Don’t wanna is different from ain’t gonna.

Friends, there is kind of a lot happening right now. The Israeli government is fucking up Gaza, again, for no good reason, again. The effects of Anthro Climate Change are popping up more and more.

And Thor is now a woman.

But while my views on those other two issues have been well documented my views on Girl Thor (or “Thor” as she is properly known) are still a mystery.

So here they are.

*ahem*

No one really cares.

And furthermore anyone who does care isn’t a real comic book geek.

Straw kilts are great for when you're putting the cart before the horse.

Straw kilts are great for when you’re putting the cart before the horse.

The whole non-troversy about the fact that Thor is, or will soon be, a woman has been stirred up by people who care about comics but don’t care enough.

See, here’s the thing. For those of us who read a lot of comics a change as small as gender doesn’t even show up as a blip on our “oh no why” meter.

I mean hell, there is a universe where the entire Justice League (just about) are supervillains.

In fact there are more than one.

There was a time when the character ‘Supreme’ turned from a Supermanesque hero into a genocidal religious fundamentalist. A twist so ill-conceived and stupid that only Alan Moore could save the franchise.

Shit, there is a timeline where Bruce Wayne was gunned down in ‘Crime Alley’, leading his father to become Batman and his mother to become The Joker!

There is even a timeline where Bruce Wayne is a delusion manchild who goes out every night and acts in elaborate roleplays created by his friends that let him believe he’s a hero, even though he’s just a fuckup.

And btw, the only cool thing about that timeline is that Alfred is now The Joker , and he’s creepy as hell.

A highly intelligent, utterly meticulous, completely dedicated perfectionist with an encyclopedic knowledge of the city and special forces training. I'm just saying.

A highly intelligent, utterly meticulous, completely dedicated perfectionist with an encyclopedic knowledge of the city and a lifetime of special forces training. I’m just saying.

There are also a fully canon universe where Spiderman is black. There is another where Captain America and Iron ‘Man’ are married (because Toni Stark is a woman).

And let’s not forget the unrelenting discomfort created by ‘Marvel’s Zombies’.

Didn't want to like it but gosh darn it it was done so well!

Didn’t want to like it but gosh darn it it was done so well!

Watching my childhood heroes go mad and devour an entire universe of helpless bystanders; that left a mark.

A female Thor doesn’t even register.

And no, we don’t care that Marvel is now owned by Disney, unless it affects the writing.

Thor is the daughter of a king. Marvel is owned by Disney. Thor is a Disney princess. Your argument is invalid.

Thor is the daughter of a king. Marvel is owned by Disney. Thor is a Disney princess. Your argument is invalid.

The truth is that one of the reasons why the latest crop of superhero movies have been so successful (or not) is because while they have changed a lot they have stayed true to the spirit of the character (or not). And there is no reason why a female Thor couldn’t do that.

But let’s look at the top reasons why people are getting so annoyed.

1. It’s a change!

Answer: Comics can’t just have the same old characters for decades on end. Batman is 70 frikking years old. They have to change in some way to remain relevant.

2. It’s pandering to political correctness!

Answer: Hehe, no, no it isn’t. That weird period where damn near every superhero had to have a female partner who had no defining characteristics of their own (Spiderwoman, Supergirl, Hawkgirl, Batgirl etc.) that was pandering.

And you know what? Comics survived. In fact in the case of the examples listed above they actually improved because eventually the writers caught on to the idea that these new characters could serve as a vehicle for new ideas.

Read the Batgirl, Batwoman and Batwing comics just after the ‘New 52’ was released. They are awesome.

3. You’re shitting on my dreams!

Answer: then you need bigger dreams

Comics survived this terrible animated series. It can survive this.

Comics survived this terrible animated series. It can survive this.

4. An incoherent avalanche of unreasoning racism, sexism and misogyny.

Answer: boo hoo, cry baby, cry.

Sadly, this last one seems to be the most common. The new African American Captain America, from America, has been subjected to a vast amount of racist bullshit.

So let’s get some context here.

There was a period when Captain America was a mentally unstable mass murderer.

And the fans didn’t like it.

But now he’s going to be a war hero, who is also a scientific genius, and everyone (who is a racist) throws their toys out the cot because he’s black.

I think this shows pretty effectively what the real problem here is, and it’s not that Thor is a woman, or Cap is black, or even that Marvel is deliberately creating controversy to get easy press.

The real problem is that we have been too tolerant of bigotry for too long.

*bro fist*

*bro fist*

It was ‘Green Lantern/Green Arrow’ that highlighted the fact that the issue of race was almost entirely absent from mainstream comics.

It was the X-Men who taught two generations of children that hating people for being different is just plain wrong.

And later on the Ultimate X-Men challenged homophobic stereotypes by pointing out that, statistically speaking, at least a few of the original X-Men had to be gay.

(Spoiler warning: it’s Colossus.)

And Alan Moore has been challenging racial and sexual stereotypes for his entire goddamn career.

V for Vendetta. From Hell. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Marvelman. Promethea. Batman: The Killing Joke. Alan Moore's Supreme. Alan Moore's WILDCATS. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. And that's the motherfucking short list!

V for Vendetta. From Hell. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Marvelman. Promethea. Batman: The Killing Joke. Alan Moore’s Supreme. Alan Moore’s WILDCATS. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. And that’s the motherfucking short list!

All good writing challenges the reader.

And the popularity of comic books means that they carry a higher burden to try and accomplish good things.

With great readership comes great anti-racism.

(You like that? I just made it up. I think it might catch on.)

And real comic book fans, like me, have lived through so many restarts, reboots and retcons that we have learned to use the quality of the material itself and how true it is to the characters as the only real criteria to measure the books by.

If the writing for new Thor and Cap comics is good then the comics will be good.

And even if it’s bad they have already helped us by outing some of the crazier racists and sexists in our midst.

-TTB

Texts from superheroes. I liek dis.

Texts from superheroes. I liek dis.

[Standard Disclaimer: this post was entirely my own opinion and was not paid for in any way, directly or otherwise, by anyone or anything that stands to gain in any way from the ideas expressed herein.]

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