Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios’ executive vice president of film production, has vowed that as Phase 4 progresses, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would include more LGBTQ+ representation. The new era of the brand began in earnest earlier this year with the premiere of Marvel Studios’ first independent TV series on Disney+, WandaVision. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as well as the continuing Loki series, followed. On July 9, the film portion of the latest phase begins with the release of Black Widow.
Despite the MCU’s popularity, many reviewers have considered the franchise’s depiction of LGBTQ+ characters to be rather lacking. Loki’s file at the TVA now indicates that he is genderfluid, which has started to alter. This has grown in Loki as a result of both Sylvie’s presence and Loki’s revelation of his bisexuality in episode 3, “Lamentis.” This is the first time a major character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has openly stated that they are a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
At the fan event for Black Widow, Alonso told Variety that the company is dedicated to increasing LGBTQ+ inclusion in its future work. The executive said that doing so “takes time”. The studio might not always get it right, but that it will keep trying.
“It takes time, we have so many stories that we can tell. We will empower those that are [LGBTQ+]. We’re not changing anything. We’re just showing the world who these people are, who these characters are … There’s a lot that we have coming up that I think will be representative of the world of today. We’re not going to nail it in the first movie or the second movie or third movie, or the first show or second show, but we will do our best to consistently try to represent.”
Loki and LGBTQ + representation
When questioned about the choice to make Loki genderfluid in the new series, Alonso said: “to be honest with you, it’s not a big deal”. He was asserting that Marvel was simply remaining loyal to the character. She proceeded by stating that the studio did “do it because it’s politically correct or incorrect. It is what it is. Don’t forget, we follow our comics. We try to follow them quite to the tee. So in the comics, this is who he was.”
The idea of Loki being genderfluid isn’t new, but recognizing it with current language is. Loki has spent numerous years as a woman in Marvel Comics. He has even impersonated other female characters such as Scarlet Witch. Looking further back in Norse mythology, Loki, a shapeshifter gave birth to Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir. He regularly shifted between being male and female despite being generally regarded masculine.
Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, has long maintained that he wants to diversify the MCU. Alonso’s statements appear to support this. Furthermore, while Marvel may not always get LGBTQ+ representation right the first time, stating that it intends to make LGBTQ+ inclusion a major component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a start in the right direction. Hopefully, films like Eternals and other future Disney+ programs demonstrate that Marvel is serious about following through on its commitment and building on Loki’s fantastic portrayal.