Great Odin’s beard, Thor’s a woman!?!?
Making the media rounds is Marvel Comics’ latest release and new series about everyone’s favorite god of thunder and wielder of mighty Mjolnir, Thor. Well kinda. The series is titled Thor but he’s not on the cover; a lady is! No, Marvel/Disney did not perform gender-transfiguring surgery on Thor. He’s still alive and well, more or less. So before we continue please remember Thor is still Thor, but someone else now has his powers and his weapon.
Marvel does occasionally have other characters take over being a hero – not three months ago they announced that Steve Rogers wasn’t going to be Captain America any longer but Sam Wilson/The Falcon would be taking his place. And that’s not the first time Marvel has done something like this. For instance, Bucky Barnes has taken over the mantle and shield of Captain America, three different men have assumed the role of Ant-Man and even Rhodey has suited up several times and called himself Iron Man while Tony Stark couldn’t.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s Thor’s turn to have someone take his place. With that said the last few years have been crazy for Thor who was a) killed by his long lost uncle, then b) resurrected with the assistance of his troublesome brother Loki and c) just found out that he has a long-lost sister named Angela.
Speaking of Angela, it’ll be exciting to see how she’s used in the Marvel Universe. She was originally created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane for the Spawn series on Image Comics then fought over in court by the two and recently awarded to Gaiman. Now he’s bringing her to Marvel because he’s signed back up with the company. It’s my money that she’s the one with Thor’s power now.
Thor’s power comes from his hammer named Mjolnir. His father, Odin, put an incantation on it that allows only the truly noble and worthy to lift it and claim the power that it wields. The incantation reads, ”Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” In the first issue when the hammer is being lifted by the yet unidentified individual the incantation changes from “he” to “she.”
There have been several other individuals who have been able to pick it up including Captain America and Beta Ray Bill. And let’s not forget a couple of the Marvel/DC crossovers when Superman and Wonder Woman both picked it up.
One of the things you might be asking yourself is, what’s so great about that hammer? Well other than being forged in the heart of a dying star and made out of an extremely rare and magical metal named Uru it can do quite a bit of other things, some of which include weather manipulation, flight, energy projection and teleportation.
So how did Thor lose his ability to pick up his hammer? He lost control and dropped Mjolnir when an enraged Nick Fury confronted him on the moon. Fury whispered something in Thor’s ear and he immediately dropped his hammer and was not able to lift it again. What was said is still unknown.
There’s tons of speculation on what Fury whispered. It’s just hard to imagine what he could’ve said that would make Thor unworthy of his power and weapon. But that’s who Nick Fury is. As was said in Marvel Studios’ film adaptation of Fury when asked by Steve Rogers/Captain America if Fury was hiding something Tony Stark responds, “He’s a spy. Captain. He’s THE spy. His secrets have secrets.”
In the first issue, Odin believes that it’s probably not that Thor’s not worthy but that either the Enchantress or most likely Loki, his brother, has bewitched him. After trying to lift the hammer and not being able to do so himself, Odin is ready to leave the moon and go back to Asgard.
Without Mjolnir, Thor is still strong. Though how strong he truly is, is debatable and has varied through the years. In some comic books without his powers he still has the strength of an Asgardian, which is that of several average humans, and in others he’s just as strong as an average man.
It’ll be interesting to see how the gender roles are going to be played out. Thor was one of the strongest individuals in the Marvel Universe. And now a woman will put many characters in their place. I’m interested to see how Thor will take it. His pride has to have taken a hit. How do you think a proud Viking would take it if a woman took his weapon and went about saving the world like he used to?
Another piece of conflict that’ll be interesting to see unfold is between Odin and his wife Freyja, the current ruler of Asgard. She began to rule Asgard when Odin went into exile. Well now, Odin is back and ready to take back his throne but it seems that Freyja isn’t ready to step down.
I say give the series a try. Sure, Thor’s no longer one of the strongest characters but he’s lost his powers before and he’s gotten them back. Each time he has, he’s always added a little fold to his character sheet.
So if you haven’t picked up a comic book in a while and/or worried that you’ll be confused by all that’s happened, fret not for the workings of Jason Aaron will lead you through and wanting more. Till next time True Believers!
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