So Thor She Can Hardly Pith
…that’s what happens when you lose Little Mjolnir.
Marvel Comics is turning Thor into a woman. As writer Jason Aaron explains –
This is not the Thor we knew transformed into a woman. This is a new character; someone else picking up the hammer… we’ve never seen a big story about a woman picking up the hammer and if you look at the inscription on the hammer it even says, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” I’m going to flip that on its ear and for the first time see what it’s like to have a brand new version of Thor who is female; the Goddess of Thunder… You pick up this book and it just says “Thor” on the cover, which features a new female version of Thor. It’s pretty much telling you she’s not She-Thor or Lady Thor. She’s not Thorika. She is Thor. This is the new Thor.
New Thor. New Coke. It’ll last a while then it will be back to the status quo after the PR buzz wears off.
I’m minimally familiar with Aaron’s work, but I suspect perhaps he feels more comfortable writing female characters. I base this on the one piece of Aaron’s writing that I’ve read, a screed against big-time writer Alan Moore, most famous for the comic series Watchmen in the mid-80s.
When Moore blasted DC Comics for their “Before Watchmen” comics, he stated “When Dave Gibbons phoned me up, he assured me that these prequels and sequels would be handled by ‘the industry’s top-flight talents’. Now, I don’t think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight’ of talent. I don’t think it’s even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent.” Moore was criticizing the endless rehashing of old material into “new” derivative work that didn’t actually bring much of anything new to the table.
Aaron, who had bought everything Alan Moore wrote, as well as “read his novel and listened to his weird CDs” and “envied his beard,” took it quite personally, saying he must have “let the old man down”and that Moore thanked Aaron’s devotion by ” throwing me under the bus,” sounding like a jilted crush even though Moore never mentioned Aaron by name and likely had never heard of him.
Aaron concludes by calling Moore a bitter old man – despite how amazing his beard is – and lobs a final parting shot.
So goodnight Alan Moore, wherever you are. I’d wish you happiness in the New Year, but you probably wouldn’t know what to do with it, would you? Just stay bitter. And those of us in today’s comic industry will stay shitty. And hopefully the two of us will never meet again.
If Aaron hadn’t signed the piece (and ended the closing mini-bio with “His beard is bigger than yours”), this could totally pass for some fangirl blog.
So I can totally understand how Aaron would feel more at home writing “strong, empowered” female characters. I guess it’s supposed to be a step forward for Gender Identity or something by rehashing stories about a male character onto a derivative female one that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It reminds me of how the Rick James song “Superfreak” was sampled and looped, the new “song” containing some mediocre lyrics pasted over a repetitive snippet of the original. Hammer Time, indeed.
Somewhat amusing is the concept that Thor’s power resides in his hammer. A woman having to hold her big strong hammer and channeling the power in it strikes me as not quite breaking down those gender barriers. Or maybe it is, in an androgynous sort of way.
I’m not sure what gender warriors will make of the fact that the new female Thor is still dependent on Sugar Daddy Odin the All-Father for her power. Serve that Patriarchy.
Now, I will say that this could be a good storyline. The concept of another person picking up Thor’s hammer isn’t new, and has potential… how would a newcomer deal with the highs and lows of more-or-less being transformed into a god, at least part-time? This kind of idea has been used to good effect in Green Lantern – he’s a member of an intergalactic police force, and got his name and service weapon when the previous officer of that region passed it on right before dying, and later passed it on to someone else in turn. But the entire idea behind the Thor revamp strikes me as a mix of political correctness and cheap shockstunting.
I do agree with John C. Wright that Marvel should at least give this new female Thor a skintight catsuit or chainmail bathing suit.