valkyrie marvel comics

In a movie jam-packed with scene-stealing characters (Korg!) and moments (Thor imitating Loki turning into a snake!), Tessa Thompson‘s Valkyrie threatened to steal the entirety of Thor: Ragnarok. Her beer-guzzling, tortured mercenary swaggered into Thor’s life and into the pop culture pantheon, becoming far and away the fan favorite character of the movie. And now she’s making her way to the Marvel comic books, too.

A new version of Valkyrie, modeled very closely on Thompson’s mercenary introduced in Thor: Ragnarok, will make her debut in the Marvel comic Exiles.

Entertainment Weekly debuted the first look at the new version of Valkyrie, who won’t technically be the Marvel Cinematic Universe version originated by Thompson, but she sure does look and act a hell of a lot like her. This Valkyrie, who dons an outfit similar to Thompson’s mercenary garb that we were first introduced to in Thor: Ragnarok, is worlds away from the blonde, majestic Asgardian Valkyrie that was first introduced elsewhere in Marvel Comics. But there’s room in the comic book world for two Valkyries — the Exiles version comes from an alternate reality (a common trope in comics) alongside the rest of her teammates.

Writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Javier Rodriguez’s Exiles series features alternate versions of some of our favorite diverse superheroes, including the portal-opening mutant Blink, a dark future version of Ms. Marvel named Khan, Iron Lad, and a cute miniature version of Wolverine from the X-Babies.

Ahmed said in a statement:

“Valkyrie’s a character who’s always appealed to me. 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. She’s a classic Marvel heroine. But the Exiles version of Valkyrie is a bit different from what we’ve seen in comics thus far. Our Valkyrie is known as the Lone Defender of Asgard, and she’s a tankard-draining, maiden-wooing, giant-slaying thunderbolt of a woman. 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.”

It’s not uncommon for Marvel comics to borrow from the cinematic versions of its characters, especially when they take off in popularity like Thompson’s Valkyrie did. It allows them to flesh out the characters beyond their two-hour feature film arcs, and perhaps explore aspects that were under-explored. That’s right, I’m talking about Valkyrie’s bisexuality, which Thompson teased during the Thor: Ragnarok press tour, but was essentially nonexistent in the film itself (unless you count Valkyrie becoming so distraught at one of her fellow Valkyries, and possible lover, dying that she flees to exile). It does seem that Ahmed is teasing that this Valkyrie will be emphatically bisexual with his “maiden-wooing” description.

The first issue of Exiles hits stores on April 11, 2018.

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