Marvel tiptoed into the lady-dominated domain of daytime TV today to announce via The View that as of October, Thor will be a female character.
The idea: Thor somehow becomes unworthy of his mighty hammer, and so a qualified woman steps up. Bam, now we've got a female Thor. (It was really a treat hearing Whoopi Goldberg explain all this, by the way. Whoopi Goldberg for Nerd President!) From the company's announcement, via The Mary Sue:
"The inscription on Thor's hammer reads 'Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.' Well it's time to update that inscription," says Marvel editor Wil Moss. "The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute – she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!"
"This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe," added Jason Aaron, who'll be writing the series.
There are many things to love about this announcement. Thor is a long-running Marvel property who's fairly well-known thanks to the Avengers movies, and the company is handing it over to a female character. The teaser image is more than eye candy. They haven't shared much plot, but what's there sounds compelling.
Even better, some crybaby fans are flipping their lids over the gender change-up, inspiring this zinger from Joss Whedon:
That said: Marvel, please don't make the mistake of thinking this is all the bone you've gotta throw the ladies.
Check the rest of their press release:
THOR is the latest in the ever-growing and long list of female-centric titles that continues to invite new readers into the Marvel Universe. This female THOR is the 8th title to feature a lead female protagonist and aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls.
They announced on The View, for crying out loud. They couldn't be clearer about their intentions if they'd partnered with Kotex. Translation of this whole deal: HEY LADIES, we would like your hard-earned money, thanks!
But when Marvel blasted everyone with a breathless press release Monday, teasing the announcement ("MARVEL ANNOUNCES AN ALL-NEW THUNDERING TITLE ON 'THE VIEW'"), hopes ran even higher. Could it be a wholly new female superhero, or perhaps even a Black Widow spinoff movie? Nope! It makes a pretty neat illustration of the gap between what women want and what Marvel is apparently willing to provide.
And while female Thor sounds like a pretty cool development, let's keep this in perspective. Comic books are constantly swapping characters in and out. There's no revamp they can't revert or otherwise wriggle out of. This is a story arc, not a permanent change. Within six months she'll probably be dead or demoted and Dude Thor will have reclaimed his hammer.
Plus, at this point, the movies are the big blockbuster business. They're the big cultural event. So where's my Black Widow movie? Practically every dude in Hollywood is getting a turn as a superhero (Paul Rudd?!), while Scarlett Johansson has patiently glowered her way through several movies without getting her own project. Stop leaving the job of saving the planet to a bunch of jacked-up dudes in spandex. Put your money where your mouth is, Marvel.
Anyway, here's the new Thor in all her glory: