Marvel announced via The View that Thor was getting a new makeover…and changing genders.
For release in October, Thor, God of Thunder will feature a woman wielding the mighty hammer Mjölnir. From the official press release:
No longer is the classic male hero able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, a brand new female hero will emerge who will be worthy of the name THOR. Who is she? Where did she come from and what is her connection to Asgard and the Marvel Universe?
Creators of this new Thor insist that she is the Thor of the Marvel Universe, replacing a now un-worthy male Thor. However, he still seems to exist in the universe, as new art emerged featuring Thor wielding an ax and prosthetic arm. No matter the details of how Thor lost his worth and this new woman proved hers, the internet exploded with the news of a female Thor. She looks amazing, with a badass costume and a domineering presence – there’s no mistake that she deserves to wield Mjölnir.
Marvel wasn’t finished with the pre-San Diego Comic Con announcements though.
On The Colbert Report, it was revealed that Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, would take over Steve Roger’s role as Captain America. Sam Wilson, the first African American superhero, has been around in comics for a few decades, but really made an impact with the recent big-budget Marvel movie Captain America: Winter Soldier. Steve Rogers will still be around in the comics as a mentor and tutor for the new Captain. Editor Tom Brevoot told Marvel.com that Steve “will continue to be a vital part of the series moving ahead. And Steve is completely supportive of Sam as his hand-picked successor—the only replacement Captain America ever to be chosen by Steve himself.” Sam begins this role in November in the pages of All-New Captain America.
One of the biggest questions that have come from this recent announcement is why. Why does Thor have to be a woman? Why does Captain America have to be black? That’s the major opposition to these changes in character – that they are unwarranted and unmeaningful. Marvel already has a diverse roster of sidekicks and background characters, but lead roles are normally taken by white male characters regardless of origin – whether that be 1940s America or Asgard. It’s always exciting to see diversity at the forefront of popular franchises. Miles Morales sparked controversey when he became Spider-Man, and the newest Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, proves to be very relatable regardless of her race and culture.
Personally speaking, original characters promoting diversity would be far better. To see new characters taking title roles instead of changing existing ones would mean that comic creators are listening more to what fans want versus just making shocking, controversial decisions to make headlines. However, as more characters of color, more female characters, and more characters representing the LGBT emerge, it can only mean that the comic industry is moving in the right direction. It can only go up, up, and away from here.