EDITORIAL: Why A Female THOR Is A Positive That Should Be Celebrated

EDITORIAL: Why A Female THOR Is A Positive That Should Be Celebrated

Marvel's big reveal on The View today has sparked a major discussion within the comic book community, with positive and negative reactions to the new female Thor. But I think this is a fantastic idea that champions female representation and keeps the character fresh.

So, just in case you missed the big announcement — Thor is now a woman. Marvel revealed that the original God of Thunder will lose the ability to wield Mjölnir, and a new female character will take up the mantle. Not as Lady Thor, or She-Thor, but Thor. For some reason, people appear to have a problem with this. I’m going to go through some of the complaints voiced by fans so far, and offer reasons why this is a positive step forward in terms of character and representation.


Why are they messing with a beloved character?


Sometimes I don’t like characters being radically changed, and sometimes I’m all for it. In recent years, and even months, we’ve seen different takes on Wally West, Dick Grayson and one of the most beloved characters in comics, Spider-Man. Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man was a critical and financial hit. I wasn’t a massive fan of it myself, but I admit that it certainly did offer a fresh take on a long-running character. But I am loving the idea of a woman as Thor. It really excites me.


Here’s the thing: Thor has been around for 52 years, and the original character from Norse mythology for hundreds more. And for him to survive for another 50 years, you need to mix him up, change the status quo. I’m not too knowledgable on Thor's comic history, but I’m aware that creative teams have ushered in a new direction, tone or concept. This is exactly that. Without change, characters would get stale! And sure, the original God of Thunder will return eventually, much like Peter Parker returned to the Spider-Man mantle, but this will let writers and artists stretch their legs, explore a new side of Thor and the world surrounding the character. Sometimes there are small changes, and this is an example of a major change.


Why didn’t they just create a new superheroine?


This one’s simple: because it wouldn’t sell. This is kind of the second part of the above question — why change a popular character? Why not just make a new one? Female superheroines are a positive, asserting a gender that is just as involved in the superhero community as men. They have evolved over the years from symbols of superhero hetrosexuality to dynamic, interesting characters in themselves. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to sales. Marvel's biggest female-lead titles, X-Men, Captain Marvel, Black Widow and Elektra for example, aren't the most massive sellers month after month, and while they endure, they're not cash cows for the publisher like Superior Spider-Man, for one.


Why would Marvel create a new superheorine, perhaps similar to Thor, and run the risk of a low-selling title when they could put a new spin on an established character? There’s no guarantee that this new hero would be popular enough for a series, let alone a long-running, successful series. The announcement has already generated interest in the concept, and I’d say there are a lot of people (women in particular) drawn to Thor because of it. I honestly think more people will read a Thor book in three months time than currently; I'm not reading Jason Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder, but I most definitely will be checking this out.


There already are female superheroes. Why not just enhance them?


Much like racial diversity, gender representation in comics has come a long way, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. This announcement is step in the right direction, and creates a prominent, strong female figure that will be one of the most talked about and promoted Marvel comics this year. Thor is one of the publisher's flagship characters. Having a woman slipping into the character establishes a sense of familiarity but also a breath of fresh air — that a woman can be THE GOD OF THUNDER. There’s absolutely no reason that she can’t. 


What I’m trying to get at here is that the decision provides a welcome change. This doesn’t have to happen to every major superhero, but by shifting one, it’s already sending the right message. Not only does it refresh the character, and give them longevity, but it sends a positive message to the loyal female readers who are still fighting for proper representation. Hopefully this new Thor will take off and prove incredibly popular.


And if you have a problem with it, why don’t you wait until October, read it, and judge it for yourself? 


As always, CBM, thanks for reading what is sure to one of many articles on the topic. Feel free to leave your thoughts on a female Thor in the comments below, and of course, hitting that red glove would be very much appreciated. Until next time!

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Abary - 7/15/2014, 7:26 PM
Well, @DrDoom changed Tony Stark to a woman with Earth-717, so why the hell not! I don't read as much modern comics as the next guy, but I'd surely be interested in seeing how this new Thor ends up. Nice article, thumbs up!
MightyZeus - 7/15/2014, 7:34 PM
I'm fine with Thor being a woman and honestly i don't see a problem with it. As AbaryMan said, DrDoom changed Tony Stark in to a woman in his 717 fan fic and i enjoyed reading through each chapter. I'm interested to see how this turns out and i'm sure that it'll be well received.

Thumbs up.
Darkknight2149 - 7/15/2014, 7:37 PM
Literally the only complaint I have with this is that there's already a Thor-Girl. Other than that, I think it's fresh and exciting that a woman was chosen to wield the hammer (Thor Odinson will now be The "Unworthy Thor").
ComicBookConnections - 7/15/2014, 7:39 PM
Im honestly just happy its more of a "passing of the mantle" rather then some gender-swapping storyline...it is someone new and fresh...it is a new character....but one we know....its kind of like if Cap retired and gave that girl American Dream (old character i think) the mantle and the right to call herself "Captain America"
NovaCorpsFan - 7/15/2014, 7:43 PM
You know how they said this is gonna happen because Thor's gonna do something that's gonna make him unworthy of Mjolnir or some shit. Yeah, what if he kills Wolverine?
WeddingTux - 7/15/2014, 7:54 PM

was Taylor Momsen the inspiration for Fem-Thor?

"The only role I’d say yes to is Thor in the Avengers films but Chris Hemsworth’s got that locked down -- Thor is the coolest character. He’s the god of thunder, the god of lightning and he’s got that hammer. That’s the only acting job I’d want." -Taylor Momsen
DrDoom - 7/15/2014, 7:57 PM
I can't believe that I'm being cited in comments. It just, ah . . . . I feel so honoured.

I'm excited to see what direction the Thor comics take with this.
Tainted87 - 7/15/2014, 8:00 PM
I don't read comics anymore, so you know, it doesn't move me any which way.
That said, I'm happy with just about every single gender-swap. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're stupid, but what they should be is awesome. They should, through the use their swap, show that men and women can be very much alike, but also very different. I had once suggested they make Flash a woman, and people went ape-sh*t.

I myself have to say that I can really really get into a story where a female character is depicted as completely gender-neutral - like Arya Stark - it's part of her appeal, in fact. For her, it's not even like she's spitting in the face of tradition, culture, and conditioning AND succeeding... she often falls flat on her face - literally. I would wager that Bran would be just about the same character had he been a girl - crippled and unable to bear children would be just as important as not being able to become a knight.

I think most fans forget that these comics are meant to sell, and in order to sell, they need to keep pulling readers in with new stuff. You can debate it all you want, and honestly, I think they like that - but it's a business.

From a fan standpoint, looking to my left and seeing the Mighty Thor Omnibus, I can point out in one big book which didn't even cover a decade - when Thor encountered alien superhero Beta Ray Bill and his spaceship who then proceeded to best the god of thunder and wield Mjolnir, when Thor was transformed into a frog by Loki, when he was burned/scared and grew a beard to hide it, when Hela cursed his body to be as fragile as a human's in anger for supposed immortality, and when he destroyed his own body to defeat the Destroyer.

Right before I stopped buying comics, Loki took the form of a woman. No one complained, and I think some people even said it gave "him" character.

Let's see what this new Thor has in store.
gamecreatorjj - 7/15/2014, 8:05 PM
It's not even the first time this has happened. People just act like babies sometimes. I remember a fan movement to make Tim Drake transgender (which isn't exactly the same thing), but people would have totally lost their minds. I think it's more of a "change is bad" thing. It happened when Dick became Batman, Bucky became Cap, Ock became Spider Man, and so on and so forth. That being said, it's not all that progressive either, I will believe this has any real merit, if Marvel sticks to their guns for at least a decade.

If a change in comics doesn't last a decade, then it was most likely a change for the worst. Superman should have been dead until Final Crisis, Batman until Flash Point. Don't give up on this next year because of Age of Ultron, stick with it for as long as you can.
Mrcool210 - 7/15/2014, 8:05 PM
Mrcool210 - 7/15/2014, 8:06 PM
^most "Fanboy" reactions
Doughdzm - 7/15/2014, 8:06 PM
Typically Im all for gender and race swapping. But I must say I hate how they make Thor seem so faulty without Mjolnir. But they couldve had Storm Wield the mighty hammer or let a brother become Wolverine next. IJS
AlexanderLykins - 7/15/2014, 8:09 PM
So is this character the actual Thor or not. I've read some crap that said it is the real Thor. If not, then I'm cool with it.
AlexanderLykins - 7/15/2014, 8:12 PM
I guess I'm just not sure how to take this.

Starkasm - 7/15/2014, 8:32 PM
Nice article. Thumbed.

Sometimes I think people want to read the same story over and over. These characters have been around for decades. Sometimes dramatic changes can breathe life into them.

I'll be picking this one up.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 7/15/2014, 8:43 PM
Couldn't have said it better my self. Nice article dude.
On a side note, she looks badass.
Lhornbk - 7/15/2014, 8:46 PM
I'm sorry, but this is just stupid. An attempt to have a female superhero just to be politically correct. Now, if they wanted to have some short or even medium length run (anywhere from 3-12 issues) where Thor becomes unworthy and someone else has to pick up the hammer, I would be okay with that. In fact, I think it would be cool if it was Lady Sif who took over. But she should stay "Lady Sif", not suddenly be called Thor. And keep Thor actively involved as he becomes worthy again. But having a blonde, female Thor lookalike is just dumb. And giving her the name Thor is even dumber. This isn't the same thing as having Carol Danvers take the mantle of Capt. Marvel, because Capt. Marvel is just the designation for a certain hero. Thor is just his name, not a superhero designation. You can give this girl the "God of Thunder" designation, but she shouldn't get his name too. At the very least, call her Lady Thor.
AnthonyLantern - 7/15/2014, 8:49 PM
She's not Thor, she is just THOR. The regular Thor is still alive, he's just not The Mighty THOR!
M3T4LL0 - 7/15/2014, 8:50 PM
Thor is a female... maybe next they'll turn Beta Ray Bill into this:

InfiniteMonkey - 7/15/2014, 8:52 PM
I hope Thor kills Wolverine.

Get that bastard dead already then hand over the hammer to a cool girl.
xMichaelxScottx - 7/15/2014, 8:52 PM
I only buy comics from a few series and just kind of catch up with the rest on here but I can most definitely say I'll pick this up.
Mastyrwerk - 7/15/2014, 8:53 PM
This is such a no brainer. It was built into the character from the beginning that whomever be worthy would be able to possess the power of Thor.

Anybody could be Thor. I could be Thor. You could.

We could get an African American Thor.

A ten year old Thor.

A mutant Thor.

What if it leads to a series of New Thors?
sintzu - 7/15/2014, 8:54 PM
what's so bad about having a female thor ? we have a batgirl,supergirl,ect so why is it a problim when we get a thor female ?
Lizardking310 - 7/15/2014, 8:54 PM
It's a stupid idea. I know marvel is trying to get their mainstream movie audience to read comics but it's not gonna happen and and lady thor will just get cancelled and the real
Thor will return once avengers age of Ultron is released in theaters
M3T4LL0 - 7/15/2014, 8:55 PM
@ Mastyrwerk

So you want a Clone Saga version of Thor? Thanks but no thanks.
Mastyrwerk - 7/15/2014, 8:56 PM
Cause it's not really possessing Thor's power, but the power of Thor possessing you, right?
Ramiel - 7/15/2014, 8:59 PM
This is Marvel shitting on Thor like they usually do. Before JMS jump on board, Quesada and his goons wmade Thor a laughing stock. The went back to shitting on Thor after JMS keft. And just when you thought Thor was getting the respect he deserves with Aaron and Esad on the helm, they return to the shitfest. Not only is Thor getting [frick]ed over in the MCU, he's also getting the shaft in the 616. I hope this title tanks. [frick] feminism btw!
MrSotoMan - 7/15/2014, 9:01 PM
I don't know.

Could be cool, could be bad, who knows. Just look how Miles turned out to be, cancelled then brought back...so who knows.
3DWitchHunt - 7/15/2014, 9:03 PM
We all know Thor will regain his place, so why make a big deal out of this?
As long as the story is crafted well, I could give two shits what Thor becomes; be it a woman, rabbit, stapler, whatever.

"[frick] feminism"
ScionStorm - 7/15/2014, 9:04 PM
This isn't a positive. This is someone's sick fetish fantasy. We already have Sif, Valkyrie, and Thor Girl. Valkyrie and Sif both have a fan following.
Mastyrwerk - 7/15/2014, 9:04 PM
Thor's Essence was imbued into Mjolnir by Odin. It used to be that Dr Donald Blake would transform into Thor, that they occupied the same space, right? So essentially, Thor is in the hammer, and the manifestation of Thor is projected through the worthy person who wields it.
Ramiel - 7/15/2014, 9:05 PM
Mastyrwerk - 7/15/2014, 8:53 PM
Report Comment
This is such a no brainer. It was built into the character from the beginning that whomever be worthy would be able to possess the power of Thor.

The inscription says, "...if HE be worthy...", as in male. No female should ever wield Mjolnir, especially one from earth.
Tato - 7/15/2014, 9:07 PM
so like marvels wonder woman
Ramiel - 7/15/2014, 9:10 PM

Sif and Captain Marvel are more like WW.
ScionStorm - 7/15/2014, 9:12 PM
@Sintzu- why does there need to be two fermale Thor characters in the 616? We already have asn estasblished character caslled Thor-Girl. why the hell do we need another one?
BlackBolt72 - 7/15/2014, 9:12 PM
Why not just promote the Valkyrie?
gaikinger - 7/15/2014, 9:14 PM
at least they didn't hive us a gay Thor...im sure thats coming to some unlucky hero down the road. im ready to see a parody of Wrecking Ball video with naked She-Thor riding Mew-mew. Better deal with the fact that we will always call her She-Thor while a woman.
m0th3r - 7/15/2014, 9:16 PM
And shortly before AoU it will return to status quo..we are getting a new (sam wilson) cap too
Sunnyd - 7/15/2014, 9:16 PM
I will take all bets this will tank and they will revert back, I give it maybe a year tops.
Thor notoriously has had sales issues and this will turn off a larger percentage of its existing fans while not bringing in as many as it loses.
It is also completely unnecessary since Thor has daughters when he becomes king of Asgard who carry on his legacy.
So they could have just done a Thor's daughter story line.

gaikinger - 7/15/2014, 9:16 PM
so we will have She-Thor, Valkyrie, and Thor girl? kinda redundant much?
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