“What do you think of the news about Lady!Thor?”
This question has been running rampant through the blogosphere and beyond since Marvel’s announcement last week. As a comic book fan of the female persuasion, I lost the ability to count how many times I had been asked that question in person by the middle of Wednesday. So the question remains, what do I think of the announcement?
Honestly? I met this news with something of a shrug. It’s not as surprising as it could have been. In fact, I would have been more bowled over by news confirming that the July 8, 2016 date that Marvel has on hold for another movie belongs to a Black Widow (or Captain Marvel) feature film. That would’ve been news worth melting down about.
That’s not to say that I’m not thoroughly psyched to learn more about this new Thor. We’ve not yet received news about who will be picking up both Mjolnir and the mantle, whether she’ll be someone already existing in the universe (suggestions that it’ll be Valkyrie who is found worthy has been bandied about) or someone entirely new. I’m rooting for the latter myself, as I’d like for the mainstream Marvel universe to gain more awesome ladies rather than have a pre-existing one deal with constant comparisons to her predecessor.
This is not the first time that Mjolnir has changed hands nor the first time that Thor stopped being Thor. He was stripped of his hammer and sent to live as Dr. Donald Blake back in the sixties, an identity he might be forced to resume come the fall and the rise of new Thor. Mjolnir briefly was held by a minor character known as Thunderstrike. But all of these are relics from a time when Thor was less of a well-known Marvel fixture and more of a sometimes-funny, definitely amusingly lettered non-headliner. The loss of his hammer actually makes a lot of sense when it comes to the current arc of Thor: God of Thunder. Since its first issue the series was always telling of the downfall of a hero. Why would he get to keep a hammer that demands its owner be worthy of greatness when he’s done so much that just isn’t?
I’ve been a fan of Thor since I was a kid (I can even sing the theme song to the 1966 cartoon). I was a defender of Thor getting his own movie, encouraging people to check out the at times totally absurd comics featuring him. Changing who wields the hammer isn’t going to change that. I’m standing by Thor, keeping Thor #1 plugged into my pull list come October. I’m excited to see what kind of Thor she turns out to be. Let her be in the vein of the seriously awesome Carol Danvers, who picked up moniker of Captain Marvel to the chittering of a lot of discussion.
I just hope the next time they dub a new heroine with a familiar alias, the words “shocking” have nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with the gut-wrenching way that she gets the name. That’s the sort of shock factor that I read comics for.
Thor debuts in October. The series will feature Jason Aaron (writer) and Russell Dauterman (artist).