Many Marvel fans unfamiliar with the comics don't know this, but the character Loki is queer and always has been.
Known as everyone’s favorite shape-shifting God of Mischief, Loki was written as gender-fluid in the Marvel comics. Now their identity has crossed over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as exactly that, just in time for Pride Month.
Arriving Wednesday on Disney+, "Loki" is directed by Kate Herron and stars Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Owen Wilson (Mobius M. Mobius), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Ravonna Renslayer) and Wunmi Mosaku (Hunter B-15).
Marvel revealed more about Loki's identity when it dropped a new teaser for the TV series that subtly showed a close-up of the TVA (Time Variance Authority) paperwork that Loki submitted, which indicated that his sex is “fluid.”
For many fans, of both MCU and the comic books, this isn't shocking, as Loki is known for shape-shifting. A number of different Loki incarnations have been featured in the comics, including Lady Loki .
In a 2014 Marvel comic called Loki: Agent of Asgard, Odin refers to Loki as "my son, and my daughter, and my child who is both" to indicate gender fluidity and more importantly, his love for Loki just as they are. Additionally, Al Ewing, who wrote the comic, explained that Loki is a bisexual character. Drawing from Loki's queer origins within Norse mythology, Ewing wanted to ensure that a key part of the character's story wasn't being ignored.
However, throughout MCU Phases 1-3, this side of Loki hasn't been explored until this six-episode Disney+ series. Producer-screenwriter Michael Waldron is also writing "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," which many fans believe will connect heavily to the events of "Loki."
In fact, "Loki," which follows a version of the villain-turned-antihero plucked out of time, builds on the idea of multiverses and time travel first introduced in "Avengers: Endgame." It's prime for setting off a chain of events that could help set up some plot points of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" and the rest of MCU Phase 4.
While "WandaVision" provided more analysis on Nexus beings and "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" gave more insight on the Super Soldier Serum, "Loki" will introduce the long-term ramifications of meddling with the timeline.
Loki can be streamed on Disney + starting Wednesday.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.