Today Disney owned Marvel Comics announced via the Disney owned television show The View that Thor would no longer be carrying his trusty hammer Mjölnir. The statement came from Whoopi Goldberg and reads:
It’s a huge day in the Marvel Universe. 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. That’s right. Thor is a woman!
NOT SO FAST WHOOPI!
First I would just like to point out that Thor is not Thor because of Mjölnir. Whoopi saying female Thor is obviously intentional if you look at Marvel.com’s announcement which goes out of it’s way to say this is THE THOR. However I don’t think this is as big of a deal as they want you to believe. There have actually been multiple people who have gone to lift Mjölnir and been found worthy. A cursory glance at Wikipedia names several people. There was even a brief time when Jane Foster wielded Mjölnir (though I’m sure this modern idea will read more modern than that did.)
Second, there is no indication that Thor is going anywhere. An upcoming Avengers cover shows Thor and what do you know, he is holding an axe called Jarnbjorn instead of Mjolnir. Additionally, Thor in this image has a metal arm, something that was introduced in a future version of Thor in the current series. I suspect we will end up with a depowered Thor and all this talk about THIS being THE THOR will just be in the sense that this mystery lady will have that power. Nothing more.
I guess I felt like I should write something up on this because I will not be surprised if there is a negative reaction. However, if there is a negative reaction I feel it will likely be misdirected.
Marvel is owned by Disney and Disney is a gargantuan company. It makes sense from a business perspective to try and get attention on this but one of my major complaints with comics from big publishers is that things don’t get to happen organically. Everything has to be telegraphed and mentioned before it publishes. Additionally, there is an overall feeling among the comics community that these types of things are nothing but gimmicks to try and punch sales up. The saying is, whenever sales start to dip for Marvel, someone will die.
While I have legitimate gripes about this being announced and some of the wording of the announcement, I just have to take it in stride. So Thor will carry an axe for a while and some woman will carry his hammer. Diversification in comics is a great thing. The more it happens the more true to life these fictional universes become. The worst case scenario from all this is that we have a period for probably a year where Thor doesn’t get to be the Thor you know or are accustomed to. Feel free to bail out but odds are you really aren’t reading these comics anyway. This will not affect the movie universe, we might actually end up with good stories, and a good new character.
Step back, take a deep breath, and trust the creators at Marvel. They have had a very good 2 years critically and as always, this is comics. It will revert back soon enough, probably before Avengers Age of Ultron comes out.