One look at the current roster of headlining superheroes coming out of Marvel Studios would make anyone curious as to where the females are and where the diversity is. With the films based on source material from decades ago where the typical lead was a white male, there were less lead characters of different genders and race. We even touched on the topic last week when discussing how and when the comic book movie genre will get its top tier female heroes right and before in addressing diversity in comic books in response to Fox casting a black actor as the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch. So, how does Marvel address this? By changing things up.
Yesterday we learned that Disney-owned Marvel would be taking to Disney-owned ABC series The View to announce an all-new “title” and while there was a glimmer of hope for a movie or TV announcement given the target demographic, the timing was odd with Marvel Studios set to unveil the latest on the film side next week at San Diego Comic-Con. Instead, as many suspected, Marvel announced something comic related, something “thunderous.” And it was. The new title is a new Thor, a female Thor.
That’s right. For the first time ever, a female hero will wield the power of the mighty Mjolnir. It’s new character and readers will earn where she came from and how her history ties into Asgard and the rest of the Marvel Universe this October with the re-launch of Thor: God of Thunder, written by Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder, Original Sin) with art from Russell Dauterman (Cyclops). Marvel editor Wil Moss:
“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. 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!”
The gender change of Thor has already stirred a mixed debate online. Series Jason Aaron writer explains that this new Thor “is not She-Thor.” He continues, “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.”
The news comes just a week after Marvel officially announced a new Captain America coming this fall, a new character other than Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes who will wield the iconic star-spangled shield as Rogers loses the effects of the super soldier serum that kept him young and strong. The timing is interesting given that The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases next summer bringing the original incarnations of these characters back to the big screen.