Spider-Man, Diversity and "Who Cares?"

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Spider-Man, Diversity and "Who Cares?"

Spider-Man issue 2 recently touched on the issue of diversity in comics. We touch on it further.

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I never minded Miles Morales, simply because he was Mile Morales, and not Peter Parker.
One person steps down from the mantle of a superhero (for whatever reason), and someone else picks it up.

However, when it comes to female "Thor", I take a bit of exception. But, let me talk about Superman for a second... Superman was born Kal-El, he was sent to Earth and assumed the identity of Clark Kent and eventually took the mantle of Superman. After he "died", Clones and Androids may have taken over the mantle of Superman, but it didn't change who Kal-El was. Now, back to Thor, he was born Thor, Odin sent him to Earth in the body of Donald Blake, when he found Mjolnir disguised as a walking stick, he takes on the mantle of The Thunder God. So, when Thor steped down from being The Thunder God, his replacement should have been called The (female) Thunder God, don't take the man's name away from him.

Eh, the truth is, a lot of diversity is added for the sake of it, especially when we are talking about stories written in the board room, which is what Disney does.

I don't have an issue with any of the characters being changed, though some readers around here have gone out of their way to point out how sexist or racist I am, but they don't understand simple things so far as I can tell. Female Thor doesn't make sense because it doesn't make sense to call the character Thor. It's just bad writing from the get go. Not that it's doomed to be bad forever, clearly it's not. But I don't think the change was made for a second to improve the character, only to keep a name and draw more girls into reading the comic. Mile Morales was always a fine change to me, afterall, we are talking about passing on a mantle. But the reasoning was so incredibly contrived and racially driven that it's outright offensive to me. For instance, the man behind the change was the at the time Chief Editor, Joe Quesada. He literally said at the time (I'm paraphrasing) that the character is a poor character without a lot of means, so it just makes more sense for him to black or hispanic. It's offensive because I grew up a lot more poor than a lot of people, at times my family was actually homeless. I'm a white guy from a white family. I am honestly offended for the reasoning because it simply makes poverty a product of the color of your skin, and that is completely ridiculous and not indicative of reality. It helps that Mile Morales Spidey is very well written. But there will always be a part of me who actually outright hates Joe Quesada for making the decision he made for the reasons he made it.

Also, these characters because of the race and gender are above critique, or at least were at the time of the changes. It was like not caring for one of Barack Obama's policies when he first became president. He too was above critique because of the color of his skin. Female Thor was above critique at first because she was a female character. Mile Morales was above critique because of the color of his skin. Like it or not, when you make a substantial change to a beloved and popular character, the positive reactions have to be earned, they can't be expected because of their race and gender. No one is going to pat you on the back because of your gender or your race in life, and as such, not in comics. All things are earned. So far as I can tell though, since the time of those changes, the pats on the back have been earned through good writing, good characterization, and good art.

madwarper:
I never minded Miles Morales, simply because he was Mile Morales, and not Peter Parker.
One person steps down from the mantle of a superhero (for whatever reason), and someone else picks it up.

However, when it comes to female "Thor", I take a bit of exception. But, let me talk about Superman for a second... Superman was born Kal-El, he was sent to Earth and assumed the identity of Clark Kent and eventually took the mantle of Superman. After he "died", Clones and Androids may have taken over the mantle of Superman, but it didn't change who Kal-El was. Now, back to Thor, he was born Thor, Odin sent him to Earth in the body of Donald Blake, when he found Mjolnir disguised as a walking stick, he takes on the mantle of The Thunder God. So, when Thor steped down from being The Thunder God, his replacement should have been called The (female) Thunder God, don't take the man's name away from him.

Isn't Mjolnir specifically inscribed with the name "Thor"? I could totally be wrong with that. Even that aside, regardless if thats true or not, it can still make sense in a way. Its not the first time that a position of power has gotten its name from somebody who used to in that position of power. For example, a "caesar" is a political position named after Julius Caesar, who used to occupy that position. Its wouldn't be difficult to apply that in conversation either, as demonstrated by how we talk about caesars. We can talk about caesars, the caesar, a caesar as the position or Caesar as the individual, which sounds confusing, but if you just say the whole name, Julius Caesar, there's no confusion. Likewise, "Thor" and "Thor Odinson" could work, even while they both live and breathe simultaneously.

This sort of thing happens with informal names, like nicknames, too. For example, the "First Lady", in this case specifically referring to the wife of the president of the United States was a nickname of a wife of a president that later was applied to all.

Unless I was trying to add to the lore of Thor Odinson's culture and society I probably wouldn't have gone with the name "Thor" as a title myself because there its just sort of pointless but it makes sense if you're trying to do some world building with Asgaard.

If you keep up with Linkara's Atop the Forth Wall, he is currently in the middle of a Blue Beetle Retrospective. It is worth noting because there have been 3 Blue Beetles: Dan Garrett (a white cop), Ted Kord (a white archaeologist), and Jaime Reyes (a Hispanic teen). Each of them is the same hero, but a different person. They were judged not by ethnicity or career, but by deeds and character. I think is is a good example and how to create a new character for an old mantel.

MarsAtlas:
Isn't Mjolnir specifically inscribed with the name "Thor"?

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

That just gives the wielder "the power of Thor", which is odd because that's how he gets his (nonphysical) powers.

But, others have wielded Mjolnir without taking the name of (or mantle) "Thor"; Buri, Bor, Odin, Beta Ray Bill, Storm, Captain America, Loki, etc.

but if you just say the whole name, Julius Caesar, there's no confusion. Likewise, "Thor" and "Thor Odinson" could work, even while they both live and breathe simultaneously.

Perhaps, but it just comes off to me that the man is being stripped of his name, rather than just his mantle.

madwarper:

MarsAtlas:
Isn't Mjolnir specifically inscribed with the name "Thor"?

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

That just gives the wielder "the power of Thor", which is odd because that's how he gets his (nonphysical) powers.

But, others have wielded Mjolnir without taking the name of (or mantle) "Thor"; Buri, Bor, Odin, Beta Ray Bill, Storm, Captain America, Loki, etc.

but if you just say the whole name, Julius Caesar, there's no confusion. Likewise, "Thor" and "Thor Odinson" could work, even while they both live and breathe simultaneously.

Perhaps, but it just comes off to me that the man is being stripped of his name, rather than just his mantle.

I haven't read much of the latest Thor books, so someone might need to correct me on this, but isn't the comic book mythology that Asgardian gods ARE the power, and need human hosts to interact with the world? It's not like the movie universe, where Thor is an independent entity.

So with this new Thor, is it a female host carrying Thor's essence, or that Thor has been stripped of his power and it was transferred to Foster?

Diversity in edict is something that's tricky because while at once being a copout... already existing IPs pretty much always sell better, but the past was really, really white-washed. So sometimes it gets really convoluted.

My favorite example is John Stewart. As a 90s kid, I knew of Green Lantern, he was my mom's favorite comic hero growing up. However, my introduction was from the DCU. Ring chose him, Supes came and said 'oh hey, let's go beat up Sinestro a bunch'. Didn't know anything about him, but as a kid, I just knew, okay he's green lantern. Didn't know about the comic side and Coast City's mess. He was pretty much defined by himself being Green Lantern instead of his race.

They did bring it up, I think twice in Justice league. Once when they were time travelling back to WW2 and he was called a pussy by the most awesome set of 1-off extras in the series and another time was making fun of silver-age. Stewart and Hawkgirl had the best reactions to it (also, DCU Hawkgirl was awesome, and also forced diversity_.

FemThor was just a clumsy push to get that sweet Feminist money that's floating around. It's insulting.
At least Angela's series is getting the [unsolicited chop]

Touchy subject here, no doubt. And like a fool, I'd like to add my two cents. :-)

As someone else already pointed out, switching the mantle of the superhero doesn't bother me. Spider-man is now Miles and not Peter? Okay. Thor is now a girl? Okay (Yes, Thor is an actual name, but here on Earth, it's a title, and if she's packing all the same powers, then people are going to call her Thor because we see it as a title).

Where I kind of get bothered is when the character holding the mantle is supposed to be the same person that originally held the mantle, only they're a different race or gender. I'm too lazy to look it up, but I remember a while ago that someone wanted to play a black Peter Parker. And I don't think that would work. Being black, that Peter would face a different set of challenges growing up that wouldn't make him Peter Parker. Trying to have a black man have the same life as a white man growing up in Peter's circumstances isn't going to work. Whether we want to admit it or not, their lives and outlook on life are going to be different. If you want to make Spider-man black, go right ahead, but don't make Peter black too. Make a new character.
The same goes for switching genders. Don't make Bruce Wayne Brianna Wayne and try to tell the same story--she grows up and becomes Batman the exact same way under the exact same circumstances.

I feel you can change the mantle of the hero without too much trouble (there are always going to be people screaming about it, but oh well), but when you start changing the person wearing the mantle, and then tell us that that person is supposed to be the exact same, just with some body changes (be it skin or anatomy), I think you're crossing a line and insulting not only the original, but also the new one you're trying to create.
Does that make sense?

madwarper:
Perhaps, but it just comes off to me that the man is being stripped of his name, rather than just his mantle.

It's been a while since I read the first volume of this series, but didn't Thor specifically give her the name? Or were you talking about the writers doing this?

madwarper:

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

I gotta say, I really enjoyed how they altered the hammer's engraving when she picked it up. I thought it was a clever little thing and it is one of the more memorable things I remember about this series.

Female Thor is hated because the writing is absolute GARBAGE. "Actually it's about ethics in hammer wielding!" "I'm not going to fight you because you're a woman and I respect that too much!" Etc, etc.

The book keeps getting uploaded and memed for a reason, and it's not the artwork. And Angela's series is even worse. The whole "Unsolicited opinion about Israel" bit not only was needlessly political and horribly out of place, but as a Jew it came off EXTREMELY anti-Semetic on the writers' part, not to mention how it made the title character look. But that's "social justice" for you.

Not to mention the origin is trash and an insult to all of the other female charatcers in the Thor family (Why isn't it Sif? Valkyrie? Enchantress, even--that would have been cool!).

And it's not even the first time Thor has been a woman for heaven's sake! This whole thing has pushed Earth X Thor (and her writers/artists) under the rug. It's ridiculous, a marketing stunt that has been executed so poorly it's reminicient of bad fanfiction.

There are plenty of existing charatcers that could have been promoted if Marvel truly cared about diversity. They chose to pander instead, and it's resulted in trash.

Whether you're talking a black Heimdall in the Marvel movies or a female Thor, there's no lack for examples of comic fans getting really freaking upset over issues of gender and race.

So, you cite the only two examples where there's any remotely significant controversy, and then state there is no lack of examples. Generally speaking no lack of examples means an overabundance of them, whereas those are pretty much the only ones you've got. I mean, the only other case where there was any real controversy at all was Kamela Khan as Marvel, and that nontroversy blew over pretty damn quick because unlike Thorina her comic was competently fucking written.

Note:
'Male Thor' has a real name, it's Odinson.

Female Thor made Thor worth reading again.

Ms Marvel cut down all the galactic drama and went back to basics, while making for a DAMN good comic.
-I LOVED that her choosing the name had to do with her being a HUGE fangirl.

I agree that 'Black Spider-Man' really did bring a boost to that whole universe.
-Problem is Peter Parker had WAY too much baggage to do anything 'revolutionary' short of killing him or doing that 'now Doc Oc' crap.

Tanis:

Female Thor made Thor worth reading again.

Ms Marvel cut down all the galactic drama and went back to basics, while making for a DAMN good comic.
-I LOVED that her choosing the name had to do with her being a HUGE fangirl.

The Mighty Thor was an amazing series, BitchThor was feminist pandering twaddle

Jetfan007:
Female Thor is hated because the writing is absolute GARBAGE. "Actually it's about ethics in hammer wielding!" "I'm not going to fight you because you're a woman and I respect that too much!" Etc, etc.

The book keeps getting uploaded and memed for a reason, and it's not the artwork. And Angela's series is even worse. The whole "Unsolicited opinion about Israel" bit not only was needlessly political and horribly out of place, but as a Jew it came off EXTREMELY anti-Semetic on the writers' part, not to mention how it made the title character look. But that's "social justice" for you.

Not to mention the origin is trash and an insult to all of the other female charatcers in the Thor family (Why isn't it Sif? Valkyrie? Enchantress, even--that would have been cool!).

And it's not even the first time Thor has been a woman for heaven's sake! This whole thing has pushed Earth X Thor (and her writers/artists) under the rug. It's ridiculous, a marketing stunt that has been executed so poorly it's reminicient of bad fanfiction.

There are plenty of existing charatcers that could have been promoted if Marvel truly cared about diversity. They chose to pander instead, and it's resulted in trash.

The good news, as I mentioned is that Angela series got cancelled.
I mean, if the writer hated Bor that much, why was she allowed near him? If you can't tell a good Bor story, given his amazing background, you need to leave comics writing forever.

Jetfan007:
Female Thor is hated because the writing is absolute garbage.

Dude, if you want to argue that's your reason for hating the book, that's fine; though for the record, I kind of doubt it, since you attribute one nonsense line to the book and then denigrate another that the character speaking it first uttered nearly thirty years ago to She-Hulk, making it a pretty well-established character trait by this point. I do wish, though, that you would refrain from speaking unilaterally for every critic out there, as if no one is hating it specifically and solely because Thor is now female.

Sniper Team 4:
Where I kind of get bothered is when the character holding the mantle is supposed to be the same person that originally held the mantle, only they're a different race or gender. I'm too lazy to look it up, but I remember a while ago that someone wanted to play a black Peter Parker. And I don't think that would work. Being black, that Peter would face a different set of challenges growing up that wouldn't make him Peter Parker. Trying to have a black man have the same life as a white man growing up in Peter's circumstances isn't going to work. Whether we want to admit it or not, their lives and outlook on life are going to be different. If you want to make Spider-man black, go right ahead, but don't make Peter black too. Make a new character.
The same goes for switching genders. Don't make Bruce Wayne Brianna Wayne and try to tell the same story--she grows up and becomes Batman the exact same way under the exact same circumstances.

I think these sort of changes can be valuable if they properly acknowledge how these changes effect how they develop. For example, the recent DC animated movie Gods & Monsters had Superman being raised by a mexican couple. I don't recall exactly if he was raised in Mexico or the United States, the evidence pushes far more towards the latter, but its made clear that his family being mexican caused undue hardship on upbringing, something that wouldn't happen to Ma Kent and Pa Kent in the heart of Kansas. He's not evil and he's not an outright villain but he's less optimistic and trusting than Superman as raised by the Kents. Thats a practical way that being raised in a persecuted will effect how you see the world.

There's some other changes that are more acceptable that nobody really thinks about, though. For example, in Action Comics #1, way back in 1939, Superman was presumably raised on a Kansas farm in the 1920s'. In, say, Man of Steel, he's being raised in the 90s' and early 2000s'. That unquestionably had a difference on his development. A farm in Kansas in 1920 likely didn't have electricity or plumbing. There's over seventy years of technological advancements and cultural changes. Man of Steel (the film) actually does a good job of addressing this by him having a secret that is known throughout the town. The world that MoS Superman was raised in is too connected and advanced to not be noticed so instead of pretending that nobody ever figured it out they turned it into a secret among neighbours that nobody would tell because it would ruin the lives of somebody who just saved their own lives, trusting them to treat Superman as he treated them. There's a lot more ground to be treaded with this notion and people tend not to think too much about it because it doesn't visibly change the character.

A similar thing happened with Batman. As techonology advanced and became more nebulous in societ (as well as expensive), as the world became more urbanized, as the world became more interconnected and as inflation began Batman went from being "old money", having maybe a few million to his name, to being one of the richest people in the world. Many people have taken notice of this, asking why Batman doesn't use his vast fortune to invest in infrastructure to create a less poverty-stricken Gotham as well as investing in public education and mental health, all with the aims of decreasing crime, as these measures do more than running around at night beating up mentally ill people and criminals who aren't evil, just poor and desperate. Its even been addressed in some comics, too.

The passage of time and the shift of culture is just as important as somebody's skin tone, gender or sexual orientation but nobody really thinks about stuff like this because it isn't as immediately visible and, frankly, most people don't get upset when it changes unless it turns them into an asshole in a way you can clearly perceive. People would flip out if we updated Mulder from the X-Files and made him a 9/11 truther and an anti-vaccinationist, which you must reasonably admit he very well might've been in the original run if they were around in the 90s', but it would be a faithful adaptation to apply those to him today. Nobody really thinks about these changes though unless they're immediately visible. Few would suspect that Mulder would be a 9/11 truther in the X-Files reboot unless he states it but then how are you going to know about these changes, or rather, perceived changes, if they don't act out on them? Do you think Clark Kent in Man of Steel (the film) knows how to do half the standard things a farmhand would do in the 20s' that have been phased out today? Probably not and you'd probably never notice if he doesn't demonstrate it in a very visible way.

Jetfan007:
The whole "Unsolicited opinion about Israel" bit not only was needlessly political and horribly out of place, but as a Jew it came off EXTREMELY anti-Semetic on the writers' part, not to mention how it made the title character look.

Really? It came off to me as the sort of thing an anti-semite would be saying, the sort who goes on about "THE JEWS" and how they "killed Jesus" and are doing whatever to ruin the world. That was my interpretation of it anyways. I can see it being insensitive, no question, but it seemed more like a swipe at anti-semites rather than Israel. Thats just my perspective and I must admit that it could easily be way off though.

Personally I love diversity. I'm a massive fan of Gail Simone's Secret Six because it's probably the most diverse team to ever exist in comics, especially in the most recent version.
It's a miracle, bluntly, that a prominent character is not only lesbian, but MARRIED, and it's not going to be destroyed by jackasses in DC. Moreover, the lesbian marriage is between 3 women! Granted it was never shown to happen, but it's still there.
The writing is super, the art is great, the characters are simply wonderful, and they're not typical in many ways.

Changes to characters, I take with a grain of salt. Thor?


How many times have we seen, bluntly, Peter Parker clones? But it's always Peter that comes out on top. Plus the most recent plot still had Parker coming out on top.
What about Death of Superman when we had some half dozen people out to replace the supposedly dead Superman? Clark Kent is still our Superman.
Bruce Wayne was never permanently replaced as Batman, since he's not afraid to suit up in the Beyond era. Ya think Gordon will stay Batman? I don't think so.
Hey, Loki was a woman for a while! Kinda hot, too! What happened to that? It's not that way anymore! Infact, I think he's a Shield agent, or something now? <.<

When the arc's over, things will return mostly to the status quo. Thor will be a guy again, there might be a spin off of the arc that'll prolly not last, though I hope it will.
Peter Parker's still going to be Spiderman. Miles will hopefully remain successful, and remain a reminder about societal issues (Comics were always about that), and become an anchor in the spider family.

All in all, IMO, people should relax, let the plot play out, and things will go back to normal. I just hope something new and diverse gets birthed from it all.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear it now, "Make new characters! Stop changing existing ones!"
Problem is that's very fucking hard to do.
Characters have to be designed, and with that design, they have to be easy to draw because they'll be drawn a LOT, and IMO, it's likely that's why they're often in skin tight clothes since the human form is way easy, and there's less worry about how the clothes will fold in action shots. Complex character designs won't really fly, yet they still have to look good, and odds are if they're too derivative of other popular characters, odds are, people are going to hate it more than anything.
Also their powers have to be cool! But all the really good powers are basically taken, meaning anyone with remotely the same powers is going to potentially live in the existing character's shadow. Like the character design, the powers have to be easy to visualize because they're going to be drawn over, and over and over again.
Writing comes in to play, too. That writing has to include a proper, well done push to let the character have spotlight so they can get in the public eye, and have a chance to catch on.
Have you LOOKED at the respective character lists in DC, and Marvel Wikis? There's so many discarded characters over the ages that it's obvious they did try, and they didn't catch on for various reasons.

I'm not going to say new characters are impossible, though. Spider Gwen, Silk, Ms. Marvel (even though i saw some dodgey art due to her powers), and so forth happen. Despite that, I'm not sold on the notion that new, great characters can just happen.
Hell, Spider Gwen was probably an unintended success.

And can we can it with the "OHMAHGAH! It's pushing the gay agenda!"? I mean odds are that they're not pushing the gay agenda any more than they've been pushing the straight agenda since, basically, the birth of comics.

Kinda crazy that when it's a straight white guy, no one bats an eyelash, but when it's any sort of minority people lose their minds, and the minority has to justify themselves.

Miles Morales is a good character, female Thor maybe a good character I don't know. Miles feels a little forced but done in the right way. He has an incredibly interesting character with a backstory that just like Parker bestows a real young New Yorker with super powered and all the nastiness that comes with it. Miles is relatable and a good spiderman because he embodies the same spirit that always made spiderman great but in his own way. His race enhances his character.

Female Thor? Was released at the height of tensions in the geek world, taking liberal swipes at its readership who had a problem with it. And is generally a giant middle finger to the gamergaters and mansplainers who sit in that space. Now I have no problem with that, but female Thor feels as though it's having a fight with readers that I'm not involved in, it's like walking in a room where a couple is fighting. You may not have a problem with either of them or you may have a side to choose, but for that moment it's best to stay out of it.

Ms. Marvel, spider Gwen are both great comics, and silk is alright if marvel can ever decide who they want her to be. But they're not picking a fight with people who may or may not deserve it.

So to the answer of "who cares?" We I certainly don't and miles morales as a comic doesn't seem offended by the fact that i don't care about his race while female Thor does seem to care that I may not like that she's a women. Her story is full of her villains quipping about her gender and her hitting them with a hammer in response. It's not my thing.

JimB:

Jetfan007:
Female Thor is hated because the writing is absolute garbage.

Dude, if you want to argue that's your reason for hating the book, that's fine; though for the record, I kind of doubt it, since you attribute one nonsense line to the book and then denigrate another that the character speaking it first uttered nearly thirty years ago to She-Hulk, making it a pretty well-established character trait by this point. I do wish, though, that you would refrain from speaking unilaterally for every critic out there, as if no one is hating it specifically and solely because Thor is now female.

No one hates it specifically because Thor is female. How do I know? No one hated Earth X Thor, or Lady Loki, or Valkyrie or Sif. Hell, Captain Marvel's death wasn't hated this much, largely because it was written so well and Ms Marvel was already a great character made better by the event. People hate the book because it is written lazily, it is an insult to the aforementioned characters and their writers and artists, and as mentioned above often feels like an attack on its own readership.

MarsAtlas:

Really? It came off to me as the sort of thing an anti-semite would be saying, the sort who goes on about "THE JEWS" and how they "killed Jesus" and are doing whatever to ruin the world. That was my interpretation of it anyways. I can see it being insensitive, no question, but it seemed more like a swipe at anti-semites rather than Israel. Thats just my perspective and I must admit that it could easily be way off though.

It's all in the wording. It wasn't "disparaging opinion about Israel" or "anti-Semetic rant" or anything of the sort, it was just "opinion about Israel." It wasn't even "opinion about Palestine." Not to mention, it was a "blah, blah, blah" moment, as in something the character made up in her head, not something that was actually said. Aside from being a completely unnecessary, totally out of the blue political reference it made the writer look like a smug, Israel hating ass.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear it now, "Make new characters! Stop changing existing ones!"
Problem is that's very fucking hard to do.

Or they could promote some of their existing, massive library of characters and have them take the spotlight. Absolutely disgusted me when Iceman came out, not because he came out but because the entire "event" and all the coverage surrounding it completely ignored Northstar as if he'd never existed and this was the first gay Marvel character ever. No respect for their own characters, not even giving him a second thought!

Kinda crazy that when it's a straight white guy, no one bats an eyelash, but when it's any sort of minority people lose their minds, and the minority has to justify themselves.

It's the writing that needs to justify the change. Miles Morales' writing most certainly did so, and though I stopped reading the new Ms Marvel it was more than good enough from what I did read (though I still feel like making Carol Captain Marvel is an insult to Mar-Vell's legacy as well as her own. She forged her own identity without him, and they made it feel like none of that mattered 'cause now she *finally* gets to be a real hero!).

The writing did not justify the change in Thor. Though it certainly could be worse: I picked up an issue of Squirrel Girl a while ago and nearly swore off Marvel forever.

When Miles Morales first made his appearance it was the lack of difference between him and Peter that caused me issue. You could have dropped one of them into anothers story and it wouldn't have made a difference. They played it too safe.

Though as time went on Miles really did establish himself as a hero in his own right and the stories became unique. You couldn't have put Peter Parker into them and have them play out the same way.

Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers. I can't comment really as I tried to read the original series with Carol carrying the name but I found the art horrendous. Since then I've just not been able to bring myself to pick up the series.

I actually like female Thor and those who say that

isn't worthy are insane. My only real issue with the series is that they are making out the men, such as Thor himself and Odin, to be absolute idiots. They don't need to do that, she's strong enough to stand among them on her own merit without knocking the male characters down.

On a side note I find it a real shame that Ultimate Spider-Woman didn't make the jump to the main Marvel U.

I probably shouldn't step into this, but whatever. I do have a problem with female Thor, but it isn't diversity. I just don't want to have to sit through Natalie Portman trying to be Thor in the MCU. She has been pretty much sleeping through the last two Thor movies and if they try to make her Thor in those I'm going to scream. If she actually tried then it might be ok, but she seems to be solidly on paycheck mentality for those films. I know it is unlikely, but any chance of that scares me.

Beyond that, don't care. I haven't read the Thor comic in a while, so I don't really have a horse in that race.

Edit: Also Thor's official name being Odinson is dumb, but that is an entirely different argument.

Alright, so a lot of people assume its racism that makes people upset. Might be true for some but for me, its about accuracy. Johnny Storm is white. Peter Parker is white. Luke Cage is black. Red Skull is...well he was white, but now is red, but cause of events in the comics. I don't like changing established characters races cause that IS pandering for diversity. Now, as for replacing heroes with different people, that is less upsetting, but now my issue is that it says to me these people cant be great on their own. Why does this muslim girl need the mantle of Ms Marvel to be worth anything? Why does Miles need to be Spider-Man? They cant be their own unique characters? They cant stand on their own?

A lot of it also has to do with earning it. The Falcon becoming Captain America doesn't bother me. Why? Cause he earned it. He was his own awesome character, and worked along side Rogers, and earned what is more of a title. Its ok if mantles pass on if its earned and makes sense, but honestly, Id prefer diversity that stands on their own. I'm transgender. Id love a trans character, but Id prefer if they were their own unique character and not given The Wasps or Ms Marvels or whoevers costume and name. Id rather have a new interesting unique hero to like.

I think comics need to try to be new new, not stagnant new. You want a non white Spider-Man? Maybe Peter grows up in those 50 years, marries a black woman who he genuinely loves, and their mixed race son inherits his father's power and mantel. That would be a neat plot and means of diversity.

Plus Id be just as bothered by a white Luke Cage or Black Panther or Storm or Falcon or whoever else. But if someone tried to make those characters white in a movie, THEYD be called racist. Equality means equal, but a lot of people forget that.

Would anyone actually appreciate having a qualifier like that attached to their job?

"Oh, hey, it's that gay electrician!"

"Finally, we have a black doctor"

"Is that a trans plumber?"

"An asian hairdresser? What a novelty!"

"A white teacher? Cool"

Having qualifiers attached to your job, when others in the same line of work may not, would feel like you're being exceptioned, even if the people doing it are attempting to highlight it as a good thing.

I have a hard time believing most people would actually LIKE to be known as "the black doctor" or "the gay electrician", or any other kind of "the X Y". It's far easier to believe that they just want to be known as being a good doctor, or good electrician, etc.

Hoooo, I was wondering when this would come up.

I have been thinking about all these changes, so I want to give my individual opinions on them.

Miles Morales I was completely fine with. He's a great character, he is a sensible choice, and he's just plain cool and different enough to warrant a change. I didn't know that they killed off Ultimate Spider-man just for his character, I never kept up with the Ultimate series, so I harbor no bad feelings against Miles.

Thor (Thorina?) is a bit more complicated. While I do think she is a nice character, she just makes no sense. She breaks a lot of the rules of the Thor mythos. Which I guess is okay, this is comics after all. But what I don't like is how they shove her being a woman down our faces so much. Every villain has something to say about her gender, and you start to feel like the writers are making a dig at their critics, which is not cool. There are a lot of people who don't like the new Thor for reasons besides her being a woman. And they way that they made Odin and other Thor characters dicks (well, even more dicks) also seems excessive. The story line at this point is "Odin is misogynist and old fashioned, Lady Freyja (his wife) should rule because she is progressive and shtick". This makes no sense. If I wanted to be edgy, I would throw in some jokes that would contain the words "patriarchy" and "feminazi". Odin is literally the only real god on Asgard. The force that enables him to be a literal god is called the "Odinforce". And now FemThor wants him off the throne because she doesnt like him and he doesnt like her? Okay...

Also, I don't like the way she looks. Her helmet is hella ugly, and the way they try to make her look muscular just comes off as weird. Why not just go all the way instead of making her arms slightly thicker?

Lastly, Falcon Cap. This one I am just completely against. There is absolutely no reason to have Falcon as Captain America other than his race. First off, why does there need to be a Captain America anyway? "But he's the leader of the Avengers!" So? Cap Falcon isn't the leader of the Avengers. Captain America as a symbol is not important, what matters is the man himself. Second, Falcon has no skills to be Cap. He has no improved strength, reflexes, or thinking. How does he even know how to throw the shield? Kudos I guess to the early comics that had him struggling to be Cap, but that's all gone now. Third, its a change in name only. This new Captain America is just basically a blue Falcon with a shield. This is what tells me that they changed him purely so they could say that Cap is black now.

Kameburger:
Female Thor? Was released at the height of tensions in the geek world, taking liberal swipes at its readership who had a problem with it.

I'd really like to know where this attitude comes from. Is it from her appearances in books other than her own? Because literally no one in the book said anything about Thor being female, either positive or negative, until the culmination of the first story arc was complete and issue #5 or #6 had Crusher Creel say stupid things. Frankly, I think anyone who feels that Crusher Creel's attitude is intended to be representative of their own needs to examine their own conscience and see why they think a writer who has never met them, never spoken with them, and never corresponded with them is somehow targeting them specifically with Crusher's rhetoric, because if he managed to nail your (hypothetical you, not specific you, Kameburger) attitude enough that you feel threatened by it, then that says a lot more about you, the things you said, and the way you said them than it does about him and his writing.

I will also point out that literally no one in the book brought up her gender after that, either positive or negative, until after the original series rebooted and Laufey made a single snide comment, somewhere around the #4 or #5 mark. If two references in two years is too much for the audience to tolerate, then again, I really feel like that says more about the sensitivity of the audience than the abrasiveness of the author.

Kameburger:
Her story is full of her villains quipping about her gender and her hitting them with a hammer in response.

No. It is not. I have gone through her entire run and provided a page-by-page breakdown of this on this site before, and I'll do it again if I have to, but what you are describing happens literally only twice; three times if you assume one insult Odin lobs is due to misogyny rather than the limitation of English insults against women tending to single them out for being women.

Jetfan007:
No one hates it specifically because Thor is female. How do I know? No one hated Earth X Thor, or Lady Loki, or Valkyrie or Sif.

If you need to assert absolute omniscience over every member of a fanbase, no matter how many of them you have not been exposed to, then I personally do not buy it. Sorry, but I just don't. To speak in one hundred percent absolutes as if the entire fanbase is a hivemind bespeaks an attitude to me I cannot trust.

Believe what you want or need to believe, because I won't bother arguing it any more, but...damn, dude.

Jetfan007:
Or they could promote some of their existing, massive library of characters and have them take the spotlight.

That's what Thor is, but whatever.

Areloch:
Would anyone actually appreciate having a qualifier like that attached to their job?

This is a good point (though for pedantry's sake, I'll point out that of course the answer is yes; of course some people identify so strongly as a member of this or that demographic that it informs how they want to be viewed by the outside world, and that's fine, because none of us have any business telling someone else what his identity ought to be), but it's a good point for the specific character in question. It's a less good question for the people who feel they've been invisible to the world before now and finally have some representation.

Bob_McMillan:
Thor (Thorina?)

Thora. The female form of the name is Thora. You know, like Thora Birch from American Beauty. Not that it matters here, though, since "Thor" is more than a male-female binary name in the Marvel Universe.

Bob_McMillan:
Every villain has something to say about her gender, and you start to feel like the writers are making a dig at their critics, which is not cool.

Again, unless you guys are talking about appearances in books other than her own eponymous title, this is just plain not true.

Bob_McMillan:
They made Odin and other Thor characters dicks (well, even more dicks) [which] seems excessive.

I don't know what you mean by "other Thor characters," but the story has been pretty obviously setting up that something has gone dramatically wrong with Odin as a result of his resurrection, possibly related to his relationship to Bor. Since we still don't know what Fury whispered into the Odinson's ear to make him unworthy of Mjolnir, I suspect the two situations are linked.

Bob_McMillan:
The story line at this point is "Odin is misogynist and old fashioned, Lady Freyja (his wife) should rule because she is progressive and shtick."

No, it's not. The story is that Thor needs to beat the shit out of Malekith and Dario Agger because they're conquering the realms. The subplot about Odin is that he has become an arrogant, self-absorbed tyrant to whom male-female divides are pretty clearly secondary to people threatening his sense of his own importance to the universe. Creation had the bad taste to continue on without him, and he takes that as a personal insult.

Bob_McMillan:
Thor wants him off the throne because she doesn't like him and he doesn't like her? Okay...

I would not want my world ruled by someone I consider unworthy of rule; particularly if I have an objective measure of what constitutes worthiness in the form of a hammer I can hold in my hand. Odin is not worthy of Mjolnir, but he's worthy of stewardship of all existence? Yeah, no.

And please note I did not argue Thor is worthy to be God either. I said someone who holds the reins of existence should be expected to be able to hold the handle of Mjolnir. Worthiness of one does not imply worthiness of both.

There. That took long enough. I'm going to go up to my longbox and dig out all my copies of Thor, because I just know I'm going to have to do another page-by-page breakdown of the entire series to count all the times anyone has said anything about Thor having a vaj or Thor has said anything about anyone having a cockinballs.

JimB:

Areloch:
Would anyone actually appreciate having a qualifier like that attached to their job?

This is a good point (though for pedantry's sake, I'll point out that of course the answer is yes; of course some people identify so strongly as a member of this or that demographic that it informs how they want to be viewed by the outside world, and that's fine, because none of us have any business telling someone else what his identity ought to be), but it's a good point for the specific character in question. It's a less good question for the people who feel they've been invisible to the world before now and finally have some representation.

Ha ha, touche. Putting "anyone" on there definitely would mean there are some people out there that WOULD be cool with that. However, I'm pretty certain most people wouldn't want that.

Going back to the entire scene in the comic though, Miles is a character, written well and thus is intended to act as an actual person would. And given that most people wouldn't appreciate being qualified with their demographic, it's a perfectly reasonable reaction from a character/actual person to go 'please don't do that'.

"Who cares?"

People obsessed with identity politics, that's who. It's tainted every creative medium.

People as a whole really don't have a problem with creators using other races/genders in a given role, people like Miles Morales as spiderman, they just don't want changes made because the creators feel they are pressured and "have to" or going down a checklist. Fans of a given genre sometimes feel they have to question the motives now. Of course comics are known for taking big turns out of nowhere anyway.

Areloch:
Would anyone actually appreciate having a qualifier like that attached to their job?

"Oh, hey, it's that gay electrician!"

"Finally, we have a black doctor"

"Is that a trans plumber?"

"An asian hairdresser? What a novelty!"

"A white teacher? Cool"

Having qualifiers attached to your job, when others in the same line of work may not, would feel like you're being exceptioned, even if the people doing it are attempting to highlight it as a good thing.

I have a hard time believing most people would actually LIKE to be known as "the black doctor" or "the gay electrician", or any other kind of "the X Y". It's far easier to believe that they just want to be known as being a good doctor, or good electrician, etc.

Well, that's because they're not the same thing as representations in media, and come with different expectations as a result. They're intrinsically connected with iconography and the impact they have on culture.

Tanis:
Note:
'Male Thor' has a real name, it's Odinson.

Female Thor made Thor worth reading again.

Eh?!?

That's his surname.

Thor Odinson.

It's no more weird than Hans Christian Andersen.

Odinson means "Son of Odin", just like Andersen means "Son of Anders".

Also, in Scandinavia, Thor is a commonly used male name.

So basically what the writers of FemThor has done, is call a female character "Richard".

Let's just go down the list and look at things in a case-by-case basis.

Captain Falcon: Somebody explain to me how stripping away the identity of the first African American super-hero and putting him in the clothes of an old white guy is "progressive." This is pandering at its worst because not only is it blatant and shameless, it's also racist as hell and a seriously terrible message to send if you think about it for more than two seconds. Moreover, it's insulting. Marvel acts as though Sam Wilson hasn't been around for 47 goddamn years. It's nothing but "Hey! Look at us! We have a black super hero with a name you recognize from the movies! We couldn't get a book with him to sell before, but now we're calling him Captain America so you have to care!"

Hawkeye: I love the fact that they're just, "Fine. We'll both use the name."

Kamala Kahn: This is how you do it. Kamala Kahn is an original character who just wants to be a super hero. Whatever diversity check box she fills in is secondary to the fact that she's just a cool super-hero. It's even appropriate how she got her identity because she's hardly the first character to take on the Marvel moniker without being associated with any other character.

Miles Morales: A great example of legacy done right. Ultimate Spider-Man is dead. Not "dead until the next movie." D-E-D Dead. In his absence, Miles steps up with a... okay, kinda overly coincidental backstory and... I donno, is it racist that the Black Spider-Man's uncle is a criminal? Whatever. Still a job well done.

Sam Alexander: SCREW YOU! BRING BACK RICHARD RIDER!... Okay... Sam's not bad. Once you resign yourself to the fact that Nova isn't coming back and the heyday of D&A's epic reign over Marvel's cosmic universe has been replaced by Bendis making everything like the GotG movie, Sam makes for a good successor.

Thora: Jane Foster taking Thor's powers is fine. Taking his name, not so much. Like Captain Falcon, Thora is insulting to the reader's intelligence with its pandering. Like with Captain Falcon, Marvel isn't interested in making more female heroes. They're interested in saying "Thor is a woman, look how progressive we are! We have a woman character with a name you recognize from the movies!" And even then I was willing to get behind the book until the cringy as hell character assassination of Absorbing Man and Titania. If you need any more proof that the Post-2000's Marvel Universe is a different reality than the Pre-2000's Marvel Universe, compare Thora's Absorbing Man to the one shown in Secret Wars. I defy you to tell me that those two are the same character.

X-23: It doesn't feel like pandering to put her in Wolverine's outfit. It just seems unnecessary. It's not like anybody was out there saying "The world must always have a Wolverine." Except maybe a Fox Studio executive.

The Young Avengers: The Young Avengers is ample evidence that the shade thrown at these "sexist and racist comic nerds who hate diversity" is full of crap. Long before Marvel attached hams to their fists and started courting the Tumbler snowflakes, we had a team of awesome characters that consisted of exactly one straight white male. They were not only some of the best original characters Marvel has come up with in recent time, but they exemplified how to properly increase and promote a more diverse cast of characters. Everybody loved them and their mismanagement is one of Marvel's biggest blunders of this century.

The basic gist is... nobody likes being treated like an idiot.

Brian Bendis: "We're killing Ultimate Spider-Man, for real. And he'll be replaced by a black kid."
Readers: "Cool. Let's do this."

Dan Slott: "Herp derp! I'm totally killing the real-deal Spider-Man. Doc Ock is the new Spider-Man, now and forever."
Readers: "Uh huh... riiiiiight."
Dan Slott: "No! Seriously! He's gone forever! It's The Superior Spider-Man from here on out!"
Readers: "We already know you're going to bring him back for the next movie."
Dan Slott: "Waaaaaaaaaah... no I'm not... nuh uh..."

Travis Fischer:
Captain Falcon: Somebody explain to me how stripping away the identity of the first African American super-hero and putting him in the clothes of an old white guy is "progressive."

Did anyone say it's progressive? Seriously, I'm asking. Has anyone said that Falcon getting a promotion to Steve Rogers's job and getting his own title is "progressive," whatever that means in this context, rather than just being a promotion?

Travis Fischer:
It's nothing but "Hey! Look at us! We have a black super hero with a name you recognize from the movies! We couldn't get a book with him to sell before, but now we're calling him Captain America so you have to care!"

I feel this assertion assumes a lot of facts not entered into evidence.

Travis Fischer:
I dunno, is it racist that the Black Spider-Man's uncle is a criminal?

No, but it's a little racist people keep calling him black when he's half black and half Hispanic.

Travis Fischer:
Thora: Jane Foster taking Thor's powers is fine. Taking his name, not so much.

This may be missing the point, but just because I feel precision is important here, Thor did not "take" anyone's name. The Odinson gave it to her; or the writers did, depending on how you look at these things. Since that's kind of a dumb and melodramatic thing for the Odinson to have done, one that implies to me he cannot distinguish between the hammer and himself, I assume it is a symptom of whatever mystery made him unworthy of holding Mjolnir in the first place, but that's really speculation on my part until someone tells us what Fury whispered to him.

Travis Fischer:
I was willing to get behind the book until the cringy as hell character assassination of Absorbing Man and Titania.

Both of their behaviors were in character. Absorbing Man and Titania are thugs who could rule the world but don't because their ambitions and perspectives are too small. Absorbing Man just wants to fight people, and has defeated the entire Avengers and surrendered at the end because he was out of people to fight, so I don't consider testosterone to be out of character for him; Titania has surrendered to female heroes before (specifically She-Hulk when she joined the Fantastic Four) on the explicitly stated basis of female solidarity.

JimB:
but it's a little racist people keep calling him black when he's half black and half Hispanic.

It does seem as if 'black' overrides every other part of an ethnic origin.

After all the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, has a black father and a white mother. Yet I've never seen him referred to as anything other than black/African American.

As to Thor. It's his name, not a title. When others previously have called themselves Thor it was because they were pretending to be him.

So yes I do find it a little odd how no hero is questioning who this new person calling themselves Thor is? When it is pretty clear that it isn't Thor.

votemarvel:
The current President of the United States, Barack Obama, has a black father and a white mother.

Huh, I thought his parents are black but his maternal grandmother is white. I suppose I could check that, but I don't honestly care. Let's agree you're right.

votemarvel:
As to Thor. It's his name, not a title.

As far as most of the Marvel universe seems to be concerned, it's also the title of the lightning guy with the hammer who says shit like "Have at thee."

votemarvel:
I do find it a little odd how no hero is questioning who this new person calling themselves Thor is when it is pretty clear that it isn't Thor.

It's someone with Thor's powers who helps the same people the old guy did and beats up the same people the old guy did. After that, I'd imagine they don't pry. Seems like bad form to pry into someone's identity when you're hiding your own behind a mask.

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