Good Thing: Valkyrie Is The Best, In Any Medium
Valkyrie is one of my favorite Marvel characters, even if she's always been a bit of a B-lister. She's a woman warrior who's never afraid to be aggressive and take what's hers. Indeed, it would be easier just to say that's she's never afraid, period. She's a mainstay of my favorite Marvel team, the Defenders, and she's also probably the only Marvel Asgardian who never stood in Thor's shadow.
What's great about Valkyrie is that she was created as a joke and then became something more. When Roy Thomas and John Buscema created her for Avengers #83, she was literally a parody of the "Women's Lib" movement of the era, or what we now call Second-Wave Feminism. She blatantly hates men, and recruits other female heroes to her aggressive all-woman team, which is portrayed as a laughable idea. And then she turned out not to even be a real character --- she was the Enchantress in disguise all along.
But when Steve Englehart introduced her into The Defenders, all of that changed. The Enchantress placed the Valkyrie persona into the body of a woman named Barbara Norris, whose mind had been destroyed. In this form, she was given a chance to grow into a real character. She was still an outspoken feminist, but that was no longer equated with cartoonish misandry.
And over the course of her many years as a Defender, she was given a real backstory. No longer just an invention of the Enchantress, she turns out to be an actual Valkyrie named Brunnhilde, whose soul had been entrapped by the Enchantress. Eventually she separated from Barbara Norris, and became fully her own person.
She was even allowed to be vulnerable, alienated first by her lack of self-knowledge, and then as her true history was uncovered, by being millennia and worlds away from her home. In time, the Defenders became her family. She gained the confidence of the Hulk, became best friends with Hellcat, and even flirted with Namor. And of course she continued to keep her male teammates' sexism in check, which is a full-time job when you're on a team with Dr. Strange.
As a longtime Valkyrie fan, I never expected to see her in a movie until news came out that Tessa Thompson would play her in Thor: Ragnarok. And this week, thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we've seen what she looks like in the role.
Obviously she's different from the comics version of the character, but she radiates strength, and that's the most important thing. Also Thompson has given fantastic performances in diverse projects like Creed, Dear White People, and Westworld, so there's no doubt she can bring something special to Valkyrie, and I for one can't wait to see it.
In Good Thing we celebrate something we love from comics or pop culture, because every day could use something good.