In general, most people have always been hesitant of change.
This is a fact we should try and alter. Oftentimes we make horrible assumptions when a change is announced, but after it’s implemented, we embrace it. This isn’t always the case, of course, but we can’t truly know if the change will be good or bad until we give it a chance.
Many people seemed to have a meltdown of sorts earlier this week when Marvel announced that, in a new comic book line launching this fall, Thor would be female.
Inspired by Norse mythology, the original Thor is the son of Odin who wields a hammer.
His powers, such as summoning up lightning, come from his hammer, Mjolnir, which has an inscription that reads: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
Marvel’s announcement included that this inscription will be updated because, for the first time ever, a female character will be worthy of that power.
Several comments I read on Facebook and Twitter were pretty offensive. A lot of people commenting on the announcement didn’t appear to have actually read the entire announcement.
A good chunk of the comments were sexist, opposing having a female take up the mantle. That or they were offensive to transgender people by suggesting the original Thor is turning into a female. But the Thor we know and love isn’t changing gender. He isn’t transforming into a woman.
He’s still going to exist. The original Thor will still exist using his magical axe Jarnbjorn, something he used in his younger years. He just won’t be worthy to wield his hammer anymore. The person who will be worthy to wield Mjolnir is female.
Marvel has turned the power of Thor into an alter ego that many other characters can assume. A few other characters such as Captain America and Superman have been deemed worthy of the power of Thor in the past. Now we shall see a female assume that role.
I don’t think this solves the issue of the underrepresentation of strong female characters in the comic book universe.
After all, even with all of the popular superhero movies out these days, we still have yet to see a successful superhero film with a strong female lead. Wonder Woman has never had her own solo film and there is no word on the possibility of a Black Widow movie.
And of course we haven’t seen very many original, mass-advertised female superheroes either. I do believe that’s something we need to see.
However, creating a female version of a top character is a good start. I think if it’s done correctly, this could be a good step.
I realize a lot of fans are outraged and a lot of fans are intrigued. Just give it a chance.
You might be surprised.
Also this fall, another major change is coming to the alter ego of a beloved top character. Captain America will be black. Sam Wilson, also known as Falcon, will be taking up Cap’s mantle.
This is another decision following in similar steps as making a female Thor. There are a lot of diverse comic book readers out there so it’s about time more of that diversity is represented on the page.
As good as these decisions are and as hopeful as I am to see how they play out, I’d much rather see an original, strong, character in the comic book industry with a positive portrayal.
These characters should be female or black or some other minority underrepresented in pop culture. That would do even more for equality, something I truly believe in.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.