The God of Thunder is about to get a major makeover. Marvel made waves in the realm of comic books (and beyond) with the announcement this week that a new series coming this fall will feature a female Thor.
This isn't just a case of stunt-casting. "This really is a Thor story unlike any we've ever seen before, and it's not meant to be fleeting," said writer Jason Aaron. "It's not a one-time thing or an alternate reality. This is the new version of Thor in the Marvel Universe."
Details are being kept under wraps about the woman's identity, but it appears she will take over after the original Thor is found unworthy in a storyline that has yet to unfold.
The new Thor is just one high-profile move Marvel has made in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. Also announced this week is the new Captain America. The shield will be soon be hefted by classic Cap's buddy Samuel Wilson, an African-American character with the superhero name of the Falcon.
Reaction around the Internet to the Thor change has been extremely vocal, both for and against. Comics writer Scott Snyder has worked for both DC and Marvel. He tweeted, "I was at the mall w/my kids & overheard some teenagers (guys & girls) talking about female Thor excitedly & I just am happy to be in comics."
CNET reader Ratnok writes, "This is an offensive marketing gimmick." Facebook user Kevin Arthur Maclary chimed in on Marvel's page, writing, "Not Sure What's Worse. Female Thor or Black Human Torch.... STOP RUINING MAJOR COMIC CHARACTERS!!!"
In response to some of the criticism flying around social media, Aaron tweeted "I've written 25 issues featuring 3 different versions of dude Thor and never once was his penis the most important part of the story." He later added "You don't need man parts to be Worthy," a reference to the inscription on Thor's hammer Mjölnir.
Many people are also finding humor in the situation. Television writer and producer Steve Marmel chimed in on Twitter with "You think people are pissed about a black Captain America & female Thor, wait until they realize Superman was an undocumented immigrant baby."
Others have pointed out that Thor was once turned into a frog in the comics back in the '80s and that Norse mythology includes a story about Loki becoming a mare and giving birth to an eight-legged horse. Now that would be a fun storyline for Marvel to explore.
What are your feelings about a female Thor? Are you cheering her on and getting ready to buy the first issue, or are you upset about the change? Vote in our poll and talk it out in the comments.
Correction at 8:05 a.m. PT: Captain America's buddy was misidentified. He is Samuel Wilson.