The MCU's Loki, nemesis of Thor and "God of Mischief," is now the first openly queer major character in the MCU.

The reveal occurred in the third episode of the Disney+ series Loki, in a scene where the title character has lunch with a version of himself from an alternate timeline.

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Film Lists

10 Best Female Characters in the MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has not always done justice to women, but recent years have given us some iconic female characters

via Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has not always been kind to women.

The franchise initially focused pretty exclusively on white men and garnered so much success doing so that their argument for not featuring marginalized groups in more prominent ways was their fear of compromising their fanbase.

However, over the past few years, fans and actors have successfully advocated for films that focus on heroes from marginalized communities and feature them in more prominent, complex roles.

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FILM

Captain Marvel's Nia DaCosta and 9 Other Black Female Directors You Should Know

In a boundary-breaking move, Nia DaCosta will direct "Captain Marvel 2."

Nia DaCosta

Nia DaCosta is now officially the first Black woman to direct a Marvel Film.

Captain Marvel 2 will star Brie Larsen and will be directed by DeCosta, who also directed the upcoming horror film Candyman.

Born in Brooklyn, DaCosta was inspired to make films after watching Apocalypse Now. In 2015, her breakout feature, Little Woods, was chosen for production by Sundance's Screenwriters and Directors Lab. At the time Little Woods was released in 2018, DaCosta said, "I'm most concerned with my films being active and having women in my films who are active." Now she'll be helming an epic, highly-anticipated superhero film.

Black female directors continue to break boundaries in the industry, though this development has been a long time coming and many are under-recognized. But if you're looking to break out of your Scorsese-Spielberg-white-male canon rut, or just looking to experience some incredible films from incredible talent, here are nine additional Black femme movie directors you should know.

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FILM

"Bambi" Is Sure to Be the Worst Disney Remake Yet

Why would we want the trauma to be more realistic?

Disney has just announced plans to remake another one of their animated classics as a live-action feature, and it has the potential to be the worst one yet.

As with The Lion King and The Jungle Book, Bambi's cast of characters is made up entirely of animals, so it's bound to present the same problem of unsettling CGI mouths. But unlike those movies, the original Bambi came out in 1942. It's part of Disney's older catalogue of films with forgettable soundtracks and scattered, poorly-paced plots. The animation was innovative for its time, but at this point these older Disney films remain popular primarily through the power of nostalgia and passed along to children when they're too young to know better.



young bambi

No doubt half the people reading this are gasping at the audacity of these claims and recalling Bambi's iconic scenes—the introduction of Thumper and Flower, the terrifying forest fire, and of course the unforgettable death of Bambi's mother. While these scenes are certainly memorable, I doubt anyone protesting could flesh out an outline of Bambi's "story"—to the extent that it has one. Bambi is happy with his mother. Bambi's mother dies because humans are terrible. Bambi meets other animals who help him grow up. The forest burns because humans are terrible. Bambi meets another deer. The end? Happily ever after?

While Bambi has the potential to deliver a potent ecological message, it would need some extensive rewrites to get it ready for adaptation. Maybe that means it will be better than the other remakes—assuming Disney will do a good job with the process. Will they add some songs to try to make it a musical? That might add some interest, but they will certainly have to keep those handful of iconic scenes for it to remain a Bambi movie at all. So ask yourself, does anyone—let alone children—want to see those scenes in a live-action world? Do you want to see a realistic baby deer realizing its mother has been killed by hunters, or realistic animals running in horror from a wildfire? Would you take a child to see that? It might make a generation of vegans, but it would also fuel a massive boom in the mental health industry.

Disney has had a string of box office successes with these remakes. If they want to keep it going, they should probably give up on Bambi.

bambi fire

CULTURE

"Captain Marvel 2" Is Slated to Trigger Low-Performing Dudes All Over Again

Low-performing men are no longer "the real fans" of comic book movies.

Disney

It's impossible to read anything related to Brie Larson's Captain Marvel without tripping over hives of low-performing Internet men.

You know the ones––the kind of men who genuinely believe they're entitled to debates, who pretend to love facts and logic while simultaneously believing everything they hear on YouTube, who couch their racism and sexism in poorly constructed jokes and then rage about how nobody has a sense of humor anymore when everyone else wants them to go away. They're everywhere, swarming the comment sections of every YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook post even mildly related to the character, whining and crying and soiling their britches. It's almost like these low-performing Internet men have nothing better to do than breathlessly scan social media for mentions of Brie Larson so they can regurgitate something akin to, "REEE BRIE LARSON BAD!"

Thankfully, their furor has died down quite a bit since Captain Marvel's release. They still show up in the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Reviews every now and again to leave thoughtful commentary like, "10yrs of a good job destroyed for PC reasons" with no punctuation, but by and large, they've moved on to actively hating other women elsewhere. But as comic books have taught us time and time again, peace can only last so long for a superhero.

Captain Marvel short hair This image really upsets low-performing dudes.Disney

Now that Captain Marvel 2 is officially in development, one thing is certain: Low-performing Internet dudes are going to get triggered all over again.

Collective triggering of the world's least eligible bachelors can largely be traced back to Brie Larson's speech at the 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards (an awards show for women in communications and media). There, Larson spoke out against the lack of diversity amongst film reporters and critics, the majority of whom are white and male.

"I don't want to hear what a white man has to say about 'A Wrinkle in Time,' said Larson. "I want to hear what a woman of color, a biracial woman has to say about the film. I want to hear what teenagers think about the film."

Naturally, the suggestion that their opinions didn't matter––"they" being the specific variety of men who would hear a statement like that and get vein-poppingly red about it––triggered these dudes so hard that their moms probably wished they could get postnatal abortions. These men were so angry that they made it their mission to virtually follow Brie Larson around like the lowest-performing heat seeking missiles, screeching their bad takes whenever and wherever they could.

Brie Larson Speech Women In Film 2018 Crystal and Lucy Awards - Show, Beverly Hills, USA - 13 Jun 2018 Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Of course, Brie Larson was right to say what she said. White men have been the primary cultural tastemakers throughout the entire history of Western media. It's only recently that fresh, non-white, non-male voices have started to gain major traction on such a global scale.

The biggest problem for a lot of the men who are angry at Brie Larson is that they've spent their entire lives massively overestimating the value of their own opinions. To be clear, even the most entitled, low-performing Internet men are welcome to hold whatever opinions they want on absolutely anything. But many of them, for the first time ever, are being faced with a collective cultural dismissal of the value those opinions hold. In other words, these men are facing the same exact thing that they've been telling underrepresented people since the beginning of time: Nobody actually cares what they think.

And it's true. The opinions of angry Internet men, especially the ones who have a tendency to refer to themselves with phrases like "the real fans," don't matter nearly as much as they used to. Captain Marvel was the 9th highest-grossing movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 11th highest-grossing superhero movie ever made. Regardless of whether or not these men made good on their words and stayed home from the theaters (if they would have even gone in the first place), Captain Marvel was an objective box office hit.

Captain Marvel 2 Disney

As marketing efforts for Captain Marvel 2 begin to ramp up, so too will the vitriol of low-performing dudes. But at some point, assuming they really do love facts and logic as much as they claim, they'll need to stop denying reality and face the truth. Captain Marvel 2 will be another hit for Marvel because low-performing men are no longer "the real fans" of comic book movies. They're just voices screaming into a void like everyone else, and their box office dollars are insignificant to the brands they once worshipped.

Like it or not, their opinions have already been canceled.

FILM

Marvel To Feature Its First Transgender Superhero

Fans think the character will be an angel.

Here's some good news to start your new year off right: A trans superhero is coming to Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kevin Feige confirmed the news in a Q&A at New York Film Academy. When asked if the studio would ever have a transgender character, the Marvel Studios president said, "Yes, absolutely. Yes," adding that a trans character is appearing "very soon, in a movie that we're shooting right now" and clarifying that more trans and LGBTQ+ characters would be making an appearance.

It seems that Feige and Marvel are finally understanding that representation matters—and pays. "You look at the success of 'Captain Marvel' and 'Black Panther.' We want the movies to reflect the audience and we want every member of our global audience to see themselves reflected on the screen," he said.

While it's unfortunate (although expected) that Marvel's decision to increase diversity in its casting is connected to whether or not these choices will make a profit, the decision to create a trans superhero is an important step in normalizing the trans identity.

Most likely, Marvel's trans character will appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, as last summer the film's cast list included a trans woman. Fans believe that the character will be the angel Sera, who "descends from a group of all-male angels but who has transitioned to a female identity," according to MSN.

Marvel's History of Transgender Representation

Regardless, Marvel's new trans characters won't technically be the franchise's first trans superhero. That honor belongs to Rebekah, a child transgender activist who was the subject of a recent Marvel documentary, which aired on Disney Plus as part of their Hero Project series. They turned Rebekah, a Christian and a transgender girl, into a hero named "Mightly Rebekah."

Marvel's Hero Project Clip: Mighty Rebekah www.youtube.com

Whoever plays Marvel's first big-screen trans character also won't be their first trans actor. In 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home, trans actor Zach Barack played one of Peter Parker's friends, though his gender identity didn't feature into the plot.

In an interview, Barack emphasized the importance of trans representation onscreen. He explained that superhero movies, in particular, always "felt like [trans stories] because [they're] talking about identity." Superhero films, he explained, are "about separating what people know about you and what they don't. And I think that's something I kind of live with every day. And on top of that, I don't see a lot of trans-masculine people on television or trans men specifically, and getting to be part of that is beyond unreal."

What Is Your Origin Story? | Zach Barack | TEDxBoulder www.youtube.com


Ramping Up Representation: The Eternals and Representation Firsts

The MCU's first trans character is just the latest in a series of firsts for the company in terms of LGBTQ+ representation. The franchise will also feature its first gay character in the film The Eternals, which will star Richard Madden as Ikaris, "a levitating immortal with teleporting and vaporising powers and abundance of cosmic energy," who also happens to be in a committed and loving gay marriage.

Marvel's Eternals (2020) Teaser www.youtube.com

Among other upcoming firsts: The Eternals will also feature the MCU's first deaf character, and Marvel's first Asian-American star will feature in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, set to debut in 2021.

The MCU character Valkyrie is apparently bisexual, according to actress Tessa Thompson, who stated, "In the canon, [Valkyrie] is bisexual. You see her with women and men, so that was my intention in playing her," she told Variety. "Obviously, at the forefront of most of these stories is not typically their romantic life. They have big stakes, like saving the world, so that tends to sort of trump." Even so, the film Thor: Ragnarok received some criticism for erasing Valkyrie's bisexuality.

In most superhero movies, in order to save the world, heroes have to learn to embrace their inner strength and the powers that make them special and exceptional. Maybe the parallels between trans narratives and superhero stories aren't exact—but they're certainly not mutually exclusive, and combining the two will likely only strengthen them both.

Let's hope that they continue this tradition and hire more diverse representation across all their teams, including their writing staff and managerial board. Marvel is incredibly influential in shaping ideas about masculinity, heroism, and cultural norms at large, and therefore their decision to question and challenge archetypal gender roles will likely ripple across culture in the way that no number of tweets or academic papers about transgender identities could.