Have you been searching for awesome books, movies, or television shows to start? Well, look no further. Every week, The Wardrobe will be providing you with all sorts of fantastic suggestions to start your weekend off right! Make sure to check in every Friday under the UPDATES Menu tab (Click on RECOMMENDATIONS) for a list of science fiction, fantasy and fairy tale goodies!
This week the Wardrobe Recommends…
by Ben Jenkins
What with the booming success of the Thor films and the subsequent Avengers flicks, you have undoubtedly been exposed to Thor in some way over the past few years. While the movies offer an easy way for new fans to jump into the world of Asgard and the nine realms, they don’t have anything like the new Thor #1 comic book that was released this past week (Oct. 1st).
As you can tell from the cover art shown above, the new Thor (written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Russell Dauterman) is a woman—and not Lady Thor, or Thor Girl, but Thor. She’s the man, or the god; you know what I’m saying…right? Without giving too much away, Thor (the dude and son of Odin), is no longer able to wield Mjölnir because he is no longer worthy. As a result, he is forced to face the frost giants, as they attack earth, without his trusty hammer. In the end of this first edition (I’m not giving anything away here) the reader sees a woman picking up Mjölnir to become the new Thor.
While some in the realm of the nerds have balked at the idea of a female Thor (check out the letter written to Aaron at the end of the comic book) I find this to be a welcome change to the male dominated world of comics. All too often we have seen women portrayed as subservient and inferior to males in comics and that has created a world (our own) that doesn’t value women as much as it should. By portraying a woman as the god of thunder, Aaron, Dauterman, and Marvel Comics have made a strong statement for a change in the way the comic book industry portrays female characters. Now perhaps this is just a ploy to get more of the female audience to read comics, but even if it is, it’s a step in the right direction. The new Thor portrays a woman that seems to be more along the lines of what William Moulton Marston’s had in mind when he created Wonder Woman back in 1941. Recently, Jill Lepore of The New Yorker wrote an article “The Last Amazon” detailing the history of the Wonder Woman character. In her article, Lepore gives the reader a snippet of an early press release about Wonder Woman where Marston states his purpose behind his creation.
“ ‘Wonder Woman’ was conceived by Dr. Marston to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men” because “the only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.” Marston put it this way: “Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.”
Sadly 70+ years later we are still dealing with the issues Marston set out to change. Whether Aaron and Dauterman’s beliefs are in line with Marston’s has yet to be seen, but the argument is brought up within their first issue. While Odin was away from Asgardia, Freyja took charge as the All Mother and upon his return, Odin tells Freyja “It is time you remembered you PLACE in [the] world….” The power struggle between Odin and Freyja, between the male Thor and female Thor makes for an interesting storyline that I’m excited to follow.
Often times, jumping into a comic book narrative mid-stream is a confusing process, but with the new Thor, we all have the opportunity to begin again. So whether you read it because you are looking for a strong female character or you simply want to read an awesome new action comic, get a copy of Thor #1 at your local comic shop this weekend. You won’t be disappointed.