When it was announced that Marvel was going to be debuting a new Thor and that Thor was going to be a woman I was nervously excited. This was either going to be something new and exciting, or be just a blip on the Thor radar and everything would be back to normal soon. Now that we are transitioning into Thors the question is did Jason Aaron’s eight issue of Thor really matter?
We undoubtedly got a new interesting story. I enjoyed the whole run. The opening issues really explored some interesting themes. The fact that Mjolnir could deem Odinson unworthy and unbiasedly decide a woman was a worthy successor to the “God of Thunder” was a really interesting way to go about it. In addition to the hammer choosing a woman as worthy we see a kingdom that was in better shape when a Queen ruled in absence of a its King. Freyja and Odin are at odds throughout the series with Odin’s hyper masculinity showing as a negative, and Freyja being a more competent leader. Odinson originally couldn’t handle not being Mjonir’s chosen. Later in the series he accepts the hammers choice an embraces the new Thor. It seemed that Marvel was hitting the feminist themes expected in the book head on and in positive way.
About halfway through I noticed Marvel was just not letting go of the old Thor. The second part of the series’ main focus was on Odinson. He was bent on finding out the identity of “The Goddess of Thunder”. They never seemed like they wanted to commit to the new Thor as the main character. Also when the Thor annual came out it included three different stories. One of Thor’s past about Odinson, one of Thor’s present about “The Goddess”, and of Thor’s future. Thor is the All-Father and is most definitely Odinson. While I enjoyed this story, and understand that either through alternate timeline and it could just be an interesting story to throw in and annual, it showed me a lack of commitment to the change in the character. In the final act of the fear of commitment to new Thor, Marvel will be releasing Thors a new series with multiple Thors.
In order for the change in Thors to matter it had to do three things. One, it had to focus on the new Thor. Two, it had to not downplay the roles of women in the series. Three, it had to be a long-term change. It did treat the roles of the women in the series well. They showed the new Thor and Freyja as very powerful. Ultimately I think the feminist themes showed through pretty well. Where it failed was the other two. The first half was very focused in on lady Thor. She was developed well. Even though we didn’t know who she was they still showed her inner conflict of being whoever she is in regular life and adjusting to being Thor. However, the story shifted to being about Odinson finding out who this new Thor was. It hurt the development of the new Thor and ultimately turned it into an Odinson story. Finally, Marvel didn’t show much commitment to the female Thor. By focusing in Odinson so much they showed they were not ready to move on to the new Thor. Even the reveal of the new Thor as Jane Foster has already set her up to be temporary. The final page of the last issue is her saying being Thor is killing her. The letters page in the final issue shows the cover of “Thors #1”. It has eight Thors on it. How are we supposed to take the Jane Foster Thor seriously if after eight issues they already seem to have given up on her?
Jason Aaron’s eight issues of Thor were very good. I really enjoyed the stories. However, I ultimately think it wont matter at all. In five to ten years we are not going to look back at this event and think “Jane Foster being Thor changed everything.” We are going to say “Hey, remember that one time where they did that weird thing with Thor when they made Jane hold the hammer?” There is a chance that post “Secret Wars” and post “Thors” they will take Jane Foster as Thor in a great direction, but it just doesn’t appear this way. This really could have been a great thing for the Thor character, but ultimately it seems like its just going to be one small interesting Thor story that has no lasting effect.