Marvel: Champion of Change

By: Terra Clarke Olsen

I’ve been a frustrated lady geek the past few weeks. From women being barred from competing in Hearthstone to the artist of Wonder Woman declaring he doesn’t want her to be a feminist, it’s been a harsh reminder that the geek culture has a long way to go. But yesterday brought a beacon of hope! Marvel announced that Thor is now a lady.

You read that right, Thor is a woman. Anticipating questions of how this could be, Marvel stated:

“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!” (Source)

Yes, yes, YES! Thank you, Marvel!

Of course there has been a backlash from some readers, but Marvel is gambling that this change will not only make a lot of current female readers happy, but also attract new readers. In fact, Marvel made this announcement on The View! Say what?! How could a comic book publisher announce such a HUGE change on one of the least geeky shows on TV? Although this seems like a strange move, it’s actually brilliant. Marvel spoke directly to household consumers, mothers, and made it known that they carry products for their daughters too, not just sons. In one fell swoop, Marvel declared to the non-geeks of America that comics are not just for boys.

There will always be haters and bigots who don’t want to see gender/race/sexuality/etc. changes, but by ignoring the haters and creating a new reality with a geek universe full of fluidity, we’ll change the foundation of geek culture.* I for one welcome that change and look forward to the day when my sons/daughters buy comics containing a diverse universe that is not a relic of the past.

ryan penagos twitter

Ryan Penagos, Executive Editorial Director at Marvel, being awesome.

Bonus: The character design is awesome! Look at this woman, just look at her! She has muscles. She has armor.** She is badass. She is Thor. Don’t mess with her.

New Thor 2014

*The past few years, Marvel has done a great job creating a more diverse universe by creating strong and amazing characters like Miles Morales and Kamala Khan. Both worthy of your pull list. 🙂
**I’ve seen a lot of comment hating the boob armor. I like it. Her breasts are not unrealistic or exposed, and they’re protected. Character design win.