On Tuesday July 15, Disney-owned Marvel utilized Disney-owned ABC’s “The View” to make an exciting announcement. Considering the typical demographic of “The View” is women of various ages and career status and not socially awkward men living in their mothers’ basements, this seemed an unusual venue for Marvel Comics to launch a big event. But launch they did. The big reveal? Thor, God of Thunder, will now be female.
Taking the temperature of the typical social media commentator, the reaction seems lukewarm at best. There’s no measurable outrage, nor is than any notable excitement.
There does seem to be disappointment. The disappointment does not appear to be in the change itself. Fans are disappointed that this was considered to be “big news.”
With the surge in comic book popularity in recent years, a lot of attention has been given to the lack of feminine voice in the genre, particularly in the big screen adaptations. While Marvel has had numerous female characters represented in their cinematic properties, many of them have been part of bigger teams or have played supporting roles. Other than Electra, the disappointing spin-off of 2003’s Daredevil, Marvel hasn’t had a female character carry her own film. DC has been even more underwhelming, with the forgettable Supergirl or the 80s and the much maligned Catwoman from ten years ago. Wonder Woman hasn’t seen a live action treatment since Linda Carter hung up the lasso (we’re going to ignore the unaired David E. Kelly disaster). She will see the silver screen soon, but as a supporting character to Superman and Batman, her name conspicuously absent from the title.
I believe fans were hoping for a new ripple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rumors have circulated for years of a Capt. Marvel film. In the Marvel universe, Captain Marvel is also known as Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers, not to be confused with the Captain Marvel of DC’s Shazam! title. Carol doesn’t enjoy the same name recognition as Wonder Woman, but until 2008, neither did Tony Stark. All Ms. Marvel needs is a film treatment as strong as the first Iron Man and she’s well on her way to becoming a female role model to potentially out-shine the Disney Princesses.
So Thor’s a woman. No biggie. Don’t expect Chris Hemsworth to hang up his hammer right away. Do, however, let it be known that we’re ready for more female heroes on all fronts.