Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie character will be Marvel’s first openly LGBTQ big-screen superhero in the planned Thor: Love and Thunder movie.
The news was announced at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday during the Marvel panel, which revealed details about the studio’s slate of upcoming ‘Phase Four’ superhero films.
Thompson, who first played Valkyrie in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, told the audience that her character would have an LGBTQ storyline in the planned Thor: Love and Thunder film, set for a 2021 release.
In the recent record-breaking Avengers: Endgame, Thor handed over the crown of his homeworld, New Asgard, to Valkyrie, a development which will apparently be explored further in the new film.
“First of all, as new King [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen, so that will be her first order of business,” Thompson said. “She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”
Valkyrie is bisexual in the comics and was acknowledged as such by Thompson but this aspect to her character has not been shown in the movies to-date. (A scene that would have made this clear in Thor: Ragnarok was reportedly cut from that film.)
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, confirmed the plans for a Valkyrie queer storyline (and more) to io9 after the panel.
“The answer is yes,” he said. “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.”
Both DC and Marvel have been accused of “queerbaiting” or being overly cautious of explicitly depicting any of their superhero characters as LGBTQ on-screen, although there have been hints.
The character of Deadpool, for example, was described by director Tim Miller as pansexual, but this was never shown in the films. Captain Marvel also appeared to have more than a mere friendship with the character of Maria (Lashana Lynch), but this was only suggested through long lingering looks.