Let's talk about the recent news about Loki genderfluid, in the new Marvel TV series on Disney +. Is it queerbaiting, or is it going to be a serious play this time around?
As you well know, by now, a frame from the new Marvel television series about the character of Loki, available now on Disney +, describes Loki's sex as "fluid".
This frame appears in a promotional video published on the Twitter profile Series Loki on June 6. You will see it at this link. Instead, the offending frame is below, with Loki's gender circled. The (low) image quality reflects the quality of the document in the original video.
Loki genderfluid: why is this not new?
Now, this news, in reality, does not come as a real surprise for those who know the character of Loki dai Marvel comics, in which in fact it often changes gender and, consequently, appearance and pronouns. Also bolstered by her shapeshifting nature, Loki sometimes takes on the appearance of a woman and, in recent years, is more explicit that this is not just an outward shift, but also a way to mirror her fluid gender.
For those who know Loki also as a figure of Norse mythology, this news is even less surprising. Indeed, the mythological Loki has always been a very fluid figure. One of the best known cases is when, as narrated in the poem Hyndluljóð dell 'Edda Poetica, Loki took the form of a mare to be impregnated by the stallion Svaðilfari, thus giving birth to Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse.
In short, the fact that Marvel has decided to canonically make Loki genderfluid in the TV series is not a surprise. Rather, de facto è a choice consistent with the comic book character and that of Norse mythology.
What do those responsible for the TV series say about Loki genderfluid?
It is unclear, however, how Loki's gender fluidity will be rendered in the series.
In fact, the lead writer of the series, Michael Waldron, said that "we worked hard" to give audiences the representation they have always sought in Loki.
The actor Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, stressed what we have already said above, namely that the figure of Loki has always had a strong gender fluidity, both in comics and in mythology.
Waldon later stated that the director of the series, Kate herron, he was very keen to make Loki explicitly genderfluid, and then conclude by saying “you'll have to see [the series] to understand”.
The representation of a frame: why should expectations be held back?
Now, the undersigned G-Seeker is actually very happy that the TV series wants to make Loki explicitly genderfluid. It's a character trait that, in my opinion, was a shame not to have in the films of the past ten years.
However, there are two things in all of this that keep my expectations very tight.
First, Loki's gender fluidity in the trailers it is not shown explicitly, that is, with Loki changing his appearance or mentioning the matter. Instead, this information is left to a single word, present in a single frame, and also written in small print.
È the typical strategy that Marvel and Disney have accustomed us to in recent years: the inclusion of tiny queer details, but so small or not explicit or unimportant, that they can easily go unnoticed. And that, if needed, they can soon be cut from the film, as happened to the kiss between two women at the end of Skywalker's rise.
Also, the phrase “you'll have to see [the series] to understand” is something we've heard before, and does not bode well. In fact, we've already heard it from the director of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when he piqued public curiosity that Bucky Barnes might have been bisexual.
And how did “seeing the show” help us better understand Bucky's sexuality? Absolutely in no way.
Some conclusive thoughts
So, personally I am very cautious to scream "how nice, they make a representation!", when I see things like that.
One-frame scenes and “watch the series to find out more” now stink of me queerbaiting from afar, unfortunately.
Then, of course, we must take into consideration the fact that Loki's director is Kate Herron. Herron has already directed fri Education, in which we speak in a very mature and well done way about sexuality and gender identity. So, with Herron at the helm, we could really have a conscious and well done depiction.
However, we must also not forget that, in the film industry, the last word is hardly always for the director. Hence, there is a possibility that the Marvel producers may have wanted to make Loki's genre less prominent.
In short, expectations are low, but maybe (very possibly) there is a chance to see a genderfluid Loki done right.