I read on The Mary Sue (and every other website out there these days) that Marvel Comics has a brand new idea for a story. A female Thor. Yes, you read that right, A Female Thor. (Take a few breathes to let it sink in.)
And while I like that Marvel is branching out with their female characters – putting them more on the front line and less in the romance, giving them a more crucial role in the plot – this new idea is a little, well, odd.
I like Thor. The male version. I think Thor will always be considered a male character and that perhaps men will dislike this new version of their character. (I am a female and I don’t like this new version of the character.)
And I know there is such a thing as gender-swapping, and sometimes it’s fun and cool to do. It’s interesting for the storyline. It puts a new perspective on the hero/heroine’s current hardships.
Skipping the part where it’s a little bit of a cop-out to use the same name and powers, the original male Thor is a Norse god. He has a history in the Norse mythology. His hammer has a history, too. Their history is pretty much twined together (save for one part where the hammer was stolen and, yes, Thor had to cross-dress as a woman to get it back). Why break the duo apart?
For the challenge? Okay. You know what else is challenging? Bringing up a Norse goddess and crafting a totally new story around her.
For the shock value? Okay. You know what else would be shocking? Bringing up a Norse goddess and crafting a totally new story around her.
For gender equality and female empowerment? Okay. You know what isn’t empowering women or equaling the genders? Switching the gender of a legendary Norse god, when there are plenty, PLENTY of legendary Norse goddesses to chose from.
I did a quick Google search and came up with this list:
Freya – Goddess of Love and Beauty, wisdom and magic, and a warrior
Skadi – Goddess of Winter and the Hunt
Frigga – Mother of them All
Hel – Goddess of the Dead and the Afterlife
Sif – Harvest Goddess
Idunna – Goddess of Youth and Beauty
Eostre – Goddess of Spring and Fertility
Nerthus – Goddess of Sea and of Rivers
The Valkyries – Badass female warriors
Would it take more time to craft a new story around a new goddess? Yes.
Would it take more time to bring her up to the (awesome) level of Thor and the other Avengers? Yes.
Would it be worth it? Yes.
Now, don’t get me wrong. She might be awesome. She might be the most interesting rendition of Thor ever. She might just be … cool.
I hope it does, since everyone deserves to try new uncharted territories every once in a while and have it work out for them.
But I’m also hoping that Marvel Comics will craft a new story around a new (read: not Thor) goddess. That would be an uncharted territory, too.