Marvel Comics made a major announcement this morning through Whoopi Goldberg on ABC’s The View, revealing that, come October, Thor will have a new eponymous series, and a “brand new” leading character.
Not only will Thor Odinson find himself unable to lift his hammer Mjolnir, but the legendary uru weapon will be gifted to a more worthy individual – an as-yet-unrevealed woman who will become the next Thor.
In a press release published shortly after the episode, editor Wil Moss revealed that this new hero is “the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!” Writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.” This essentially marks the end of the Thor: God of Thunder series with September’s #25, though Aaron will continue onto the new series, simply named Thor and will start with #1, alongside up and coming artist Russell Dauterman.
Though this will not be the first time Mjölnir has been wielded by a woman (DC Comics’ Wonder Woman lifted it in the 1996 miniseries Marvel vs DC) it will be the first time (albeit only in mainstream Marvel continuity) that the comic title’s eponymous hero has ever been female. Marvel also notes that the new Thor series will be its eighth ongoing title to feature a female lead protagonist, joining She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Storm, Elektra and X-Men.
The identity of Thor’s new alter ego is yet to be revealed, though we have been assured that she’s “brand new”, and her origin involves being “saved by Thor… came down to Earth, followed him, and made herself look like Thor and so now she’s taking over.” It’s hard to imagine, however, that some seeds of her identity haven’t already been planted. She has blonde hair, like her predecessor, which could suggest either Valkyrie or Tarene aka Thor Girl, both of whom would fit the description given on The View.
More than likely, based on current knowledge, that it will be the angel bounty hunter Angela. It was revealed in the ongoing blockbuster crossover Original Sin, also written by Aaron, that Marvel’s recently acquired Neil Gaiman creation is the long-lost sister of Thor and Loki, and their story will be told in the also ongoing miniseries-within-the-miniseries Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm. It seems silly to suggest that because Angela is a redhead, she therefore cannot be the next Thor, especially since that new status quo would undeniably cement her place in the Marvel Universe.
All that being said, it is also a wonderful idea to have this Thor be an all-new character, without the cumbersome comic book history attached to Valkyrie, Tarene or Angela. Clearly, Marvel is intent on promoting it as a new status quo and undoubtedly be looking to attract new readers to the title. While creating a new character with no continuity baggage is not absolutely necessary to enjoy a comic, especially for a masterful writer like Jason Aaron, it would make me feel a little more confident in picking up a Thor title for the first time.
For fans of Thor Odinson, do not fret. Deemed “unworthy” to wield Mjolnir, he nonetheless will remain an integral part of the Marvel Universe, according to editor Moss. He is, not surprisingly, wielding his retroactively introduced pre-Mjolnir axe Jarnbjorn, which has played a significant role in both Uncanny Avengers and Thor: God of Thunder. That being said, Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, in an interview with Time, has revealed that “There’s only one Thor in the Marvel Universe. The character we know as Thor will not refer to himself as Thor anymore.”