|Thor by Russel Daughterman|
Aaron also commented that "This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR or the Marvel Universe. But it's unlike any Thor we've seen before." (Except for, you know, that AWESOME time Storm picked up an uru hammer, or that time Wonder Woman did, or Rogue, or Jane Foster, or You Getting My Drift Yet?) Of course, the argument is that the latest female Thor is not some temporary storyline, or alternate reality/continuity, but the actual, official Thor of the Marvel Universe (MU). Except no.
|Also Thor, also by Daughterman.|
Here's the thing that grinds my gears, though: Aaron and Marvel's disingenuous language about the new take. Thor isn't like Captain America or Iron Man, where if a different person puts on the uniform/suit, they can still claim the character's title. Thor is a unique, discrete, individual entity, and even without the hammer, he is still a God, still the next best thing to immortal,and STILL FREAKING THOR!!!! Thor is his name, not his title, not his nom de guerre, but his very own name. Over the decades a lot of people (Seriously. No, seriously A LOT) have proven worthy of Mjolnir
and the power of
|King Thor, by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic.|
Note the left arm - and the hammer.
Finally, there's a whole other level where I'm raging about Marvel's idiocy in ignoring a pre-existing, truly great Asgardian female character with a built in audience: Sif. Do you remember Journey Into Mystery? It was one of Marvel's longest running (albeit often interrupted) titles (and where Thor first appeared waaay back in the Lee/Kirby days), and Marvel cancelled it last year in the wake of Marvel NOW! Well, the last arc in JIM starred Sif. Lady Sif, the warrior woman of Asgard, played to tremendous fan acclaim in film and on TV by Jaimie Alexander. In the last 9 issues of JIM, Kathryn Immonen (scripts) and (mostly) Valerio Schiti (pencils) were giving us one of the most beautifully realized, kick-ass, complex, female heroes that Marvel has ever done. So of course, they cancelled the series - not because sales were particularly bad, but because, in the wake of the films, they wanted to concentrate on Thor and Loki stories. So why not relaunch JIM with Sif, or giver her her own title, rather than gender-swap Thor?
|Alls I'm sayin'.... The Lady Sif in Journey Into Mystery by Immonen and Schiti.|
Well, because Marvel is still the same "readers don't buy comics with female leads" place it always has been despite the phenomenal success and stories in Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel. They are unwilling to gamble on Sif's name recognition to sell, so they are trying to cash in on Thor's, and to garner some free press (mission accomplished!) and attention to their supposedly newly progressive attitudes. The new Thor will run for a while, likely usually in tandem with an accompanying subplot dealing with unworthy Thor's search for meaning/redemption/worth, and eventually Thor will either spawn two ongoing titles (a la the multiple X- and Avengers books), or female Thor will quietly fade away. This isn't a breakthrough, or a new direction, or a significant shift. It is merely the latest Mighty Marvel Marketing Magic. I plan to continue reading Thor: GOT, male, female, or neuter Thor, because I'm a fan. But I'm also not a fool.
UPDATE: Marvel has just announced that "Superior Iron Man" will be joining Avengers NOW! , so the pattern has become crystal clear: new and sometimes clashing personalities in traditional character roles. We say it with Spidey/Doc. Ock (marketing test-run anyone?), and now we'll have Sam Wilson's Captain America, female Thor, and Superior Iron Man. So, yeah. Excuses for more #1 books, yet more short-lived volumes, and More Money For Marvel!!!