The final cast member of Marvel's new Exiles series has been revealed. Joining a collection of characters from different dimensions of the Marvel multiverse will be a character openly based on Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok -- not technically from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with a very close resemblance.
"Though she's not technically from the Marvel Cinematic Universe reality, she's basically the literalization of the larger-than-her-physical-frame swagger that Tessa Thompson displayed in Thor: Ragnarok, turned up to 11," series writer Saladin Ahmed said in a Marvel press release.
"Valkyrie’s a character who’s always appealed to me," Ahmed said. "Her iconic warrior-woman look — spear! sword! flying horse! — but also the juxtaposition of a kickass ancient fantasy hero operating in contemporary New York City." This version of Valkyrie was described by Ahmed as a "tankard-draining, maiden-wooing, giant-slaying thunderbolt of a woman."
"Maiden-wooing" certainly suggests that, like past comics versions of the character, the Exiles character will be gay or bisexual. (Ahmed has confirmed on Twitter, "Yes, she's queer.") Thompson stated on Twitter that Thor: Ragnarok's Valkyrie was bisexual, but the actual film didn't portray her sexuality in an overt manner, other than in a scene that was ultimately from the film.
Ahmed admitted that the Exiles creative team, including himself and artist Javier Rodriguez, was a fan of Thompson's portrayal of the character in Ragnarok and couldn't turn down the opportunity to bring her into Marvel comics.
On Twitter, Ahmed praised Rodriguez's Valkyrie character design, saying the artist delivered "a character as physically big as Ms. Thompson's presence."
thank you for all the supportive words on this project, you guys. I have to give @javiercaster huge props for really getting what I meant with this design - I wanted a character as physically big as Ms. Thompson's presence, if that makes sense. And man, did Javier deliver. pic.twitter.com/tYMfna2ODM
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) January 8, 2018
Valkyrie will join Blink, Khan (a grizzled, old version of Kamala Khan), Wolvie (a chibi-style version of Wolverine) and Iron Lad in an effort to save the multiverse. Along the way, she'll more than likely drink and fight her way through plenty of enemies, not unlike Thompson's Valkyrie in Ragnarok.
Exiles #1 is scheduled for release on April 11, with issue #2 following two weeks later.