Following the buzz that surrounded the news that Thor was undertaking gender realignment, does the Goddess of Thunder’s debut live up to the hype?
Back in July Marvel Comics announced that one of their leading characters from a popular title would be re-launching as a woman. The news reverberated around the world, breaking into mainstream press, we were to expect a new take on Thor. Questions were raised. What does this mean for the movie franchise where Thor is played by the overtly masculine Chris Hemsworth? The swift answer was nothing, the movies have rarely drawn more than inspiration from the comics. Jokes were made – Thor is the latest Disney Princess. Marvel, of course, are owned by parent company Disney.
Thought to be part of Marvel’s initiative to become more widely inclusive, Thor would, for the first time, be portrayed as a female character. Marvel’s initiative is intended to broaden the comics giant’s appeal by introducing or reviving titles with lead characters from different backgrounds, historically, poorly represented in the world of comics.
In black and white the concept seems overkill. Why change the sex of a character that has always been male? Well, it’s not as simple as that and Thor #1 is very much delivered in full colour.
Appealing to an audience that may have made the leap from the blockbuster Thor movies, Thor #1 features the titular characters nemesis from the second installment of the movie franchise. Malekith The Accursed is acting in cohorts with the Frost Giants of Jotunheim who begin an assault on Midgard (Earth).
Asgard, or Asgardia as it has become known, is enduring an unsettled period. Odin has returned from a self-imposed exile and now finds himself in a struggle for power with his wife Freyja, The All-Mother and leader in the absence of her husband, who is not prepared to allow things to return to the way they were. Meanwhile Thor – the male one – is rendered powerless by sorcery and finds himself unworthy of wielding his famous hammer, Mjolnir. The weapon lays in wait of a suitable master upon the surface of the moon. Enter the Goddess of Thunder.
As you’d expect from a leading Marvel title, the artwork is a joy and the story is interesting this far, but the vast majority of this episode is a set-up for the actual event. The Thor we know, with external genitals, features more prominently in his demise than his breasted successor. Did this title live up to the buzz surrounding it? In a word, no! The new Thor appears only in the final two pages. Pages we’ve already seen leaving me, for one, rather disappointed. With luck we’ll see more of Thor in female guise in #2. I wonder how many will persevere following the anticlimax of this edition?