It’s hammer time for a new female Thor
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY
Thor is looking a little curvier than usual, but this new goddess of thunder can wield a mystical hammer as well as any Asgardian dude.
When the Avenger we all know and love is deemed unworthy to lift the mighty weapon Mjolnir, a woman takes up the mantle in Thor, the relaunched Marvel Comics series debuting Wednesday by writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman.
“She’s going to be Thor,” says Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort, “as powerful and strong as the previous god and embodying the same sort of nobility we think of as being Thor.”
(Don’t worry, Chris Hemsworth fans: The actor is still set to play his very male Thor in next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and other Marvel movies in the foreseeable future.)
Aaron had been writing the male Thor in his God of Thunder comic book. But when old super-spy Nick Fury whispered something to Thor in the event series Original Sin, it made the Norse superhero drop the hammer and not be able to pick it up again.
Enter a mysterious woman from his corner of the Marvel Universe who wears a mask and is the first female to carry Mjolnir around.
The enchanted weapon has had a home in the hands of various folks over the years, from the alien Beta Ray Bill to even a frog Thor. But after Aaron built up the female supporting cast in his series, it made sense that the new Thor “was going to wind up being a lady,” says the writer.
“There will be things she does that are very different than what the previous guy did, in particular her relationship with Mjolnir. I’m having a lot of fun exploring that and really making Mjolnir a character in and of itself.”
Having a woman as Thor allows Aaron to continue playing with gender roles within the book. Thor’s mother, Freyja, has been ruling their Asgardian kingdom as its All-Mother, but when Odin returns, he expects it to fall back under his control.
Not so fast, says Aaron. “Now Freyja has proven herself to be a worthy leader and she’s not ready to just step aside and drift back into the shadows.
“The fact that Odin couldn’t pick up the hammer and someone else does, let alone a woman, and the fact that not even Odin knows who this person is under the mask, I imagine all that is going to drive him quite crazy.”
Meanwhile the hero formerly known as Thor, the Odinson, is in a darker place than ever because he can’t lift Mjolnir. However, when a giant threat arises on Earth, he rushes to help, even without his powers.
“He was always questioning his worthiness — there was always that little doubt in the back of his mind that he wasn’t the god he could be,” Aaron says. “Now, that doubt has exploded and seems to be confirmed.”
What exactly was whispered into his ear is going to stay a mystery for a while, the writer adds. While some assume it’s some dastardly revelation, “that he once pushed a bunch of nuns down the stairs or something,” there’s a little more to it than that.
The identity of the new Thor will also remain a secret, but Aaron promises not to tease it out for months and months. “The real story begins once we know who she is and what her story is. That’s the part I’m really excited to get to.”
There will also be a Thor vs. Thor confrontation early on since the previous guy is going to be angry someone else is running around with his favorite hammer.
That relationship will be one of the comic’s ongoing dramas as the Odinson becomes very interested in revealing the heroine, “especially once he decides that this is someone who knows him,” Aaron says. “He’s going to be looking at all the women around him in his life and try to figure out which one is this new Thor.”