Marvel has been at the center of controversy surrounding diversity in the world of superheroes lately, predominately directed towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe and predominately over the lack of films fronted by females or persons of color (POC). But it looks like Marvel is taking steps to change that, starting with their comic book canon.
On Monday, they announced that, come October, Thor would become "unworthy" of wielding his trusty hammer and his mantle would be taken up by a woman. "This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR," writer Jason Aaron said. "This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it's unlike any Thor we've ever seen before."
Because this is the Internet and everyone needs to have an opinion about everything, naturally there was backlash. Some liked the idea of increasing the female prescence, but said Marvel should create an all-new hero instead of replacing a fan favorite (which, technically, they are. Thor Odinson is still around, he has just become unworthy of Mjölnir, leaving an opening for a woman to become God of Thunder).
Others looked like these lovely comments taken from our very own comment section.
Full of misogyny and sexism, with a bit of racism added for bad measure (the latter of which will unfortunately likely only increase now that Marvel has been announced The Falcon, a POC, will replace Steve Rogers as Captain America).
But characters in the comic book world are constantly changing—these new incarnations of Thor and Cappie are but two changes made to the aptly named Avengers NOW! series, which also finds a new suit for Iron Man and entirely new recruits. No comic book geek worth his ticket to Comic-Con should be surprised that characters are getting retooled. Change mixes things up. Change makes comics exciting. Change should be welcomed.
A blog called "Texts From Superheroes," run by comedians Diana McCallum and Andrew Ivimey, perfectly responded to the backlash with a quick SMS exchange between our new Thor and Iron Man:
Another played off the innate absurdity of comic books:
Whichever you prefer, just get over it already. Female Thor FTW.