(This article contains some spoilers for the third episode of Marvel’s “Loki” on Disney+)
Disney has caught a lot of flack lately for being late to the party on LGBTQ representation in its films and television shows, and then when actually featuring a queer character on screen, typically putting them in strictly minor roles. But now, finally, we do actually have a major character, a headlining character even, who is openly bisexual: Loki himself (Tom Hiddleston).
The reveal came in the middle of the third episode of “Loki,” which largely consisted of Loki and the woman we think of as Lady Loki (Sophia Di Martino) — she’s going by Sylvie — tooling around on some faraway moon in the Kree galaxy that’s about to be destroyed in the year 2077. Loki and Sylvie are trapped, and they spend the bulk of the episode trying to find a way to escape.
Their plan involves an ark — a large spaceship that’s supposed to carry away some of the doomed moon’s residents before the end comes. So Loki and Sylvie hop a train toward the ark, and have some deep conversations about life and love and all that during the trip.
The conversation went like this:
Loki: “So, on the subject of love, is there a lucky beau waiting for you at the end of this crusade?”
Sylvie: “Yeah there is, actually. Managed to maintain quite a serious long-distance relationship with a postman whilst running across time from one apocalypse to another.“
Loki: “And with charm like that, who could resist you?”
Sylvie: “Well, people are quite willing in the face of certain doom.”
Loki: “I’m sure they are.”
Sylvie: “It was only ever to keep me going. How about you? You’re a prince. Must have been would-be-princesses. Or perhaps another prince.
Loki: “A bit of both. I suspect the same as you. But nothing ever–”
That’s not subtle or coded language — Loki is flat out saying he has hooked up with both some dudes and some ladies. This may be a first for the character in any medium. In the comics, by contrast, they’ve generally taken a “say it without saying it” approach.
For example, in “Young Avengers vol 2 #13” back in 2013, Loki tells a human, “My culture doesn’t really share your concept of sexual identity. There are sex acts, that’s it.” That’s not exactly subtle, but it’s also not as clear a statement as we just heard on “Loki.”
You probably shouldn’t get your hopes too high that we’ll actually see Loki kissing a guy on this show. Though, this episode did provide a pretty easy opportunity in the very next scene when we see him drunk and singing an Asgardian song with the others in the train’s dining car. It’s a pretty standard scenario for a drunken makeout session. Unfortunately, there isn’t generally a lot of kissing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.