Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren’t enough

Last week, Marvel Comics made news by announcing two big shakeups to established characters: In stories to be published this fall, a woman will be wielding Thor’s hammer, while black superhero Sam Wilson AKA the Falcon will be taking on the role of Captain America.

Depending on which websites you frequent, this is either a massive middle finger to fans of these characters, or a positive step towards better representation of women and minorities in comics. Personally, I think more diversity in comics is usually a good thing, and a lot more interesting than a comic book universe where everybody looks the same and has all the same life experiences. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t kept up with comic books in quite a while, but as a movie fan, I’m now totally invested in what happens in the comics, because they’ve become the testing ground for tomorrow’s blockbusters. More diversity in the comics means more diversity in the movies we’ll be watching years from now—in theory, at least.

The article continues after this advertisement...

Alas, there’s been a strong negative reaction to these announcements, with comic book fans taking to social media and website comment sections to voice their displeasure with the changes. As you’d expect, a lot of these complaints are just plain idiotic, with racist/sexist undertones that you just might be able to pick up on…

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

*sigh*, indeed.

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

Nobody tell this guy about Ultimate Spider-Man. Also: Yes, you’re racist.

There have also been the expected accusations that Marvel is simply pandering to “political correctness”, as if these changes were the product of some sinister new cultural phenomenon.

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

I’m obviously clueless when it comes to recent Marvel continuity, but even I know that other characters have been taking over for Thor for decades. And if a space horse can take on Thor’s powers and costume (and if Thor himself can become a frog), there really shouldn’t be outrage over a woman picking up Mjolnir. And yet…

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

Well, at least frogs know their place.

Similarly, considering there’s a lengthy history of other characters donning the Captain America costume, I don’t see why it matters much when one of those characters happens to be black. Especially since it’s happened before. Especially since the Falcon becoming Captain America has happened before.

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

For the record, this was published 15 years ago.

So a lot of the commenters blowing a fuse over these announcements are clearly not even taking the time to understand the history of the thing they’re outraged over (and we should all be thankful the internet wasn’t around when Rhodey became Iron Man, or John Stewart became Green Lantern).

But it appears the majority of complaints are centered around the notion that well-known, beloved characters are being demoted and taking on reduced roles to make way for newer versions. “Why screw around with established characters for the sake of diversity?” goes a common refrain. “Instead of gender-swapping and race-swapping Thor and Captain America, why not come up with original characters who already happen to be women and minorities?” And to that I say…

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

Seriously, there’s clearly room for both approaches here. Having diverse original characters is great, but there’s no reason female and minority characters can’t take over for the big names every now and then. But having said that, the complainers might just have a point.

If the end goal is to introduce true, long-lasting diversity into comic book franchises, and appeal to a more diverse audience, one has to wonder if simply changing the genders and races of established characters is the right way to go about it.

For one thing, we all know that the female Thor and Sam Wilson as Captain America are only going to last as long as the sales uptick Marvel sees from putting out these press releases. After a year or so, the original versions of these characters will be back (probably just in time for the next Avengers movie), and their replacements sent back to the sidelines, because that’s the way comics work. Does it really do that much to raise the status of black superheroes when we all know Falcon is only a temporary substitute for the “real” superhero?

And worse yet, as we just witnessed, these kind of racial/gender reassignments tend to stir up loads of anger and bitterness among fans. A lot of readers end up feeling like diversity is being shoved down their throats, and while the easy reaction is to dismiss them as entitled racists and misogynists who need to suck it up, we have to acknowledge that simply saying “Thor is a woman now, deal with it” may do more harm than good. Because it’s clearly generating a great deal of resentment towards those who simply want better representation in the medium.

And once you get past the rather butthurt way these sentiments are often expressed, they’re right in one respect: Marvel should be bringing more attention to their characters who are already women and minorities. And there’s no need to create brand new characters and hope they catch on, either. Marvel has plenty of diverse superheroes who have been around for decades.

The Falcon first appeared in 1969, while Sif and Valkyrie (both of whom could be likened to a “female Thor”) were introduced in 1964 and 1970, respectively. Meanwhile, Black Panther and Carol Danvers and Luke Cage have all been around longer than so-called “established” superheroes like Wolverine and the Punisher.

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

And I realize all of these characters have been given their own titles at one time or another, and none of them have ever sold particularly well. But does that mean Marvel’s only recourse is to throw in the towel, and basically admit that the only way they can get their readers to care about female/minority superheroes is by dressing them up in the costumes of their white male counterparts? Doesn’t that run counter to the whole concept of being more inclusive in the first place?

I think there’s a lot more Marvel could be doing to raise the profile of existing minority superheroes, particularly by increasing diversity among its creative staff. There have been a few notable attempts of late, including the new Ms. Marvel series (starring a Pakistani-American teenager) written by G. Willow Wilson, and a new Storm title coming out this month written by Greg Pak. But Marvel’s writers and artists are still overwhelmingly white males, who may not be the most qualified to tell great stories about minority characters. Some may disparage this as a call for racial quotas at the Marvel offices, but comics that appeal to non-traditional demographics mean more people reading comics, and if you’re a comics fan, how can you be against more people reading comics?

Why a female Thor and black Captain America aren't enough

But more importantly, Marvel is currently in a unique position to bring attention to unlikely characters. On the Cinematic Universe side of things, they took a risk on Guardians of the Galaxy, an outré, obscure property, and it looks like that risk is about to pay off (the movie is tracking to have a $60 million opening weekend, about the same as the first Captain America). Next year, they’re going to bring us a movie starring C-list superhero Ant-Man. Clearly, they’re in a place where they can take a chance on characters unfamiliar to the general public. They have the power and influence to make a female or minority superhero movie happen, and the behind-the-scenes talent to make sure the film isn’t a megabomb like previous attempts.

So yes, at the risk of beating a dead horse (though, not a space horse), I’m going to be yet another voice saying that the time has come for Marvel to announce a movie starring a female superhero or a person of color… and that time was 2010. It’s absurd that it’s taken this long for them to get around to it.

Instead of announcing that Sam Wilson will be the new Captain America, the announcement should have been that the Falcon would be getting his own movie. Or the Black Panther, or Captain Marvel, or the Black Widow. That would have done just as much to generate publicity and boost comic book sales and increase diversity, while pissing off exactly nobody. While there are certainly plenty of bigoted morons who would still snipe at a major motion picture starring a black or female superhero, it’s hard to imagine the majority of comic book fans being against giving one of these lesser-known characters a shot at the big time.

(And yes, I realize that Peggy Carter is getting her own ABC miniseries, and Luke Cage is getting his own Netflix series, which is great! But neither of those are anywhere near the huge deal that a multimillion-dollar four-quadrant tentpole theatrical release would be.)

Obviously, Marvel is a business, and from a financial perspective, previous attempts to make movies starring minority superheroes haven’t gone over well. But it’s ridiculous to argue that this makes Marvel justified in not taking a chance on another, because this argument basically boils down to “we can’t challenge the status quo because money.” And it’s not even our money. Unless you personally own a significant amount of Disney stock, there’s nothing to be gained from perpetuating this argument.

By putting out press releases and announcing the female Thor on The View, it’s obvious Marvel really wants to be seen as a positive force for social change, without actually having to do the heavy lifting and take real risks. If the goal is to shake up their current titles and tell different kinds of stories, then Falcon as Captain America and a female Thor are both perfectly fine ideas. And if the goal is to bring Marvel lots of publicity (both positive and negative), then mission accomplished. But if the aim is to bring lasting change to comics, or expose current readers to more diverse characters, this is probably not the best way to go about it.

You may also like...

  • Ken Zevo

    Comic books aren’t about fairness, or diversity, or social justice, or any other positive social engineering (and I use that phrase loosely; most of the recent changes, a la ACA and border patrol reform, seem to hurt more people than they help); comics books are, at the very base of it all, about making MONEY. The basic philosophy of any business is you either provide what your target customers want, and turn a profit; or you don’t and go broke. Comix are doing all these fancy dance steps to try to adjust to the changing interests and racial percentages of their readership, a readership that is constantly in flux, from generation to generation. I doubt Stan Lee stays up all night pondering, “How can I make the world a better place for democracy?” He’s probably WAY too busy counting (and spending) his $, and any time left over is used on ideas for making more $ in the future. If comix are promoting social justice and racial diversity, it is because that is what research and polling have shown are the issues that their readers want to read about. If (when?) the time comes that such things stop being hot-button issues, the comix will move along to the next, newest fad running riot through that generation’s comix buyers, and drop this current jack-assery like a hot potato … primarily because of self-interest and greed, not civic virtue.

    As for making new titles for new diversity characters – that has not worked out well for the comix publishers, on average, in the past … so I can understand why they would be gun-shy. You can create an awful lot of waste paper, if you bankroll a new character, and – for whatever reason – that character’s series turns out to be unpopular. I was a HUGE Wolverine fan, back in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, when he split off from the X-Men and started going solo … and I recall that he had a rocky start, early on, and some very mixed numbers in terms of readership – some issues flew off the shelves, others were still there on the shelves at the end of the month – before becoming a stable, stock character in his own right with a consistent readership, about a decade or so later. There was a while there though, around the 5th-10th issues, when I seriously worried that the Wolverine stand-alone series was going to get cancelled entirely, and he would have to go back to being part of the X-Men team again. As I recall, they also tried to spin off Colossus, too, and that series crashed and burnt, around the same time (or maybe shortly thereafter? That was 3 decades ago … am I really THAT old!?! … Hey, you kids get off my lawn!)

    Again, if bringing in new, diverse characters as stand-alone titles was a good business model, they would already be doing that NOW … because business is all about maximizing profits and minimizing loses. So I predict that we’ll see more of the diversity square dance in comix, as long as the present PC-obsessed insanity continues … and I predict that, when the current PC overkill craze has run its course & ends up on the scrap heap of history, so will the business strategy of having these seemingly-random change-ups in main characters, that are mere pandering (fan service?) to the mood and racial percentages du jour of today’s comix-buying crowd’s short-lived generational sentiments and passing fancies.

    • John Wilson

      I never got why capitalism means you only do things for the money. Sure this may be a cash grab, but its a nice step.

      • Ken Zevo

        Capitalism doesn’t mean you only do things for money … it means that earning a profit is your primary motivation. People can have other motivations as well (and frequently do), but those have to be subordinated to making a profit, or the company eventually loses too much $ and goes out of business. I’m sure Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel or carve his statue of David for free … he had rent to pay, food to buy, clothes to replace, just like the rest of us, even though he was devoted to his art too. Without a patron, he would not have been able to afford the paints, brushes, marble, chisels, studio, assistants, and other assorted accessories needed to create his various masterpieces … and his patron expected good value in return for the cold, hard cash that was paid to support Michelangelo and keep him supplied with raw materials and etc. But, without that patronage, those timeless works of classical Renaissance art wouldn’t exist, because Michelangelo could never have afforded to make them on his own.
        Or, to give a negative example, native Americans didn’t have money (as such, they usually traded by barter) or capitalism (as we know it today). They lived in largely socialistic and communal societies … which is why they never developed weapons beyond the bow and arrow despite 10,000+ years of being the alpha species across all of the Americas; nor were they able, in all that time, to develop or exploit any of the boundless resources of the two continents, much beyond a bare subsistence level. Most were still living at the same level of technological development when the Europeans showed up, that their own ancestors had had, when THEY came over to the Americas some 10K+ years before, from the opposite direction.
        So, if you like a standard of living higher than that of the Stone Age tribes … if you like things such as iron tools … modern dentistry … vaccinations against common diseases such as rabies, tetanus, polio, and measles … antibiotics … solar panels … glass windows … indoor plumbing … home computers & cell phones … and even sexual equality between the genders… then thank a capitalist! Because, as I have just proved, it is a FACT that you wouldn’t currently have any of these things, and so much more, WITHOUT capitalism.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j8w1c0HyOE

    • Cameron Vale

      I think that part of the problem is a lack of competition. Conventional wisdom casts DC and Marvel as competitors, but this doesn’t seem quite right to me since what they mainly share is their unusual and isolated business model, one that wouldn’t really be sustainable without phenomenal early successes to lean on (specifically DC’s Superman and Batman, and Marvel’s Spider-Man and X-Men), with nonconforming comics exempted regardless of success (Dragon Ball and TMNT being probably the most striking examples). This distinction also doesn’t stretch far beyond the US, which makes it appear even more arbitrary.

      • Ken Zevo

        Good points, one & all, thx!

  • To say nothing of the problem of market share. So long as there are white characters at the center of the universe and the audience only having enough money to buy maybe 5 titles a month, those central white male protagonists will eat up most of those subscriptions.

    I would actually blame a lot of this on copyright law, since old characters never phase into the public domain and thus cease being money fountains for bigger companies, then the bigger companies keep promoting them instead of having to find the next big thing for people to buy.

    Essentially, so long as Captain America exists he will be occupying part of the limited attention span of the general public, and crowding out other potential characters. So you can’t break a new character into the popular mindset.

    • Ken Zevo

      Thx. Your insight and wording makes mine seem rather pale and unnecessarily wordy, by comparison. I guess I need more coffee … or more sleep. You nailed it! (*hat tip*)

  • mofs

    Great article. I’m of Indian origin, and like Raj in the Big Bang Theory have few options in my choice of superheroes. Unfortunately this is unlikely to change until we start seeing minority actors/ female actors taking title roles. As Djimon Hounsou noted “[his son said]’Dad, I want to be light-skinned so I could be Spider-Man. Spider-Man has light skin.’ That was sort of a shock. This is why I am excited to be a part of the Marvel Universe, so I could be hopefully provide [sic] that diversity in the role of the superhero.” Black Panther and Wonder Woman spring to mind, but don’t appear to be priorities.

    • Moppet

      I really hope we see a Black Panther movie. I know several black actors out there have, at different times, said they would jump at the chance to play the Black Panther, so it’s not just audience side interest. With Ant Man on the Horizon I’d find it frustrating if we didn’t see Wasp eventually too.

    • Dar

      Why would it matter what the hero’s skin was?

      It seems the problem stems from you not Marvel. You clearly have an inferiority complex.

  • Moppet

    I still feel like gender/race/religion/sexuality swapping existing heroes is more of a problem than not. It feels like someone didn’t have the creativity to make a new character, rather than any sort of progression. New characters that are actually well written and interesting. Captain America is a bit of an exception here, it’s Falcon taking over for the old Captain, that’s a passing of a torch, and I like that.

    Don’t get me wrong, Captain America has been black before, actually, and, oddly enough, Thor has been female before. Character as females or another race, and so on, doesn’t really bother me at all. It’s the sudden swap of race/gender/religion/sexuality as progression that would annoy me. There’s no point at which a character of another race, suddenly being swapped to my race, would make me feel like the writers were being progressive.

    What I wish they’d do is two fold. 1. Use existing characters, and use them well, write them well. There are non-white, non-male, non-straight, non-christian super heroes out there. They just need to actually be used. It’s sad that they aren’t used more often. 2. Create new characters. I know we see the same characters written over and over and over for a reason, but I’d much prefer a character that was always gay or transgendered or black or asian or female or anything you can thing of from the start, from the ground up. I don’t suppose it would make sense to everyone if I said, I sort of find race swapping a character to my race just as frustrating as not including them at all. It feels token. It feels like a pat on the head. That’s not my race, it’s a white person that had the comic book equivalent of plastic surgery to look like my race.

    I mentioned Icon, Jet and Static in another post on this site, and they’re great examples of characters I read when I was small that were not your typical. I remember reading comics including all three characters quite often as a child. This is DC stuff obviously, not Marvel, but Marvel has plenty of variety of its own.

    I’ve also mentioned Spectral (from the defunct Malibu comics, unfortunately) as well, prior, who was one of the first openly gay characters I ever came across in comics, and that was pre-2000s. He wasn’t even suddenly made gay, he just was from day one. A part of the character, one part of the character, making him feel like one of the more natural minority characters out there. These characters exist. Spectral might be off limits, due to Malibu’s lack of existence, but another existing gay character or an entirely new gay character from the ground up? I’d want that.

    If Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man are successful, I hope Marvel
    takes it as a sign to dig up some of the existing minority character and
    actually use them. Maybe in using them they’ll realize that they were
    people that wanted to see them all along. Maybe. I hope. I want progression. I just don’t like cutting corners. I suppose it can’t be helped, to some extent, but even then there’s a right way (Captain America’s mantle being passed on to Falcon, which can work if written right) and a wrong way (Poof! They’re now black because we needed a black character! See how progressive we are??).

    • I can say this with total honesty. If they just drew Superman as a black guy, or Asian, or whatever. And did so without comment or hype, and did not acknowledge the change in the story, I would not give one fuck. I do not feel these characters are definitively the race they have been. They’re fictional.

      But yeah, when they do it clearly as a “shocking” cynical cash grab I somewhat understand why people react poorly, because tokenism is a form of racism.

      • Moppet

        I can’t agree with the portion about about the, “poof they’re now some other race” thing. I do care about that because it a lack of creativity combined with a very misguided idea of how to be progressive. In the end, the problem I have with this is the same issue that I have with them casting a couple of white kids as Katara and Sokka in the Last Air Bender live action movie. It’s just the reverse problem really, I have issue with both sides of it.

        I’ll go back to mentioning that a race (or gender, or any) change can be handled right. I actually think Captain America’s mantle being handed off, in a story context, and not just, “Poof he’s another race” is a good development. I’d like it if I really thought it was going to stick. If they were really going to follow through with it. It needs to be written right too. Will they? Eh.

        Obviously I’m with you on the token nonsense though.

        • Muthsarah

          So, in other words, they’re just re-packaging a pre-existing commercial brand, with a new TWEEEST!, cynically knowing they’re just manipulating their market for short-term, self-serving aims.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaOgZwk9rN8

          • Moppet

            Certainly one aspect of my issue, if nothing else. As for that particular issue, well, that’s the impression of the situation that I get. Maybe I’m wrong. I’d love to be wrong. If they actually stuck out this bit with Falcon, for the long term, I’d be impressed. Really impressed. I just have no hope or confidence that will happen.

            Grains of salt and for what you will, and all that.

  • Jasper Jones

    I hadn’t really thought of the whole thing this way, but after reading this, I agree. It’s not good enough to just make characters female or black or whatever. It’s interesting from a storytelling standpoint, but they need to do better.

  • John Wilson

    I think they should try official porno with the various Marvel characters, now that true diversity 🙂

    • Ken Zevo

      I am sure it has already been done, somewhere. It is like that old computer geek joke: A guy gets curious, and types into his usual search engine, “Show me all porn sites with African American syphilitic midget hermaphrodites having sex with a goat on a yellow leather sofa” & hits “return”. 1.5234 seconds later, the engine returns, “1,276,382 sites found; to narrow your search, specify breed of goat and/or brand of sofa.” Moral of the story: if the Greeks, Romans, or Japanese had a name for it, you can find it on the internet, and in under 60 seconds.

      • John Wilson

        I know there a lot of Marvel porn online. I was talking about having Marvel create offical(comic book line) rule 34 of it characters:)

        • Ken Zevo

          Well, it would be interesting to see it done RIGHT, for a change. And Marvel, at least, has some experience making good movies … so who knows, lol !??!

          As for DC, at this point, ANYTHING would be an improvement, esp. after what they did to the Green Lantern in that p.o.s. movie they made … IMAO.

          • John Wilson

            I like the “Green Lantern” movie.

          • Ken Zevo

            And I like Kevin Costner’s later worx, like “Waterworld” and “The Postman”, even though most people I know revile them as wooden, 2-dimensional, and formula-driven. I guess it really DOES take all kinds of vegetables, to make a vegetable soup.
            My big problem with the GL movie was the silly (to me, IMAO) things he choose to make with his power ring … which, now that I think about it, weren’t really that much worse than what they did in the GL comix. I guess I just expected more of a “WOW” factor from a movie with that kind of budget and pre-release hype. There were some other problems too, mostly with the plot and execution, and overall it left me feeling cheated. Your mileage may vary.
            I thought the GL suit he wore was pretty awesome, tho, if a tad “over the top” with all that CGI faux musculature layered on the outside. If they had removed that minor detail, his GL suit would have been perfect … for me, lol.

          • Nessus

            I was totally on board with the concept of the CG suit. I felt it meshed well with the idea of the suit being an energy projection of the ring rather than being made of physical material. The CG itself was bad though. The musculature was extremely uncanny valley, and they obviously took waaaaay too many short cuts with the rendering setup, so it didn’t interact properly with the lighting of his head (or non-cg surroundings, when such were present).

            The thing with his ring projections being silly is IIRC a character point from the comics. Hal Jordan is supposed to be a relatively unimaginative guy, so he has a hard time using the ring to create original or abstract stuff. He can only picture stuff he’s already familiar with in reality. IIRC John Stuart was an artist before he became a lantern, so his power use was a lot more abstract and fluid.

            That wouldn’t help in a movie though if they never bothered to tell the audience about Jordan’s “handicap” or provide perspective against other lanterns’ power use. I’ve never actually seen the full movie, so I don’t know if the subject ever actually comes up.

          • Muthsarah

            Was Green Lantern a “development hell” movie? It sure came off that way. Or was it just a “well, this screenplay is good enough….I guess…well, we have X months to make this, let’s just do it, and we’ll fix anything glaring in post” kinda movie? Which seems convoluted, but also seems, to me at least, increasingly common?

            FWIW, I haven’t seen the movie. I heeded every warning I heard, from all the way across the universe.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Yeah – I heard warnings, that the movie would be bad, I watched it and… know what? It was not a masterpiece by any stretch of imagination, but it was a decent flick.

            @Ken Zevo:disqus I have no problem with the things, that Hal choose to create with the green lantern energy – because: Let’s be honest: what would we have done differently?
            Granted – in the scene, in which Hammond shut down the helicopter, one could’ve used a plane, to save the helicopter and fly it away safely, but… the dragster-race-car didn’t seem to be that far fetched.

            What else did he use? A gatling gun against parallax – I think, that’s one way you could deal with that.

            The movie had my favourite moment in it, in which Carol noticed who Hal is, even though he is “in disguise” and with that lampshaded every “girlfriend of a superhero”-moment ever….

            I have no problem with the movie being silly, because watching this movie and watching green Hornet, I finally, FI-NAL-LY had FUN watching a superhero-flick again.
            I mean – I have no problem with the more serious Superhero-Flicks, although I tend to find them relatively boring.
            But – as Bernd Stelter put it in his book “Nie wieder Ferienhaus” (Never a holiday home again): “Nach allen Filetsteaks muss es auch mal eine Erbsensuppe sein.” (After eating filletsteaks all the time, a pea soup is great, too.)
            After watching all those Nolan-Movies, with all the metaphors etc, sometimes it really suffices to watch just a plain, simple “Superhero A) fighting Supervillain B)”-plot, with a lot of humour in it.

            And I liked Green Lantern, Green Hornet, the Avengers, and all those flicks, in which Superheroes were not taking themselves TOO seriously more, than the Nolan-Trilogy, that took themselves WAY too seriously.

            So, Muthsarah – watch the movie. Watch it, and then you can say if you liked it or not.

  • Loki could totally be a woman, after all Loki has been known to transform hirself into any form in the original Nordic stories.

    • He was briefly. He possessed the body of Sif, Thor’s wife. Because JMS (who was writing at the time) like’s bizarre incest subtext.

  • Richard Freeman

    Utter, utter rubbish. This is why people are turning away from comics. You have much loved characters people have faithfuly followed for years and then some hack screws them over on the say so of a bunchof pen pushers. Diversity in comics is great but don’t fuck with the classics. I’ve already packed in Batman because of it now seems to be written by chimps armed with fountain pens full of vomit.

    • Diogenes the Cynic

      Someone I’d been chatting with online produced a talk on this subject on YouTube, and I noticed your reactions were pretty similar – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja6bO6G-1eU

    • Dude it is just a gimmick. Doctor Spiderman a few months ago. The Fantastic Four has had a rotating roster and at one point was called the Future Foundation. You shouldn’t be miffed at the change, you should be miffed that the change is meaningless and will be undone so quickly without repercussion.

      • Richard Freeman

        Hope you are right. They killed off Bruce Wayne then broght him back.

      • Ken Zevo

        Nailed it! (*hat tip*) Thx for reducing everything down to 2 sentences (first and last) that pretty well covers the meat of the whole problem from keel to crow’s nest, from stem to stern, and from ziggle to glitch.

    • WelshPirate

      Yet nobody seems to mind that John Stewart and Kyle Rayner are Green Lanterns. People got over Miles Morales as Spider-Man pretty quickly.

  • Thomas Stockel

    You touched on what frustrates me so much about the situation, that it is a temporary change that will likely be undone around the time of the new Avengers movie. But the other thing that bothers me is it doesn’t have to necessarily be that way. Rhodey ultimately became War Machine due to his time as Iron Man. So even after male Thor and white Captain America return I would like there to be some sort of long lasting consequence from this. Have Falcon get his own series, have him take on a sidekick to mentor or something. Give us a Goddess of Thunder comic in the wake of Thor’s return.

    Hmmm. Maybe not. With Thor and Beta Ray Bill around having a third person with a hammer might herald the return of Thor Corps…

    • Ken Zevo

      Good points … VERY good points, actually … one & all, thx!

    • Not to mention all the Uru weapons they introduced during the shit storm “Fear Itself”. Anybody else wondering where Tony’s god armor went?

  • Magdalen

    Honestly, I think it would be better to let Thor be a dude and just start focusing on creating new female characters. There are a lot of cool mythical women in history. Mab? Hera? Athena? Joan of Arc?…no? Okay I guess let’s just put boobs of Thor then. =.=

    • Muthsarah

      I think Skadi would make a magnificent spin-off character in the Thor-verse, and I say that without having read a single Thor comic book or even knowing if she exists in any Marvel comics. One second…

      …hey, she DOES! Tie her in with the frost giants from the movies (the jotun-types, with the Eccleston an’ all), and she could be so Xena! Write her into the third Thor, and if she goes over well, give ‘er a movie of her own. Sif’s WAY too boring for that.

      • In the comics she was a character called The Daughter of the Red Skull, and got a magic hammer along with a half dozen other people and attempted to destroy the world. It was part of a series called “Fear Itself”, and was tremendously shitty.

        • Muthsarah

          Daughter of the Red Skull? Sounds like they screwed up her character right from the start, and just gave her name to someone completely different.

          • They had already characterized all the female Norse gods except for Skadi. And yes, it was stupid. Skadi was really a place holder name.
            The Daughter of the Red Skull was a recent character that fought with Bucky, who at the time was Captain America. She kills him half way thru the series and… Honestly just don’t bother reading it.

    • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

      artemisia of caria perhaps

  • JD

    Glad I stopped reading comic books in like 1985.

  • Dar

    35+ years ago Marvel had not one, but THREE great female-led titles: “Dazzler”, “Spider-Woman”, and “She-Hulk”.

    They screwed them all up.

    The arrogant challenging manner in which the female Thor was announced makes it perfectly clear that this was a gimmick and that Marvel WANTED controversy and backlash.

    This is Quesada’s legacy to Marvel: contempt towards the characters, and towards the fans.

  • TheCrazyFish

    I’ve said before, if they want female superheroes and black superheroes, there are plenty of them out there. They don’t need to give Thor tits to get a female superhero.

  • Gallen Dugall

    Why Nothing They Ever Do Will Be Enough
    Because perfection is a goal to strive for and not something that can really be achieved.

    Yeah that’s over simplified, but it has been that kind of day.

  • airforceaggie

    I am all for diversity. However, why does Marvel think the only minority groups are women and blacks? Why are there no characters that are Asian, Hispanic, or Arabic? Why does Marvel seem to think that the only group are blacks and that they are “cool” by converting all of their characters to being black? To me, that is just another form of racism.

  • chachi

    Cap’s shield has been picked up by others in the past, and those stunts usually sucked. But the character has been around for 75 yeas and obviously he has to do more than just punch the Red Skull every month, so there has to be change and new ideas. This new stunt will probably suck, borne of editorial pressure for the AXIS storyline rather than the original idea of one writer just trying something new. Sam Wilson is not the problem. Anyone who read any of The Falcon’s exploits in the past 30 years knows he’s level-headed and he has always been capable of fighting right there alongside Cap.
    The problem is non-comic readers pushing an agenda, but not bothering to buy comics. I say fuck all of you. Make your own new black patriotic character. Make your gay comics by the truckload too, for all I care. And if this is such a great idea, why aren’t you hiring artists, calling printers for quotes and bids and arranging to put those diversity-minded comics on the shelves of America’s few remaining comic book shelves right now, this very minute?
    Because no one will buy them.
    I see plenty of diversity in comics. I see mutants, robots, aliens, African Americans and immigrants on every large team out there. What I don’t see is a flood of Asian, Indian, and black kids putting down their X-box controllers or their I-pods to rush out and buy books. Many times a series aimed at non-traditional comic readers will die a quiet little death for lack of sales, like those horrid Indian comics Depok Chopra made, because there just isn’t the interest level needed to support the project So what business sense does it make, and what possible model are you using, to justify the change of an established character that meets the entertainment needs of its fan base that will allegedly make it more popular and profitable as a whole by aiming for a population that does not support the genre in general?
    As for your dipshit idea of Why Not Have Both? well, let me just say that I must have missed it when they made the tv show White Cosby back in the ’80s. Or Spike Lee’s other movie released simultaneously with Do the Right Thing, Do the White Thing. Yeah, it doesn’t work the other way around, does it? So you don’t really want BOTH, do you?
    “There have been a few notable attempts of late, including the new Ms. Marvel series (starring a Pakistani-American teenager) written by G. Willow Wilson, and a new Storm title coming out this month written by Greg Pak. But Marvel’s writers and artists are still overwhelmingly white males, who may not be the most qualified to tell great stories about minority characters.”
    Yes, you clearly have found the problem when it comes to failed attempts to interest minorities in comics. White men.
    Never mind that Catwoman starred a (future) Oscar winning actress and cost $100 million to make — the problem is white men. You seem content to use that answer and just let it sit there, unwilling to look any deeper, so be it.
    I laid my money down and purchased issue one of than new Ms. Marvel because the art seemed okay. Within the first few pages I had the displeasure of watching a stereotypical bullshit family of foreigners who were forcing their old-country ways and their old superstitions on their daughter. Resistance to assimilation is holding these first-generation immigrants back and it should not be celebrated as cultural pride. In my job I work with people who have been in this country for decades and cannot speak English, and believe me they have difficult lives, and you are paying for their inability to find a job, you are paying for their inability to afford their health care bill…and it is costing you a small fortune whether you are paying attention to your tax bill or not. So that cultural pride bullshit is some Kool-Aid I will never drink.

    You know why I will not make a rap album? Because I’m a white guy who never listened to a rap album and I know better. But something tells me Halle Berry and Kazaam didn’t even question their lack of knowledge of the material or the genre when they reached for the paycheck for those suck films. (And yes, I know Shaq has a Superman tattoo, but he clearly wasn’t bright enough to say ‘No’ to a shit script) But that’s okay, according to your ideas, because those movies were ruined by white creative teams behind the camera too. And when Black Captain America goes away a year from now, somewhere between Frankencastle and Spider-Clone on the suck scale of bad comic ideas that never should have been, you can rest assured that there was a white guy somewhere on the project who ruined it all. Nevermind that the little cultural pundits never picked up any of the Black Captain America comics or supported the genre, they will have moved on by then and they’ll be long gone. Comics, however, will likely suffer another shit storyline.

  • Carlos Fernandez 3

    Falcon has every right to be Cap since he’s been a buddy for years. Female Thor is a bit difficult, and may need a good back story. As any story after all needs. Well, gender-bending is even happening to the Ghostbusters, they say.