Hey remember when people were mad about the new Thor being a woman? Yeah, I don’t think Marvel cares about those complaints anymore.
Last summer, Marvel Comics revealed that the Thor series would be relaunched, with a new character bearing the hammer Mjolnir, and also the name “Thor.” The catch? She’s not a dude. As you might expect on the internet, a very vocal minority immediately threw a fit.
Luckily, Marvel didn’t cave to the negative feedback, and their faith in the comic’s writing team was rewarded. The new female-led Thor series is currently outselling the old one by a margin of 20,000 copies per month, and that’s not even including digital.
So basically, this decision saved the Thor comic?
Pretty much. Thor has been struggling for quite some time, despite the movies, and like many other major Marvel series like Fantastic Four, it’s been circling the chopping block. In addition to those sales figures, the book is also in the top 15 single issues sold per month (as of February).
It’s hard to say if the series will continue to remain strong over the next few years (that will depend entirely on the book’s writing and art team), but it’s nice to see that Marvel’s gutsy creative choice paid off for them. If comics are going to continue to thrive, we need to see the big publishers taking risks, and not cling to the same characters, in the same stories, doing the same things forever.
That’s dull, and that’s not how you attract new readers. Like it or not, the comic book industries needs those readers to survive, and if finding ways to reinvent their characters, to tell new stories in an old universe, is one way to do it, I’m all for it.