Feminist Thor Addresses Misogynist Fans

John Marcotte

John Marcotte

Secret identity of a father raising two super-heroic young girls

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40 Responses

  1. apparantly I'm a misogynist now says:

    well… this is a load of bullshit

    • Ken Leonard says:

      Actually, if that’s the best response you can muster, you’ve probably always been a misogynist. “Apparently,” you just didn’t notice before.

      Any chance you can get a meaningful response, or is “load of bullshit” the best you can do?

      • Is calling someone a misogynist the best response you can muster.
        It seems to be the only answer feminists have to any disagreement.
        If your ideas were based in rationality then you wouldn’t need to resort to name calling.

        • anewleaf says:

          Actually, calling something misogyny isn’t name-calling, it’s identifying something as conforming to the definition of the word. Name-calling is meant to hurt the other party’s feelings, like calling them a douchebag. Nobody actually thinks they conform to Webster’s definition of a douchebag. It’s just meant to sting.

          If you are called misogynist, it can be inaccurate or accurate, but if your only concern is that it stings, that’s probably a good indication that it’s accurate.

          Also, for the record, I think you’re a douchebag. I’m glad your feelings are hurt by a female Thor. I hope you cry about it all day. Then, because I’m big like that, I hope you get over it.

    • Princess Batman says:

      No, you’re not a misogynist. I agree the new female Thor sucks and it’s an “eh” story-arch made to provoke readers for the sake of making a point on behalf of the majority of a demographic that doesn’t know the history or personality of the original characters nor care as long as they feel validated and included. I’m not against a female character in Thor but this comic is written poorly and it’s making a very strong and unnecessary address to Feminism, breast-cancer (which apparently is only a FEMALE disease and I feel thrown in there for sympathy) and which I feel is hostile toward male readers and is helping fuel this “men-are-(hateful/negative comment)” culture. “If you want to make a strong female character then create a new one; don’t force a character who is male to be replaced with a female character.” Although I understand this sentiment in small ways I would say that when Loki had a vagina there wasn’t as much emphasis lumped on in a “I am a woman, I have a vagina, I am a GOD, I have validation (thought bubbles about “that’s for saying Feminism like” I’m some sort of bitch) which in all honesty is a bitch move on the writer’s part. I understand that the idea behind having Thor become unworthy of Mjolnir is an old idea, the woman wielding doesn’t bother me but seriously it’s like the Frozen of the Asgardians. (which sucked) She is not THOR. She is someone else with Thor’s hammer and Thor is a whiny baby man character made to pity for being a man and unworthy, which apparently go hand in hand now.

  2. So now you want to erase men from our culture?
    Is this your idea of diversity?

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      I find this argument hilarious from the gentleman who was just complaining that feminists arguments are not “based in reality.”

      Changing the gender (temporarily) of one hero in an industry dominated by men somehow equates to “erasing men from our culture?”

      Someone needs a reality check – and it’s not feminists.

      You should read the book, BTW. It’s excellent.

      • Heroic Girls is bad says:

        They said it wasn’t temporary either get your facts straight or stop lying to make your point more effective.

        • I am sure it is every bit as permanent as Spider-Ock, the Death of Superman and Batman getting his back broken by Bane, all of which were also touted as “permanent.”

          The only certain thing in comics is that is you wait long enough, everything will change, and everything will change back.

  3. Christopher Clarke says:

    If you want to make a strong female character then create a new one don’t force a character who is male to be replaced with a female character. Plus Thor isn’t a title its a name. Also why does the comic book goes as far to antagonise people who disagree with feminism, it alienates a huge part of the audience, please don’t enforce an agenda into comic books as they are there mainly for entertainment and escapism.

    • anewleaf says:

      I don’t know why it would alienate anyone. Women certainly seem capable of enjoying superheroes of a different gender. I don’t know why guys find that so intellectually and emotionally difficult. The fact that they do is probably the best argument for a female Thor.

      • Toysoldier says:

        It is not difficult understand. Imagine that when Dick Grayson became Batman he did not just take the mantle, but also called himself Bruce Wayne. One can argue that Bruce Wayne is Batman, so anyone calling themselves such is just another guy in the suit. However, certainly “Bruce Wayne” is not a title or a mantle. It is the character’s name. The same applies to Thor. “Thor” is not a title or a mantle; it is the character’s actual given name. The replacement takes it, forcing Thor to call himself “Odinson” instead.

        As for the emotional aspect, if you are a fan of Thor, it is understandable that you would react negatively to the sexist way this was done. Aaron humiliates Thor by having his replacement pummel him into submission, take his power, his status, and his name, and essentially tell him that if he were worthy of any of it he would still have it.

        I am a life-long Batman fan. Watching the 90s cartoon helped me cope with the abusive home I grew up in. I would feel very hurt if someone treated Batman in that manner: stripping him of his mantle, name, and character, reducing him to a straw man to bash to appeal to feminists, and then attacking me for disliking that. Granted, I would still have the show and the books I enjoyed, but it would still hurt to see a character who taught me how to cope with situation I grew up in be reduced to pandering device.

        If there is a desire for a heroine, create one. Better yet, use the ones that already exist. Do not take away a hero to replace him with a “better” female version. Male characters may not mean anything to you as a feminist, a reader, or whatever, but they do mean something to other people. You do not get to take that away from them just because you do not like the character.

        • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

          “Aaron humiliates Thor by having his replacement pummel him into submission, take his power, his status, and his name, and essentially tell him that if he were worthy of any of it he would still have it.”

          No he doesn’t. They have a brief skirmish because male Thor thinks she stole Mjolnir. He quickly realizes that she didn’t, that she is worthy to wield the hammer while he needs to work through some issues; so he graciously withdraws, giving her space to wield Mjolnir and use the name Thor while he refers to himself as “Odinson” and works to become worthy again. They work together to protect Midgard.

          Odinson is still present in the books, still an interesting and sympathetic character and will undoubtedly reclaim the mantle of Thor — probably just in time for the next Thor movie to come out.

          Like when Grayson took over for Batman or when Dr. Octopus became Spider-Man (he took Peter’s name and body) this is a temporary situation. We all know it. The only difference is that this time it is a woman, and you can’t stand that.

          • Toysoldier says:

            I think you have a far more charitable reading of that fight than I do.

            As for whether I can “stand” the replacement, I did not like Doctor Octopus replacing Spider-man either. I had no problem with Dick replacing Batman except for DC announcing Batman’s return before publishing Dick’s books. In general, I do not like replacements, and if they are going to be done, I prefer that the creators not pander to the lowest rung of political agitators.

  4. Mark Hearn says:

    Your argument about Masterson is irrelevant. If there were internet back when he took the role of Thor fanboys would have gnashed their teeth and tore their hair because that is what fanboys do, though the fact that Thor is replaced by a woman this time is likely getting a more negative reaction.

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      ” … the fact that Thor is replaced by a woman this time is likely getting a more negative reaction.”

      That’s my point.

      Comic fans complain at any change — but the vitriol is magnified this time because a woman is taking a man’s place. Doc Ock/Spidey, Winter Soldier/Captain America, Falcon/Captain America, Dick Grayson/Batman have all happened in the past few years — well after the Internet was a big thing — and the criticism was nowhere near as loud and angry as it has been for Thor.

      • Mark Hearn says:

        I would like to add that I don’t read Thor, but if I did I would be horribly upset as well. Not that Thor is a woman (even though it is only a fake controversy generation story arc) but because (based on the scenes you linked) the writing is terrible. It reads like an argument between a Tumblr brand feminist and a denizen of r/redpill

        • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

          “I don’t read Thor”

          This is the biggest problem, I think. Aarons’ run on Thor has been wonderful. He’s done a fantastic job of keeping the character fresh and interesting. Reading the few panels taken out of context above might not give you a feel for the book, but he is an excellent writer that any Thor fan should be grateful to have.

          I suspect he was tired of the redpill types flooding his inbox with complaints and so he broke the fourth wall briefly to address them via proxy.

          Read the book. I’d start with the previous series, Thor: The God of Thunder. Aarons is a great writer who really managed to breathe new life into a stale character. The first volume sits at 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.

          http://www.amazon.com/Thor-God-Thunder-Vol-Butcher/dp/0785168427

          Aarons is on the record as saying that he wanted Thor to become “unworthy” at some point as a plot device tied to the original Thor mythos and give him a new challenge. The only question was who would become the new Thor while the Odinson was sidelined.

          • Mark Hearn says:

            Unfortunately I will not be reading Thor or any other comics from the big publishers. As I mentioned previously this Thor thing is a gimmick and I am honestly exhausted from the endless array of gimmicks being churned out over the past few years. Whether it is a little gimmick like this or the SUPER AWESOME MEGA EVENT OF THE YEAR (this month) that both DC and Marvel are publishing.

            I’ll stick to well written indies until (if) the big publishers smarten up

          • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

            “Unfortunately I will not be reading Thor or any other comics from the big publishers. As I mentioned previously this Thor thing is a gimmick”

            I’m generally not a fan of giant crossover “events” either, but there are plenty of good books at the big two. Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Daredevil, etc. Generally, these are books that have tenuous ties to the mainstream universe and the publisher allows the creator to tell their own story. Thor fits pretty well into that, as Aarons had him spend most of his time doing godly things in Asgard and the greater cosmos with little editorial interference.

            Aarons had planned a story where Thor became “unworthy” for years. He’s been dropping hints that this might happen all along. This was not a mandate from higher ups at Marvel.

            I have noticed: The people complaining that this is “ruining Thor” have not actually read the book. You may feel this is a gimmick, but it doesn’t feel like one if you had been reading Aarons work on the title over the past few years.

  5. Love it. And I’m loving the new Thor. I hope she sticks around for awhile.

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      I suspect the original Thor will return right about the time the next Thor movie comes out. That gives us a year or two to have some fun with new Thor.

  6. Toysoldier says:

    John, I am curious if you bothered to read the Wiki page you linked to. Masterson was combined with Thor for a period of time. Thor lay dormant in Masterson’s mind. Eventually the two were separated and Masterson became Thor’s replacement at Thor’s request. However, throughout that time Masterson never revealed his identity to any other heroes. They all thought he was the real Thor. I knew that, and I am not a Thor fan.

    So the comparison fails.

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      The other heroes are not the people complaining. It’s the fanboys. That is a weird and irrelevant distinction to make. And Masterson told Captain America and the other Avengers that he was not the original Thor in his second issue, Thor #434, so you are factually wrong as well.

      Thor Revealed

      • Toysoldier says:

        I stand corrected. Cap knew he was not the real Thor. However, it does not appear anyone else did until he told them. Yet even in the above scene, notice what happened. There was no attempt by the author to have Cap spout some ridiculous straw man argument. He simply addressed the obvious and moved on.

        So again, the comparison fails.

  7. kagmi says:

    Um. Wait. So only misogynistic fanboys can be against the idea of female Thor?

    I’m against it because I’m a writer. A female writer. Who knows that substituting one character in a role clearly designed for a different character is practically never a good idea. I’ve seen it tried LOTS of times where writers went “well hey we had this plan but you know what would appeal to more viewers?”

    Maybe I would still think this was a good idea if there were no women in comic books. But there ARE already a LOT of female characters in the comic book universes.

    If we really want progress, why isn’t one of those characters getting her own title? Or why aren’t we getting a new headliner character with her own story to tell?

    Oh, right. Because profit motive. Because this way they’re hoping to appeal to both fans of the male Thor and people who are looking for female characters to follow.

    Unfortunately the most likely outcome I see to this is that female Thor is temporary, which is going to actually look MORE sexist than if female Thor had never happened.

    I mean, if the writers pull it off well, more power to them. They’ve done an extraordinarily difficult thing that has often been tried and rarely succeeded.

    But you don’t need to be a misogynist or care about gender at all to say “replacing a beloved character with a completely different character doesn’t work 90% of the time.”

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      “substituting one character in a role clearly designed for a different character is practically never a good idea.”

      I dispute that. Wally West was actually a better Flash than Barry Allen. Dick Grayson made a great Batman. Seeing Dr. Octopus try to be a hero as Spider-Man was a ton of fun. Bucky Barnes became Captain America and I loved it. James Rhodes was Iron Man for a few years and the book was fine. Ryan Choi was a better Atom than Ray Palmer.

      Replacing heroes happens constantly. It allows writers to bring some freshness to the character for a while, then get a second boost when the original reclaims the mantle. The only difference here, is that this time it is a woman, so the outcry is magnified.

      “If we really want progress, why isn’t one of those characters getting her own title? Or why aren’t we getting a new headliner character with her own story to tell?”

      Marvel has launched more than a dozen books with female leads in the past few years. That is happening.

      I have faith in Aarons’ ability to pull this off. His run on Thor has been excellent, and playing with the comic’s mythology that you need to be “worthy” to wield Mjolnir makes a lot of sense. It’s a key part of the Thor mythos that has seldom been explored thoroughly.

      • Toysoldier says:

        “The only difference here, is that this time it is a woman, so the outcry is magnified.”

        That did not happen when Kate Bishop became Hawkeye or when Renee Montoya became the Question. So I doubt the issue is with women. I think the issue is the way it was done: the blatant politically correct pandering, the misandry within the story, the overt attempt to undermine and humiliate Thor himself, and the tacit attack on fans for liking iconic male characters, which has unfortunately become rather common.

        • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

          Oh yes. The huge problem of misandry in comics. It’s quite the epidemic. I think you are conflating a loss of privilege — where every story is written to cater to you — with actual oppression.

          Hawkeye and the Question were relatively minor characters that didn’t even have their own books when they were replaced, so again, your comparison fails.

          I just reread the fight scene from issue four. They fight for a few page. Then Thor Odinson realizes that the new Thor is worthy to wield Mjolnir, and they team up to kick frost giant ass. She does not “humiliate” him. She kisses him.

          His realization that the new Thor is “worthy” shows humility, which is what Thor traditionally lacks. Humility does not equal humiliation. The comic has made Odinson more sympathetic, and I look forward to reading his quest to become worthy again, which he undoubtedly will.

  8. powersergz says:

    Flipping through the website and I noticed that this comment section was pretty bad. So I figured I would send you some love and say that this was amazing.

  9. L. N. Holmes says:

    Yay for female Thor! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Ben says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that it is a really bad sign for a community/society when instead of discussing a book’s quality people get fired up about a character’s gender?
    I haven’t read it yet and I’m not sure I will because so far I cannot relate to Thor at all but the general idea seems interesting and including the gender issue into the storyline seems to me as rather ironic. But I can see how certain people wouldn’t like having their own views associated with a villain.

  11. krumpetz says:

    So Female Thor turned on the fans of Thor…yep…pretty low…pretty f***ing low.

    • John Marcotte John Marcotte says:

      Not really. The people complaining generally weren’t Thor fans. Circulation actually went up when female Thor took over the book.

  12. SVI says:

    A female Thor is fine. An Asgardian subscribing to a brand-new 20th century Earth political ideology that’s basically just the Ladies Auxiliary of White Supremacist Capitalism is not. Feminism is only a hate movement and nothing else, and I’m not interested in any cracker’s opinion. Any good in feminism doesn’t stem from feminism but happens in spite of it. It IS the backlash against women’s liberation. That’s why it’s so popular.

  13. janarrah says:

    Aaron’s writing on Thor has been.. meh to lazy. Jane Foster as temp Lady Thor is just.. dull. The reveal wasn’t remotely new or interesting. The take on the character has been.. lazy. The writing as seen in these scenes is childish and lackluster. And yes, the whole idea of Jane stealing Thor’s name is really dumb. And please, Eric Masterson was terrible too and the whole using Thor’s name was stupid. Thor is the man’s name. It’s not a mantle to be passed down or handed off. This isn’t Renee Montoya (who btw is a latina and a lesbian and was.. widely and openly accepted as The Question) taking up the mantle of the Question as he dies. This isn’t Carol Danvers the 7th Captain Marvel taking up the mantle of Captain marvel, finally. Or even the female POC Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel or Phyla-Vell, lesbian heroine who briefly was Captain Marvel.. None of these caused a massive outcry.. yet.. this is all misogyny and hate for just not liking a made-as-love-interest character who isn’t all that interesting all around stealing the name and power of her ex-boyfriend.. It’s not about.. an extremely badly written “feminist” message, that is literally forced into the book to make it somewhat interesting.

    Meanwhile, actual examples of misogyny like new 52 Wonder Woman and her hate filled, destructive Amazons that murder and maim, whose entire power and being comes from men and male power, and regularly talks about how she’s overwhelmed, oh and men save the day while she fights useless monster of the day.. and in the several years the comic has been around, she still hasn’t been developed at all, no back story, no history, no reason for her actions, nothing.. Or the demotion of Lois Lane from producer who is struggling with her new role and balancing the lives of others vs. her previous life as a reporter.. to be knocked back to just a reporter and incapable of every growing beyond that.. all in the name of Feminism.

    • Oh the current run on Wonder Woman is just plain bad. Haven’t been reading it — or most DC titles since the New 52. They ruined a lot of books. The Question? Hadn’t had regular title in years when they made that change (which didn’t stick.) Captain Marvel? The original has been dead since 1982 and had nowhere near the prominence of a character like Thor. These are not “apples-to-apples” comparisons.

      And let’s be clear, the comic-book Thor is only loosely based on the Norse mythology. From the beginning Thor was a title that could be inherited by others. The original Thor, Donald Blake, inherited the powers of Thor by finding the hammer and having Odin “turn him into an immortal.” He was a normal man who inherited the powers and body of the ancient Norse god by magic.

      In Journey Into Mystery #97, Odin confirms that Thor was actually the mortal, Don Blake, who Odin had given the powers and title of Thor because he was worthy to lift the hammer — just like Jane Foster today.

      Stan Lee later changed his mind and decided that Thor and Blake were two different people that Odin had bound together. Then later that Blake was a fake persona, created by Odin out of whole cloth. He never really settled on which of those stories was canon, and writers have picked and chosen whatever story appealed to them ever since.

      At any rate, none of this was based on Norse mythology. Mythological Thor is a redhead. He has a beard, Mythological Odin is the god of war and strife. He would have taken Loki’s side in fighting the frost giants and just about every other decision.

      Mythological Loki is a trickster — not evil. He does create trouble for the gods — but he always made things right again. Pretty sure he didn’t make a pact with an evil outer-space Titan to conquer Midgaard — but I’d have to check the texts.

      Mythological Sif is not a warrior. She is blond and there are whole myths about why she is blond. She stays at home. So she is not the raven-haired battle-maiden as portrayed in the comics.

      So the idea that adhering to the original mythology is somehow important to the comic book is bullshit. They used it for loose inspiration — nothing else. As to whether Aaron’s writing is good, that is subjective. But Thor’s sales have been up significantly under his stewardship, and it jumped tremendously when he started the female Thor era.

      So you are welcome to your opinion, but it seems to be a minority.