First Thoughts: Thor

Marvel has announced that in a new series, Thor is going to be a woman. Not She-Thor, or Lady Thor, or Ms. Thor. Not the old Thor being turned into a woman through wacky hijinks. A woman will come forward to wield Mjolnir and take up the mantle of Thor. Not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited.

I’ll admit that I don’t know what’s going on in the world of Thor in comics, so I don’t know what has happened/will happen to make him “unworthy” of Mjolnir. Frankly, I don’t care that much. In the press release, Marvel referred to Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man as their “big three”, and that is three boring white men right there. I feel little if any shame in saying that I do not care at all for either of these three heroes. I like Norse mythology a lot, and I still didn’t care about Thor. But I do think that making Thor a woman might be the thing that tips the scales in favor of my interest.

Now, is that lipstick part of the superhero package? Or did she pick that up at CVS? Because I am into it.

Now, is that lipstick part of the superhero package? Or did she pick that up at CVS? Because it is killer.

There’s been the usual, predictable outpouring of nerd boy rage, which has gotten to formulaic as to be utterly boring. “But Thor has always been a man!” Yes, that’s an even more compelling reason as to why she should be a woman now. “It’s a gimmick!” You may be right, but this won’t be the first or last time, and this is not worth your anger. “Politically correct bullshit!” Please cease. To exist.  The only thing that I’d really like to note is that this is not technically the first time a woman has been found worthy to wield Mjolnir – Storm, of the X-Men, has wielded it before.  In a crossover with DC comics (which I find pretty baffling actually), both Wonder Woman and Superman were able to lift it.

What is interesting to me is how this was announced. It happened on The View, an ABC morning show. This is the type of show that is primarily watched by retirees, stay-at-home parents, and certainly women more than men. Hardly the usual target demographic of most comics news. To my surprise, the press release outright stated that this is part of an initiative to directly target female comics fans and hoping to draw more women into reading comics. I can’t say I have any problem with this; my reaction is more along the lines of “Yes! Cater to me and my demographic! Acknowledge my purchasing power!”

And what’s more, another Marvel representative is going to be on The Colbert Report later tonight to announce yet another major line-up change. This is still an interesting choice of location, though much more in-line with comics audience viewing habits. My best friend guessed (I think correctly) that they’ll be announcing Sam Wilson as the new Captain America. There’s been rumors about this for a while, and considering the venue, I think it’s appropriate. This would make Marvel’s “big three” (which is so weird to me, since I still think of their top team as the X-Men), instead of three white men: a white man, a black man, and a white woman. I don’t need to detail all the reasons why this is is better, and more interesting, and is long, long overdue. We should be past the point of female heroes and heroes of color being remarkable, newsworthy stories, but we’re not, so I’m still going to celebrate.

Because I am working Real People Business Hours, and am very fragile if I don’t get enough sleep, I probably won’t be up that late to actually watch The Colbert Report tonight. I’ll catch up on what happened in the morning and update this post then. Here’s hoping for good news!

2 comments for “First Thoughts: Thor

  1. July 16, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I’m all about this announcement & switching up ~big name~ white man superheroes, but one criticism I saw that really stuck with me was about how having these big announcements months ahead of time is really counterproductive for bringing in new readers. If you’re going on outlets like The View and clearly trying to cater to possible fans outside the established monthly buying-your-comics base, announcing something like this months ahead of time kind of kills a lot of potential first-time impulse readers (considering preordering comics is a difficult, arcane process when even possible). The number of people who see that story this week and remember to pick up the book in what, November or something, seems like not as ideal as if they did these big unconventional media blitz announcements closer to the release of a tangible book. Obviously I know that this publicity cycle is how this industry works, and I’m not saying that viewers of The View aren’t smart enough to figure out how to buy comics on their own (every dumb nerd currently reading comics did it at some point) but buzz does burn off. Can’t help but think that something like “and if you think it’d be cool to see Thor being a lady, here’s a book to hold in your hands for 3 or 4 bucks, list of retailers” would have a better chance of actually seeing through the hype they’re currently getting for it in non-comics media.

    • July 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Ooooh, that’s definitely true, and I hadn’t thought about that. I almost wonder if they felt pressure to announce this so soon because DC has had several major female character announcements lately (although none so popular that they got on The View).

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