Today we learned there will be a new Thor, and this Thor is female. My first reaction to this news is, “Thank goodness they are not calling her ‘Lady Thor’ or ‘Thorette.'” I also thought, “Hey, she’s fully dressed – good!”
I had these initial reactions because these are two issues that bother me to no end. I have two very young daughters, and we love super heroes. But it irritates me that most of our super hero toys are male – Superman, Batman, Iron Man, etc. In fact, my oldest daughter asked me when she was four if there were female super heroes besides Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Batgirl. Of course there are, we all know there are, but I started coming up with names like Spider-Woman, Batwoman, She-Hulk, and something dawned on me. By and large, most of our female super heroes are derivatives of a male counterpart. Those who are original, such as Wonder Woman or Black Canary, tend to wear little clothing or fish-net stockings. I think this is a bad message to my daughters.
I want my daughters to know that they can and should rely on themselves. I want them to be original, innovative, and free-thinkers. I don’t want them assuming that they should only take an existing idea and alter it. They need to always strive to break the mold, to do things their own way, and to avoid letting gender come into the issue at all.
Marvel Comics is a corporate entity. I’m thrilled that they’ve allowed Black Widow to shine in their cinematic universe, but in the comic book universe, there is much room for improvement. But, because they are a corporate entity, oftentimes their books are determined by the bottom line – profit. Why not give this new “Thor” her own identity and let her float? Because there is a good chance she would sink. Don’t get me wrong, I would constantly take chances on new, original characters – both male and female. Unfortunately, I’m not in charge of Marvel, and if I was, I’d probably drive them out of business pretty quickly (or take them to soaring new heights).
You take a female character, put a very well-known brand title on her (Thor), and she will make money. From Marvel’s perspective, they are doing something initially perceived as risky and progressive, but there’s really no risk at all. Comic books are largely a male dominated field on both the production side of things as well as in regards to the readership. Plus, we all know the male Thor will be back before Avengers 2 comes out.
I’m the first to admit this is all speculation. We don’t know much of anything about the new Thor. It’s a knee-jerk reaction and I addressed that fact in the title of this article.
But I wish I didn’t have to settle. I wish I didn’t only feel good about the fact that they aren’t calling her “Lady Thor” and that she’s fully clothed. I wish my daughters had heroes that matched their imagination and independence.
Picture taken from Women You Should Know‘s Facebook Page