In the second episode of the latest Disney + Marvel series, Loki, the main character achieves his most illustrious trick to date: to meet. Working under the auspices of the Time Variance Authority, the mysterious organization that makes sure everything happens on the multiverse-avoid the sacred timeline – Loki plots another version, or “variant,” of the God of Mischief in a mall in central America. The goal is to rid the universe of this alternate crook, and after encounters with three people this other Loki has embodied, our anti-hero comes face to face with the main form of this new variant. She takes off her hood, revealing blonde hair, horns, and the green costume Loki has worn in several Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. He then follows her through a portal and the credits roll.
For months now, after photos of actress Sophia Di Martino in a green and gold suit surfaced online, fans have speculated on the Disney + the show could feature the character known as Lady Loki. Like the character Tom Hiddleston plays in the MCU, Lady Loki is the god of evil. But unlike him, she is a woman. Except it’s not at all different from Loki. “Anyone who knows the mythology of Loki,” says Kieron Gillen, who spent years writing the character for Marvel Comics, “knows how odd Loki is.”
Throughout Marvel history, Loki has taken many forms: snakes, women, Captain America. According to original Norse myths, he once turned into a mare and mothered a eight legged horse who became Odin’s steed. In the comics, the Trickster God became Lady Loki as a result of Ragnarok, essentially taking the body of Lady Sif. It’s unclear how much, if at all, the new Marvel show will investigate Loki’s many identities, but Lady Loki’s appearance, as well as a small match in a promo noting that Loki’s gender is ” “fluid”—Is a deliberate nod to the past of the god of mischief. “Our show is really about identity,” says director Kate Herron. “We’re really trying to figure out what makes Loki tick. Recognizing that Loki is fluid between the sexes was very important to me.
To be clear, making Loki appear as a woman doesn’t make a queer (anti) hero. It doesn’t say anything about the character’s sexual orientation or gender identity. But the fact that Hiddleston’s Loki registers no reaction to seeing his female self recognizes that the character has always known this part of his unclassifiable heritage. At Gilles Young Avengers, Loki categorically tells David Alleyne / Prodigy, “My culture doesn’t really share your concept of gender identity. There are sexual acts, that’s all. I am actually the patron god of some popular gods, believe it or not. Loki has lived many lives in many forms; the only rainbow that interests him is the Bifrost.
Yet in the Marvel films to date, the Thor cinema, the Avengers titles – there has always been something inevitably strange about his presence. Not in terms of deeds or presentation, per se, but in the details of his magical powers. Loki is someone whose talents and activities were always out of step with what the world wanted him to be. When he transforms his appearance or behavior to escape a precarious situation, which homosexuals have been doing for centuries, it’s called a trick. But it is really an endurance tool. He is the half-brother of Thor’s Frost Giant who has been at odds over his place on Asgard since birth. (Remember: Odin literally turned his son’s skin from blue to white when he was a baby and hid Loki’s parentage from him until he was an adult.) Blend in and be seen for who he is. really. “For queer people, who grow up knowing that other people are waiting and assuming you are straight, and having to negotiate that expectation to survive or to navigate the world, we all become tricksters,” says Anthony Michael D ‘ Agostino, a professor at Fordham University who has studied queer identities in comics. “Loki being queer is almost irrelevant. Gay people are going to identify with him no matter who he fucks, because of how it negotiates the world It is a parasocial relationship, that is to say one based on a shared feeling of alienation.