It’s official! Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie character will be Marvel’s first openly LGBTQ superhero.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige recently confirmed that the character will have an explicitly queer relationship of some kind in Marvel’s forthcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth MCU movie centred around the hammer-wielding superhero played by Chris Hemsworth.
Many have been wondering when the blockbuster franchise would introduce an LGBTQ character, including Thompson herself. The announcement is all the more significant because Thompson is openly bisexual.
“The answer is yes,” Feige told i09 of Valkyrie having an 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.”
Feige confirmed what Thompson herself had teased during Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder unveiling at Comic-Con Saturday. “As new king, she needs to find her queen,” Thompson told fans in Hall H during Marvel’s massive panel. “That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”
Thompson’s Valkyrie character debuted in Thor: Ragnarok and became an instant fan favourite. In March, Valkyrie reemerged on social media following the release of Captain Marvel, with many MCU fans pushing the studio to bring the two superheroes together on the big screen. Both Thompson and Captain Marvel star Brie Larson have shared fan art depicting their characters embracing, with some fans even shipping the two characters romantically.
“Of course I would love the chance to work with Brie,” Thompson said at the time. “We’re like women’s women, so the idea of getting to do something that little girls are excited about, and people that identify as women feel excited about is cool.”
Valkyrie is bisexual in the comic book source material, a fact Thompson has said informed her portrayal of the character from the beginning.
“YES! Val is Bi in the comics and I was faithful to that in her depiction,” she tweeted in late 2017. “But her sexuality isn’t explicitly addressed in Thor: Ragnarok.”
YES! Val is Bi in the comics & I was faithful to that in her depiction. But her sexuality isn’t explicitly addressed in Thor: Ragnarok. https://t.co/hmb5lYN5to
— Tessa Thompson (@TessaThompson_x) October 23, 2017
Thompson has long been an outspoken proponent for inclusion in Hollywood. As an active member of Time’s Up, the actress recently vowed to work with a woman director in the next 18 months and encouraged others to do the same.
Thompson spoke publicly about her sexual orientation for the first time in June of 2018, saying in an interview that she is “attracted to men and also to women.”