if you look at the comics in the canon, there are so many queer characters!"
Possibly referencing the scene that mentioned the character's bisexuality in Thor: Ragnarok she goes on to say: "It’s hard because Taika [Waititi - Ragnarok's director] and I would’ve even liked to go further, but in the context of the movies, there’s only so much we can do.
"Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of time invested in love stories in Marvel movies in general. I think that will be a little different on the new 'Thor,' which is exciting. And getting to play a character that historically is not written for somebody that looks like me, all of that felt exciting," she continues.
Tessa has previously said that Valkyrie will be looking for her 'queen' in Thor: Love and Thunder after the character was made king of the new Asgard by Thor in the final moments of Avengers' Endgame.
Addressing fans at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 she said: "As [a] new king, she needs to find her queen. That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted."
While Valkyrie's queerness is yet to be officially addressed in the MCU, the superhero franchise has been making small steps towards LGBTQ representation. 2021' Eternals featured Phastos, who was shown in a gay relationship.
There is speculation that the character of America Chavez in Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness (out later this year) will also be canonically queer in the MCU as she is in the comics.
Marvel's head honcho, Kevin Feige confirmed at the premiere for Eternals that greater LGBTQ representation is coming.
"There have been gay heroes before in the comics. It is more than past time in the movies," Kevin Feige says of the Marvel film's first gay superhero. "It's just the start." https://t.co/F6rov2HB1g pic.twitter.com/XZXMs5G4zo— Variety (@Variety) October 19, 2021
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