If there is anyone to be excited about it, it’s me. Through my terrible drawings, sketches, costumes, and comical epics with friends. It’s almost as if I wanted to be Thor, myself.
Well, now I have that opportunity. Females have another premier superhero to cheer for aside from Black Widow or Ms. Marvel, but does that require the elimination of an entire character in order to do it?
We see gender swaps all the time, and in a comic book universe that literally could make a new dimension to fit more than one form of Thor, I’m surprised they found it necessary to eliminate the original Thor from the current story line.
Is this a lazy tactic to appeal to an underrepresented yet very present demographic?
Maybe. But like other writers have quickly noted, this may more importantly symbolize a cultural shift in mainstream comic demand for more widespread representation of its readers.
Superheroes essentially personify positive aspects of our society while fighting the current struggles of our time. Superman and Captain America fought against Hitler in WWII during the golden age of comics and a time of worldwide strife. Spider Man struggled with the superhero/entertainer complex alongside the creation of television. Silver Age superheroes like Spider Man also represented personal strife on a new level, which you see transform into solidarity thanks to the X-Men.
“The mutant X-Men could be adolescents, or gay or black or Irish. They could stand for any minority, represent the feelings of every outsider…[Chris Clairmont, X-Men’s creator] knew that there was a tidal wave of disgruntled teenagers out there ready to embrace anti-establishment victimhood and feelings of persecution and disillusionment.”
-- Grant Morrison, Supergods
That paragraph could just as easily refer to super heroes in comics four years ago. But unlike the creation of the X-Men in the 60s, we’re seeing underrepresented groups replacing our well known superheroes, rather than standing alongside them. Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso also said most recently about the new superheroes "from Miles Morales, the African-American Spider-Man, to the new female Thor, our goal is to make our characters reflect the outside world."
Many others have missed the recent news of the first Asian-American superhero getting a makeover to properly address his heritage, which, according to NPR, was masked due to potential "yellow peril" in the 1940s.
In a universe that holds limitless possibilities through multiple dimensions and loopholes, alternate Female Thors could have been established alongside a Thor, but why did they distinctly wish to change the Thor cannon?
If we, as a society, directly provoke the character designs, decisions and actions of our favorite superheroes, do we also wish to remove the high concentration of old, white male superheroes?
Is the dethronement of our blonde Nordic deity an initial symptom of what will be older white males diminishing - not through overshadowing of more diverse characters, but by intentional removal?
And if the beginning stages of old white male superhero removal representing society's subliminal changes, are males rights activists among the hypersensitive to notice the worldview shift?
I'm not advocating a male's rights stance at all, but by looking at all of the surge of diversity criticism on the Internet, we're sending a subliminal message that we're sick of the usual character backgrounds, and we're ready for something fresh, yet relatable to a more widespread audience.
Which is a refreshing statement, because it means the trolls (that keep women off the Internet, for example,) aren't winning the worldview battle.
If we're in the beginning stages of eliminating these stereotypical figures, why start with Thor? Was he the most plausible to transition into a female? The ability to pick up Mjolnir does enable an easier transition across genders then Captain America's creation during WWII.
Either way, I'll still hold my cardboard Uru hammer high for Thor, regardless of his and/or her background. Enough fan-created content virtually created a female Thor, and it makes sense FemThor embody the love of many fans who can possibly relate to her.
But, hey, if the comic series fails, most of these critiquing articles will probably dissipate faster than you can say "Odin's Beard!"