Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie has been confirmed as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first LGBTIQ hero.
Speaking about her role in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, in which Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster will take up the mantle of Thor, Thompson spoke about Valkyrie’s recently acquired position as leader of the Asgardian people.
“As king, [Valkyrie] needs to find her queen,” Thompson said at SDCC. “So that’ll be her first order of business, she has some ideas.”
Speaking with i09 after the exchange, the MCU’s Kevin Feige confirmed that Thompson was indeed referring to an LGBTIQ storyline.
“The answer is yes,” Feige 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.“
Marvel drew immense criticism from those in the LGBTIQ community when it was announced an LGBTIQ character would feature in Avengers: Endgame. After fan speculation that Valkyrie would identify as LGBTIQ, or perhaps that fan-favourite characters Wiccan and Hulking would be introduced into the MCU, all that was included was a short cameo by director Joe Russo depicting an grieving gay man.
“That was never meant to be our first focused character,” Feige said of Russo’s camero. “That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth. And I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact. It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together. It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. I guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention.”
Thor: Love and Thunder is part of Phase 4 of the MCU and heads to theatres on 5 November 2021.