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Marvel Announces Thor to be Woman, Texts from Superheroes responds.
This link leads to the response from 'Texts from Superheroes' to Marvel's announcement that from now on Thor is going to be a woman* in the mainstream comics (616).


Incidentally, the frog thing is quite true.

*My own response is to yawn, particularly to Marvel's claim that this will be a permanent change. We have, of course, heard this before. We heard it about the deaths of characters (Captain America, Spider-man, Hawkeye, the Wasp, and, indeed, Thor himself along with practically every character Marvel owns. Currently Professor X is still dead, I think, but Nightcrawler is just back from it) and replacements aplenty (Bucky was Cap for a while, but, despite Brubacker's adoration of the character it didn't stick (and he wasn't the only one other than Steve Rogers who has had that role, Rhodes has been Iron Man any number of times), more people have been Captain Marvel than I'd care to mention and, of course, most recently Doctor Octopus was Spider-man (and no one seemed to notice.) Oh, and Peter was supposedly dead at that point and Doc Ock had taken over his body, but right now Peter is back...

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Decades ago, when I was seriously reading comics, DC announced that a a member of the Legion of Superheroes would die permanently. It wound up being Proty, the Legion's blob mascot, and a couple of issues later it was replaced with Proty II, who was indistinguishable from the original.

At one time it was said that the only three major characters to ever really die in mainstream comics were Spidey's Uncle Ben, Bucky Barnes and Jason Todd.

Unfortunately, two of those are now alive and have been for about ten (real) years. *sigh*

Now that you mention it I also suspect that the change won't be permanent. And, under those circumstances, isn't very impressive. We'll see.

Marvel, it has to be said, have not managed the comics in respect of the movies very well. Thor was dead in the comics when his first movie came out. When 'Iron Man' first appeared it was in the middle of a series of arcs where Tony was more villain than hero, and I think he was deleting his brain between IM1 and 2. When 'Captain America: the First Avenger' was being written, Steve Rogers was no longer carrying the shield. I'm not sure what Hulk was doing at the time both Hulk movies were made, but I bet he was either grey, separated from Banner, or in outer space...

Edited at 2014-07-16 04:00 pm (UTC)

I'm not a great comics reader. I was a Sandman and - particularly - Hellblazer reader, but that was about it. So the splendours and joys that are the comics world's retcons and reboots and purges and resurrections are something I only learned about recently.

From my outside perspective, it sounds bonkers, but I can't work out whether that is a happy bonkers, or an infinitely frustrating bonkers!

Oh, I'm very on and off with comics. I started reading US comics when I was about 10 (late 50s), collected Marvel from 1962 to about 1975, went cold turkey for ten years (during which time I bought one comic precisely), then made the mistake of buying the first Sandman collection. Started buying Vertigo in a big way, with a huge pull-list at Comics Showcase, then moved into DC for the amazing and wonderful superhero-sitcom 'Justice League International'. (Ina, though she pretends not to be is the big 'Hellblazer', 'Batman' and 'X-Men' fan in this household.) From then on I just picked up collections with a great rep about characters I liked. The Marvel Cinematic Universe dragged me in to comics again (and into 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes', an excellent kids cartoon series - the animation is awful but the plotting is good.)

I may give some of the stuff coming up a miss, though.

Female thunder gods are very rare (the Inuits have the strongest claim to one, I believe). The mythology is sky father-earth mother.

Well, that's what went through MY head, followed by, "So, Chris didn't want to sign for another movie, huh?"

I don't think that's the reason. And Chris is signed up to do (at least) Thor 3 and and Avengers 3

This is part of a publicity stunt rush of blood to the head among the comics editors/writers at Marvel. Disney won't allow them to do anything like this in the films, at least for the next ten years or so.

All parts of Marvel (and DC is worse) have been criticised very heavily (particularly by women on Tumblr) about the lack of diversity. Sales, particularly on the individual comics of the 'big three' (Iron Man, Captain America and Thor) have been falling drastically. Marvel seem to think that people are fed up with the characters when, actually, they are fed up with what has been done with them recently when there have been major retcons and characterisations that have made a lot of people angry.

So, instead of thinking 'people like the movies, why not make the characterisation more like the movies - not so dark, lighter and wittier and retro the actual characterisation to what it was maybe twenty years ago, which is like the movies', the writers have decided to change everything (Thor as a woman, a black Captain America in Sam Wilson because, hey, that guy who plays Sam in the movies is really popular and we tried Bucky as Cap for a couple of years and that never worked, and make Tony Stark a true villain because Stott's Superior Spider-Man worked so well.

After all, that sort of wholesale change gave DC a massive sales boost. (It did. The effect has now worn off and books are being cancelled hand over fist.)

They were horrified by the recent criticism of the 'work' of Rick Remender on Captain America who was the centre of a minor storm because of his characterisation of Sam Wilson - and his night of sex with a character widely thought to be underage. Marvel defended Remender heavily and it now is clear why - he will continue to write Captain America when Wilson picks up the shield. I wish I had a quid for the each person on Tumblr or Dreamwidth who has said, "Hey, Sam would be great, and Steve would be so proud but I'm not buying this while Remender is writing it."

Of course, I have a suspicion that this is a similar tactic employed by the writers of the Batman Knightfall sequence. At that time there was a lot of yelling that Batman should be darker and more badass, so the writers, who didn't want to go further gave them exactly what they had said they wanted. They has Bane break Bruce's back and Azrael - Jean-Paul Valley - 'Batman's Apprentice' take up the cowl. Never very stable, Jean-Paul went totally crazy and killed people all over the place. The fans hated Az-Bats, as they were intended to.

I have a suspicion that in a year or so Marvel will be going, "Well, we did have a sales boost, and we only gave you what you asked for."

It's a pity they don't actually listen to anybody who talks sense. In fact, the best thing they could have done to increase diversity is to improve the lot of the female characters they already have.

As for the move towards darkness - it's not just Marvel, it's everywhere. Gloom sells. I gave up on the reboot of Battlestar Galactica because it was so grim - but lots of people thought it was much better than the original. I agree the original was hokey but at least it was filled with likeable characters!!

The funniest take on this that came across my friendslist was a retweet to the effect of:

- Disney owns Marvel.
- Marvel owns Thor.
- Thor is the child of a king.
- Thor is now female.
- Therefore, Thor is now a Disney Princess.

I will SO buy that action figure if it comes out!

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