In a surprise announcement today on The View, Whoopi Goldberg reported that the character of Thor, played by blond beefcake Chris Hemsworth in his namesake movies and in The Avengers, would become a female character.
Series writer Jason Aaron was firm that a female Thor would not be a sidekick, but the actual hero: “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."
According to Goldberg, “Thor, the God of Thunder, he messed up, and he's no longer worthy to hold that damn hammer of his. For the first time in history, that hammer is being held by a woman." Since whoever wields the hammer becomes Thor, it will be a female character in the next series.
That Marvel chose to leak the news via The View is telling, since the daytime talk show's audiences skews very female and much older than the stereotypical comic-book readership. It certainly suggests that Marvel wants to cast a wider net and appeal to a broader swath of the population than it's currently doing.
For its part, Marvel is doing its part to fight against the bursts of nerd rage over changes to the character:
Here's the official statement from Marvel:
This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of Marvel's “big three” – Captain American, Iron Man and Thor – Marvel Comics will be introducing an all-new THOR, GOD OF THUNDER. No longer is the classic male hero able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, a brand new female hero will emerge who will be worthy of the name THOR. 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.”
No word yet on if this new Thor character from the comic books will translate into a film starring a female Thor. At least this is a good first step.