Marvel hears the complaints. The company, as a whole, recognizes that – at face value – the Marvel universe can be mistaken as a Boy’s Club, where characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor swoop in to save the day. And they understand that the recent blockbuster movies based on the generations of comic books have made progress, introducing key female characters like Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), but big changes have to continue if the company wants to remain viable. The introduction of a female Thor, by all accounts, is a massive step in that general direction.
The studio revealed on ABC’s The View that Thor, in the ongoing comic books, will now be a female character. Marvel.com posted a few stills, which we will share below. And in a release shared shortly after that announcement, the company made it VERY clear that this is not a secondary character introduced to appease a demographic. Thor will be female. Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes:
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."
Hammering home just how significant this change will be to the Marvel universe, Marvel editor Wil Moss adds:
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 universe brims with possibilities. If this new Thor catches fire in the pages of the Marvel Comics once the title launches in October, you can be sure that Marvel would consider introducing her to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For now, she will look like this.
And the "unworthy" Thor now looks like this (though I am dying to know what he did to make him unworthy):
The wording in the Marvel press release ensures that we understand just how important this push is toward leveling the playing field with more of a female presence in the Marvel universe. The company notes that the new Thor will be the eighth title in Marvel’s history to feature a female lead. And Marvel notes, putting a fine point on it, that this new book – and this new creative direction – "aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls."
Big changes are afoot in the Marvel universe. Changes for the better, which will lead to a brighter and more creative future on several fronts. Excelsior!