So, the new Thor is a woman. On first glance, this is awesome. but looking further into it…I’m concerned. I believe that what Marvel has in store for Thor is more red herring than true transformation. 

Face it, there is a dearth of female super heroes out there. Sure, there’s a ton of them, but how many have been able to stand on their own over time? So, when Marvel announced that they were ‘shaking up the big 3’ (Cappie, Iron Man, Thor) I was intrigued. In fact, I was more than intrigued, I got excited!

The Thor mythology as set forth in the comics states that other people can wield Mjolnir (the hammer) and thereby be granted the power of Thor if they be worthy enough. This is Marvel’s modern day version of the Arthurian legend of Excalibur. We, as mortals, can’t be trusted with knowing if someone is worthy of the mantle of power…so we imbue the choice into an inanimate object that is incapable of being swayed or corrupted by those who would do ill.

The stories won’t start until October, so I’ll have to work with what we know so far. Marvel states:

“…And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

I believe this is nothing more than a red herring put out there to prime us to like her. Why? Because they NEED us to like her. We have to buy into Thor being a woman. We have to buy into her being noble, worthy, and good. We have to buy into all of this so that when the time is right, she turns into a super villain on the cusp of destroying Asgard, Midgard…hell, all of the ‘gards. Why?

Because comics can’t make changes like this permanent. Name one major hero who died, or was crippled…etc who stayed that way. Batman? Back broken…for about a year. Batman died! For about a year. Robin died…and came back. Superman died…for about a year. The Flash (Barry Allen) died, for a decade sure, but he came back. Green Lantern? Hal Jordan is back. (Yes, these are all DC examples, but it still illustrates that heroes don’t go through massive changes for very long.)

So, I posit that this change is temporary. Why? It’s on the cover of Issue #1.

Thor Female

Image from Marvel. Click the image to see original page.

It’s innocuous. But, look at her helmet. Does it look familiar?

Thor-Female-Loki-Pawn

Loki image from Wikipedia. Click image to see original.

I see it playing out as Marvel trying really hard to get us to like this woman, then drop the hammer and find out that it’s either Loki in disguise or one of his pawns who’s had her mind wiped, then have Loki take over her at key moments until he can try to destroy everything. Thor will come to his senses, regain his ‘worthiness’ so he can once again rightfully take hold of his mighty hammer once more.

Now, yes, these are my suppositions. Nothing has been leaked to indicate that this is the story line…but it just smacks of a ruse. And the design on her helmet is the Chekov’s gun that will go off last. And when it does, it’ll be great.

Except for one thing: If this is, indeed, the direction Marvel is going to take this, they are hurting the very audience they are trying to woo to comics. This is from the same Marvel article quoted above:

“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.”

Please, Marvel…tell me I’m wrong. Tell me that you aren’t setting up to tell women and girls that they aren’t worthy of being a full-fledge superhero. You are treading on fragile ground here. If you’re motives are true, then I applaud you and can’t wait to see where this goes. But if this is just a literary device to sell books, then you’re doing a disservice to women (young, old and in between) everywhere. I hope you treat this with class and aplomb, because the world needs good, strong female heroes that don’t rely on their boobs to sell books.

Like I said before, there’s a dearth of female superheroes. Don’t let this one be another casualty.

I know what you’re thinking: “But Scotty, what does this have to do with parenting?”

Everything. While I don’t have daughters, I married someone’s daughter. And she was just commenting the other day about how there are no really good female superheroes. She got Wonder Woman in the 70’s…but thirty some-odd years later, where are we?

So, ladies! Question time: What female super heroes do you or have you looked up to?

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One Response

  1. Zach Rosenberg

    She-Hulk just made a comeback recently. She’s a lawyer…and HULK! But she’s also a “she-hulk”. Not a superhero on her own merit, but Bruce Banner’s cousin that had a blood transfusion by him and received superhero powers.

    There’s also Ms. Marvel, who was most recently recreated with Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American girl and first Muslim to have a comic at Marvel.

    As for Thor…good insight on the let-down if this were just trickery. I hope it isn’t too.

    Reply

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