Thor: Love & Thunder Doesn’t Fix LGBTQ+ Crashes in MCU

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When Natalie Portman and director Taika Waititi called “Thor: Love and Thunder” “such a gay” and “superhero” at an early screening of the film, one could hope that KVM had overcome the historically inadequate representation of LGBTQ+ and finally released the project. with a genuine and irreconcilable strangeness at its core. It is not surprising that “Thor: 4” is far from the characteristics of Portman and Waititi. The MCU’s history with the LGBTQ+ community is grim, as no queer character appeared on screen until 2019’s “Avengers: Finale,” the 22nd film in the franchise, in which an unnamed man, played by co-director Joe Russo, mentions his unlucky husband. a short scene. Three years later, the MCU has demonstrated progress in representing LGBTQ+. However, as in “Love and Thunder”, the newfound queer visibility is deliberately kept to a minimum.

In Thor: Love and Thunder, Chris Hemsworth’s titular Thunder God, also known as Thor Odinson, reunites with Jane Foster, whose battle with cancer forces her to seek the power of Thor’s old hammer Mjolnir to keep her alive, and thus receives the title Mighty Thor. When Gorr, the butcher god (Christian Bale), decides to kill all the existing gods after his daughter’s death, the couple enlists the help of Valkyrie’s (Tessa Thompson) allies and Korga (Vaititi) to defeat Gorr and bring back the Asgardian children he holds hostage. in the realm of shadows.

Simply put, the representation of LGBT+ in “Thor: Love and Thunder” indicates a step forward in the queer visibility of the MCU in the forms of Valkyrie and Corga, although it offers only crumbs in this regard. As two canonically strange Marvel comics characters, Valkyrie and Korg see their personalities only subtly depicted in Love and Thunder. Nevertheless, assessing the overall quality of the portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters in Thor 4, both in general and in the context of Marvel and Disney, requires consideration of several important issues.

Is Thor: Love And Thunder LBGTQ+ a good representation?

Although “Thor: Love and Thunder” can hardly be called innovative in the representation of LGBTQ+, the film manages to portray random and normalized queerness — which is a welcome sight, given how often films and TV shows use the sexuality of characters as a plot device, subjecting them to violent homophobia or telling an exit story. “Love and Thunder” refreshingly allows its LGBTQ+ characters, primarily Valkyrie and Corgi, to exist without having to single them out. Valkyrie kisses the girl’s hand and talks about the pain of losing her girlfriend, while Korg mentions his two fathers and has a child of his own by another Kronan. Although these moments do not greatly affect the plot of the film, they serve as a good example of treating LGBTQ+ identity as something other than something that goes beyond the norm. Speaking to Variety, Thompson reflected: “I think part of the real ability to normalize queer characters, LBGTQIA characters, is to allow them to exist in their humanity, and that doesn’t always mean they’re in love or in partnership. because many of us know that sometimes it’s not.”

“Love and Thunder” references LGBTQ+ identity more broadly than any other MCU property before it —which is a long overdue advance. It is important to recognize that the authentic representation of LGBTQ+ does not always look the same. However, it’s still hard to imagine that “Thor 4” didn’t provide the MCU with an opportunity to take an even bigger step in the right direction. In an interview with Shondaland, Thompson hinted that the film lacks “enough space on the page to dedicate it to humanity in its entirety.” In less than two hours, “Love and Thunder” noticeably cut corners in its narrative, from the hasty retelling of Thor and Jane’s relationship off-screen to the blatant underutilization of Gorr. Thompson continued, “The most important thing was that Valkyrie exists exactly as she is—without any apologies [or] any additions-that she just exists inside her strange personality in the way that makes sense in this movie.” Valkyrie’s status as a noticeably queer character is far from meaningless, although it is obvious that the MCU has only superficially touched on what she can bring to the representation of the LGBTQ+ franchise as a whole.

Love & Thunder couldn’t handle its LGBTQ+ Performance

It would be easy to blame yourself for being the victim of unreasonably high expectations regarding LGBTQ+ representation in the MCU — if only those who participated had not promised much more than the final version of “Thor: Love and Thunder”. At Comic-Con in San Diego in 2019, Thompson stated that Valkyrie’s “first act” as king would be to “find his queen.” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige agreed. When it turned out that the film lacked a romantic plot for Valkyrie, Thompson and Waititi quickly defended another broken Marvel promise to the LGBT+ audience.

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