There was a lot of uproar when Marvel announced last summer that the new Thor would be a woman. We were deep in the bowels of GamerGate during that cultural moment, and it seemed like angry men were crawling out from under long undisturbed boulders to give an opinion about any women involved in geek culture, so Marvel's announcement was huge. Even more important is that in the latest issue of Thor (#5), writer Jason Aaron addresses those comments head on by giving Thor the important job of punching a naysayer right in the jaw.
"What the hell kind of Thor are you?" The villain Absorbing Man stops to spout off about "damn feminists ruining everything" and flatly says "Thor's a dude," so Thor shows him the business end of of her fists by breaking his jaw. It's a meta-fantasy so intense I want to print this panel on a flag and fly it high above the White House.
It's so powerful for young women to read a comic that valorizes their beliefs — whether you already identify as a feminist or you're just a young girl who wants to see what it looks like when you stand up for yourself. The power of this punch is not solely in the violence, but also the message.
And it's not like you can just write women out of Norse mythology — a place where goddesses were just as fierce as any god. Freyja, the warrior goddess, rides into battle to collect souls, and Rán, goddess of the sea, used to tear shit up with storms and waves. Don't tell me there can't be a female Thor.
"Thou wishest to touch the hammer?" is the new way I'm ending all of my conversations. Use it liberally, use it well!
Danielle Henderson is a lapsed academic, heavy metal karaoke machine, and culture editor at Fusion. She enjoys thinking about how race, gender, and sexuality shape our cultural narratives, but not in a boring way.