Marvel Studios

Can We Talk About?…The Queerest of the MCU Movies, “Thor: Ragnarok”

Praise be the movie that gave us both a shirtless Thor and a naked Hulk.

Can We Talk About?… is a weekly series that should probably repent for not being gay enough.

Happy Endgame Day, nerds! If you’re a fan of Marvel, superhero movies, or just muscular men in spandex, then today is for you. Avengers: Endgame has arrived, bringing the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all 21 previous films, to a thrilling close.

Queer fans may be especially celebratory as the directors of Endgame, Joe and Anthony Russo, have revealed that an openly gay character pops up in the movie—albeit, not in a superhuman capacity.

In an interview with Deadline, the Russos discuss the first openly gay character in a MCU movie, played by Joe Russo himself. Joe plays a regular…well, Joe in a support group for people grieving the loved ones they lost when Thanos snapped them, and half of the universe, out of existence with the Infinity Gauntlet at the end of the last Avengers movie, Infinity War.

He just talks about going on his first date since losing his male partner, so it’s no big come to Gay Jesus moment or anything. But it’s…something?

“It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them,” Joe Russo told Deadline. “We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that. It is a perfect time, because one of the things that is compelling about the Marvel Universe moving forward is its focus on diversity.”

A major queer character would’ve been more compelling than a one-off nobody, but at least The Eternals is rumored to finally gay up the MCU with the first openly gay superhero.

But while we may have a little ways to go, post-Endgame, for a queer hero, let’s not forget the MCU’s queerest offering to-date: 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. A movie so gay it has a literal rainbow bridge in it:

A movie so gay it has Cate Blanchett serving you high-drama drag as noted evil diva Hela. I mean, Mother is out here conjuring headdresses by smoothing back her weave.

A movie so gay it has Jeff Goldblum serving you high-drama drag as intergalactic bossy bottom Grandmaster, whose face is beat for the Asgardian gods.

As previously discussed, Thor: Ragnarok also has Valkyrie, whom Tessa Thompson has confirmed is not only bisexual but down for a throuple with Thor and Captain Marvel. There are even slight nods to Valkyrie’s queerness, particularly a scene in which one of her warrior sisters is slain.

“In my mind,” Thompson said, “that was my lover.”

The Valkyries were so bad ass that Thor even wanted to be one as a kid, an admission that breezily subverts some masculine superhero tropes.

Thor: Ragnarok also has one of the best and most lovingly filmed Thor shirtless scenes, a prerequisite for every Thor—and if there was any justice, every Chris Hemsworth—film.

Let’s just take a moment to really soak in this post-haircut, made-over Thor, just overflowing with BDE: Big Daddy Energy.

Not to be outdone, there’s even a long overdue naked Hulk.

Sure, Thor acts all coy, but he’s as curious as we all are. And the pay-off is some good old Hulk butt.

I don’t know what I was expecting, and maybe the CGI technology isn’t there yet, but I just wanted more out of this butt.

With a name like The Incredible Hulk…it’s a little disappointing, is all.

But that’s really the only thing that I wanted more of from this movie since it’s so delightfully over-the-top. And much of the credit goes to New Zealand filmmaker and comedian Taika Waititi, as well as writers Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost. Waititi also voiced the character Korg, a cheeky—and gay—rock monster.

“We wanted to change the idea of what a hulking guy made of rocks could be,” Waititi said of Korg. “He’s huge and heavy, but with a light soul.”

Thor: Ragnarok’s queerness exists just below the surface, but it truly runs throughout the entire film, from its vibrant color scheme to the central relationship between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

At its heart, Thor: Ragnarok is a buddy comedy, the genre that has gifted us with cinema’s greatest and queerest bromances, from Butch and Sundance to Goose and Maverick. Thor and Hulk’s relationship is really given a lot of the focus, but we also get a bit of the sibling rivalry between Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who, if we’re being honest, is a giant flaming faggot.

You heard me, queen! Live your truth! Loki is the OG stunt queen, pulling off tomfoolery and shenanigans for the hell of it, like usurping his father’s throne just to throw a petty ass play that pokes fun at his infinitely more powerful brother, or disavowing any knowledge of said brother after he shows up threatening to disturb the cushy arrangement he’s made with Grandmaster.

Now that’s a buddy comedy/sex farce waiting to happen: Grandmaster and Loki. Two ambitious bottoms reaching for the top. Though, I feel like these antlers really say “power top.”

Just me?

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat