Loki will be gender-fluid and pansexual in YA author Mackenzi Lee’s upcoming three-book series based on the Marvel Comics character. Tom Hiddleston, who portrayed the villain Loki in The Avengers and the Thor films, became one of the most surprising stars born of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Hiddleston’s star rose in Hollywood, so too did Loki’s star rise at Marvel Comics. Loki became more popular than ever, especially with younger readers, earning his own monthly solo comic book series – Loki, Agent of Asgard – for the first time in the company’s history.

It offers no surprise then that Marvel Comics has chosen to capitalize on Loki’s popularity by making him the focus of the first of a three-book young adult historical-fiction series. Marvel has already seen critical and commercial success with young adult novels set in their universe, with books focused on the adventures of Black Widow and Squirrel Girl. The new series will be written by author Mackenzi Lee, who achieved fame with her original young adult novel, The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue.

Related: Loki Aligns With Thanos in Infinity War

Lee sparked controversy this past weekend on her Twitter account, with a proclamation that “Loki is a canonically pansexual and gender-fluid character.” This was said in response to a fan who asked, in response to Lee’s announcement that she would be writing the series and that Loki would headline the first novel, if Loki would be portrayed as a queer character. This would be in keeping with the status quo within Marvel Comics, where Loki has been portrayed in both male and female forms and acted flirtatiously towards men and women.

Loki Marvel Comics Loki Will Be Pansexual & Gender Fluid In New Marvel Comics YA Novel

Outrage was quick to spark among a small but vocal movement of Marvel Comics readers , who have been quick to protest any of the company’s recent attempt at diverse portrayals of their characters. These anti-fans complain that “social-justice warriors” are ruining comics for them and causing Marvel Comics to lose money and readers as a result. Their efforts at fighting-back have included driving Mockingbird author Chelsea Cain off of Twitter following the release of a cover in which the heroine wore a t-shirt which read “Ask Me About My Feminist Agenda” and organized boycotts of Captain America following Sam “Falcon” Wilson’s taking up Steve Rogers’ shield.

What these protesters seem ignorant of is that the original Norse myths – which inspired Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s original The Mighty Thor comics – are filled with evidence of Loki’s queer nature. Many stories show Loki using his shape-shifting powers to transform himself into the form of a woman as part of his plotting. One story in The Poetic Edda, a 13th century collection of ancient Norse tales, depicts Loki changing into a female horse, being impregnated by the stallion Svaðilfari, and going on to give birth to Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged steed and “the best of all horses.

While it seems unlikely that particular tale will be part of Avengers: Infinity War, there has been little said about Loki’s LGBTQ status on-screen so far. Tom Hiddleston, for his part, said that he believed Loki to be bisexual in a 2013 interview.The only thing that seems certain in the face of all of this is Loki’s continued popularity, whatever or whoever he/she/they may be at the moment.

MORE: Infinity War Could Be the End of Loki in the MCU

Source: Mackenzi Lee

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