The problem Marvel has sometimes run into in recent years is working the more inspired elements of the MCU into their comics in a logical, elegant way. It’s one thing to have the X-Men go through a black leather phase in the aftermath of their first movie or give Spider-Man organic webshooters to mirror the Sam Raimi films. But too often, Marvel seems intent on bending over backwards to arbitrarily make its comics more like the movies. Nick Fury is often seen as the most glaring example. Marvel went out of its way with 2011’s Battle Scars to both introduce a new, Samuel L. Jackson-inspired version of Fury and have him replace the established version of Fury. And to what end?
I’ve typically had a number of issues with Marvel’s approach to this. First, as the article from IGN mentions, we often don’t see much of a payoff to having these characters sync up in the books and on screen. I can almost guarantee this isn’t getting more people to read the books, especially since the stories that bring them into comics usually aren’t particularly interesting or well-crafted.
Second, the strange link between the movies and comics has created an issue of predicability for the comics. If there’s a new Captain America movie arriving in theatres you can bet Marvel will be pushing hard to bring the comic book Steve Rogers back from the dead, another dimension, or alternate timeline. New Spider-Man movie coming out? You can count on whatever crazy story the character is involved in to be resolved and the book to be relaunched in time for the release date of the film.
Third is the flood of new books based around characters in upcoming movies. I understand this from a business perspective but, sadly, many of these books rarely last past a year or so. Also, I’d have to imagine that heading into a comic book shop and seeing three or four books staring Deadpool or Spider-Man would be confusing for the new or casual reader to understand, which seems counterproductive to the whole idea of syncing these two universes up in the first place.
Thompson’s Valkyrie is on of the most exciting and dynamic additions to the MCU in years, and it’s obvious why Marvel would want to make that character a major player in its comic book universe.
With all these points in mind, ensuring that the Valkyrie from the movie matches the one in the new Exiles book does make sense to me and the concept doesn’t fall into any of the pitfalls previously mentioned. The fans enjoyed her in Thor: Ragnarok and the comic book version hasn’t really been utilized effectively for a long time. I’m excited to see where they take her going forward.