By RazzaTazz 90 Comments
There is going to be a new Thor, and he is going to be ... a she. This may have come as a shock to some fans, and many more might be claiming the end before even the beginning or even a worse fate for the character. My opinion on the matter is pretty optimistic though. Despite Wonder Woman being my favourite character, I have never gotten into other mythological characters, and this might be a way to pursue more of that. Equally worth noting is the fact that this kind of answers for me the question which can never be answered - "Who is the female equivalent to Wonder Woman at Marvel?" Usually this question results in an answer of Captain Marvel, Storm or Invisible Woman, but for the first time it would seem as though Marvel wants to put a female character completely to the front and center of its universe.
The above has been discussed though, and I am not really breaking any new ground among the many reacting to this news. What is interesting though is this treatment from a historical perspective, at least in the sense of the history of comics as a medium. On one of the many innovations of Marvel in its early years was to break into the idea of alternate universes and alternate realities long before others did, especially in the pages of the series "What If?" It took them all the way until issue #10 in 1978 to ask the question "What If Jane Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor?" In the letter column for this issue, editor Roy Thomas mentions how ever since issue #7 (and even earlier) that they had been receiving fan mail for the series which composed primarily of requests or suggestions for the What If? stories. One of the first and the first acted upon was this very idea of a female Thor. Though there was no mention of how many people actually asked for this idea and concept, it was one which was enough to warrant a second version of the story, in this case where Rogue assumes the power of the Norse God.
To put this another way, Marvel is not really trying anything new with the re-imagining of a female Thor, rather it seems as though they are just finally getting around to something which has been rumbling around in the creativity of several creators and fans ever since the character was introduced. This development will affect a lot of long term fans, but then too, it would seem that this idea has been with some of them (a lot of them?) for a while anyway. I am a fan of the character, but not a reader, and as a outsider to the Marvel stories, I find this new development a pretty intriguing one, and a potential place to step onboard to the new (old) character.