“Why is Thor a woman now?”
I grinned as I leaned in, this wasn’t normal consternation, this was nerd consternation. “Well someone new has the hammer, so now they wield the power of Thor.”
“But they’re calling her Thor. She’s not Thor. Is she Loki’s half-brother, now? Is she Odin’s daughter?”
“Well no, it’s not like Thor changed into a woman, which they’ve done before. It’s like he’s a guy who happens to have the same name as someone famous.” I paused, parsing it to make sure my hastily-assembled nerd logic held. “He’s still Thor; he’s just not THOR.”
She leveled a calculating glance. “Well why don’t they call her something else? Why is this new girl THOR?”
“They still need a Thor, but he’s not worthy, so they got someone new.”
“Hmm.” She turned heel and left the room as suddenly as she came in, my role as household Marvel oracle fulfilled.
Yes, as you’ve likely heard by now, Marvel is wading into the “strong-women superhero” headliner pool in a big way by recasting one of their big three heroes as a new female character. Personally, I couldn’t be happier.
Gender politics aside, a fall from grace always makes a good story. As does a character who obtains new and possibly overwhelming power. What’s unfortunate is that, without more details to go on from Marvel, the gender politics became the story. And not everyone is happy. Maybe not “blood in the streets” nerd rage, but definitely “clenched fist, silently shaken at the screen.” I am hoping that, once we get more hints at what precipitates Thor’s fall, the knee-jerk “Y THOR WMN NOW? NO R34D!” crowd will pipe down a little bit. I want this to be more than just a headline-grabbing stunt. I want there to be a female thunder god that can go toe-to-toe with the biggest and baddest in the Marvel universe and not blink an eye. But I want there to be a reason why it has to be her and not someone else.
Jason Aaron, the series’ writer, seems to have the right frame of mind about things by making it clear that this isn’t just “She-Thor” or “Thorita” or some other ridiculous 2-issue stand in. There’s no qualifier in her name. She wields the mighty Mjolnir, she’s THOR.
And woe-betide any scruffy, deposed god sporting an Asgard-punk arm and god-killing axe that tries to get it back.