It’s hard to believe, but the last time we enjoyed a Marvel film in theaters was a couple of years ago. In 2019, we had the incredible finale: Avengers: Endgame and the continuation of something new with Spiderman: Far From Home.
It’s hard to believe while the budgets and revenue have swelled on Marvel movies, the formula has kept things as safe as possible, ensuring that its films can have the broadest of appeal. What that means is sometimes having to cut things out that might have been deemed as risqué.
While this isn’t always a bad thing, one thing that is noticeably absent from Marvel films is the element of romance. Although this isn’t a complex topic to tackle, with romance comes the inevitable questions from viewers about sexuality. Over the past couple of decades, since the inception of the first Marvel film, the world has changed quite a bit. The company has seen increased pressure about representation. This doesn’t mean that Marvel will create specific characters but will instead look to the source material for inspiration.
That’s right, Marvel comics have had and continue to have characters that represent the LGBTQ+ community. Deadpool, a character loved by many, has been known to be pansexual. Now in films that we have seen to date, the character has had a love interest that is a woman. It is unclear exactly where the character’s heart will go in future movies.
After recently being brought into the Marvel fold under parent company Disney’s purchase of Fox, it could be potentially the right time, especially since actor Ryan Reynolds, who plays the titular character, has openly voiced wanting the character to explore bisexual themes in future movies.
While not a titular character, Valkyrie has been featured quite a bit in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Despite not being represented fully in the movies so far, the character is bisexual in the comics. Although there have been hints about this in some of the movies she has been featured in, her sexuality will have a more significant role in the upcoming “Thor: Love and Thunder”.
As explained during 2019’s Marvel panel at Comic-Con, the character will, in fact, try and find her queen. It will be interesting to see how this develops when the movie is released sometime in 2022.
Loki is also another character that has been featured prominently in many Marvel films. While the character has been involved with women during his comic run, more recently, the character’s sexuality has seen a change in a different direction, showing that Loki can explore both men and women. This happens naturally for the known trickster, as genders can be changed, depending on what kind of form Loki chooses to represent. Whether this will be developed in the character’s upcoming series on Disney+ is anyone’s guess.
Although we have yet to see a new movie release from Marvel in theaters, the company has been quite busy, kicking off Phase 4 of its cinematic universe. It has done this by releasing two new series on Disney+, with “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Solider”. Despite these being quite successful in terms of viewership, the content has been relatively standard for Marvel. But with June just around the corner, “Loki” is set to release, which could bring a new element or some surprises, not only for the character but also the MCU.
As Marvel focuses on a future without significant tentpole characters like Iron Man and Captain America, it has new channels to navigate, which could mean new ways to explore upcoming characters and their stories.