Thor Is Now a Woman

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 15 2014 1:50 PM

Thor Is Now a Woman

140715_DX_Thor
Thor

Copyright Marvel Comics

Thor, the Norse god of thunder and Marvel comics superhero, is now a woman. News of the celestial upheaval came Tuesday morning via the ladies of The View, and Marvel now confirms that a woman will wield the hammer Mjölnir in a brand-new series starting in October. “This is not She-Thor,” says writer Jason Aaron in Marvel’s press release, published by the Mary Sue. “This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

I’m not sure there is much thmor to be said here in the way of gender analysis, although perhaps the character’s makeover has something to do with sublimated love for superhero Ruth Bader Ginsburg? (Hammer equals gavel.) But it is fun to chant that evocatively solid syllable in the new Avenger’s honor. While a lot of superheroines—including Marvel’s own Storm, Black Widow, and Captain Marvel—rely on lithe acrobatics to fight evil, Thor favors the brute smashing of things. Thor is mighty and unsubtle and loud. She doesn’t shoot dinky little arrows, like Hawkeye, or bat-shaped boomerangs. As Walter White might say, she is the one who knocks.

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Plus, we have delicious logistical questions to consider, now that Asgard has decided to lean in. For instance, Marvel Studios has committed to at least two more Avengers movies, one in 2018 and one (we think) in 2021. Will the comic book Thor diverge from the film Thor until the mainstream catches up with Aaron and his team? Or will Chris Hemsworth hand off the flowing blond locks to a female actor? (If so, we’ll miss your arms, Chris!)

Either way, as Whoopi Goldberg said this morning, “It’s a huge day in the Marvel universe.” And on Twitter, Marvel executive editor had a thunderous response to skeptical fans:

Katy Waldman is Slate’s words correspondent. 

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