With three episodes in and I’m already obsessively hooked on Marvel’s Loki, even more than the previous two Marvel Disney+ shows. The first episode, and every episode after, has gotten me into a new little weekly routine.
Exactly at midnight on Wednesday, I would watch Loki with the majority of the world so my Twitter timeline isn’t bombarded with spoilers and, surprisingly, quick memes. The next morning, it’s time for a re-watch of the episode, followed by a light descent into madness and chaos as I do my very best Charlie Day impression and surround myself with theory videos and Easter egg counts.
After all, the best thing about watching anything tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is theorizing about how it connects to a possible future storyline. Thanks to WandaVision and The Falcon and Winter Soldier viewers had the words “Mephisto” and “Mutant” insanely popular, with Loki following suit with its own barrage of fan theories.
But, let’s put down the post-it notes and close that Wikipedia page for a second and talk about something very real: Loki’s confirmed bisexuality.
The third episode of Loki, titled “Lamentis,” had a lot of shocking revelations packed into its slightly shorter runtime. One of these was the confirmation that Loki is, in fact, bisexual. Kate Herron, the director of the series, took to Twitter to express her desire and excitement to finally share Loki’s sexuality with eager fans.
Even though many members of the LGBTQ+ community (myself included) probably saw it as a bit of a “we been knew” moment, the confirmation was nevertheless appreciated.
Of course, nothing is safe from criticism. No, I’m not talking about the hateful speech spread across the internet by faceless avatars with a bunch of numbers in their name. That’s not criticism. I’m talking about the articles across the internet calling out the amount of time its taken for us to get even a brief mention of a major bisexual character in the MCU. A very valid argument that deserves to be discussed, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Don’t get me wrong. Loki’s bisexuality is a win. Being a main character with arguably one of the best redemption stories in the MCU and representing the LGBTQ+ community are feats deserving of the TVA’s resident Loki expert.
But, no matter how you look at it, Loki’s bisexuality was more of a passing mention than a big reveal. While that was supposed to be the point, it’s understandable why this simply wasn’t enough for a lot of viewers. No one is necessarily asking for a huge, momentous occasion dedicated to Loki’s sexuality, but it’s not unfair to say that mainstream media tends to skirt around the heavy topics like sexuality, gender, and race. I’m sure we all remember the moment in Avengers: Endgame, when one half of the Russo brothers portrayed a nameless gay character who lost his partner during the blip. It was the absolute bare minimum, and a clear case of performative representation.
It’s time for more to be done in terms of representation and diversity in the MCU and mainstream media. And, Loki is the perfect show to start. The bisexuality of the character was always alluded to in the comics and even in Norse mythology. Of course, the nature of the series and character would allow it to be fully explored and fleshed out in ways that we can only imagine right now.
But the nonchalant nature of the reveal is troublesome because it seems to allude to being nothing more than fan service. I’m choosing to hold out hope that Herron and Tom Hiddleston have more in mind. Herron has done a phenomenal job with the character so far, and with her excitement over the reveal, I think Loki’s bisexuality will come into play later further down the road. When you consider Loki’s background as a character who feels undeserving of any kind of love, his struggles with his sexuality (and perhaps even coming out to Odin) may play a big part in what makes the god of mischief who he is.
Only time will tell, but here’s to hoping it will signal for more revealing representation by the MCU in the foreseeable future.