All The New Info From The Genshin Impact Version 2.7 Livestream

It’s official! After being delayed for several weeks due to the COVID-19 lockdowns currently in place in Shanghai, Genshin Impact‘s next patch will arrive at the very end of this month, on May 31st. This morning, players got their first look at the new patch through the official 2.7 livestream, which highlighted upcoming character banners (including some hotly-anticipated character reruns), a brand new chapter of the game’s over-arching storyline, new Story Quests and hang-outs, several intriguing limited-time events and minigames, and a couple of relatively minor miscellaneous announcements.

Genshin Impact
Xiao | gameinformer.com

As expected, the two new characters debuting in Version 2.7 will be Yelan and Kuki Shinobu – the former a five-star character available through a limited-time banner during the first few weeks of the new patch, the latter a four-star character releasing in the second half of the patch but immediately thereafter becoming a permanent addition to the standard banner. I’ll be going after both of these characters, and hoping to nab at least one, but I’m especially intent on getting Yelan, a Hydro bow-user…not so much because I’m blown away by her playstyle demo (as I mentioned in my last post, I don’t love Genshin Impact‘s archery mechanics), but because Yelan’s backstory is intimately entwined with the lore of the Chasm and the nation of Liyue, even more so than I originally guessed.

Yelan is the owner of the Yanshang Teahouse in Liyue Harbor, a building currently inaccessible to players (who will be turned away from the doors by the Teahouse’s impolite hostess, Chuyi). It’s pretty apparent from Chuyi’s evasive voice-lines and the heavily-armed mercenaries guarding the building at all times that there’s more to the Teahouse than meets the eye at first glance, and most fans agree that Yelan is probably operating a casino or gambling-den in there (the dice-cube she wears on a choker around her neck lends credence to this theory).

If you’re wondering how on earth Yelan has gotten away with running a casino right under the noses of the Liyue Qixing all these years, then you’ll definitely want to check out her Story Quest when it debuts alongside her character in Version 2.7 – but I’ll share a little of the information I’ve gleaned from today’s live-stream to tide you over until then. Basically, it appears that the Teahouse is a front for a casino, but the casino itself is also a front for the Liyue Qixing’s own covert eyes-and-ears network on the streets of Liyue Harbor, and Yelan keeps files on all of the city’s most notable residents (including the player themselves) and reports back to Lady Ningguang, head of the Liyue Qixing, with any pertinent information she comes across. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s better or worse than simply running a casino.

In any case, we have Yelan to thank for rescuing us from the Ruin Serpent at the bottom of the Chasm, so I can’t be too hard on her for spying on me all this time if it means she keeps following me around and getting me out of trouble at convenient moments (she will continue doing that, right?). In Version 2.7, during the Archon Quest “Perilous Trail”, players will join Yelan on an expedition into the Chasm to discover what else is lurking down there, including the nameless Electro Yaksha who went missing in the Chasm after leading Liyue’s Millelith to victory in a battle against monsters from the Abyss five-hundred years before the start of Genshin Impact.

We won’t be the only ones looking for the Electro Yaksha, either. For whatever reason, the Liyue Harbor-based lawyer Yanfei will accompany us, as well as two characters from Inazuma – Arataki Itto (who will be one of two five-star characters returning for limited-time reruns in Version 2.7) and Kuki Shinobu, the new four-star. Meanwhile, the Anemo Yaksha Xiao (the other returning five-star) will enter the Chasm separately after apparently hearing the Electro Yaksha’s voice calling out to him, and we’ll probably have to stop him from sacrificing himself in a desperate attempt to save his long-lost friend.

Genshin Impact
Yelan | altchar.com

I won’t be surprised if in the end it turns out that the Electro Yaksha has actually been dead for centuries, and that the voice luring Xiao to the Chasm belongs to a lingering memory of the Electro Yaksha preserved in the strange dark mud of the Chasm. Yes, the mud in the Chasm somehow retains memories…don’t ask me how, I don’t understand it fully yet, either, I just know that after Zhiqiong accidentally stumbled into the mud she started rambling on about Khaenri’ah or some other ancient civilization and ugh, Genshin lore makes my head hurt.

The main character’s twin sibling also shows up in the teaser trailer for the new Archon Quest, in some kind of hallucination or dream-sequence brought on by the dark mud – their memory, and that of the Electro Yaksha’s, is almost certainly being used to deceive the player and Xiao into descending to the depths of the Chasm, whether or not the malevolent being behind all this is the Electro Yaksha, the Electro Yaksha’s sentient memory, or someone else entirely; perhaps a member of the Abyss Order who might know how to manipulate the Chasm’s dark mud?

As for everyone else accompanying us into the Chasm, Yelan is the only other character who has any ties to the region – and in the live-stream this morning, it was even hinted that she might have been born in or near the Chasm. Yanfei, Arataki Itto, and Kuki Shinobu probably get entangled in our mission while celebrating Shinobu’s graduation from law school in Liyue, but I can’t imagine what their role in the quest will be. The answer might lie in their elemental powers, which correspond to those of the missing or murdered Yaksha, something I first saw pointed out by Genshin theorist Ashikai on Twitter.

Speaking of Shinobu, she’s the four-star Electro sword-user from Inazuma whom players will have a chance to obtain in the standard banner in Version 2.7, and she’ll receive her own hang-out event in which we’ll learn about her backstory – including her time as a shrine-maiden at the Grand Narukami Shrine, studying to be a lawyer in Liyue Harbor, and putting her skills to good use helping Arataki Itto and the Arataki Gang do crime without actually breaking any laws on the streets of Inazuma City. Players will also get to participate in a limited-time rhythm game called The Almighty Arataki Great And Glorious Drumalong Festival where you can celebrate Shinobu’s graduation by playing special tunes to win rewards and by composing your own melodies based on Genshin’s original soundtrack.

As for the other limited-time events in Version 2.7, Realms Of Guile And War will feature several rounds of challenge domains where players will have a chance to win a new weapon, the event-exclusive bow Fading Twilight, while in A Muddy Bizarre Adventure players will need to clear the Chasm’s dark mud and battle mud-infected monsters (I’m telling you, that mud is important), and in Core Of The Apparatus players will help a toy-merchant assemble cute little robots that you can then place in your Serenitea Pot.

Genshin Impact
Inside the Serenitea Pot | pockettactics.com

A new soundtrack album for the Chasm, Genshin Impact Funko Pops, new features on the character screen to help players choose artifacts and level-up Talents…let’s see, did I miss anything else? Oh, of course, I almost forgot to mention the most important thing! As of Version 2.7, the Serenitea Pot will no longer be under maintenance, meaning players will finally get to refurbish and remodel their Pots, as well as place characters in their Pots and feed them flavorful dishes from this month’s Spices Of The West cooking event. As someone who didn’t get a chance to put any characters in my Pot before maintenance began, I know that’s what I’m most excited for, how ’bout you?

So what do you think of the announcements from the Version 2.7 livestream, and how excited are you for the new patch? Which characters will you be trying for, if any? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!

Shikanoin Heizou Is Finally Coming To Genshin Impact, And He Might Be The Game’s First Male Catalyst User!

Allow me to preface this post by explaining that, while I don’t and probably won’t frequently write about video games (to date, the only video game I’ve ever written about on this blog was Daedalic’s Gollum, and that was solely because the game was based on The Lord Of The Rings), Genshin Impact may be the exception to this rule, and I can’t promise that I won’t write about it more often in the future.

Shikanoin Heizou
Shikanoin Heizou | gensh.in

Reason being, I’m obsessed with the complex lore and mythology that informs nearly every detail of miHoYo’s vast open-world action RPG, and playing the game for the first time this year was kind of surreal for me because the themes and ideas that Genshin tackles are themes I’ve tried to implement into my own creative writing, and I’m about to start rambling on about Gnosticism so we’re just gonna have to put a pin in that conversation and get back on-topic, okay?

This morning, miHoYo unexpectedly debuted the first official artwork of Genshin Impact‘s newest playable character, Shikanoin Heizou, surprising players like myself who have been spending the last few weeks saving up our Primogems for future character and weapon banners while the release of version 2.7 is delayed indefinitely due to COVID lockdowns in Shanghai, China. I’ve amassed a respectable hoard of Primogems myself, which I expect to burn through pretty quickly while wishing for Yelan, the new five-star Hydro bow user coming in version 2.7, but maybe I’ll save a few for Heizou’s banner. He’s rumored to be a four-star character anyway, which means you could technically get him anytime by wishing on the standard banner.

In the official artwork, he wears an Anemo Vision on his belt alongside a short sword, but apparently his weapon of choice is a catalyst – which would make him the first male catalyst user in the game, and the second Anemo catalyst user after Sucrose, who’s already a very popular unit. Whether Heizou can compete with Sucrose’s crowd-control abilities or whether he fills a different niche role remains to be seen, but frankly I’m not the type of Genshin player who chooses to pull for a character based on their playstyle, or viability in the Spiral Abyss, or anything like that – as a prime example, I absolutely hate the game’s archery mechanics, but still want Yelan because I love her character design.

I’ll be honest, I don’t love Heizou’s character design. The distinctive moles under both his eyes are a nice little touch, and his maroon hair in and of itself is very striking, but there’s something about the way his mustard-yellow trousers clash with the purple in his hair that just isn’t…I don’t know, it feels like surely there were better color-combinations out there. I was personally hoping he would wear some heavily-stylized version of the Tenryou Commission uniform described in Sangonomiya Kokomi’s voicelines about Heizou, but alas, no. And that’s not me saying that I hate his official design, mind you, just that it needs time to grow on me.

Heizou
Sucrose, undisputed Anemo catalyst queen | polygon.com

Now let’s go over what we know about this character, who has never appeared in the game but is nonetheless the subject of several voicelines. Heizou works as a detective for the Tenryou Commission, and his knack for solving difficult cases is widely attributed to his “wild imagination”, “out-of-the-box perspective”, and “extraordinary intuition”. Sangonomiya Kokomi recalls being confused when he showed up on Watatsumi Island one day (presumably during the midst of the Inazuman civil war) wearing his Tenryou Commission uniform, while her right-hand man Gorou still harbors suspicions that the detective was a spy, despite his claims that he was only sightseeing.

Kamisato Ayaka describes Heizou as principled, “sometimes even more determinedly so than Miss Kujou”. Asking Kujou Sara about the detective will prompt a sigh from the Tenryou Commission officer, who refers to her colleague as “a headache” who “seems preoccupied with his personal schemes”. The Kamisato Estate’s housekeeper Thoma informs us that he steers clear of Heizou at all costs “because any situation that involves a detective is probably not one that’s going to end well.” Players can also find Heizou’s elder cousin Kano Nana at the Grand Narukami Shrine – she’ll describe her relative in exasperated terms as a troublemaker who “doesn’t like to abide by the rules” and is constantly disappearing for long periods of time.

Currently, we don’t know whether Heizou will have much significance to the overarching story and lore of Genshin Impact, but he’s the type of character I could definitely see being incorporated into upcoming limited-time events simply because he’s a detective, and we always seem to find ourselves entangled in small-scale mysteries during those events. I’m actually a little surprised that we didn’t enlist his help during last month’s Irodori Festival, when Kamisato Ayato had us running in circles around Ritou Island searching for clues regarding the secret identity of Kunikuzushi. That would have been the perfect opportunity to introduce the character.

So when will players get to meet Heizou? The fact that Genshin Impact is already promoting him suggests that he’ll be the next character to release after Yelan and Kuki Shinobu, who will both arrive in Version 2.7, so it’s safe to assume that he’s coming in Version 2.8, sometime within the next few months. He’ll probably be the last new Inazuman character for a little while, because the new region of Sumeru is expected to open up in Version 3.0 and will come with its own ensemble cast of characters, including the very first playable Dendro units.

Heizou
Traveler, Albedo, Paimon, Xingqiu, Ayaka, Venti, and Kazuha at the Irodori Festival | ph.news.yahoo.com

Whenever he finally debuts, will you be pulling for him? Do you have some other character you’re waiting for? How do you feel about Heizou’s character design, and what kind of radical differences in playstyle do you expect from the (rumored) first male catalyst user in Genshin Impact, if any? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!

Ayoola Smart Cast As “Wheel Of Time” Fan-Favorite Aviendha

SPOILERS FOR THE WHEEL OF TIME, BOOKS TWO THROUGH FOUR, AHEAD!

Did you know that JordanCon is a thing? Founded in 2009 to honor the life and legacy of fantasy author Robert Jordan, the convention has been held in the state of Georgia every year since (except for 2020, but as many appear to have forgotten, there was a global pandemic that year). Fans of The Wheel Of Time, the fourteen-volume fantasy series started by Jordan in 1990 and posthumously completed by Brandon Sanderson in 2013, flock to the convention in the hundreds to discuss the series with other fans and to attend lectures and panels by Jordan scholars on subjects ranging from the themes of his work to the Wheel Of Time adaptation which recently premiered on Amazon Prime’s streaming service.

Wheel Of Time
Tigraine Mantear, an Aiel spear maiden | pajiba.com

Notable guests and speakers at JordanCon have included Jordan’s successor Brandon Sanderson, widow and editor Harriet McDougal, illustrator Michael Whelan, and a number of Jordan’s peers and proteges, including Patrick Rothfuss and Saladin Ahmed. But this year, excitement was through the roof, as the cast and crew of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel Of Time hosted a hotly-anticipated Q&A panel to talk about the high points of season one – and the direction of the series going forward.

The biggest announcement, which trended on Twitter for a while and received attention from mainstream media outlets, was the casting of Killing Eve‘s Ayoola Smart as Aviendha of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel. You can immediately tell which professional journalists covering this story didn’t read the books or do any research into the books by skimming through their eerily similar descriptions of Aviendha. If they refer to her by a certain title she doesn’t actually acquire until book twelve, you can bet your bottom dollar they just copied-and-pasted the very first Google search result for Aviendha into their articles without worrying about how much of her character development they were unintentionally spoiling for new readers.

When we first meet her in The Dragon Reborn, three books into the series, Aviendha is merely one of many Aiel warriors sent over the Spine of the World to find Rand al’Thor and inform him that he is the Car’a’carn, a prophesied “chief of chiefs” who is supposed to unite the scattered clans of the Aiel and lead them into a new age (what Rand himself wants is as irrelevant to the Aiel as it was to the Aes Sedai). Aviendha follows Rand to the city of Tear, where she and the Aiel joins forces with Rand’s army to help him defeat Be’lal, one of the thirteen Forsaken, and recover the legendary sword Callandor from the Stone of Tear so that Rand can complete a totally unrelated prophecy.

The Wheel Of Time
Rand al’Thor | leisurebyte.com

As inspiring as Jordan’s description of this battle is, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for a live-action adaptation just yet. The second season of Amazon’s The Wheel Of Time is expected to condense the events of The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn into roughly eight hour-long episodes, which means that at least one of those seven-hundred page novels is inevitably going to be prioritized while the other is only mined for its important character introductions and necessary story beats. And showrunner Rafe Judkins has done what I think any writer would do in that situation, prioritizing The Great Hunt over The Dragon Reborn. It has a clean and cohesive narrative, excellent character development, and an aerial battle over the city of Falme.

Judkins excitedly confirmed at the JordanCon presentation that The Wheel Of Time will be heading to Falme in season two, so we can probably rule out the possibility of the characters visiting Tear in the same season – unless by some miracle there’s enough time, space, and money left over to justify building sets for a second massive fictional city, populating it with extras and designing new costumes for all of them, choreographing a second elaborate city-wide battle, etc. Keep in mind that season one could only afford three main locations, leading to the characters and cameras bypassing the cities of Baerlon and Caemlyn entirely. Expect similar situations going forward.

That’s not to say that a lot can’t still be done on a $80M+ budget, and honestly the bigger problem is Amazon’s refusal to order the ten or twelve episode seasons we deserve from a show of this sprawling scope, but I’m getting off-topic now. To sum up everything that we’ve learned; we’re going to Falme in season two, not to Tear, but Aviendha has also been cast, which probably just means that she and the other Aiel will be involved in the battle of Falme rather than the siege of the Stone of Tear (curiously, that also means the Aiel scouts in the show will have traveled over two-thousand miles further west than the Aiel scouts in the books).

Without spoiling too much of book four, The Shadow Rising, I’ll just say that Aviendha plays a major role in the story going forward, and that despite her humble beginnings she quickly becomes a power player on the same level as Egwene al’Vere and Nynaeve al’Meara, with abilities beyond just her physical strength and prowess in combat that come to light gradually. I’m very excited to see her character come to life onscreen, and I trust Ayoola Smart to do a fabulous job.

Wheel Of Time
Ayoola Smart | everymanplayhouse.com

What do you think of the casting? Was Aviendha one of your favorite characters in the books, and if so, how do you hope to see her adapted for Amazon’s The Wheel Of Time? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!

“Thor: Love And Thunder” Drops An Electrifying 1st Teaser Trailer

I’m truly sorry to all the straight guys out there who missed the memo, but Thor belongs to the gays and the girls now. And before you come at me like “what memo? I didn’t get a memo!”, well, you did, you just didn’t realize at the time that Cate Blanchett strutting around in a black bodysuit and antlers throughout the entirety of Thor: Ragnarok meant that the straights had officially lost custody of the franchise. It’s okay though, you had your shot, you gave us those two depressingly heteronormative Thor movies that nobody liked or watched, now it’s time for you to move over and let Taika Waititi show you how it’s done, AGAIN.

Thor Love And Thunder
Peter Quill and Thor | gameinformer.com

Waititi has been on a roll recently, and it’s in no small part thanks to the loyal queer fanbase he’s amassed. A fourth season of his extremely pansexual paranormal comedy series What We Do In The Shadows has already been shot, and will likely release later this year. The first season of HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death, a show about queer pirates in the 18th century which Waititi produced and stars in, has been dominating the streaming charts. And Thor: Love And Thunder is only a hundred days from release, and looks to be another surefire hit for Waititi and Marvel with its colorful 80’s aesthetics, zany new characters, and heavy focus on romances – including some queer ones.

There are at least three canonically queer characters in this film, and of those three, King Valkyrie is the one whom we know for a fact will be confirmed as queer onscreen. Technically, actress Tessa Thompson has been playing her as bisexual since her debut in Thor: Ragnarok, but explicit evidence of her bisexuality was left on the cutting-room floor because apparently it distracted from vital exposition…which sounds an awful lot like an excuse to me, but thankfully, King Valkyrie will return in a much larger role in Thor: Love And Thunder, and Thompson has stated as far back as 2018 that her character “needs to find her queen”.

Unsurprisingly, there have been several willing volunteers for that position already, including Jaimie Alexander (the MCU’s Lady Sif) and Brie Larson (whose Captain Marvel is heavily implied to be queer as it is). But in the brief glimpse we catch of King Valkyrie in the first teaser trailer for Love And Thunder, she appears to be merely daydreaming of her many suitors. Dressed in a fashionable black pinstripe suit, she leans back in the throne of New Asgard and zones out while being heckled by ambassadors from other nations. I confess, I’m actually interested to learn more about how New Asgard interacts with the world (i.e. do they participate in Eurovision?), but I would have liked to see her in a less formal setting for this trailer, perhaps even on a date.

Then there’s Korg and Peter Quill, and in both cases the comic versions of these characters are canonically queer while the MCU versions are not…or at least, not yet. To be fair, Quill was only finally confirmed as bisexual in the comics within the last two years, so it’s not like the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies released in 2014 and 2017 had any precedent for making the character bi (not that that should have stopped them, obviously). But now that such a precedent exists, it’s impossible for me to watch this teaser and simply ignore or overlook the implications behind Peter Quill’s subtly flirtatious interactions with Thor.

If only it weren’t equally impossible to be optimistic, given Disney and Marvel’s track-record when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation. Trust me, I desperately want to read way too much into Quill and Thor’s dialogue in this teaser, and the recent reports that Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 filmed scenes in a gay bar, and the tweets about Quill being bi that Guardians director James Gunn liked last year, but I can’t, or at least I don’t want to, because at the end of the day Quill is a male action hero in a franchise where male action heroes are designed to be salivated over by straight men specifically.

Also, with Chris Pratt continuing to attend and defend an evangelical church that supported the torture of LGBTQ+ people under the guise of “conversion therapy”, I’m not sure if I actually trust him to portray Peter Quill’s bisexuality well, nor do I think it would be received well by the bisexual community regardless. Yeah, it would be cool to have a lead male character in a Marvel movie be revealed as bi, but is it worth it if we have to put up with Chris Pratt either complaining bitterly about it, or worse, using it as a flimsy shield against criticisms of him and his homophobic church? I think I might rather just keep the two queer male action heroes we currently have in the MCU proper.

As for Korg, the friendly rock-giant has previously appeared in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame, but what’s never been mentioned – even in passing – is the fact that he’s a gay character in the comics. I believe there’s a slim chance that this will be remedied in Thor: Love And Thunder through some off-hand line of dialogue, although Waititi has already confirmed that Korg will not have a love interest in the new movie.

I mentioned that there at least three canonically queer characters in Love And Thunder, and we’ve now gone through all of those – but there’s a few more that I want to talk about, because we know from the teaser trailer that Thor will visit Mount Olympus, the domain of the Greek gods, and…well, if you know anything about Greek mythology, you know where I’m going with this. For those who don’t know, the Greek gods were unapologetically pansexual, long before the word even existed. That includes Zeus, who is set to make his MCU debut in Love And Thunder, portrayed by Russell Crowe. There’s a quick shot of him in the teaser trailer, dressed all in gold and holding aloft a lightning-bolt while addressing the gods of Mount Olympus.

Thor Love And Thunder
Jane Foster | polygon.com

Unfortunately for Zeus and probably 99.9% of everyone assembled in that crowd shot, the antagonist of Love And Thunder is none other than Gorr the God-Butcher, who has made it his mission to slaughter every deity from every pantheon, no matter how minor. But even if Zeus doesn’t make it out of this movie alive (and let’s be honest, he probably won’t), there are theories and credible rumors that his son, Hercules, will live to fight another day. Granted, there were also rumors he was the lead character of Eternals, which turned out to be…not true, but he’s the type of character I could easily envision first appearing in a Love And Thunder post-credits scene, clambering out of the rubble of Olympus and turning dramatically towards the camera.

He’s also bisexual in the Marvel Comics – and no, before you ask, I’m not referring to the parallel universe version of Hercules who dated a parallel universe version of Wolverine back in the mid-2010’s, I’m actually referring to the Earth 616 version of Hercules (i.e. the main version of the character) who recently started dating Noh-Varr and was implied to have slept with Northstar as far back as 2010. That Hercules.

So we’ve established that most of the supporting cast in Love And Thunder is, if not canonically queer, then at the very least potentially queer. But what about Thor himself? What about Jane Foster? Do they both just give off intense amounts of bisexual energy, or is there more to it than that?

To the best of my knowledge, neither character is queer in the comics, and while this should probably go without saying, the MCU versions of the characters have never been depicted as queer either. They were written to be star-crossed lovers in the first two Thor films, although it was never entirely clear why – Natalie Portman appeared to be bored out of her mind every time she had to act alongside Chris Hemsworth, and Hemsworth just looked uncomfortable and indifferent. But at the time, every other male action hero in the MCU had an intelligent girlfriend to counterbalance “his brawn with her brains”, and Thor apparently needed one too.

Natalie Portman wisely got out of the franchise before a male director could kill off her character for shock value, and the in-universe excuse for her absence in Thor: Ragnarok was that Jane broke up with Thor somewhere along the line, and it was messy, and they don’t talk to each other anymore. I don’t think they’ll get back together in Love And Thunder, either. There will probably be some romantic and sexual tension between them still (although Portman and Hemsworth need to put some effort into delivering on that front), but I feel pretty certain that by the end of this film the two characters will part amicably, as friends or frenemies, after finally acknowledging and owning up to their mistakes.

There’s a distinct possibility that Jane will also become Valkyrie’s queen, which could be interesting; we know next to nothing about her, so who’s to say she’s not bisexual? That could be something she discovered after breaking up with Thor, or it could be part of why she chose to break up with him in the first place. Thor has been on a journey of self-discovery these past few years, so he can certainly relate.

In fact, Thor might be able to relate on multiple levels. In that aforementioned flirty moment with Peter Quill, it’s Thor who repeatedly tries to lock eyes with Quill while he’s talking about…looking people you love in the eyes. Quill breaks eye-contact and clarifies that he wasn’t talking about himself, leading to an awkward and very intriguing moment in which Thor bites his lip, looks off to the side, and mumbles “What? Just listening”. It might just be a joke that uses homoeroticism as a punchline, which would be disappointing, but fans got very excited about the idea of Thor having a crush on Quill.

(That being said, the claim that was going around social media yesterday that “Thor is canonically pansexual in the comics” is totally false, and I don’t know where that originated but I couldn’t find any source for it. You want to headcanon him as pansexual, be my guest, but don’t go around saying that he is and praising Marvel for it or attacking other people for saying he’s bisexual).

Thor Love And Thunder
Thor | thedisneyblog.com

So is Thor: Love And Thunder about to be the gayest movie that Marvel has ever made? You’d better believe it. Is the bar for mainstream LGBTQ+ representation depressingly low? Absolutely. Is this a textbook example of fans (like myself) creating the representation we seek, and doing Marvel’s job for them? Possibly. I have a limited but not insubstantial amount of faith in Taika Waititi to give us representation onscreen, or at the very least to tell us what he wasn’t allowed to show us, and I hope Marvel’s promises regarding better LGBTQ+ representation aren’t entirely empty, but it’s difficult not to be cynical, and I understand the benefits of being cynical.

I won’t say “wait to see the movie”, because I hate that studios are able to lure fans into the theater on the promise of representation alone, but for now I guess let’s just hope for the best.

Trailer Rating: 9.5/10