Marvel Comics‘ PR teased yesterday that it would be revealing an explosive new comic book title on The View. Why would Marvel choose that girly gab fest to unveil a superhero? Turns out they had good reason. They seem to have fired the Mighty Thor (in the comics at least; don’t worry, Chris Hemsworth, you haven’t been axed from tentpole duty) and are introducing a female replacement for the venerable God Of Thunder. It’s a new female superhero creation who has been handed the baton, or rather the mighty hammer, and will swing it against evil. Explained Marvel editor Will Moss: “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.” Wow, Chris Hemsworth, call your agent quick! The new comic will be written by Thor: God Of Thunder‘s Jason Aaron with art from Russell Dauterman.
I thought Marvel was starting to test our patience by rolling out too many spandex films — in quick succession, we’ve had Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with Guardians Of The Galaxy coming next and Ant-Man and another Avengers coming, as well as Doctor Strange and Fantastic Four and the Spidey spinoff The Sinister Six. Some of this spandex fatigue is because Sony and Fox have to keep the pump primed and deliver pictures on deadline for the characters they bought years ago from Marvel, or the rights revert back to Disney, which bought Marvel for $4 billion.
The movie and comic books divisions obviously operate separately. Marvel, always a forward thinking superhero factory, has long been a female hero booster, as this is its eighth title to feature a lead female protagonist. But is taking established, iconic superheros and giving them gender changes a good strategy? It is certainly a hammer blow to this comic book traditionalist.