By David Nieves
Equal to a freeway pile up closure in California where honking and flying obscenities are like pennies overflowing from the change jar on my desk; when the internet gets a hold of something that shakes our outlook everyone rages. Today, Marvel let the ladies of The View announce a new female Thor in the upcoming Thor #1. As cliché as it sounds; it’s not what was said but how they said it that should concern comic book readers.
For the mainstream public and casual comics fans this is huge. However, lifelong comics-loyal understand that this is a just part of a story arc. Whether it takes six months or six years, the power of Thor will be returned to a form we’re all familiar with. After all, Thor’s been a frog, a space horse, even that tacky jacketed Thuderstrike for a time. Remember the outrage for a fat foreign scientist becoming Spider-Man or Steve Rogers not being Captain America for the umpteenth time. (I’m still waiting for Marvel to call and tell me I’ll be Cap, cause you know apparently it comes with being a U.S citizen like social security) Point is, as long time comic readers we know the news is one thing, but the payoff is where we can judge history’s place for this new Thor.
We still don’t know key things about this new Thor (I guessed it was Angela too). Who is she? What’s her sexual orientation? Where does she stand on Obamacare and genetically modified foods? While stories like Captain Marvel, the latest Wonder Woman, and Orange Is The New Black have shined a light on the landscape of female characters; there’s always need for a bigger spotlight on female voice and the creators behind them. Which is really my biggest issue with this revelation brought to us on “The View”. There’s no better buzz builder than to get your comic book news on a nationally syndicated television show but for the love of all father, can we get someone to educate the people making the announcements about the significance of them.
While Whoopi Goldberg might not have the pop culture oracle cred of the Hardwick’s, MacDonald’s, and Boucher’s of the world; she deserves a modicum of praise for trying to sell this as earth-shattering news when she could have easily told her producers no. It’s the women sitting next to her that should have been replaced by DeConnick, Simone, and Jason Aaron at least for those three minutes. To see them not show any passion for the progress of strong female protagonists in the commercially male driven entertainment industry was deplorable.
For that matter, neither Aaron or Dauterman being mentioned felt like incomplete journalism, if reporting news for Marvel was the aim of the announcement. Jason Aaron is among the most elite writers in the industry and definitely worthy of a mention. It’s not hard to see the equation getting Marvel news on The View. They’re both now owned by the same parent company after all, but if you’re going to make an announcement to a demographic you have no footing in, make sure the people making it are genuinely excited about what they’re about to say, or at least give us all the information. Here’s an idea; give it to Aisha Tyler to talk about. Someone who could have put some emotion behind it. Today’s news felt like it could have been delivered by those two gourmet prison cooks on The Chew, at least then I would have also been treated to a nice mango chicken recipe instead of standing airplane seats.
We won’t have to wait long to see if the internet rage was justified over this new direction for one of Marvel’s staple characters or if FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY the Internet jumped the gun. Ultimately, anything that pushes the comic book industry, especially in mainstream media, is a victory. But we have a long ways to go before the hollywood media machine truly embraces the material from which they’ve made so much money off of these last forever years.
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