BiMediaWatch October 2017: Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale & Thor
The relentless run of comics being turned into films continues, and Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok (out October 27) is bisexual – though it feels a bit like when J K Rowling declared Dumbledore was gay after the last Harry Potter book was long since published. We only know about Valkyrie thanks to a tweet from the actress involved: replying to a tweet that her character was a “big ole lesbian” in the comics, Tessa Thompson answered starting with the short correction, “she’s bi.” It turns out a hint to her interest in women was cut from the cinema edit. Maybe we’ll get a ‘bisexual cut’ of the film in a couple of years, and all be able to freeze frame on ‘the bisexual moment’.
There’s an interesting question in that. Do we as bi viewers nonetheless ‘read’ characters as straight or gay until they are specificially presented as bisexual somehow, and if so are we doing the same job of bisexual erasure as so many people around us do in the real world?
It’d be pleasant to just assume every character is bi until the narrative declares otherwise – heck, where would slash fiction be without deciding that could be so. But for people working out they are bi and lacking a network of supportively queer friends, we still need things to be made explicit.
Legends of Tomorrow
Speaking of cartoon characters, Constantine ran for just a year as a series and drew criticism for failing to reflect the bisexuality of the character from the comic on screen. Matt Ryan will return to the role for a single episode of Legends Of Tomorrow (Sky 1). Legends Of Tomorrow’s show producers are a bit less 1950s than Constantine’s were so we are promised a more rounded depiction of the character this time.
As I write, Vanessa Morgan is about to debut as Toni Topaz in the Archies Comics show on the CW, winning her our BCN coverbi spot this issue.
One programme isn’t a guarantee of the quality of another but the CW are the people who gave us Daryl and the magnificent Gettin’ Bi song in Crazy Ex Girlfriend. Good luck to the show producers now our expectations are so high… especially after the teasers coming out about her role in the show include that Toni’s arrival poses a challenge for Jughead and Betty’s relationship. The bisexual as a relationship wrecker, you say? Now there’s a trope we’ve never seen on television before. Maybe it won’t pan out that way.