Written by Zen Terrelonge
You’ve likely heard the rather outlandish news that Marvel is making musclebound, hammer-wielding, often bearded, thunder god Thor – played by Australian hunk Chris Hemsworth on the big screen – a woman in future comics.
The announcement says: “No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name Thor.”
It’s unclear what that means exactly, whether he’s retired, gone on permanent sabbatical, come down with the sniffles like Drake or whether he’s upset father Odin – again – but Marvel is very transparent that the move “aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for super hero comic books in America: women and girls.”
Meanwhile, Marvel editor Wil Moss added: “And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor.”
Personally, I don’t have any issue with the decision – I’m all for dominating women – but I can’t help but feel like it’s a cop-out because it means the company doesn’t have to dream up a brand-new heroine that will captivate the hearts and minds of females across the globe.
Why not go crazy and develop a female superhero from the ground up rather than tampering with an existing brand and recycling it?
It’s been trending all over the internet, and given how such an iconic character has been rebooted in such a new way, I’ve assembled the thoughts of some 20-something year old female friends to find out how they feel about the transition.
I asked whether the news would make them more inclined to read comics or to watch superhero movies, and they said…
I love all the Marvel films, massive fan and I have seen pretty much all of them. I personally don’t agree that they should change Thor to a woman!!!! Thor is a strapping, good looking man with a hammer… If anything it will make me not want to watch it.
There are already female superheroes so they should just stick to those ones…or make new ones…not recreate originals that were men into women for the sake of it.
As a woman I think it’s great that they’re changing such an iconic superhero from a male to a female because women love to be seen as equal to men.
It gives females a chance to identify with the character and shows females to be strong individuals as opposed to the traditional femme fatale waiting to be rescued by a strong man.
And ultimately it’s about the storyline and who best fits the story at the time regardless of gender.
It seems too obvious and like they are trying to make comics appeal to women by changing a male character into a woman. And surely it would be very odd for their current readers for such a dramatic change?!
It would make no difference to me as a reader if a character was a man or woman, I would probably prefer it to be a man in all honesty!
It’s no secret that there needs to be more female superheroes, but while this seems like a step in the right direction, Marvel needs to make new female superheroes, not just ones who are offshoots or reincarnations of already existing male ones.
I would probably go and check out the film out of pure curiosity. Sadly, I can imagine any film where a well known male character has been replaced with a woman would see a lot of criticism from hardcore fans.
To say I’m upset about this is an understatement, I hate it when films do that. Chris Hemsworth has been in three films as Thor, why change it now? He is great!!
As a woman I would much rather see hot men play superheroes than women! Shocking decision!! Thor is my favourite as well.
I quite like the male superheroes, it makes for a better romance story! But it’s cool that they’re thinking of having a female playing that role too.
I love watching the films already so it’ll be interesting to see how well received it is.
7. Emma F
I’m not really into cartoons or comics and have never watched Marvel, so no, the fact that it’s a woman probably wouldn’t change my mind – I’m just not into that stuff.
I think it’s good to bring in a female Thor. Making women stronger characters will get more female readers, as long as the female Thor doesn’t date or become linked to the male then it will be good.
I’m not really much of a Marvel fan anyway, as I do think it’s kinda more aimed for boys/men in terms of audience because of the fighting, and I don’t think I’ve seen Thor, but I think I would be inclined to want to see the new one if it was a woman.
I know Avengers has Black Widow, but obviously the men seem to take centre stage over her so it would be nice to see a woman in the main role as the powerful one!
I do still think men will see it as well, as a powerful woman has quite a lot of sex appeal! I don’t think I would go as far as to say I would read the comics though, but I’d definitely like to see a woman do it and I do think it would draw a lot of other women in too!
I’d definitely want see the next Thor film now – not reading them though, I haven’t got time for that – but the film most certainly. There’s never been a big name female hero before, not really.
It would make me feel a little content that we are going with the times and it isn’t about traditional roles. It will make women feel empowered knowing that there is a female superhero but I don’t know whether it will make women read comic books.
Maybe there will be a slight rise in female readers/viewers to the film but still things don’t change and you will associate comic books with males. A female will traditionally like a chick flick over an adventure film even if there was a female lead.
I agree with Kiran. It’s great to have a female superhero and shows the vision and how women are viewed is increasingly changing and shows our empowerment (just like women in the boardrooms).
But I still wouldn’t read a comic book and it wouldn’t make me want to watch the film anymore. There could be an increase in male viewers too if the female used is super hot!!
Stereotypically superheroes are male, Catwoman and Wonder Woman were about as far as it got, leaving females very limited choice when it came to superhero fancy dress!
The move by Thor wouldn’t make me read a comic or make me more inclined to watch the film. To me it doesn’t make much of a difference whether the superhero is male or female. Personally a role model for me is someone who is a little more realistic and having superpowers would be out of my grasp.
Superheroes are associated with fighting (for a good cause obviously) strength, stamina and often being borderline indestructible, which typically has been more of a masculine trait.
However, all of that aside I think given the recent global gym obsession, especially for women, strong and toned has become the new thin and people seem to be aspiring to that. It therefore seems sensible for the industry to move with the times.
I think similarly you see Disney trying to include all types of people to ensure every child growing up can have a role model. The way they brought in their first black princess in the Princess and the Frog and the ginger-haired Merida. It ensures a widespread audience where everyone feels included.
14. Emma S
People inevitably need to identify with the protagonist of a story. And this will absolutely make that identification process easier for girls/women if the lead is female.
As I’m not actually a Thor fan, as in I haven’t read the comics and just watched one film, I would be interested to watch the new adaptation with a female lead character out of curiosity. Then if I felt that the lead role had been played well and represented women as capable, strong, no nonsense etc then I would take an interest and probably read the comics, as a good performance would cause me to develop an interest.
However, I don’t think this newly found interest would last too long, so I probably wouldn’t end up as a hardcore Thor fan as a result. Because the majority of well known superheroes are men, inevitably I’d find myself forgetting about the female Thor and watching whatever superhero films have been recently released, it wouldn’t affect me much in the long run after the initial interest of the lead role gender change had worn off.
I hadn’t heard of Thor until today, however, I’m interested to see how Marvel will change a male character into a female character – and explain it. I can’t say I’d be more inclined to read comics because of a sex change. I’m not a feminist, comic books just aren’t really my thing, but I am interested in superhero/action movies.
I must admit I saw it when I was reading online and it took me by surprise – growing up with Thor as a male seemed normal. I never felt as though there was any reason Thor should have been female. After all, we had other female superheroes in Wonder Woman and Xena. But to suddenly have Thor become female taints everything I knew as a child.
It doesn’t seem the right thing to do and personally, if anything, it would stop me watching the movies. In my eyes, they’d be better off bringing in a new female superhero.
I think that’s weird! They should create a new female superhero rather than change an old one! I like male superhero films that have got their sassy female sidekicks or female villains, but a whole film around a female superhero seems a bit dull.
As good as Anne Hathaway was as Catwoman, i still wouldn’t want to watch a whole film just about her.
I’m not watching that with the lady playing it!!!!! I was loving the dude from Thor – hot. I won’t bother watching it now I know a woman’s playing it. That sounds so sexist but no, definitely a guy for me!
Honestly, it doesn’t really affect me, I’m not going to want to watch the Marvel films.
You know I don’t understand comic things, so maybe you’ve asked the wrong person but I don’t think I’d watch it any more than I would have before!
I watch them anyway, but possibly less now if they change him into a female, especially as his character has always been a male. I don’t think the story would work changing it now, maybe bring in a new female superhero but not replace him.
Plus, he is super sexy so he makes me enjoy watching the film even more.
It wouldn’t make me want to read them, but I like the idea of having a strong, female main character as a superhero, other than being a side chick like Catwoman.
I think certainly more nowadays there needs to be a strong female superhero for girls. Boys have had superheroes forever and been brought up with them, but girls have never really had that.
So there you have it, a bag of mixed views valuable enough for Catwoman to pinch, with some pleased, some very angry, and some females who, frankly, just just don’t give a damn.
It will be interesting to see what kind of feedback Marvel receives from existing customers when the comic book with the not “temporary female substitute” is released and whether its ambition of attracting female readers will be realised, or whether female Thor will become, well, a temporary female substitute.