The MCU has continued to diversify it’s characters, particularly on the film side, in a variety of the ways.  After Phase One received criticism for it’s largely white, male, heterosexual character base, the studio has worked to provide some more diversity.  Black Panther has a largely African and African American cast.  Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel are both bringing women titular characters.  Now Tessa Thompson has revealed on social media that the first LGBTQ+ character is coming to the film side of things, tweeting this about Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok.

It is interesting to see Thompson respond so openly about this background to the character.  As of yet, we haven’t seen other reports on this based on the film, and it seems unlikely that the movie will get much into the character’s sexuality.  In some ways, this situation is playing out a bit like the tempest in a tea cup over the sexuality of LeFou in Beauty and the Beast.  After some critics made complaints and threatened to boycott that film, it went on to roll out this year’s largest box office haul.  Ultimately that subtext was obvious but not a major part of the retelling of the animated classic, and one would think that this could be true of Thor: Ragnarok.

This story element also draws an interesting connection between Valkyrie and Wonder Woman.  The Amazonian princess had a huge success in her debut film and there were some subtle subtext to lesbianism in that film, which comedians on programs like SNL later played off of.  With both characters being a sort of mythological female soldier it is interesting to see similar elements come through.

Fans of the MCU will know this is not the first LGBTQ+ character in the overall universe.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. featured Joey Guttierez and Jessica Jones gave us Jeri Hogarth.  New Warriors is also featuring an LGBTQ+ character in Debrii.  Still, the film side tends to lag a bit behind on representation issues (see the female cast of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its chronic under-appreciation by critics rightly urging better equity of screen time for women characters), so this is a sign that the films are trying to make their world as diverse as the comics, TV, and the real-life world.

Source: Twitter

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