Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do Not Get Thy Asgardian Knickers in a Twist!

Marvel has announced, on The View no less, a new Thor series starting in October where Thor will be a woman.

They make sure to state that this isn’t some kind of derivative Thor-Girl, but the REAL Thor.

Of course (mostly male) comic fans all across the internet are having a giant spaz about this.

I’d like to point out that Thor has been dead a couple of times with far less backlash.

He got better, but still…

Woman: Giant freak out
Dead:  Yeah, that happens.

Same result for him becoming an Earth ruling despot.
Again, he (and time itself) got better.

Me, I’m not worried about this new development, for a couple reasons.

The first is because only a few months after I started seriously collecting Thor, in the middle of the greatest run on the character (or at least one of the top two) he turned into a frog.  I’d like to add that this was only a month after what has been voted the greatest issue of Thor ever.

“He stood alone at Gjallerbru.”

Thor was the Thunder Frog full time starting in February 1986 -issue 364. It was Walt Simonson, meaning the story and art remained awesome, and then Thor was OK several months later, no harm no foul.

What bugs me most about the news story is Marvel making it seem like it’s a new and amazing thing that has never been done.

In November 2008 we met Torunn, the Daughter of Thor and Sif in the direct to DVD animated adventure Next Avengers by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost.

What, an animated movie isn’t good enough?  You need a comic book reference?

Earlier than that was the debut of Tarene in Thor Volume II issue 22. Writer Dan Jurgens and artist John Romita, Jr. gave us what was basically a teenage girl version of Thor in April 2000.  She’s continued to bounce around the Marvel Universe over the years.

Not “the REAL Thor” enough?

OK, fine.  Let’s go back to March 1999.

Based on sketches and notes for Alex Ross’s ideas that sprang from thinking about a Marvel version Kingdom Come there was a REAL woman Thor.

This was no Beta Ray Bill/Eric Masterson type replacement like the new one will be.  Written by Jim Krueger, and drawn by John Paul Leon, Earth X was set in a future where Odin taught his hammer hurling son humility, with a bit of prodding by Loki (who has also been a woman) by changing his gender.

Precedence isn’t the main reason for my lack of concern, however. My opinion comes purely from mathematics.

We’ll start with August 2013 as a typical month for comics. Actually, it’s somewhat slanted to inflate the total numbers as sales go up in the summer, and Thor had a movie on the way.

Two issues of Thor’s main comic came out, each selling around 45,000 copies.  Comics sell for $3.99 a pop these days.  There also was a Thor Omnibus recently released and some trade paperbacks, putting the total take for that month somewhere around $547,000. 

Not too shabby.

As I said, using that as the basis will put this on the high side, but we want to give the power of comic books as much of an edge as possible.

Now, let’s “randomly” pick another month to start at: May 2011.

Assuming they consistently bring in the same amount (which is wrong, but, trust me it doesn’t matter) in the twenty six months between May 2011 and now, Thor comics have earned around 14.2 million dollars.

Obviously, Marvel is threatening its mostly male fan base on purpose by releasing this sex change news on The View to get icky girls into the comic stores to raise those almost exclusively American millions up a bit.

Now, for comparison’s sake, it’s time to look at the Marvel Films Box Office Numbers featuring Thor since his first movie was released. (Coincidentally in May of 2011.)

Thor:  449 Million Dollars

Thor the Dark World654 Million Dollars

And between them-

All totaled, Thor in theaters pulled in 2.62 BILLION smackeroonies.

Comic sales (which I have artificially inflated) pulled in one half of one percent of that amount, with a staggeringly lower percentage of women buying comics than attending movies in general. (I haven’t even included home viewing sales.)

What makes more sense?

Marvel will ignore the movie version of the character because of the purity of art of the comics as the source material, which they are trying to stretch to a larger demographic.


Six months after the new series starts, when Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in May of 2015, coincidentally (yet again) just enough time for one comic book trade paperback arc, Thor will be changed back to match the film version.

(Before anyone asks, that's probably also when Steve Rogers will be taking the Captain America title back from African American Sam "The Falcon" Wilson, and when whatever's going on with Tony's brother will end in Iron Man.) 

Marvel may make a smidgen more dough from female fans of super heroic Norse Mythology (and likely lose more from thick headed male fans) with a gender swapped Thunder God…

But something tells me that smidgen, in fact the total comic's gross for the month, will be invisible even if only compared to the female fans going to see the Avengers sequel solely for the purpose of watching Chris Hemsworth flex again.

Finally, for anyone who might think this announcement means Marvel is catching up to DC in the "stupid ideas" department::

It still isn't even close.



I was so hoping you had an opinion on this! Thanks for the great explanation--this needs to be out there for all to read! Awesome stuff!

Jeff McGinley said...

Thank you very much, glad to be of service. I figured since I've been too tired to see the movies people wait to hear from me on, I'd get the information on this one out ASAP.

Thanx again for reading and sharing.

Anonymous said...

Consider this logic chain:

1. Disney owns Marvel.

2. Marvel owns Thor.

3. Thor is the son of a king.

4. Thor is now female.


Thor is now a Disney Princess.



Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx for passing along the awesome logic chain...and for the link on the site it came from. Every little bit helps.

Thanx again for joining in.