The Loki TV Series Needs To Make Loki’s Pansexuality Canon in the MCU
Also, let Valkryie be bisexual.
Marvel, for all their successes, has more than a few failings. One of these is that they haven’t introduced a canonically LGBT+ character to their franchise, despite saying that they exist and will either be revealed to be gay or will be added to the films.
Now, with the coming television shows on their streaming services, they have a chance to right that wrong a little and make a canonically pansexual character pansexual on the small screen. Yes, I’m referring to Loki.
Before anyone gets up in arms about Loki’s sexuality, I would like to remind everyone that it’s canon in the comics that he is pansexual as well as genderfluid. In fact, Marvel is even releasing a YA novel next year featuring a teen Loki where his pansexuality will be addressed. So no, do not try to come at me with any sort of “forcing an agenda” comments or that I’m reaching. It’s canon, so it’s time for the MCU to introduce that element of his character into the MCU canon to make it ultra, super-duper canon. All the canon.
The Thor movies are very, painfully heterosexual, with the exception of Thor Ragnarok. There’s the Jane/Thor/Sif love triangle, Fandral flirts with every woman he encounters (which, admittedly, is canon), and they even erased Valkryie’s bisexuality in the final version of Ragnarok, though our hero Tessa Thompson said she played her with that in mind.
As a result, Loki is left rather adrift, with no love interest; his only moment talking about romance or sex at all is his violently sexist comment to Natasha in The Avengers. Which is, as per usual, a moment of Joss Whedon’s terrible writing, but I have not come to bury Whedon this time.
Now, on a streaming service where they don’t have to worry about conservative groups throwing a fit because a canonically pansexual character is canonically pansexual, Marvel can actually delve into that part of Loki’s character. Instead of making him the queer-coded villain, Loki being the protagonist of his own story allows them to explore all facets of his character with nuance and focus.
Of course, there are pitfalls to this: they could portray him as a hyper-sexual character (well, as hyper-sexual as they can get away with) who just “sleeps around” and therefore feeds into stereotypes about pansexuality. However, one can hope that they can address his sexuality gracefully, and not feed into tropes. This could be solved by making sure there are LGBT+ identifying writers in the room.
Also, Loki’s gender fluidity could also be addressed in the series. While Tom Hiddleston is a cis man, they could still find a way to explore that aspect of his character, hopefully in a way that’s nuanced and not a hot mess of stereotypes. Again, this is where having a genderfluid writer in the writer’s room would come in handy (if the Loki TV series gives us the behind-the-scenes representation we deserve, then bring it on).
And while the timelines won’t mesh well, since he dies shortly after the Revengers escape Asgard, having a Loki series could be a perfect way for Valkryie to be brought back into the canon and also be canonically bisexual on screen with a female love interest. Bringing on Thompson could be a great way to continue to expand Valkryie’s character and give her more backstory, especially if we’re winding the Thor franchise down on the big screen. She’s a popular fan favorite, so bringing her and Loki together as co-protagonists could be a wonderful move on Marvel’s part. The Russos have confirmed that Valkyrie survived Thanos’ initial attack, so if the Loki TV show is set after the events of Avengers 4 and he’s somehow revived, the Loki-Val teamup could be epic. We can dream.
But no matter when the series is set, or what story they decide to tell, it’s time to let Loki’s sexuality and gender be reflected on the screen. To continue to ignore it, or even hammer home cis-heteronormativity in an attempt to appease terrible fanboys, would be a disservice to the legacy of the character. With Feige’s promise that established characters will be revealed as gay, now is the perfect time to do so. So let’s give the Loki fandom something to do other than cry over Infinity War, shall we?
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