Marvel is constantly surprising its fans in keeping its storylines fresh. Well, today the comics giant didn’t wait for Comic-Con later this month to make a major "thunderous" announcement about Thor, Norse God Of Thunder. Employing its Disney-owned synergy with The View, Marvel used that show to announce that the next person to wield Mjölnir, the mighty hammer of Thor, is going to be a woman. “It’s a huge day in the Marvel Universe,” the show’s Whoopi Goldberg said. “Thor he messed up, and he’s no longer worthy to hold that damn hammer of his. For the first time in history, that hammer is being held by a woman. That’s right. Thor is a woman!”
Marvel editor Wil Ross said later on the company’s website that Thor as a woman will debut in October: “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. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”
So why is Marvel creating this new female hero? I think several factors are at work. First, rival Warner Bros/DC Comics plans to include Wonder Woman in its upcoming Justice League movie and then spin her off into her own franchise. Second, so-called women’s movies and women action heroes have taken off at the box office. Third, the first two Thor films starring Chris Hemsworth were always marketed to women. Fourth, I heard Hemsworth wasn’t anxious to go back into that arduous diet and training regimen and subsist primarily on egg whites for Thor 3 or The Avengers 3. Fifth, it’s doubtful that Marvel wanted to cough up the big bucks necessary to keep Hemsworth starring as the franchise title character so here’s a cheap way to reboot the series by changing the leading man into a leading woman. Sixth, Thor has become the ultimate omnisexual (cooler than heterosexual, homosexual or metrosexual). Finally, Marvel has simply gone off its rocker.
Marvel called it "an all-new era" for the God of Thunder – "one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of the Big Three" characters – in the brand new series written by Jason Aaron with art from Russell Dauterman whose cover #1 is above right.
The new 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," the company said. "Thor will be 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."
In the past a few other people have taken Thor’s mantle when he wasn’t able, but only those deemed worthy by the divine hammer. (No one else can even lift it.) But this is the first time in Marvel history that a woman has both the divine hammer and the title. Marvel did release an illustration but didn’t reveal the woman’s identity, presumably keeping that for Comic-Con. Series writer Jason Aaron wanted to be clear that “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. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.” [FYI, there is a "Thor Girl", created by writer Dan Jurgens and artist John Romita Jr, who first appeared in Thor Tears of the Gods Vol. 2 #22 (April 2000) and in the 2011 six-issue limited series Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt.]