In Case You Missed It: Queer and Disabled Edition

Hello and welcome to In Case You Missed It, Queer and Disabled edition! Okay, I’m kidding, this won’t become a series. Probably. Anyway, today I wanted to talk about some exciting announcements that have happened recently. First, let’s talk about the Marvel related ones. There were A LOT of them!

I specifically want to focus on a couple, so let’s start with the movie – Eternals. This is an amazing announcement for several reasons. Let’s start with who the Eternals are. They’re a race of immortal aliens who were sent to Earth to protect it from the Deviants, and they’re thousands of years old. In the comics, the Eternals are the ones who inspired human mythology like Quetzalcoatl, the Greek and Roman gods, and so on. Since this is obviously a lesser-known comic in mainstream society, Marvel took quite a few creative liberties with this. They changed three characters who are men in the comics to women for the movie. And they went even further on one specific character, named Makkari. They’re regarded as the fastest hero in the Marvel universe, has superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes, and the aptitude to design various high-velocity transport vessels. Basically, they’re smart and superfast. As you can see, in the comics Makkari is a white hearing man. The person they cast to play Makkari is the amazing Lauren Ridloff. I. AM. SO. EXCITED. She’s Deaf, a woman, and Black and Mexican! This makes her the first ever deaf superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before you try to argue this, I’m specifically saying the MCU. There are a couple others – Echo, who only exists in the comics for now, and Hawkeye, who is deaf only in the comics. It’s very unlikely they’ll make him deaf in the MCU, and I kind of don’t want them to. It’s great that he’s deaf and all, but it’s often as a plot device. There is a run where he learns sign, and uses that with a combination of hearing aids, and so on. However, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye started in the MCU before he went deaf in the comics – so this is not a case of casting a hearing person to play a deaf person. There’s also Blue Ear and Sapheara but I don’t really know much about them beyond that they were created to make deaf kids feel better about wearing their cochlear implants. Plus, part of the comics were sponsored by Phonak… SO! Lauren Ridloff, aka Makkari, is the first deaf superhero in the MCU! Sidenote, this will be the first Marvel movie to be directed by an Asian and Chinese woman, Chloé Zhao. You bet I’ll be heading to the theaters to see this once it’s out, maybe even more than once if it’s that good!

Now, another Marvel-related announcement is Thor 4, also known as Thor: Love and Thunder. A couple of exciting things with that one. Natalie Portman will be returning, but she will also be taking on the role of Thor, by using Mjölnir most likely. What I’m more hype for is that Valkyrie is now the King of Asgard, and will be looking for a queen. Yes, a QUEEN. That officially makes Valkyrie the first openly queer superhero in the MCU. Again, this is specifically in the cinematic universe, there are multiple openly queer characters in the comics, including Valkyrie! So it’s not in just the MCU that she’s queer. Kevin Fiege, the head of Marvel Studios, has confirmed that Valkyrie will have an openly queer relationship in Love and Thunder. Here’s a quote from him: “The answer is yes. How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you’ll see across our films, not in just Thor 4.” This is amazing, not only because we’ll finally have a queer character on screen, Valkyrie is played by Tessa Thompson who is also openly bisexual. I am READY for this. I am cautiously optimistic though, because while I’m sure Tessa and others will do their best to make this representation happen, I’m afraid of this just being hype. Remember that Beauty and the Beast “gay moment” fiasco? Yeah… ANYWAY! Openly queer superheroes on the big screen, woo!

To wrap up this video, let’s do something that combines both queerness and being deaf! That would be the TV show, This Close. I’ve talked about this show on this channel before, and I really enjoyed the first season. This show is about two best friends who are deaf and live in Los Angeles. It explores themes of love and friendship, with drama sprinkled in of course. What I really appreciate about this show is that it’s written and acted by deaf people, so there’s authentic writing and authentic representation of deaf people. SundanceTV announced the second season way back in May, but they just released the trailer, and it looks fantastic! This Close season two will be premiering on September 12, and there’ll be eight half-hour episodes, all released within two weeks. Mark your calendars!

That’s the three big things I wanted to mention in case you missed it, let me know in the comments what thing you’re excited about that’s coming out. It can be one of the things I mentioned in this video, or something completely unrelated!

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