This morning on ABC's The View Marvel announced that Thor, Marvel's God of Thunder, will be a woman in the comics. The news is a major shift in Marvel's continuity, since Thor is one of the oldest superheroes in the Marvel universe. The new storyline will launch this October, penned by series writer Jason Aaron.
Whoopi Goldberg, The View's moderator, didn't mince words when she talked about the announcement. The character is a god — not a goddess — and will wield Mjolnir (and even the god's name) just like her predecessor, who was deemed unworthy of its power.
.@Marvel announces that Thor is no longer worthy of Mjolnir, and now a woman will be wielding the mighty Uru Hammer! #TheView— The View (@theviewtv) July 15, 2014
It's currently unclear who exactly is filling the role of Thor going forward, as the original character wasn't gender-swapped. Goldberg did, however, joke that it was her under the helm, saying, "White woman in a fight, black woman to make a living."
The original Thor, as he existed in the comics, was created in 1962 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. Sent to Earth by his father Odin to learn the meaning of humility, he lost his memories and took on the identity of Dr. Donald Blake, an ordinary (if disabled) human being. But after holding Mjolnir for the first time, his powers return. The character would eventually become a founding member of the Avengers, and is played by actor Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, this new character will officially take Thor's name as her own later this year.
"This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR." - @jasonaaron— Ryan Penagos (@AgentM) July 15, 2014
This isn't the first time another character has taken up Mjolnir and therefore wielded Thor's powers. Beta-Ray Bill, Captain America, and even Wonder Woman have at one point managed to prove themselves worthy. You can read the entire press release below:
Marvel is excited to announce an all-new era for the God of Thunder in brand new series, THOR, written by Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder, Original Sin) complimented with art from Russell Dauterman (Cyclops).
This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of Marvel’s "big three" – Captain American, Iron Man and Thor – Marvel Comics will be introducing an all-new THOR, GOD OF THUNDER. No longer is the classic male hero able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, a brand new female hero will emerge will 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?
"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," says Marvel editor Wil Moss. "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!"
Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, "This is not She-Thor. 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."
THOR is the latest in the ever-growing and long list of female-centric titles that continues to invite new readers into the Marvel Universe. This female THOR is the 8th title to feature a lead female protagonist and aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls.