So if you haven’t already heard, some gal’s up and stolen Thor’s thunder… That was funny and you know it!
If there’s anything that I’ve always wished that Marvel would do, it’s that they would take DC’s lead and have a woman in their “Big Three” (the Marvel version of the Trinity). Sure, they have an abundance of strong female characters with Storm, Ms/Captain Marvel, Rogue, Spider-Woman, She-Hulk and Emma Frost leading the pack, but for some reason they’ve always just fallen shy of being in the spotlight.
But now Marvel has announced that they will be making Thor a female. And no, this isn’t Lady Thor, Thordis or Thor Girl or any other “pretender” to the (Asgardian) throne. So who is she?
“She’s going to be Thor,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort, “as powerful and strong as the previous god and embodying the same sort of nobility we think of as being Thor.”
In typical Marvel fashion, this is being kept a secret… so naturally rumours are rampant. Just about everything from a sex change (it’s happened) to an alternate reality (this happens a lot more often) has been speculated by fans.
“The fact that Odin couldn’t pick up the hammer and someone else does, let alone a woman, and the fact that not even Odin knows who this person is under the mask, I imagine all that is going to drive him quite crazy,” Brevoort continued.
Cheap publicity stunt or not, I’m really, really pleased that for what seems like the first time in ever, a female version of the character has less skin showing than her male counterpart. (Since Namor, of course.)
Of course, I do wish that they’d simply promoted a female character of her own merits into this position as opposed to following a male predecessor’s legacy, but it is still a step in the right direction. Also, it is always an honour to be found worthy to lift one of the Marvel Universe’s most coveted artifacts.
Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel)
Better known as Ms Marvel (to me anyways) Carol’s been somewhat of an Avengers staple since her introduction as a superhero in the ’70s.
Yay: Between being a (blonde) hero who could easily stand on her own merits alongside the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and, of course, Thor, Carol’s also a believable leadership figure (having led the Avengers before). This pretty much makes her a really good choice for a position as one of the Big Three.
Nay: She just got an “upgrade” having only recently become Captain Marvel. Also, Carol’s a proud owner of her own Marvel Now! title. Given the recent modifications to the character, it seems really unlikely that Marvel’s already gonna wanna revamp her.
Sue Storm (Invisible Woman)
There’s a reason Sue Storm’s referred to as the “First Lady” of Marvel. In many ways the actual leader of the Fantastic Four (seriously, Reed should just call her ‘boss). Sue is one of the few female characters to have stuck around since Marvel’s earliest days (without having been killed and resurrected like a hundred times).
Yay: Sue’s not just any team member—she’s THE member of the Fantastic Four. While nowhere as intelligent as Mr Fantastic (who is?!), Sue’s proven to be a tactical force to be reckoned with. Not only does she have a near infallible moral compass, she’s also got a good working relationship with just about every Marvel mainstay and has their collective respect… even if they don’t necessarily agree with her. Also, she’s a mother. I’m sure even Tony Stark’s afraid of mothers.
Nay: Given that the F4 have largely stayed the same way since their début, it feels somewhat sacrilegious to break that streak just so someone can pick up the Thor legacy. In other words, Sue feels almost too worthy. It’s not a real argument, I know (because I think she’d be a great Thor) but it just doesn’t seem to be right that Sue abandons who she already is. Also, with all this talk of Marvel wanting to give F4 the shove, it seems counter-intuitive to shine the light on Sue… unless, of course, this is what ends the Fantastic Four.
Thundra was originally introduced as a Fantastic Four villain from a future where women were now in-rule. She’s pretty much a “what if Beyoncé had super-powers” kinda girl. Traveling back to the present day, her intent was to originally fight the Thing and defeat him to conclusively prove that women run the world are superior to men.
Yay: She’s already mad strong and being of the Amazonian pastiche certainly doesn’t hurt her chances. Also, unlike the other candidates on this list, Thundra’s not exactly an icon in her own right. Giving her Mjolnr would not only allow her to step forward into the limelight, it would also be an interesting addition to an otherwise underdeveloped character.
Nay: She’s a redhead… except when she isn’t. Also, if her attitude hasn’t shifted much, she’s not gonna be an easy colleague to Sam Wilson and Tony. All-in-all, I can’t see her being much more than the mandatory heavy hitter in a tentpole team like The Avengers. Of course, now would be a good time to start making changes to Thundra, but don’t you need to be worthy before picking up the hammer?
This one’s a little on the nose, I guess. Both are Asgardians with obvious connections to Thor. Both have also been love interests of Thor’s and, until recently, have been almost interchangeable in use.
Yay: I guess there’s some merit of keeping the power in the family. Also, that might explain why Marvel’s been so insistent that this new Thor isn’t just some random with Mjolnr. Unike Eric Masterson and Beta Ray Bill who have lifted Mjolnr but weren’t considered the God of Thunder per se, Valkyrie and Sif are both true Asgardians and already gods in their own right.
Nay: No down side to these choices, really. Sif may be brunette, but I wouldn’t put it past Marvel to have her hair change colour to best resemble Thor when wielding Mjolnr. After all, as mentioned, she’d be the Goddess of Thunder and not just another person worthy to lift the hammer. As for Valkyrie, it’s arguable that she suffers from much of the same problems as Thundra, but at the very least she seems to be a more appropriate fit.
Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk)
My personal favourite candidate, Jen Walters is Bruce “The Hulk” Banner’s cousin. Injured in a shootout and in desperate need of a blood transfusion, Bruce steps up. With his gamma-irradiated blood in her, Jen gains powers similar to the Hulk’s (though not to the same extent). Unlike Bruce, however, Jennifer prefers to permanently stick to her green form, enjoying the strength and confidence that it inspires in contrast to her original, soft-spoken demeanour.
Yay: The Hulk and Thor rivalry is one that spans the history of the Avengers. Making a Hulk-family character the new Thor is somewhat poetic. Coupled with her already extensive relationship with the Avengers, giving Mjolnr to Jen would allow her to step up alongside Carol Danvers and receive yet more of the well-deserved spotlight. Also, with David Goyer’s recent bout of stupidity regarding the She-Hulk being created as a representation of a Hulk fetish, this would be an awesome way for Marvel to give him a giant “FUCK YOU!” on behalf of the fans.
Nay: I guess her hair is an issue. But hell, if Thunderbolt Ross’ moustache can un-grow each time he Hulks out, I don’t see why Jen can’t go blonde when wielding Mjolnr.
If there’s anything the comic industry’s good at, it’s keeping readers on their toes (be it for better or worse). The same goes for this. Marvel’s already proudly presented their new Captain America and the new look for Iron Man, so if they’re keeping this under wraps, there has to be a good reason why.
It could be any of the above or none of the obvious choices or a previously obscure character or even someone completely new. After all, it took Carol Danvers nine years before she revealed herself to possess superpowers and assume the identity of Ms Marvel.
Wishful Thinking: Storm
I know, it’s obviously not her. But I really do wish it was. If there’s been anyone female deserving to be front and centre of the Marvel universe, it would be Storm. Despite being classified as a mere mutant, Storm’s bearing is arguably more god-like than even Sif.
The overlap of powers might even add a unique approach to Thor’s usual smash-and-bash method and would finally add an X-Men that isn’t frikkin’ Wolverine to Marvel’s frontline.
While Marvel promises that it won’t be drawn out for months and months, they also promise the real story begins once we know who she is and what her story is. That’s the part I’m really excited to get to. Also a Thor vs. Thor confrontation will be set early on since ex-Thor is going to be angry someone else is running around with his favorite toy and he doesn’t like to share.