Hold on to your comic books, Marvel fans: Thor and the mythic hammer Mjölnir–inscribed with the phrase “Whosoever holds this hammer, if He be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”–are due to undergo some editorial reforging. According to the powers of the Marvel Universe, the He wielding that hammer is now a She: that’s right, new Thor is female. Says Marvel Comics’ series writer Jason Aaron: “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.”
Unlike we’ve ever seen before indeed: Thor the Norse god has been male since his pre-Christian origins in Scandinavian legend, where he is the god of epic things like thunder, lightning, storms, fertility, and war, not to mention not-so-epic-things like your average Thursday (Thor’s Day). Gendered like his mythic counterpart, Marvel’s Thor has been a man since August 10, 1962, when he debuted in Journey into Mystery #83. By redrawing Thor as a woman, Marvel seems to be targeting its female fan base, and they might be on the right track: nothing like using the hammer of Thor to smash through a glass ceiling.
—Alex Trow is a writer based in New York