Thor Marvel She-Thor

The brilliant minds at Marvel Comics — the guys who thought it was a stroke of genius to turn Doctor “I just tried to kill six billion people” Octopus into Spider-Man for over a year — are back again, and this time they’re turning Thor into a woman. Only they’re insisting that they’re not creating a “She-Thor.”

The politically correct company once known for great comic books writes:

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.”

These are not the Thors you’re looking Thor.

Sad. Pathetic. The most hilarious part are the fans saying, “But you haven’t read it yet!” — as if Marvel’s attempt to shoehorn politically correct mush down readers’ throats isn’t enough to warrant any kind of negative feedback.

Just as many fans would not have minded having Doctor Octopus swinging around New York City with spider-powers — provided Peter Parker wasn’t killed to make it happen — many fans are not opposed to a Norse goddess flying around earth — provided that the Thor they’ve always known and loved isn’t unnecessarily tinkered with to make that happen.

What’s next on Marvel’s list? Perhaps Bruce Banner has always been transgender. Maybe Reed Richards has always felt like a woman and he should start using his powers to mold his body in ways that better represent his (her?) true self. Where does it end? For the sake of “diversity” Marvel can come up with any hair-brained idea and then demonize its own fans who say, “Wow, that’s really dumb.”

If Marvel wants more strong female characters, then it should hire writers who can invent them. No one cares about that. Fans do care, however, when writers take a character who is a man and arbitrarily fill his role with a woman.

The problem Marvel has is that it wants diversity for the sake of diversity, but it’s not willing to do the hard work it takes to bring memorable characters into existence. It takes some serious brain power to come up with a break-out superhero that will capture the hearts and minds of generations of readers. There must be many misses with new characters before there is a hit. Marvel’s solution in this case: just make Thor a woman. Either it’s a temporary stunt or it is a real attempt at injecting a new strong female character into the Marvel Universe by using a cheap short cut. And if it is a stunt, why should Marvel get to hoist itself upon the moral pedestal of Gender Righteousness to begin with?

The odds of this idea working out as the new status quo are probably not very good, since Marvel is trying to head off the “She-Thor” label before it begins. Unfortunately, “She-Thor” is already here.

I’m looking forward to Marvel’s next attempt at creating a more gender-diverse field of superheros — Tony Stark will become “Toni” Stark because there aren’t enough female CEOs in the Marvel Universe.

 

 

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

183 comments

  1. Marvel actually has been trying to make female characters who are successful on their own. For a while, actually. The thing is, comic book readers (especially Marvel readers) are idiots who refuse to read any book that hasn’t been in continuous publication since 1965 (with exceptions made for Wolverine and Deadpool). They’re afraid to take a chance on anything else. So while there will always be a Captain America book, Black Widow always struggles to sustain readers. When they had Sif as the lead character in Journey Into Mystery, it lasted 9 issues before low sales killed it.

    However, Thor is one of those books that will pretty much always be published. So putting a female character in the title role may, potentially, hopefully, give that woman enough of a fan following once she leaves the role. She probably won’t – because, again, most of Marvel’s fanbase are threatened by change and refuse to give new characters a chance – but hope springs eternal.

    But ultimately, whether this idea is good or bad will come down to the writing. Jason Aaron is a very talented writer, and he’s been doing some excellent work on Thor: God of Thunder. So I suspect the new Thor series will be enjoyable.

    Of course, I will agree that this is probably mostly a bit of a stunt. I think Aaron probably did have an idea for a story that he thought would be interesting to tell, so he’s telling that story. I think the “stunt” aspect comes from it being something to kill time until the next movie. Everyone knows this is going to be a temporary deal. There is absolutely no one who expects this to be permanent. I would bet that the normal Thor will be back by the time of Avengers 2 in theatres. So this is either something they hope will grab attention between movies, or else it’s something they figure will be low-stakes – a bit of filler.

    Either way, though, I’m fine with the Lady Thor idea. If it’s good, it’s good; if it’s bad, it’s bad. Maybe I’ll pick it up, maybe I won’t. I haven’t decided. Who knows, maybe it’ll get some of Marvel’s readers to pull their heads out of their asses and support a new character.

    I have some resentment towards the inability of Marvel readers to support new characters.

    1. Marvel actually has been trying to make female characters who are successful on their own. For a while, actually. The thing is, comic book readers (especially Marvel readers) are idiots who refuse to read any book that hasn’t been in continuous publication since 1965 (with exceptions made for Wolverine and Deadpool).

      Ah yes, the “everyone is an idiot but me” philosophy. There’s a guy named Mark who comments on my political stuff these days. I think you guys would get along well, although I think it would be an interesting conversation if you disagreed with one another. He believes that five percent of the population is intelligent and the rest are idiots. He, of course, is a self-professed member of the five percent.

      I think you’re wrong. I think that Marvel’s lack of intellectual diversity is killing it. They can’t come up with cool characters because they all essentially think alike. All they do is go to their little “retreats” and give each other intellectual sponge baths. When everyone is in the tub rubbing each other down in dirty water you get soiled products.

      However, Thor is one of those books that will pretty much always be published. So putting a female character in the title role may, potentially, hopefully, give that woman enough of a fan following once she leaves the role.

      So because the customers don’t want the product, Marvel is going to find a way to essentially force it upon them. Hmmm…where have a seen that mentality at play before?

      Either way, though, I’m fine with the Lady Thor idea. If it’s good, it’s good; if it’s bad, it’s bad.

      Is there any idea that Marvel could come up with for the sake of “diversity” that would just make you cringe, or would you say that for anything they come up with? How about “Toni Stark”? Would you applaud killing off Tony Stark to have him replaced by “Toni”?

      I have some resentment towards the inability of Marvel readers to support new characters.

      I’m sure many Marvel fans have resentment towards the company for its inability to come up with cool new characters.

    2. “The thing is, comic book readers (especially Marvel readers) are idiots who refuse to read any book that hasn’t been in continuous publication since 1965 (with exceptions made for Wolverine and Deadpool). “

      So what? Some people have their favorite characters, and they like to stick with them. Changing Thor into a woman is just plain idiotic. Why can’t they just use Thor Girl? Last I checked, she wasn’t being used in any story. Or create a female thunder goddess. That would be far more creative than this nonsense. You’re basically saying, as usual, that anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. Seems to be a pattern with you.

      “I have some resentment towards the inability of Marvel readers to support new characters.”

      And I have resentment toward Marvel and DC for lame, attention-grabbing publicity stunts, such as this. It’s all they do these days, and they get away with it because comics are really a low priority for Disney and Warner Bros, who make more money off of films and TV series and toy merchandising than they do comics.

      This reminds me of how SJWs in the Doctor Who fandom threw a hissy fit when Peter Capaldi was cast as Matt Smith’s replacement, saying the Doctor “should regenerate into a woman.” Because diversity, or something. Never mind that there is nothing in the show’s history that alludes to Time Lords being able to change genders. But the SJWs never let facts get in the way of their weekly tantrums.

      And I also don’t like the implication that fans who don’t buy a certain series are “idiots.” I highly doubt that Journey into Mystery was cancelled because it had a woman as a lead character. The more rational explanation is that people simply were not buying it.

    3. “Or create a female thunder goddess. That would be far more creative than this nonsense”

      I do see Xmenexpert’s point that good writing could save this. Though Thor is a longtime superhero, he is based in mythology, and Goddesses have played great roles in European mythologies, maybe a gateway for good stories with a talented writer.

      With that said, I think you are spot on Carl, I’d of preferred a new character too.

    4. Yes, good writing could save anything. Unfortunately, Marvel’s track record for churning out good writing (in its comics division) gets worse and worse as the years go by.

    5. New doesn’t sell any more. Not for Marvel. The Guardians of the Galaxy are selling well, because they’ve got the big movie push. But other than that, I can count on one hand the number of characters created in the past 20 years who’ve really been successful: Deadpool (who was actually created over 20 years ago, but he only got an ongoing in 1998, so I’ll count him), X-23 (a female clone of Wolverine), and Miles Morales. It’s not for lack of trying. Avengers: The Initiative had a lot of excellent characters, and they’re nowhere to be seen. Avengers Academy had a bunch more fantastic characters, and only one is currently showing up anywhere, and the book she’s in is about to end. The Young Avengers have a dedicated fan following, but it’s a relatively small one. Writers keep making new characters, and readers keep shrugging and picking up yet another Wolverine series.

      Marvel’s readers are threatened by change. They want everything to be the same as it was when they first started reading. They don’t want new characters, they want the same characters they’re already familiar with.

      When Marvel tries something new, it doesn’t get many readers. Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery was a brilliant, fascinating, emotional run, but it didn’t pull in great numbers. Kathryn Immonen took over the book and changed the focus to Sif, and even though everyone who read it thought it was great, it just didn’t get any readers. The last volume of Young Avengers, also by Gillen, was fun stuff, and sales dropped quickly. The current Loki book has dropped below 25 000. Mighty Avengers has gotten great reviews right from the start, and its sales had dropped to 23 000 until a tie-in with the current Original Sin event (which, of course, is getting very good sales, as all events do, no matter how much people complain about them).

      Marvel wants to do new things. They keep trying new things. And every damned time, the readers just go back to what’s familiar. They’ll grab Uncanny X-Men, no matter who’s writing it or what’s happening in it. (Though, as it happens, I’m actually really enjoying what Bendis is doing there.)

      Comics are an eternally-shrinking niche. They need to branch out and reach more customers. And that’s a major motivation for Marvel’s current female push. Mainstream comics have a reputation for treating female characters really poorly, which is going to turn off potential female readers. So Marvel’s trying to show that they actually do treat its female characters with respect – and right now, they really do, though there’s still miles to go – and to get female readers to say, “Yeah, This feels inviting.” To get parents to say, “Hey, you know, Captain Marvel would be a great role model for my daughter, so I’ll pick it up for her.”

      They’re doing the same thing with minority characters. The new Nova, the new Ghost Rider, and Miles Morales are all at least half-Latino (the new Ghost Rider is full Latino). Mighty Avengers has a racially diverse cast. Odds are Falcon – a black man – will be taking over as Captain America for a little while.

      Marvel’s trying to reach out beyond the traditional comic book audience, because it’s a financial necessity.

      As far as whether there’s ideas that would turn me off: If it feels like tokenism. I would dislike making Tony Stark transgender because it would feel like it was pulled out of nowhere and contradicts his history. Basically, bad writing would make me cringe. In addition to being a huge fan of diversity, I’m also a huge fan of seeing things change – one of the reasons Kitty Pryde is my favourite character is because we’ve seen her grow and change over the years. Same with Cyclops, my secon-favourite character. One of the reasons a lot of major characters – including Thor – aren’t among my favourites is because they don’t change much. Different characters may have different takes and stress different aspects of the character, but the character’s largely static. If Lady Thor is well-written and shakes things up, then as far as I’m concerned, that’s all that matters. A good story is a good story.

    6. Writers keep making new characters, and readers keep shrugging and picking up yet another Wolverine series.

      Again, so because you liked certain characters deserved to be breakout stars and the readers didn’t, you’re right and they’re wrong.

      Marvel’s readers are threatened by change. They want everything to be the same as it was when they first started reading. They don’t want new characters, they want the same characters they’re already familiar with.

      Really? Because the last time I checked it the Marvel writers and editors who wanted to keep Peter Parker perpetually a man boy. I wanted him to stay married, grow older, have a kid or two, etc. … but they decided to break up the marriage and turn Mary Jane into an idiot. I don’t mind change — I mind stupid change.

      Comics are an eternally-shrinking niche. They need to branch out and reach more customers.

      You’re hilarious. Just the other week you were saying that many comics shouldn’t be for “everybody.” When I said Marvel needed to reach out to guys like Me, Andrew, Patrick, Hube, Carl, Magnetic Eye, Starfire, Riablo, etc. (i.e., perhaps a more right-leaning audience that has been turned away in recent years) that was an absurd idea. But now you’re saying they need to reach more customers. Classic.

      Odds are Falcon – a black man – will be taking over as Captain America for a little while.

      This makes sense. Just as it made sense for Rhodey to become Iron Man, War Machine, etc. What would not make sense would be to make The Red Skull into the new Captain America for a year, which would be the equivalent of making Doctor Octopus the new Spider-Man. What wouldn’t make sense would be to decide that Captain America was gay and then changing his shield’s color into a rainbow to prove some weird political point.

      As far as whether there’s ideas that would turn me off: If it feels like tokenism. I would dislike making Tony Stark transgender because it would feel like it was pulled out of nowhere and contradicts his history.

      So making Thor a woman is not tokenism, but making Tony Stark transgender would be? It’s like you want to admit that this is silly, but you’re just hoping so bad that Marvel can pull a rabbit out of its butt and make this magical.

    7. You’re saying Marvel needs to come up with new characters. I’m saying those new characters don’t catch on, because readers want the same characters they’ve been reading about for decades.

      Spider-Man’s marriage had been around long enough for it to become the status quo, which was why a lot of people got mad when it was changed.

      If Marvel figures that putting out a book that promotes a Randian philosophy would make money, then by all means, they could do so. I’m sceptical whether it would. But I’m not sure that really qualifies as reaching out to non-traditional audiences.

      Thor being replaced by a woman is still different from Captain America coming out as gay.

      Making Tony transgender would be something that runs contrary to his established history. Whether Lady Thor will wind up being tokenism will depend on how the story goes. I do trust Jason Aaron to tell an interesting story.

    8. If Marvel figures that putting out a book that promotes a Randian philosophy would make money, then by all means, they could do so. I’m sceptical whether it would. But I’m not sure that really qualifies as reaching out to non-traditional audiences.

      My example was “A World Without Tony Stark.” It wouldn’t necessarily have to “promote” Randian philosophy, but it could at least broach the philosophy and treat it with respect. I’m not asking for a Randian marching band — I just want what I believe to be treated with respect by the writers and editors — but apparently that’s too much.

      You complain about the industry’s sagging sales, and then when you come to a website that is teeming with people who are unhappy with “the status quo” (i.e., liberal writers shoving their worldview down our throats), you basically say, “Eh. I don’t think what you’d like would sell.” It’s hilarious.

    9. Respectfully, a dozen like-minded people is is hardly “teeming.” I spend a lot of time talking about comics, and I always have to remember that even if there’s a couple hundred people talking about the subject, all in agreement, it’s still a tiny, tiny slice of the overall readership.

    10. I would’ve been fine with Thor Girl getting some focus, too. She’s a cool character who deserves a shot. The thing is, a Thor Girl title would’ve failed. Thor with a female as the title role may or may not do well, but if Thor Girl was around at the same time as Thor, no one would read it, no matter how well-written, because the book wouldn’t be Thor.

      I agree that Journey Into Mystery didn’t fail because it was a woman in the lead role. It failed because it wasn’t a character who had a permanent ongoing already. Marvel tried something new, and even though it was fun, funny, smart, interesting, looked great, and was just an all-around excellent book . . . people don’t want new.

    11. And another thing, too: here’s a list of thunder goddesses from mythology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Thunder_goddesses

      And, related, weather goddesses:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Sky_and_weather_goddesses

      Granted, I believe Marvel might’ve used Pele in a West Coast Avengers story from the 1980s, but I’m not sure. If they wanted to create a thunder goddess, why not look to an existing one from actual mythology or create a new character instead of turning Thor into a woman?

    12. Marvel’s readers are threatened by change. They want everything to be the same as it was when they first started reading. They don’t want new characters, they want the same characters they’re already familiar with.

      While that is probably going to be true of just about any large collection of people, I’d rather put money on that the new series are suffering from the Firefly Effect more than just unwilling to try something new.

      Now I’m more of a DC guy but one of the reasons I have increasingly dropped it and gone with other companies (especially those printing up continuations of my favorite shows – like Samurai Jack) is that even when they run with a “new skin” on some classic title or other, increasingly it all ends up being the same story. I’m willing to bet several Marvel readers feel the same. And if it’s all the same story being told, why bother with anything else new over old favorites? (sort of related to my ice-cream flavors theory I’ve posted on here before but that’s even longer)

      Though I am annoyed they stopped publishing Spider-Girl. That was some new and good storytelling.

    13. You hit the nail on the head here again my man. It’s an epic fail of creativity sopping to diversity. The saddest thing is that anyone with a thumbnail of knowledge about Norse mythology knows there are TONS of strong femaie gods/demigods and others. Freya (whom we can thank for making Friday awesome) goddess of beauty and love but also battle, the handmaidens of Frigg (just a minor part of things being, oh Odin’s wife), and don’t even get me started on the Valkyrie and the Einerejar which were both male and female and hugely bad ass warriors.

    14. The saddest thing is that anyone with a thumbnail of knowledge about Norse mythology knows there are TONS of strong femaie gods/demigods and others. Freya (whom we can thank for making Friday awesome) goddess of beauty and love but also battle, the handmaidens of Frigg (just a minor part of things being, oh Odin’s wife), and don’t even get me started on the Valkyrie and the Einerejar which were both male and female and hugely bad ass warriors.

      Thanks for the comment, Mike. Indeed, it would seem that Marvel’s staff is either lacking in the Norse mythology department, or they’re just lazy. If a person wants to be a good writer, then it definitely helps to be an avid reader. These days it seems like Marvel’s reading list stops at The Huffington Post. Sad.

    15. My example was “A World Without Tony Stark.” It wouldn’t necessarily have to “promote” Randian philosophy, but it could at least broach the philosophy and treat it with respect. I’m not asking for a Randian marching band — I just want what I believe to be treated with respect by the writers and editors — but apparently that’s too much.

      That’s all conservative comic fans such as myself (and probably Doug, Hube, Avi, etc. as well) ask: that if our views are featured, they at least be treated with respect rather than the scorn and derision you see coming from liberal comics writers. I haven’t really read a lot of Rand, but I think there’s definitely a market for such a story, if Marvel chose to write it.

      A big reason why I quit buying contemporary comics altogether is because of the creators shoving their liberal views down my throat and also acting like immature punks on social media (and then people like Slott complain about not turning in scripts on time… maybe if you didn’t spend so much time posting insane rants about gun control and Hobby Lobby, you’d actually get something done. What a concept!).

    16. Hi, I am a new poster here. In early June 2015 I finally canceled my MC Ultimate comic membership. It should not have been an easy decision to make. However it was a lot easier than expected. Because I had not been following marvel news very closely I was unaware of the decision to kill the current universe. I was angry because it seems like marvel just keeps putting its finger in my eye. I was hurt and angry. I wrote a very respectful and heartfelt reply to their news article about the impending disaster. And I checked on any responses interesting to note many people had very similar feelings. To my surprise I found the whole article missing (along with the comments attached) a few days later. So yeah I think marvel has finally pushed too far the Dan Slotted affair was really bad.

      This bulls**t just pushes more people, myself included, away even more. I am pretty heartbroken over this, as a piece of my childhood 05 as been robbed from me. This was something I first gained interest in from my deceased father. So yeah this is a very sad thing.

    17. It seems like marvel just keeps putting its finger in my eye. … This bulls**t just pushes more people, myself included, away even more. I am pretty heartbroken over this, as a piece of my childhood 05 as been robbed from me. This was something I first gained interest in from my deceased father. So yeah this is a very sad thing.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Jeffrey. I appreciate it. Your story much more common than it should be. As someone who grew up on Marvel comics, it is sad for me to read about a guy who was introduced to Marvel by his father now turning away from the brand. What makes it worse is that all to often it seems as though Marvel’s editors are trying to poke guys like you in the eye.

      Hopefully there will come a day where a professional crop of creators takes root at Marvel. Maybe then you can once again capture the kind of enjoyment from its books that you first got when experiencing them with your father.

    18. SJWs ruin everything. They are the exact reason why no one can have nice things. Let me know when this story is over so I can go back to reading my book.

    19. Thanks for reading and commenting, ScS_BuRsT_II. I appreciate it. I also appreciate a man who uses any variant of “this is why we can’t have nice things” when referring to modern feminists. 🙂

  2. Something about this really bothers me… it’s not that they’ve made Thor a woman, or for that matter Wally West black, it’s that they disrespect them enough to change what is (no matter how much leftists deny it) a fundamental part of their character. You’re right – if they wanted to push a progressive superhero in the vein of the lightning god, they should have created a new character or just kept pushing Sif. I like her.

    (I would have included Harper, but I’m not sure if she’s taking on the role of Nightwing or becoming Batman’s sidekick under a new identity.)

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Starfire. I appreciate it.

      You’re right – if they wanted to push a progressive superhero in the vein of the lightning god, they should have created a new character or just kept pushing Sif. I like her.

      That seems to me to be the path of least resistance, but for whatever reason Marvel’s new business model seems to be “Let’s annoy as many potential customers as possible and then mock them for not understanding our genius.” Smooth move, guys.

    2. They have leeway to do this, it seems, given that the MCU is
      printing truckloads of money for them. I wonder if that will change when the fond dries up…

    3. Yes, it does seem as though the comics division is, ironically, the weakest link these days. Movies, toys, video games, etc. all make Marvel a ton of money. It almost seems as if the top brass just waves its hand and says, “Eh, do what you want. Just don’t cause us too many headaches and figure out a way to incorporate this stuff into new toys once-in-awhile.”

    4. “You’re right – if they wanted to push a progressive superhero in the vein of the lightning god, they should have created a new character or just kept pushing Sif. I like her.”

      Exactly. Like I said earlier, if they want to create a female Thunder goddess, they could either bring Thor Girl (for those who don’t know who she is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_Girl) back or create a new superheroine altogether. This is just lazy writing.

    5. This is not good enough, Carl! 😉 Thor must be a woman. Peter Parker must one day be Pam Parker. Reed Richards must one day be Rihanna Richards, and she will fall in love with Sue. Then the human torch will fall in love with The Thing and the Fantastic Four will be the Fabulous Four. And then the diversity gods will smile on Marvel.

    6. “This is not good enough, Carl! 😉 Thor must be a woman. Peter Parker must one day be Pam Parker. Reed Richards must one day be Rihanna Richards, and she will fall in love with Sue. Then the human torch will fall in love with The Thing and the Fantastic Four will be the Fabulous Four. And then the diversity gods will smile on Marvel.”

      LOL! Yeah, even if you introduce diverse characters, it’s never good enough for the perpetually outraged SJW crowd. Reminds me of those politically correct clowns who hated X-Men: Days of Future Past because it wasn’t “diverse enough” and because Wolverine replaced Kitty as the time traveler. So you can’t just enjoy a movie? You have to pick it apart because it doesn’t fill every box on your little checklist? Yeesh.

    7. Well, I can disagree with “being white” being a fundamental part of Wally West’s character. My understanding is that the problem with that change is that they chose to turn the character into a black stereotype.

      With Thor, well, it’s actually a little more complicated, I think. For one thing, Lee and Kirby pretty much tossed Norse myth out the window from the start. Thor as a blond, Loki as his adopted brother – Odin had two eyes until the ’80s. So the actual mythology has no bearing on the comics. That changes what counts as fundamental about Thor.

      The fundamental thing is “worthiness,” which is never really defined. We’ve seen others lift Mjolnir before. Beta Ray Bill, Eric Masterson, Captain America (on a couple occasions) – hell, Wonder Woman lifted it in the ’90s Marvel vs. DC series. So since we’ve already got that precedent for people other than Thor himself being worthy, there’s nothing actually stopping a woman from being worthy.

      The one thing I wonder is Jason Aaron’s intention. Did he choose a woman as a way to add a little diversity, or did he do it because he saw it as a story that had never been done? I’m inclined to believe the latter. Diversity may have factored in, but I have a hunch it was probably only a minor consideration, and that he mostly just though it would make for some stories that hadn’t been told before.

    8. Marvel are doing this purely because of diversity. It will get mainstream press.

      marvel have been releasing morewomen-centric titles. Most of these with established characters.

      Now this is a good thing as long as the stories are good.

    9. Luckily, the stories actually have been pretty much universally good. I’ve been loving KSD’s Captain Marvel from the start. The current Black Widow book is excellent. Elektra’s well-written with gorgeous art. Ms. Marvel is one of the funnest books Marvel has right now. She-Hulk is another one that’s so much fun. The upcoming Storm ongoing looks good (and it’s about time). Adjectiveless X-Men has been great under Brian Wood, All-New X-Men has Jean Grey as the main character and has been excellent.

      So, regardless of why Marvel’s doing it (and I think they do want to create a more diverse line, which is something I agree with, as most of my favourite characters are diverse), they are doing a very good job with it.

    10. If these books are as good as you say why is female Thor needed?

      Let’s turn it on its head. What if they gave Storm a further mutation where she became male and white. Would that be acceptable?

    11. One thing to make clear: This is not Thor being transformed. This is a new character being given his power. Normal Thor will still be around, wielding a big-ass axe until he’s worthy to use his hammer again.

      A female Thor isn’t needed. Presumably, Jason Aaron just wanted to tell the story, and it happens to fit Marvel’s current push for Strong Female Protagonists. (Side note: Strong Female Protagonist is a really good webcomic.)

      That’s a common question, but it’s one that I feel comes from the wrong place. Making a black character white is problematic because it reduces diversity. The default is still Straight White Male – taking a character who doesn’t fit that, and then changing them so they do, reduces diversity. Given the general population is becoming more diverse, it’s not just reasonable for fiction to do the same, it’s arguably good business sense.

      If female characters were as commonplace as male characters (not necessarily in terms of overall numbers, but in terms of popularity, importance and so on), then having a female character replaced with a male one wouldn’t be a big problem. But right now, that’s not the situation. Right now, females still don’t have the same importance as males. That’s changing, no question. X-Men has an all-female cast, Storm is being set up to be the leader of the JGS side of them X-Men, Jean Grey is the main character in All-New X-Men with Kitty as the team’s leader, Maria Hill is in charge of the Secret Avengers, October’s solicits make me think Captain Marvel might soon become the leader of the Avengers, Monica Rambeau is the field leader of the Mighty Avengers, Medusa is in charge of the Inhumans – there are women in important roles right now. But it’s a very delicate situation. It’s tough to tell how long it’ll last. By this time next year, we could see a complete reversal of all those gains. It’s going to take years for this to really become standard (and actually, I can virtually guarantee that some of the gains WILL be reversed – by the time Avengers 2 rolls around, Captain Marvel will be lucky if she’s in the book at all, let alone leading – and, of course, the fans will pretty much demand that Rogers, Stark and Thor be the leaders again pretty soon anyway, because that’s the situation they’re familiar with, and they only accept familiar situations).

      So, the short version is that it’s a false equivalence. One thing improves diversity, the other reduces it. So it comes down to whether you view diversity, in and of itself, as being a positive goal to strive for.

    12. That’s a common question, but it’s one that I feel comes from the wrong place. Making a black character white is problematic because it reduces diversity. The default is still Straight White Male – taking a character who doesn’t fit that, and then changing them so they do, reduces diversity. Given the general population is becoming more diverse, it’s not just reasonable for fiction to do the same, it’s arguably good business sense.

      Translation: It’s all about the story telling…unless it reduces diversity. Good storytelling takes a back seat to diversity, even if the creators had one heck of an amazing story to tell.

      But it’s a very delicate situation. It’s tough to tell how long it’ll last. By this time next year, we could see a complete reversal of all those gains. It’s going to take years for this to really become standard

      If you believe Marvel readers are idiots, do you think that perhaps it’s because writers and editors and guys like you treat them pawns on a chessboard who need to be controlled with sociological experiments? In your world it seems like there must be roughly 50 percent female superheroes, 20 percent black superheroes, 15 percent Hispanic etc. to match some statistical breakdown given to Marvel by the U.S. Census Bureau — and if that ever changes (Wait, I thought you liked change?) then somehow “gains” are being lost.

      Would it be a “gain” or a “loss” for diversity if Marvel had a six-month storyline where some cosmic power turned the entire Marvel Universe into white gay males?

    13. You should probably stop trying to “translate” the things I say. Not only are you consistently wrong, it’s flat-out rude.

      A good story’s a good story. If someone comes up with a good story where a black character is replaced by a white one, or a female by a male, or whatever, and they tell it well, it’s still a good story. But it’s much more difficult to pull that off, because there’s a lot more unfortunate implications in it.

      It’s not about raw numbers. Did I not flat-out say it’s not about raw numbers? I thought I said that. It’s about reaching a point where Straight White Male is not the default. It’s about reaching the point where a diverse range of characters are consistently in important roles in high-selling books.

      Your hypothetical is ridiculous, but I’ll answer it anyway: It would be a loss for those six months, because it would be fewer minority groups appearing.

    14. You should probably stop trying to “translate” the things I say. Not only are you consistently wrong, it’s flat-out rude.

      Translation: I can call people who don’t buy Marvel products that I like idiots who are “afraid of change” — in a forum filled with people not buying Marvel products I like — and it’s not rude, but if Doug juxtaposes my own words next to his translation it’s rude.

      Get over yourself. I’m not swearing at you. I’m not yelling at you. If you don’t like my translation, then tell me why I’m wrong. I’m consistently wrong? You’re consistently all over the map because you “see all sides” (except the sides you don’t want to see).

      You don’t like my hypothetical because it forces you to say things like “It’s about reaching a point where Straight White Male is not the default. It’s about reaching the point where a diverse range of characters are consistently in important roles in high-selling books.” You don’t like it because it proves that you’d sacrifice great stories with a “straight white male” if you and your ideological friends in the comic industry could make some “gains” in the social engineering department.

    15. No, your little “translation” routine is just rude. Putting words in someone’s mouth is a jerk move.

      I have no problem saying the things I say. You may not agree with them, but I refuse to let you suggest I am the least bit ashamed of the views I hold, or that there is anything I should be ashamed of.

      And for the record, there is absolutely no reason why story quality has to be sacrificed to make it more diverse. It’s not an either/or situation. You can have both. And nowhere – not once – have I ever said otherwise.I have repeatedly stated that telling a good story is paramount. So don’t try to claim I’ve said a damned thing contrary to that.

    16. It looks like someone is on the verge of a serious temper tantrum. Do you need a time out, xmenxpert?

      You’re the one who says you like to “see all sides” as you talk out both sides of your mouth. You say a bunch of pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook. I “translate” what you’re really saying as you attempt avoid getting nailed down. If you don’t like it, oh well. Unlike you, I don’t think Marvel fans are “idiots.” If I’m wrong, then it doesn’t matter.

      Your words are right next to your words. It’s not like I’m pulling a Dan Slott and saying on Twitter, “Look what xmenxpert is saying…” and then proceeding to completely lie and distort what you’ve said. Nope — your words are right next to mine. I’ll let the readers decide.

      And for the record, there is absolutely no reason why story quality has to be sacrificed to make it more diverse.

      You can’t even see even see the holes in your own logic because you are obsessed with diversity. Any fair-minded individual who comes here can see that your fixation on diversity is unhealthy. They can also see that your desire for “diversity” only extends as far as your ideological limits, which happen to be on the left side of the political spectrum.

    17. Yeah, I’m done. I’m done talking to you entirely. You’re acting like a jerk, and I have absolutely no interest in dealing with that. I’m sure you’ll declare that I’m being a “coward” and other such nonsense. You have fun with that.

    18. Yeah, I’m done. I’m done talking to you entirely. You’re acting like a jerk, and I have absolutely no interest in dealing with that. I’m sure you’ll declare that I’m being a “coward” and other such nonsense. You have fun with that.

      Translation: I won’t talk to Hube because he nails me to the wall and now I won’t talk to the moderator because he does the same thing.

      I don’t need to call you a coward. That’s what your buddy Dan Slott does. Like I said, your behavior is on the wall. I trust the readers to decide who you are and what you’re all about.

    19. Diversity.

      Fantastic word to throw in to any argument as it makes the person arguing against the matter sexist, racist, etc. I’m not getting into that debate here.

      Can I just ask you if there is any change you have not defended before reading? And do you understand that people read these books for the original characters and not liberal agendas of the creators?

    20. I’m not trying to cast anyone as the bad guy here. I’m giving my view; obviously, in this particular thread, I’m of the minority opinion. I’m not saying that being against a Female Thor is sexist, especially since there’s actually feminist reasons to oppose the move, too.

      Off-hand, I’m having trouble coming up with changes I disapproved of before reading the stories. It might be because I like seeing things change, which leads me to more of a “wait-and-see” attitude towards this sort of thing. There are plenty of stories I’ve been sceptical of beforehand, but for changes, nothing’s coming to mind.

      And yeah, of course people are reading for the characters. But I don’t think that, for example, the Sif-led Journey Into Mystery had a particularly liberal agenda. The problem it faced was not being Thor, or Hulk, or Wolverine. It was a solo title features a character who didn’t already have one for the past 40 years. That’s why I argue that Marvel’s readers feel threatened by change and don’t want anything new. It’s not about agendas, it’s about readers only buying specific titles, no matter what stories are being told.

    21. And yeah, of course people are reading for the characters. But I don’t think that, for example, the Sif-led Journey Into Mystery had a particularly liberal agenda. The problem it faced was not being Thor, or Hulk, or Wolverine. It was a solo title features a character who didn’t already have one for the past 40 years. That’s why I argue that Marvel’s readers feel threatened by change and don’t want anything new. It’s not about agendas, it’s about readers only buying specific titles, no matter what stories are being told.

      This is like the person who votes for “change” every four years in the presidential election and then complains at the results. Just as real meaningful change starts at the local level and grows from there, probably the best way to make a character is not to give him/her a series too quickly, but to incorporate them into existing tales. Introduce the character in a major title (e.g., Thor) in really cool ways, then use that as a jumping off point to use them in other series (e.g., Silver Surfer) to build a fan base that would warrant “Thor Girl” or whomever. That sort of work takes a lot of time, though. It takes consistent excellence. Marvel, however, likes the quick press release that will get it Kudos from the media and fans of a certain ideological bent.

    22. Even that strategy seldom works. Sif was a supporting character for Thor since the ’60s. She’s had one-shots, she was in the movies. And her solo title still failed quickly. Captain Marvel’s got a long history in the comics, and her previous volume got low sales, and the current one isn’t doing much better. The problem is readers increasingly want to buy the books that have always existed.

    23. Personally, I view storytelling as more important than diversity. And intellectual diversity is more important than skin color diversity. I’m not opposed to diversity at all (the team in the book I’m writing is reasonably diverse, but I prefer to focus on who they are as human beings), but I don’t think it should be forced. I believe a story should appeal to everyone, not just one group or another.

      I don’t buy into the whole “default white” notion, largely because writers of all colors typically model their main characters after themselves (an African-American author is likely to have an African-American lead character, for example). There isn’t a conspiracy to restrict non-white characters.

    24. Storytelling should always come first, no question. But I think the repetition of that point can lead to the false dichotomy of, “The story can be diverse or it can be good.” I tend to think that diversity can actually lead to a lot of really interesting stories.

      You’re right that a lot of writers tend to model their characters on themselves, but that actually leads to other questions. I’ll restrict it to comics, but here’s a big question: Are there so few black characters because there are so few black writers, or are there so few black writers because there are so few black characters? Do potential black readers look at the lack of diversity in comics, and feel less welcome as a result?

      I wasn’t trying to imply there was a conspiracy. But I do think it’s a really, really complex situation.

    25. Given that millions of black people love Marvel movies, wear Captain America shirts, etc. I’d say it has little to do with race. A good character is a good character. They obviously love the movies. The question, however, is why are they not reading the comics? I’ve seen tons of black people enjoy Marvel movies; I rarely see a black guy in a comic shop. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I’m just saying that has been my experience going into comics book shops since I was five years old. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, I lived in Los Angeles for years, and I also lived in Washington, D.C. for almost a decade. Right now I’m getting acclimated to the New York City area.

    26. Everyone loves a good popcorn flick (though Marvel also needs to work to get more diversity in their movies – they need a Black Panther movie, a Captain Marvel movie, and all sorts of other female and minority-led movies). It’s tough to know why more black people (and other minorities) don’t read the comics. The perceived lack of prominent black role models very well may fit into that. I’m not saying it’s definitely the case, but I think it’s a question that deserves to be answered.

    27. It’s tough to know why more black people (and other minorities) don’t read the comics. The perceived lack of prominent black role models very well may fit into that.

      Nobody cares about that. No kid thinks, “Wow, I wish Superman looked like me. I wish Spider-Man looked like me.” Kids only care about the super-powers. Yeesh.

      I’m pretty sure the price of comics these days explains a lot of it. If you don’t have a lot of disposable income, then you’re not going to spend it on comic books.

    28. The thing is, it’s easy for us – as straight white males who are really well-represented in fiction – to say, “Hey, anyone can relate to these characters!” But to the people who don’t look like us, it does mean a lot to have people who look like them. Writer Greg Pak, who will soon be writing Storm’s first solo ongoing, said that Storm meant a lot to him as a kid because she looked different. She wasn’t another white character, and since he’s a person of colour, seeing her was a big deal to him. You can find plenty of anecdotes along those lines.

      And even you’ve expressed a similar view. You’ve talked in the past about wanting conservative views reflected in comics. The obvious question is why. The obvious answer is because, as a conservative, you want there to be characters who reflect you.

      The price is definitely a major factor. But there is, at least, anecdotal evidence to suggest that the homogeneity of comics factors in, too. (Not that anecdotal evidence proves anything, of course. But I think it is a valid question nonetheless.)

    29. And even you’ve expressed a similar view. You’ve talked in the past about wanting conservative views reflected in comics. The obvious question is why. The obvious answer is because, as a conservative, you want there to be characters who reflect you.

      Actually, I want characters that reflect reality. And the reality in the United States is that there are roughly 200 million people who agree with me on any number of political issues. You wouldn’t know that by reading Marvel comics. You also wouldn’t know that if you looked at its staff. Is there one openly conservative writer on staff?

    30. Same here Carl. If its a good story I don’t care if the protagonist or antagonist are male or female, black or white. My parents brought me up to judge people on who they are.

      I am 100% in favour of everybody being treated equally and being rewarded exactly the same for the same effort put in. One bug bear of mine though is the prizes in Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Men and Women’s prizes are the same, even though men play best of 5 and women best of 3.

    31. I think the Sif example is a poor one to consider. The character had been in existence for many years and at some stage almost every character gets their own centric story. I would also agree that Sif’s run was not a liberal agenda storyline. This was an established character in her own story. It failed and I have never read it so can’t say why.

      This move is to force a brand new (I assume its brand new) character into an established characters role. I personally would see a better story in Sif being chosen by the hammer to have the power of Thor. This would have created a new dynamic between existing characters.

      Now I know we need new characters and comic creators want to create their own. The main problem with a universe with over 50 years of history is that new characters don’t always fit, especially when they try to say “they were always there! they just never revealed themselves!”

      Has this new female character been introduced in the main Thor title yet? If she hasn’t then they should. Make her a part of Thor’s world so that when she wields the hammer it has an affect on Thor.

    32. Making Sif Thor would’ve been interesting, but tough to pull off, I think. There’s enough history to make it reasonable to believe that she’s not worthy.

      I’m actually not a fan of the “always there but never known” idea, though it especially applies to villains who secretly controlled the history of the world.

      We don’t know yet who’s going to be wielding the hammer, so it’s impossible to say if she’s been introduced. Maybe it’ll be a brand new character. Maybe it’ll be his new girlfriend, Roz Solomon. There’s some speculation it’ll be Angela, the Spawn character Marvel recently acquired. We’ll have to wait and see.

    33. This is like the person who votes for “change” every four years in the presidential election and then complains at the results. Just as real meaningful change starts at the local level and grows from there, probably the best way to make a character is not to give him/her a series too quickly, but to incorporate them into existing tales.

      I do wonder what happened to the old “back up tales” that used to be in comics.

      You think also the companies could look into adopting web comic methods. Posting a page 3 times a week or something for free, then selling trade paperback collections when its popular enough, etc.

    34. Indeed, even though I live in what city-dwellers would consider “the sticks,” I’ve seen plenty of black people at Marvel movies I’ve gone to see at my local theater. I’ve known a few black comic fans in the past. People of all stripes enjoy the movies because they appeal to everyone, as opposed to pandering to the liberal fans who still buy their product no matter what.

      Marvel DID have a series of successful movies with a non-white character: it’s called Blade. Along with the first X-Men movie, the first movie is credited with reviving the superhero genre at a time when many thought Batman and Robin had killed it.

      “Storytelling should always come first, no question. But I think the repetition of that point can lead to the false dichotomy of, “The story can be diverse or it can be good.” I tend to think that diversity can actually lead to a lot of really interesting stories.”

      Except it isn’t a false dichotomy. Message fiction doesn’t sell well. Forced diversity doesn’t sell well. Larry Correia got attacked by liberals for saying that you should put story before message. He has diverse characters, but focuses on who they are as human beings instead. I’ve always had a colorblind view of people: I see them as human beings, not quotas, and if I’m going to feature a character, I’d rather focus on who they are as human being instead of pandering to political correctness and social engineering.

      (though Marvel also needs to work to get more diversity in their movies – they need a Black Panther movie, a Captain Marvel movie, and all sorts of other female and minority-led movies).

      You seem a little too obsessed with diversity. Is it the be all, end all with you? I’d like to see a Black Panther movie, too, although I’d prefer to see Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel or Warbird instead of Captain Marvel.

    35. Carol has to be Captain Marvel. This is non-negotiable.

      Fiction created specifically for a message doesn’t sell well, agreed. It needs to be entertaining beyond that. But there’s no reason why one has to sacrifice entertainment to create more diversity. Mighty Avengers is a deeply diverse book, and hugely entertaining (Greg Land’s awful tracing aside). Adjectiveless X-Men has been really diverse, and a great book. A lot of classic Black Panther stories dealt heavily with racial issues, and they were great stories.

      I disagree with the “colour blind” philosophy, though it’s a complex enough issue that I don’t feel like getting into it. Suffice it to say, I believe race to be something that does have an influence – to a greater or lesser degree depending on the person – on who a person is. The same way nationality does. The average Canadian and the average American do have some key differences in worldview.

      It’s not that I think of diversity as the be-all, end-all. It’s that I think it’s a worthy goal to strive for. I think it’s something that deserves to be always taken into consideration. Sometimes it won’t work for a story, and that doesn’t make the story bad or less deserving of being told. But I think it’s always worthwhile for a creator to look at their story and see if they can diversify it.

    36. “Nobody cares about that. No kid thinks, “Wow, I wish Superman looked like me. I wish Spider-Man looked like me.” Kids only care about the super-powers. Yeesh.”

      Exactly right. The kids just want the superpowers. They could care less about what the characters look like. I know I was that way when I was younger. I just wanted their powers and abilities.

      “I’m pretty sure the price of comics these days explains a lot of it. If you don’t have a lot of disposable income, then you’re not going to spend it on comic books.”

      That’s a big reason. Individual issues of comics are expensive. A lot of people just wait for them to be collected into trades.

    37. The thing is, it’s easy for us – as straight white males who are really well-represented in fiction – to say, “Hey, anyone can relate to these characters!” But to the people who don’t look like us, it does mean a lot to have people who look like them.”

      Uh-huh. Back when I was working at McDonald’s, a black co-worker of mine told me that his favorite character was Spider-Man. At no point did he indicate that he wanted the character to be changed t look like him. Also, you’re implying that we’re “privileged,” aren’t you? That gobbledygook doesn’t fly with me. I’m not privileged, nor have I ever been privileged. I come from an ordinary, working class background and I’ve had to work hard to get things. It hasn’t always been easy for me, especially since I have Asperger’s. But I preserver and refuse to blame others for whatever predicament I’m in.

      “Writer Greg Pak, who will soon be writing Storm’s first solo ongoing, said that Storm meant a lot to him as a kid because she looked different. She wasn’t another white character, and since he’s a person of colour, seeing her was a big deal to him. You can find plenty of anecdotes along those lines.”

      I like Storm, too, but I could care less what color she is. I think she’s a great character and personally I don’t care what color a character is as long as he or she is interesting. Also, I wouldn’t want Marvel to create an Asperger’s hero, because to me that would feel like pandering and I view myself as an ordinary guy who just happens to have a disability. I don’t tell people that I have it unless it comes up in a conversation.

    38. “Carol has to be Captain Marvel. This is non-negotiable.”

      Really? One of the reasons I liked her as Warbird as because it was her own unique role. One of the reasons I liked Nightwing is because it was his own unique role instead of him just becoming another Batman, although that did happen eventually…

      A more cynical but probably true reason for her having to be Captain Marvel is because they don’t want their rights to that name to lapse and let DC publish a Shazam comic that’s actually called Captain Marvel.

      “I disagree with the “colour blind” philosophy, though it’s a complex enough issue that I don’t feel like getting into it. Suffice it to say, I believe race to be something that does have an influence – to a greater or lesser degree depending on the person – on who a person is. The same way nationality does. The average Canadian and the average American do have some key differences in worldview.”

      MLK would disagree with you. He preached that you should judge someone by the content of their character as opposed to their color of their skin and generally speaking that’s something I’ve always believed in. I view people as people, and I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I don’t think it has any real influence on anything in the 21st century. Unless your name is Al Sharpton, and you profit from grievances.

      Fiction created specifically for a message doesn’t sell well, agreed. It needs to be entertaining beyond that. But there’s no reason why one has to sacrifice entertainment to create more diversity. Mighty Avengers is a deeply diverse book, and hugely entertaining (Greg Land’s awful tracing aside). Adjectiveless X-Men has been really diverse, and a great book. A lot of classic Black Panther stories dealt heavily with racial issues, and they were great stories.

      Gail Simone’s “The Movement” is an example of a message comic that didn’t sell well. I never said that fiction shouldn’t be diverse. But I don’t think diversity should be the main focus of a story at all.

    39. Oh, yeah, I agree that we should judge people for who they are. My point was that we shouldn’t assume race doesn’t matter at all. It tends to matter to the people who belong to a given race, same way nationality matters to people of a given nationality. I mean, I don’t think I should be judged for being Canadian, but being Canadian is a part of who I am.

      As far as diversity not being the main focus, well, I think that does depend somewhat on the story. There are very good stories that deal explicitly with racial issues. Some sell, some don’t, but I think it’s worth telling the stories. I suspect what you mean, though, is that there shouldn’t be “quotas,” and yeah, that I agree with. My argument isn’t in favour of forcing diversity where it doesn’t belong. My argument is in favour of creators choosing to look at their stories and seeing if there’s a way to make it more diverse without sacrificing quality.

    40. “Yeah, I’m done. I’m done talking to you entirely. You’re acting like a jerk, and I have absolutely no interest in dealing with that. I’m sure you’ll declare that I’m being a “coward” and other such nonsense. You have fun with that.”

      No, he isn’t. You just don’t like it that people here poke holes in your worldview and as with most progressives, you throw childish tantrums when people who point that out. Grow up, for Christ’s sake.

    41. My problem isn’t with “poking holes” in my worldview. My problem is with misrepresenting my worldview, trying to put words in my mouth. Huge difference. I don’t mind being challenged, but I expect to be treated with some respect, and I don’t believe Doug is doing that.

    42. My problem isn’t with “poking holes” in my worldview. My problem is with misrepresenting my worldview, trying to put words in my mouth. Huge difference. I don’t mind being challenged, but I expect to be treated with some respect, and I don’t believe Doug is doing that.

      I’ve treated with you with enormous respect. I can also count multiple threads where you’ve gone on nonsensical diatribes where I just let you go on … and on … and on. You can have your say, but you will be challenged. Like I said, your words are right next to mine. If you don’t like it, then that’s your problem.

    43. “Actually, I want characters that reflect reality. And the reality in the United States is that there a couple hundred million people who agree with me on any number of political issues. You wouldn’t know that by reading Marvel comics. You also wouldn’t know that if you looked at its staff. Is there one openly conservative writer on staff?”

      Not sure. And if there are conservatives on the staff, they’d probably have to hide their view in order to keep their jobs. People like Slott, Remender, Waid, et al are allowed to post whatever they want on social media but I have a feeling that a conservative writer who told people to go drown in hobo piss (like Remender infamously did) would’ve been out the door before he or she knew what hit them.

    44. Haha. Very true, Carl.

      We need more diversity because everything is better with diversity…but just don’t put anything remotely Randian in Marvel comics because xmenxpert doesn’t think that will sell, and don’t hire any strong conservative voices at Marvel because that will throw off Dan Slott’s writing schedule more than usual.

  3. Whenever I want to judge whether a change to an established character is worthwhile or nonsense I ask my wife’s opinion. She doesn’t read comics but sees all the films with me. Her reaction to this was a furrowed brow and the simple question “why?”

    The annoying thing is that this will change just in time for the next movie Thor is in. This may not be the next Avengers movie but its likely.

    I can imagine the backslapping that went around the table when they come up with this. Even though it wasn’t that long ago that Thor was killed off and replaced by Tanarus for about 8 issues (I don’t know the exact number). Oh well, just another Marvel comic I won’t be buying.

    1. I think the Tanarus thing actually lasted less than 8 issues. I think it was five issues – a standard arc.

      I will say, though, that if you’ve been buying and enjoying Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder, this book will probably be worth picking up, too. If you haven’t been buying it, of course, then yeah, probably not worth bothering with (which is the situation I’m in).

    2. The current Thor run is the only Marvel book the manager of my local comic book shop recommends. Now he may like others but by the time he has finished gushing over it I have completed my transaction and headed back to work. I have read the first 2 arcs and have to say they are not as good as other Thor eras I have read.

      That Tanarus was only a five issue arc is shocking. After all he was only introduced after *spoiler* Thor’s death in Fear Itself. That is a big reason why I don’t bother with Marvel other than Hawkeye. The big events every year take over all the books and the big changes made are changed back in a short period.

    3. I think Aaron’s doing great work on Thor, though Walt Simonson obviously did the definitive Thor run. (I’ve been reading DeFalco’s run. It’s OK.)

      The events do get tiring, and unfortunately, they do sometimes derail books. My understanding is that the writers choose whether to tie in or not, though I suspect some books are under more pressure to do it. Captain Marvel’s tie-in to Infinity was an unfortunate case – it came at exactly the wrong moment, and killed a lot of momentum. On the other hand, some books do great work with them – Avengers Academy’s Fear Itself tie-in issues were excellent. But by and large, I don’t much care for events.

    4. Have to agree to disagree on the quality of the current Thor run.

      I am suffering super hero fatigue. The only marv l book I read is Hawkeye and the only DC one is Swamp Thing. Hardly classic super hero fare

    5. I don’t know if you’ve read Pretty Deadly, but you should check that out. Gorgeous book. A Western, but with lots of mystical, mythical elements. Really lyrical writing, and beautiful art.

      You should also check out the new Gillen/McKelvie series, The Wicked + The Divine. It’s similar to their Phonogram work, but very, very different.

    6. I’m not looking to pick up anything new at the moment as I change jobs soon.

      I will pop onto the shop and flick through them though.

    7. The annoying thing is that this will change just in time for the next movie Thor is in. This may not be the next Avengers movie but its likely. I can imagine the backslapping that went around the table when they come up with this.

      And that’s the thing: they all bat themselves on the back for … a publicity stunt. A politically correct publicity stunt. If you’re going to be P.C.-obsessed writers and editors, then just go all out so there is no mistake where you stand, guys.

    8. I see that the change happens in October. The new Avengers movie is out 1st May. So October, November, December, January, February, March, April means a 7 issue story with Thor’s Triumphant return in May? That’ll shift copies!

  4. It seems to me that this as well as other Moves at marvel are just gimmicks to gain attention. I have no issues with diversity the problems I have are:

    1) The lack of good stories, if you have to radically change the character because you cannot write a good story you need a new writer.
    2) Using diversity as a marketing tool and trying to pass it off as being socially responsible is unethical. Let us be clear this is a gimmick to push sales and other agendas.
    3) Create good new characters with good stories. Marvel could also use the characters they have and expand on them. Consider Luke Cage and how they have developed the character over the past years. It seems that Marvel is using the easy out in order to intentionally create a buzz to try to sell the books.
    With that said, all of the buzz and attention they are creating is yet to foster any long-term gains. Is the short-term gain worth losing long-term readers?
    For example, we keep hearing how great the new Ms. Marvel is selling, really?
    MS. Marvel
    Decline
    1 50286
    2 38357 0.237
    3 37140 0.031728
    4 34839 0.061955
    5 33795 0.029966

    I am sorry but this has not been good (despite the spin Marvel uses). In addition, look at the Captain America’s sales numbers they are also going down fast, Marvel needs to ask why. Change for the sake of change is not always good. Change is something that has to have solid goals and measurable expectations. Marvel is making change for shock value and short-term sales spikes that seem to dwindle fast and it may be hurting them in the long-term by losing long time readers.

    1. Change is something that has to have solid goals and measurable expectations.

      I’d say Marvel is going for “change” simply for the sake of “change.” They’re using the “More diversity!” rallying cry of xmenxpert. Why? “Because women…and power…and respect…and stuff!” As far as measurable expectations, it seems as though they’ve thrown that out the window to bow at the alter of Diversity.

    2. “Marvel is going for “change” simply for the sake of “change.”

      That is what I fear as well. My wife and I at one time were purchasing 10+ books a month from Marvel, now we purchase 4 and that may go down to 2 soon. This decrease is not due to money…we are pretty good there it is due to poor stories and writers that insult their readers.

      I am fine with change when change is needed or good. I find a gender or skin color change for no reason than shock value for a quick boost to be shameful and disrespectful to all. How would people react if they changed Storm to make her white? I would be against that as well. I stand by my statement that good writing is the major key. If they need more diversity focus on characters they have or make new ones. It is disrespectful to long time readers to significantly alter their characters for sales gimmicks. I do not have any data to support my theory other than a quick scan of the sales numbers here but I would guess that it is turning away more long-term fans than what they are gaining.

    3. That is what I fear as well. My wife and I at one time were purchasing 10+ books a month from Marvel, now we purchase 4 and that may go down to 2 soon. This decrease is not due to money…we are pretty good there it is due to poor stories and writers that insult their readers.

      xmenxpert keeps talking about reaching out to find new fans, but Marvel can’t even keep the ones it has. I wish he would just be honest and say that he hopes Marvel can more than make up for the loss of readers like you by attracting hordes of people who see things like She-Thor and Superior Spider-Man and say, “Cool!”

    4. If that were possible then I would say it is a good business decision, but from what we have seen it has not proven to be effective. Marvel needs to look into more ways to get readers to look at the characters they do have as well as make new ones. Trashing current characters is not the answer it loses readers with the hope of some gains. How about writing books with the current characters and use them to introduce new characters increasing potential for new and old readers. Marvel continues to slap old readers in hope that they will take it and be happy. If a reader is not happy they are now “unwilling to embrace change” “sexist” or whatever derogatory statement they want to use that week. As a business how is that a good businesses decision? Marvel really needs a good PR manager to go in and lay down the law. Once again look at what Marvel did with Luke Cage, they used a platform that was safe (the Avengers) and used it to grow a character that was out of the public eye. It was a win for the company.

    5. Marvel really needs a good PR manager to go in and lay down the law. Once again look at what Marvel did with Luke Cage, they used a platform that was safe (the Avengers) and used it to grow a character that was out of the public eye. It was a win for the company.

      There you go with that whole “logic and reason” thing again. When will you just give that up? 🙂

    6. “There you go with that whole “logic and reason” thing again. When will you just give that up”

      Evil laugh..HAAHAHAHA
      I know it is a flaw; I tend to debate with facts and ask questions that let those that oppose bury themselves with their answers. It is a slow style that tends to bother some. The end result is usually the other person going off on rants and character attacks about me after they make a complete fool of themselves.

    7. Would you say this is how the “comic book nerds HATE change” stereotype came about? I haven’t looked into it very much, but I’d wager that most alterations (for lack of a better example, Spock) are hated for not being meaningful.

  5. Here is Furious D’s take on She-Thor.

    There are literally whole websites dedicated to the sexist hyper-sexualized and physic/anatomy defying portrayals of women in comic books. But, make Thor a woman for a little while, and all seems to be forgiven, and the folks who green lit those images are treated like they’re the vanguard of the women’s rights movement. That’s not insane, it inane, because it seems to fool people EVERY DAMN TIME. …

    Please, if you don’t stop falling for these stunts, they’re going to keep doing them, to cover up the fact that the comics industry is hell-bent on burning itself into the ground.*

    *Note: Emphasis added.

  6. You can tell this is just a lazy temporary change, they’re not killing off the ‘real’ Thor, just making him unworthy and they’re (depending on the source?) making a whole-new character to hold the hammer.

    I belong to several comic chats (I’m so cool, right?) and no one cares if a female holds the hammer, they just care that a character is being manipulated and destroyed just to sell comics.

    If Marvel really cared bout being equal, then they would give their other female heroes the spotlight more. Why not bring Photon back? Remember her, Marvel? Or what about the Spider-Women/Girls? Did you ever bring the original Spider-Woman out of her coma? What about Luke Cage’s wife as Jewel? Howabout all of those X-Women?

    Hell, I think fans would love if Lady Sif carried the hammer. The point is, Marvel, you’re destroying your established world, your characters and your fanbase in a desperate attempt to seem ‘edgy’ and ‘politically correct’.

    Though, they may be thinking that in order to make SpOck look less stupid is to bull this stunt.

    1. I belong to several comic chats (I’m so cool, right?) and no one cares if a female holds the hammer, they just care that a character is being manipulated and destroyed just to sell comics.

      By saying that, you now prove that you’re a “sexist” in the minds of the Marvel Brain Trust. How dare you charge that Marvel would make changes for the sake of political correctness. 😉

      If Marvel really cared bout being equal, then they would give their other female heroes the spotlight more. Why not bring Photon back? Remember her, Marvel? Or what about the Spider-Women/Girls? Did you ever bring the original Spider-Woman out of her coma? What about Luke Cage’s wife as Jewel? Howabout all of those X-Women?

      Agreed.

    2. Ugh. I put that Slott comment on the wrong dialogue thread. My bad.

      I wanted to follow-up my She-Thor comment with the following: Does anyone else feel like both Marvel and DC have all of these great female characters, but can never get them to last on their own for more than, like, 20 issues. Have they ever wondered the reason they don’t sell isn’t because of ‘sexist’ comic readers, but the fact that they’re just not quality stories?

    3. Does anyone else feel like both Marvel and DC have all of these great female characters, but can never get them to last on their own for more than, like, 20 issues. Have they ever wondered the reason they don’t sell isn’t because of ‘sexist’ comic readers, but the fact that they’re just not quality stories?

      How dare you challenge the wizards-of-smart, opunaya! These guys are geniuses — geniuses! — I tell you.

      Like I said before, the industry is much smaller than a lot of people probably realize. As I mentioned earlier in regards to Marvel, they all go to their little retreats and have a few beers and chips and tell each other how great they are. Nobody wants to tell the guy next to them that the story idea he came up with is the dumbest idea of all time (we might hurt somebody’s feelings), so they all just agree to defend mediocrity or they say nothing.

      The environment that has been created does not lend itself to good storytelling. If you want a story to be good you need to expose it to harsh criticism. It seems like once you’re in “the club” then you can basically turn in whatever you want; as long as you don’t run afoul of the diversity police you’re good to go.

      The other thing about these stunts is that it then becomes the stunt — and not the story. The Politically Correct “first” or celebratory diversity “gain” (as xmenxpert would put it) then allows the writer to always count his story as a culturally significant endeavor. “How can you say my story was horrible? It put a woman in the role of Thor…it empowered women!” It’s like the writers attempt to inoculate themselves from criticism by making sure that all their big projects have some sort of politically correct feel-goodism in there. Even if it stinks, the writer will still have guys like xmenxpert saying, “Well, it made the Marvel Universe more diverse, so we shouldn’t be too hard on it…”

    4. Photon now goes by Spectrum, and is the field leader in Mighty Avengers. The original Spider-Woman did come out of her coma, a long time ago, and is currently in Secret Avengers (and, technically, Avengers, but not really). Jessica Jones is a supporting character in Mighty Avengers, but it makes sense for her to not be doing the superhero thing. For the X-ladies, adjectiveless X-Men is about them, and Storm’s getting a solo.

  7. Just for fun:
    Silver Surfer
    1 64919
    2 39132 0.397218072
    3 36075 0.078120209

    44% Decrease in readers in just 3 issues
    Almost 8% sales decrease between issue 2 and 3 and Slott says its sales are strong.

    This is what Marvel is getting by letting people with personal agendas run the company and write the books. Why do I mention this book, notice the Silver Surfer now has to have a side kick and I enjoy calling out Slott’s Bull.

    1. “everyone knows that a 44 percent drop in sales from issue #1 to issue #2 the standard rate of attrition these days”

      LOL
      That is the very problem, in what business is that acceptable? Also applying standard rates to characters such as Spider-Man and Batman is ridiculous since they should always perform above the standard rate. Comparing the way some writers such as Slott use makes no sense at all, for example comparing sales of the ipad to generic tablets. Notice Batman is above the standard and has remained while Spider-Man was forced to use new number 1’s with variants to inflate sales and it still cannot hold numbers above Batman. I am not saying this as a Batman fan in fact I like Spider-Man more….well I used to.

    2. There was Twitter panic when it appeared there was no Silver Surfer release announced for October that it had been cancelled.

      According to Slott he was just delayed on the script. Maybe if he didn’t get sidetracked on social media he wouldn’t have missed his deadline.

    3. He is too busy making up fiction on twitter to do his job. His rants on gun control and Hobby Lobby are pure sources of fiction.
      What about that retraction that no one can find, is that more fiction as well?

    4. I saw that and thought the same thing. Maybe Dan Slott wouldn’t have script delays if he spent more time writing scripts and less time attacking Hobby Lobby, Second Amendment advocates, etc. Just a thought.

  8. If Marvel was so diverse and really wanted to represent the population then why are most villains’ rich white men? Why don’t they have stories where guns have prevented problems? Why does religion usually get represented by people that are insane? Why is there a lack of representation of traditional families?

    Wait that is because white privilege so it is acceptable. It is also okay because they can take it; remember it is fair if you “punch up”.
    The truth is they are using diversity as a marketing tool and hiding under the guise of social responsibility. They are separating people even more by making issues out of things such as sexism to sell books.

    1. This is your second warning, Truth. One more time with this “logic business” and I may have to ban you. 😉

      The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  9. Here is an example of using an existing characters book to spawn a new character. In Thor they had a character who was introduced as a supporting character named Eric Masterson which eventually became Thor for a short time (#432 featured the character assuming the role of Thor, and appearing as the title character until #459). During Eric’s tenure as Thor they had seeds to the original coming back. When the original came back Odin gave Eric a new hammer and this spawned a new character Thunderstrike.

  10. I just talked with my local comic book store about this. They mentioned this should happen sometime in September or October. They will have a female character that will carry the hammer. They will still kept the original male character, but he will no longer carry the hammer. I will probably read an issue or 2 of the male character, to see what direction they are going in. But without the hammer, Thor becomes a bit of a Hulk or Thing character. However, if the current future Thor has the hammer, will Marvel eventually restore it to him – like they did with Peter coming back as Spider-,man?

    1. I seem to recall there are 2 other characters floating around with Thor hammers: Beta Ray Bill and Thunder Strike. Not sure if they are still alive or not. Will they be taking part in the either of the new Thor direction? Any female character will lack the centuries of combat experience that Thor has. Just like Doc Ock lacked the fighting experience of Peter. I think only a character like Wonder Woman could really take up the Thor hammer mantle successfully right away..

    2. Thunderstrike is dead,Marvel dropped the ball financially and had to make many cuts which it was one of. The creators (Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz) killed him to keep Marvel from messing up the character.

    1. Yes! I love it when anonymous trolls show up and offer nothing to the discussion. Thanks, anonymous troll. No, no…you’re the one who is amazing.

    1. John C. Wright? Thanks for the link Doug. It’s glad to know that, aside from Orson Scott Card, there are indeed a few right leaning fantastica writers out there.

    2. monsterhunternation.com. Great site for reading about right-leaning politics and SF shenanigans.

    3. This says it all:

      Intentionally or unconsciously, they confuse self-parody with creativity. They tear down and think they are engaged in creative destruction, only what they rebuild is nothing but a cheap and ugly mockery of what stood there before.

      Boom. Thanks for sharing the link, Starfire.

  11. Just a bit of an update. Jason Aaron gave an interview with Comic Book Resources to clarify this in not Thor being turned into a woman:

    “This is not the Thor we knew transformed into a woman. This is a new character; someone else picking up the hammer. I knew when I took over Thor that at some point I wanted to do a Beta Ray Bill-style story about somebody else wielding the hammer for awhile. It took me awhile to figure out what kind of story that should be and who the character should be.

    
When you look back over the history of Thor comics, a lot of different people have picked up the hammer at one point or another and hardly any of them female. The only women to wield the hammer are in brief moments here and there, or “What If?” stories, or future stories and stuff like that. So 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.”

    Further, he clarified that the regular Thor is still going to be around:

    “Thor Odinson, the Prince of Asgard, will still be around. He’s still Thor. That’s his birth name. He’s unworthy of Mjolnir, but he’ll still have a role to play. If you’ve seen the cover of one of Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming “Avengers” issues where it flashes forward into the future you see what appears to be Thor holding his axe, Jarnbjorn. So that’s kind of a glimpse into our book’s future as well. That’s kind of where we’ve been heading.

    
Again it all goes back to what I’ve set up in “God of Thunder” where we had these three different versions of Thor — the young rambunctious Thor who wasn’t yet worthy of picking up his hammer, present day Thor the Avenger, and then grumpy old King Thor. We’ll continue to see those other versions, but we’ll also start to see present day Thor becoming more of an amalgam of those other two versions.”

    1. Thanks for the update, Mike. I appreciate it.

      Here’s the thing: If Marvel puts out a press release that gets picked up all over the place, and the top brass is essentially tooting its own horn for saying that she is “Thor” — but then they hem and haw and backpedal about what exactly is going on to industry websites — then the company just looks bad.

  12. I do want to be fair and say that this could be a good story, but that is not the issue I have with this move from Marvel. Why can Marvel not get people to write good stories for classic characters?

  13. Maybe we can get the feminists to complain that this is just a move to allow sexist male writers and artists to portray the female Thor too sexually, thereby being a cheap gimmick to appeal to pubescent boys.

    1. If feminists do complain about the female Thor as a sex object, they probably won’t be wrong. It appears her breasts will be drawn bigger than her head, and her costume (for no practical reason that I can see) leaves her midriff bare in front. It looks more appropriate for Britney Spears than for a warrior or an action hero(ine).

  14. As utterly insipid as this decision is (coming from someone who identifies as a moderate feminist), I feel like it’s somehow *less* stupid that The White Supremacist – er, Superior Spider-Man.

    But really, if they wanted to make a Thor comic that would appeal to ladies, couldn’t they just make a Lady Sif spin-off and boost her powers? (I would say “give Loki a comic to appeal to his fangirls,” but it looks like they already did, and it’s not quite working as planned.)

    1. I’m actually a dude, heh. Being a feminist doesn’t equate to me being a female, if you catch my drift.

      I believe appealing to diversity is a smart move for anybody to make in the 21st century. I think the whole “Black Captain America” thing that they’re doing makes a lot of sense (given that it sounds like that Steve Rogers is in a bad medical condition, and that another hero needs to take over the title until good ol’ Steve recovers in time for Captain America 3). So does giving Peggy Carter her own television series, and being in talks to give Black Widow a film of her own (smart moves on Kevin Peige’s part). Disney’s even going to do this with the new Star Wars movies, hiring at least three Black actors and actresses in major roles, with recent rumors of an Asian actress making it into the film seeming increasingly more likely.

      As far as a marketing tactic goes in regards to Female Thor, I think this is… Misguided. Taking Thor (a traditionally masculine character) and replacing him with a woman for no real reason other than to appeal to women is both patronizing to women and alienating to fans of Donald “Thor” Blake and Thor Odinson. I could see them telling interesting stories with a female version of the character, but I fail to see why it necessitates demoting the original character to a “homeless guy that’s pretty cut”, to paraphrase the first MCU movie. Not to mention that there actually have been several female counterparts to Thor in the past, and this is really nothing new. Booting a famous character off of the shelves to make room for a female Thor seems like a really odd decision on Marvel’s part, especially when alternatives exist.

      In general, the Lady Thor thing comes across as being more like an “Um, why?” instead of an “Oh, cool!” situation.

    2. Sorry for the gender slip, with that said thank you for the response! I agree with the Thor perspective why could they have not created a new character without the name Thor…that is the guys real name. I could see a female Thor type so it has potential but I would rather see Marvel focus on some of their other female characters such as the Valkyrie.

      I think she deserves more use!

    3. As utterly insipid as this decision is (coming from someone who identifies as a moderate feminist), I feel like it’s somehow *less* stupid that The White Supremacist – er, Superior Spider-Man.

      Do not say this on the Marvel message boards, Kung Fu Cthulhu or else they’ll come for your feminist card. 😉 As you state, there were plenty of other ways for Marvel to get the strong female character they wanted. They chose the option that would get under the skin of a large percentage of readers…

      Feel free to expand on the Superior Spider-Man critique. Dan Slott reads my posts, so I’m sure his blood pressure started to rise with that one.

    1. Wow the comments tend to be very negative: For example:

      “Funnily enough, I’m a female and think that a lady thor is BULL. And P.S. a lot of ladies love Thor because they think he’s super attractive. Captain Marvel, fine, I love those comics(albeit I am a bit behind), and only started reading after she was ladyfied(because it was recommended to me). That said, I think just changing THOR to a lady is NOT the way to get ladies reading Thor. :/ Bad idea Marvel, bad idea. :(“

  15. I get the need for strong female superheroes that stand on their own. What I don’t get is the need to ruin the great male superheroes we already have to do so. Initiate some creativity and make something new instead of this nonsense…

  16. Here’s the post I intended to make:

    I feel like I agree with xmenexpert in that we should wait until this story is published before bashing it. In my opinion, the story comes first. And sadly, despite our double intellectual body slamming of Dan Slott, things like this is probably where Doug and I differ. I disliked Superior in regards to it’s rather bad plot, half-baked characterization and a horrendously railroaded plot, While Douglas mainly objected on the moral grounds of having an icon like Spider-Man shooting people in the face, among other things. There was enough that we both agreed upon though (Doc Ock’s creepy romantic subplot, Dan Slott’s misleading statements about the sales, and the whole HITLER-POLPOT-GENGHIS thing).

    In this case I have to respectfully disagree and say that you may have jumped the gun here. I mean, the new Thor has only just been teased, I think it’s too soon to judge if this is an example of tokenism or not. And hey, I did hear that Thor will still be around in the MU, it’s just that someone else will take over.

    I’m going to make a prediction here; either the new Thor won’t be as permanent as advertised, but if she is, that that would mean that the comics she is featured in are just that good. And that’s something I can support: good storytelling. I’ll buy the first issue and see if it’s a good read.

    1. Psychokineticex, my issue is with Marvel putting itself up on a moral pedestal for what will essentially be a lie if you are correct. Tylan Ertan put it well:

      People would’ve little problem if they didn’t try to force ” No guys , seriously, she IS THE THOR NOW , not a knockoff ! When you call Thor , she will come!”…

      As I said in the post, why does Marvel get to put out a press release that puts the company up on the mantle of Gender Righteousness, accept all the fawning media coverage by left-leaning outlets, and then off to the side during industry interviews they’re like, “Yeah, it’s a little more nuanced that that, guys…”

      I am reacting to the press release and the idea that Marvel stood by when it said: “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.” I am not reacting to the story because I have not read the story.

      I’m going to make a prediction here; either *the new Thor won’t be as permanent as advertised, but if she is, that that would mean that the comics she is featured in are just that good.

      The “new Thor” is advertised in a way that makes Marvel seem like “gender warriors on the front lines of the war against inequality” or some other stupid analogy, when in fact it’s just a publicity stunt. Marvel needs to be called out on that.

    2. X-Menxpert is really obsessed with diversity. Like you said, his fixation on it is extremely unhealthy. I happened to click on his blog just now out of curiosity’s sake and happened upon a post where he said he was boycotting Marvel movies “until they produce a movie with a female and/or minority lead.” What the hell? So you can’t just enjoy the movie and be entertained? You have to pick it apart because it doesn’t fill every box on some diversity quota checklist?

    3. When was that written? The last time I checked, Blade came out in 1998, followed up by Blade II in 2002 and Blade Trinity in 2004. Wesley Snipes even said he’d be game for a fourth film. Granted, that was with New Line, but it’s still a Marvel character. Marvel Studios isn’t just going to come out with a movie with a female lead just because a bunch of people want to see a movie with a female lead. When you’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars into franchises, you’re going to do it when it’s right. Like I said before, it would make sense for Falcon to take on the role when Chris Evans steps down. That makes sense. But to randomly say, “Let’s do a War Machine movie because we need a movie with a black guy in it,” is kind of ridiculous. Maybe they’ll do that when Robert Downey Jr. steps down. Who knows.

    4. He wrote it just recently. Yeah, he seems unaware of the fact that the Blade movies even exist and did extremely well in the box office. The rights have lapsed back to Marvel Studios, so I think if the character reappears, it won’t be with Wesley Snipes in the lead role due to that and I think he’s still serving time for tax evasion.

      Like you said, Marvel isn’t just going to create a movie with a female lead because people like xpert want to see it. There has to be a market for it. There’s been developmental work on a Black Widow movie, and Kevin Feige has said that it may appear as a part of Phase Three. Superhero movies with female leads haven’t done well. Elektra and Catwoman are two examples that come to mind. Diversity for diversity’s sake is just stupid. It has to be organic to the story. Falcon becoming Cap is logical. War Machine becoming iron Man for a time in the comics was logical. But simply sidelining an existing character for diversity’s sake is lame.

      Plus right now there is a superhero movie with Scarlett Johansson as the lead. It’s called “Lucy.” I haven’t seen it, but it’s doing quite well in spite of getting panned critically and the xperts of the world (including some clown at the Huffington Post) are claiming it promotes white supremacy or some such nonsense because it has a white blonde woman as the lead character.

    5. I like how one of the guys in the comments section was essentially like, “Wait, you’re complaining about the lack of diversity in the movie where the brilliant scientist is … Morgan Freeman?” Heh.

      It was humorous how she also took issue with the “blackish-green” army in The Rock’s “Hercules.” So because they were green…but kind of blackish, that was sending some sort of coded racial message I guess. These people need to seek help.

    6. I like how one of the guys in the comments section was essentially like, “Wait, you’re complaining about the lack of diversity in the movie where the brilliant scientist is … Morgan Freeman?” Heh.

      LOL, I thought that was a great comment, too.

      “It was humorous how she also took issue with the “blackish-green” army in The Rock’s “Hercules.” So because they were green…but kind of blackish, that was sending some sort of coded racial message I guess. These people need to seek help.”

      I agree. They need some serious help. If they’re seeing “racism” where none exists, they have some serious issues they need to work on.

    7. I haven’t seen the Rock’s Hercules yet, but I know a few people who have. A relative told me that it’s a decent movie but the approach it takes to Greek Mythology is similar to that of “Troy,” where they take the gods and everything out of the picture.

    8. This is an old story, but when they (the internet lynch mob aren’t freaking out about “diversity” and the “white default,” they’re going after young women who enjoy hunting:

      http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/07/kendall_jones_vs_the_internet.html

      I really, really despise this internet lynch mob mentality, where a few outraged liberals decide it’s perfectly acceptable to utterly destroy the personal and professional lives of those with whom they disagree. We’ve been seeing a lot of this recently, with one of the most famous examples being the Chick-Fil-A, Duck Dynasty and Brandon Eich “controversies.” And anyone who places animal lives over human lives needs to get help, too.

    9. It looks like Kevin Feige can’t escape answering these questions either. He basically echoes what we’ve already said.

      “I think it comes down to timing, which is what I’ve sort of always said, and it comes down to us being able to tell the right story. I very much believe in doing it. I very much believe that it’s unfair to say, ‘People don’t want to see movies with female heroes,’ then list five movies that were not very good, therefore, people didn’t go to the movies because they weren’t good movies, versus [because] they were female leads. And they don’t mention ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Frozen,’ ‘Divergent.’ You can go back to ‘Kill Bill’ or ‘Aliens.’ These are all female-led movies. It can certainly be done. I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that’s because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don’t know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we’re playing right now.”

    10. He makes some good points. I didn’t include “Hunger Games,” “Frozen,” “Divergent,” “Kill Bill” and “Aliens” because they’re not really superhero movies. But they do count, and all were successful. They never get brought up, of course, because the perpetually outraged SJWs in fandom need something to complain about.

  17. People would’ve little problem if they didn’t try to force ” No guys , seriously, she IS THE THOR NOW , not a knockoff ! When you call Thor , she will come ! ”..

    Thor is not a MANTLE DAMMIT , it is his name and identity. So you make this lady an identity thief from the start, good going there Marvel. You have so many cool , badass Asgardian women or Thor support female characters and you basicly choose to erase this new woman’s identity just to give her the hijacked identity of Thor’s.

    She willl not be remembered as THOR , she will be remembered as ” Gal who stole Thor’s identity ” and if that is how you want to handle one of your best titles, something is wrong with you.

    Hell they added Angela , Thor’s sister just recently and there was no uproar , in fact there was excitement of seeing a badass woman warrior like her coming into the picture…Soo what is the point of this Female …so-called-Thor ( I refuse to call her Thor since she is not. )

    Maybe they will create some great story with her …doesn’t change the fact that it won’t be ‘HER’ that will carry the legacy, it will be the identity of Thor which she now occupies somehow while we are trying to find a way name for the former-Thor.

    My biggest Example about this is , you can call different people :Superman but you can’t call them Kal-El because that is his NAME. Who he is. Thor is just that, it is not a title to be given. Why is it so hard for people to understand , this is the problem.

    It is not about the sex, it is not even about Mjollnir changing hands, it is about a well known identity being hijacked for the sake of shock and turned into a cheap mantle.

    And people actually care about the characters beneath the mantle more than the mantle itself. Thats why people have favorite ”Batmans, Captain Americas” because they had other characters carry the mantle and the character behind those stories had their fans like Dick Grayson as Batman.

    This change will only hurt the credibility of this new female character who assumes the stature of Thor but she is NOT Thor, she will never be Thor.

    1. If I was up on stage right now with a spotlight I would call you up to take a huge bow. Thank you for getting it.

      People would’ve little problem if they didn’t try to force ” *No guys , seriously, she IS THE THOR NOW , not a knockoff ! When you call Thor , she will come ! ”…

      Thor is not a MANTLE DAMMIT , it is his name and identity. So you make this lady an identity thief from the start, good going there Marvel. You have so many cool , badass Asgardian women or Thor support female characters and you basicly choose to erase this new woman’s identity just to give her the hijacked identity of Thor’s.

      Maybe they will create some great story with her …doesn’t change the fact that it won’t be ‘HER’ that will carry the legacy, it will be the identity of Thor which she now occupies somehow while we are trying to find a way name for the former-Thor.

      My biggest Example about this is , *you can call different people Superman but you can’t call them Kal-El because that is his NAME. Who he is. Thor is just that, it is not a title to be given. Why is it so hard for people to understand , this is the problem.

      Did you hear that? That is the sound of an intellectual tactical nuke going off. Well done, good sir. Well done.

      *Note: Emphasis added.

  18. Someone just showed me a tweet of Jason Aaron’s where he said that he has written 25 issues of Thor with THREE different version of the character. So by the time we get to the new Lady-Thor there will be around 30 issues and 4 versions.

    Sounds like Jason Aaron doesn’t have a clue on how to write the original character and can’t wait to get the hammer onto someone else.

    I’m wondering what the next gimmick will be…

    1. This sounds a little Slottian to me. Dan Slott didn’t know how to really handle Peter, so … he killed him. And now that Peter is back (earlier than Slott wanted), he’s already promoting “Spider-Verse,” which in many respects is a storyline that will likely push Peter Parker out of the spotlight in his own book. (“Hey, look at all these Spider-Men all over the place! It’s crazy! It’s awesome! Woohoo! Don’t you love it!?)

    2. Yeah it does. No doubt Thor-Verse will no doubt follow soon. I’m done with Gimmick comics, they have no merit other than a cash grab.

      I just read that Iron Man will become the Superior Iron-Man and that Falcon will become Captain America. I have no problem about Falcon becoming Captain America, his history is intertwined with Cap’s and as long as the reason Rogers steps down is a good one this could be the best change.

      Superior Iron Man just screams of links to SSM. Have to wait and see what they are doing there

  19. Let me try to sum things up. Marvel put out a “misleading” press release, which makes folks think Thor had a gender change. Douglas is reacting correctly to this release. According to my local comic book store – and other things I’ve read here – It’s some female picking up the hammer and the original Thor still being around. Granted, Thor is now more of a Thing or Hulk character. I guess I’ll need to see an issue or 2,, to see what they do with the original Thor and the new female hammer carrier. In any event, since the future Thor has the hammer, I’m sure the current Thor will reclaim it down the road.

  20. “Respectfully, a dozen like-minded people is is hardly “teeming.” I spend a lot of time talking about comics, and I always have to remember that even if there’s a couple hundred people talking about the subject, all in agreement, it’s still a tiny, tiny slice of the overall readership.”
    Respectfully, few people comment compared to how many people read the blog. I have not been blogging long but there are many times when I have had over 100 views in a day (still small but I have had my blog less than a year). That number builds to be a pretty decent number of readers. As I stated the story may be good but it is the marketing tactic and treatment of other characters at the expense of a social agenda marketing that bothers me. The disrespect to the consumer with outright lies to stir up attention also does not sit well with me “this is permanent” instead of the truth, this is to get attention until the next movie is out.
    Why not focus on writing a good story and building character.

  21. This is sort of related to Doug’s earlier example about changing the race of a minority character: I know of an example where that DID happen. In last year’s Star Trek into Darkness, Ricardo Montablan’s Khan was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and that caused controversy among the progressives, who complained about “lost diversity.” Even though, according to the producers, they cast Cumberbatch for politically correct reasons: they were afraid of backlash if they cast a Middle Eastern actor as a super-terrorist; originally, Benicio del Toro was going to play Khan.. You can’t win with progressives, it seems.

  22. I find it really funny when leftists say that people hate change. Marvel is just trying to change etc…
    Marvel is continuing a trend of cultural marxism and socialism that have been the agenda for years, even decades. This is just another step of the process. What people are complaining about is exactly in favor of change in this politically correct policy.

    Since most stories that they build with these foundations just crumbled they are creeping the Frankfurt School’s bullshit into heroes that have a baggage to be exploited and can make the brainwash reach their audiences.

    If the readers reject this move, just attack them in a Orwellian, Leninist, Marcuse way and play their guilty…

    1. If the readers reject this move, just attack them in a Orwellian, Leninist, Marcuse way and play their guilty…

      Yep. They have that move perfected. Thanks for the read and comment, VonMoltke.

  23. A Poll for every one
    Like if you agree Thor should not be changed
    Dislike if you think a mystery Woman should take his Name, Identity and title.
    This is on Youtube
    Poll: Marvel’s Thor to be a Woman or Remain Himself

    1. Marvel’s comics division has an interesting way of treating long-time fans these days: annoy them until they stop spending money on Marvel products.

      A collected Amazing Spider-Man from the mid-80s all the way up until “One More Day.” After that I kept tabs on the book and picked up random issues, but even that was thwarted when they decided it would be a good idea to kill Peter Parker and replace him with a new “hero” … that almost caused a world-wide Holocaust months earlier. One month the guy is trying to kill six billion people, the next month he’s Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man.

      Great job, Marvel.

    2. Speaking of “diversity…” here’s Larry Correia’s latest, where he takes an NPR idiot to task for whining about the “lack of Hispanics” in Hollywood and manufacturing outrage.

    1. The interesting thing about comics is that because it’s such a collaborative medium, you can have crappy writers or stories, but the title will sell well if they have an awesome artist. There were a few titles over the years where I wasn’t that happy with the writing, but the art was just amazing… The art can really help keep a so-so writer afloat.

  24. Spot on, man. You’ve stated it perfectly.

    I have no problem with new female characters, or new racially diverse characters. My problem is with the destruction of my favorite hero. I could stomach it, if it were a short term thing, but it’s being touted as something permanent.

    My favorite character is gone forever, with two new and inferior characters in his place, and if I complain about it, Marvel and all the bootlickers accuse me of sexism. What a joke.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Kreg. I really appreciate it. I’m not sure if this has been your first experience with Marvel and some its fans calling you “sexist” over a mere disagreement, but if so…welcome to the club! It’s always quite interesting to watch the people who claim to be the most tolerant show their intolerance the moment someone disagrees with them.

  25. Replying to Carl on this one, the chain of comments are too deep for me to reply directly, it seems. Or my browser doesn’t feel like showing the reply button:

    Never mind that there is nothing in the show’s history that alludes to Time Lords being able to change genders

    Actually there is.. in the reboot at least.
    I’m sadly behind on the Classic series (being born when it was well on its way out, getting only military channels–or rather the lack thereof–while growing up, and not having the money to just buy the whole show all at once tends to have that effect), so I don’t know if it was ever addressed in the old days.
    But when David’s incarnation regenerated into Matt’s in The End of Time, he grabbed his hair and thought that he’d become a girl, then felt his Adam’s Apple and… erm, something else 😀 and found out otherwise. In The Doctor’s Wife he referred to the Corsair as having been female “a couple of times”.
    Carl’s comment predates the Missy character, so I’ll just pretend to ignore her for now. 😉

    As for allowing the specific character to change gender, Moffat has mentioned that he’s willing to consider it… IF the right actress comes along.
    Near as I can tell, he isn’t willing to have a woman Doctor solely for the sake of having a woman Doctor, which is as it should be.

    All that being said, and to direct my comment now to Douglas and the actual blog post, I’ll admit I wouldn’t mind seeing female versions of the male characters…. IF the writing and characterization were done well, IF they weren’t simply gender-swapped copies of the males, and IF it were established as an alternate universe or something of the sort instead of replacing the characters that already exist (bonus points if the two versions get to meet each other).
    And if there isn’t already a female character (e.g. Thor Girl) that could fulfill the diversity role without requiring the gender swap.
    But the key is, as it should always be… good writing. Turning an established male character into a female for the sake of “we need more wimmin”–as evidenced by their own claim that “now she is the one and only”–is lazy writing at best and doesn’t do anything to help diversity; a token change is a token change is a token change, and readers are intelligent enough to see through it.
    Brand new characters are still the best way to go.

  26. I was wondering if you’ve seen the recent sales numbers of the new Thor comic? And how it seems to have dropped by over 50 percent within the first couple of months.

    1. Thanks for circling back, opunaya. You’ve given me a chance to talk about io9 saying the sales a proof that it’s a giant success. The hilarious thing is that the author admits that he’s making a flawed analysis — but then goes on to do so anyway!

      Now, there’s the argument to be made that comparing Thor’s first four issues to the last four of God of Thunder is a misnomer, considering most comic book series see sales dips the longer and longer they run on for. But if we compare the latest figures for both series, we can still see a hearty increase for the new Thor’s series: Thor: God of Thunder #25 sold 48,000 copies in September, while last month’s Thor #5 sold 69, 500. So even on a more even playing field, Thor is heftily outselling her predecessor — which means that even though Secret Wars is bring an end to her comic for now, there’s a good chance she’ll be back mainlining Marvel’s Thor series shortly after.

      As you point out, we can look at attrition rates. Just like a new movie’s performance in weeks 2,3, and 4, that drop-off provides interesting data. But comparing a mega-hyped new character that was surrounded by controversy to a title that has been around awhile is ridiculous. James Whitbrook actually gets paid to write misleading articles — where he admits being misleading within the actual body — because all that matters is churning out content that makes people who agree with worldview go “Yeah! Yeah!” How sad.

  27. making she-thor is certainly going to mean bad for marvel. I hope they cancel the idea of making the movie and making her Thor in the marvel universe. I mean everyone loves the original hero and not the one whom is made just to catch the eye of some people with different ideas as a means of making more money. I really hope marvel rethinks this and instead of making she-thor, leaves the original god of thunder be, and makes an all-new superheroine.

  28. I think these changes would work well if they did it in the Ultimate Universe and just had two separate properties going on. One with the main heroes still being who they are and the other with the changes. But to be honest Marvel lost me as a fan back in the mid 90’s where I was a huge X-Men fan. There was just too many books and anytime there was an event, you had to go out and buy all the X books to get the full story and read about characters you really did not care about on other X teams. Also they were changing up things that I did not like. Wolverine wore a bandanna. Bishop had a different look that I did not like. The artwork even was changing so I just stopped. Age of Apocalypse was the final story for me. I felt that was a perfect stopping place for me.

  29. Hey! I stumbled across this blog and really enjoyed reading through the whole discussion. Thanks for this, it’s really interesting seeing all the different points of view.

    Personally, I’d love to see Thor Girl make a comeback. Though I haven’t read the actual comics featuring her story, after reading what her story is about, I’m actually planning on buying the books just to read it. Brilliant character IMO.

    In any case, I agree with the general consensus on this blog: story is key, always has been, always will be. Diversity and change just for the sake of it, without thought or creative ideas behind them, are just plain insulting to the readers.

  30. Just now finding this blog and yeah, I definitely do agree Marvel could have used a pre-existing character such as Thor Girl (maybe give her a better name) or create a brand new thunder goddess for the title. I even made this mock-up cover with a better name for fem-Thor. Not sure how to post images, so this is the link.

    1. “Just now finding this blog and yeah, I definitely do agree Marvel could have used a pre-existing character such as Thor Girl (maybe give her a better name) or create a brand new thunder goddess for the title.”

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Conner. I appreciate it. The good news about sharing images is…just plug in the link and WordPress will do the rest. 🙂

      I don’t mind if a woman is worthy enough to wield Thor’s hammer, just as other men have been throughout history. I do have an issue with Marvel just calling a woman Thor and then sending the message to fans: “Yep, this IS Thor. If you don’t like it, then you’re probably a sexist.”

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