On Thor Becoming a Woman

A lot of people, myself among them, have been confused by the news that in upcoming Marvel comics, Thor will be a woman.  Thor is a specific person/deity, so it doesn’t seem like Thor’s identity should be able to change.  It’s not a job-title that could be held by different people, like the Green Lantern.

Just to be clear so I don’t get accused of sexism, my confusion was over them changing Thor’s identity, regardless of gender.  I would be equally confused if they said that Thor would henceforth be some guy named Fred Johnson from New Jersey.  Whereas if they said the Green Lantern would be a woman, that would make perfect sense.  (I actually find it odd that there hasn’t been a human female Green Lantern yet.)

My initial assumption was that this would be an alternate universe comic.  Marvel has many “universes” for their comics, so they can have many different versions of their characters.  Since the original Norse mythology is inspiration for Thor rather than canon, there’s nothing unreasonable about them setting up a new universe where Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is female.

(That’s the case with the recent brouhaha over Archie being killed off. That is only happening in a alternate universe spin-off series that explores possible futures for Archie.  In one of those hypothetical futures he gets killed.  But in the main line of Archie comics, he’s just fine.)

But I just found an interview with Marvel writers that says my initial assumption was wrong.

It’s confusing because in Marvel comic books, “Thor” refers to *both* the Norse god *and* to whoever wields the hammer Mjolnir, which grants lightning powers.

So the Norse god will somehow become unworthy to wield Mjolnir and lose all his powers. He’ll still be in the comics, but just a regular dude presumably being sad that he can’t do anything. Some woman will wield Mjolnir and have all the lightning powers.

This isn’t the first time that’s happened. At one point, Storm from the X-Men used Mjolnir and had the Thor powers. But that was just for the short term, and this new woman will have the Thor powers for the long term.

So that clears it up, and now you know more than pretty much every journalist who wrote articles about this subject.

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3 thoughts on “On Thor Becoming a Woman”

  1. Two comments.

    1. This has also been pulled with Spider-Man (Google “Ben Riley”). Methinks it’s more an idea to get more people to buy comics (a la The Death of Superman) and get web clicks.

    2. The Marvel Universe has made it pretty clear that the Norse Gods aren’t “gods” – they’re aliens. If they’re aliens rather than supernatural beings, then there’s no sort of “essence of Thor” that can keep Thor from being someone else.

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  2. As seen on the Internet:

    Disney owns marvel.
    Marvel owns Thor.
    Thor is the son of a king.
    Thor is now female.
    Thor is now a Disney princess.

    You can only imagine what they’ll do with Star Wars.

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  3. Although as this blog post points out, when you consider the massive financial stakes/audience of the Avengers film franchise compared to the tiny stakes/audience of the Thor comic book, to the general public Thor is Chris Hemsworth. Which means that this storyline must conclude and revert to Thor looking like Chris Hemsworth by the time Avengers 2 comes out in theaters.

    http://www.chrismaverick.com/wp/2014/07/15/on-thor-and-feminism-for-fun-and-profit/

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