Jason Aaron: God of Blunders

Back in September, Marvel decided to strip Thor of his hammer and give it to a currently unnamed female character. This is not the first time the God of Thunder was deemed unworthy of wielding Mjolnir. Beta Ray Bill, Thunderstrike, Throg, and even Wonder Woman have held the hammer for a period of time.

The difference this time is that not only was the hammer taken from Thor, but also his identity and name. Writer Jason Aaron stated in an interview that this new female replace is “not She-Thor or Lady Thor. She’s not Thorika. She is Thor. This is the new Thor.”

The problem is that Thor is not a mantle. It is not a title. It is the character’s given name.

To put this perspective, Spider-man is mantle. While one can argue that the mantle is defined by Peter Parker and that no one can truly replace him, it remains a title Parker applied to himself. In contrast, “Peter Parker” is his given name. No one can simply take his name and become “Peter Parker.”

However, this does not work with Thor since “Thor” is his given name. He is Thor Odinson, and simply swapping him out with a female character will not change that. Continue reading

Something Positive

When we hear about the comic book community, we tend to hear only negative commentary. We hear about sexism, racism, homophobia, and exclusivity. As a result, we forget about the positive impact comics have on people’s lives. Here is something positive for a change:

Throughout elementary and middle school, Austin Gomez understood what it was like to be bullied.

Picked on for being of smaller physique and mild temperament, Austin was delighted when he picked up his first Spider-Man comic at his local library and discovered that the protagonist, Peter Parker, was just like him.

“Spider-Man is reflective for me,” Austin said. “He was weak and skinny. When I saw him I thought of myself and thought he’s just like me.’ ”

Instead of being bitten by a radioactive spider and granted superpowers, Austin has superpowers of his own — the ability to regularly organize an event where kids like him can fit in and attend without fear of judgment for the way they look or what they like. Last October, Austin headed up a small committee of teens that held it’s first mini “comic con” at the Hudson Regional Library for Pasco teenagers who might not otherwise have the means to attend the bigger, expensive conventions.

“Spider-Man was my childhood hero and still is,” said the 15-year-old Hudson High School student. “If I ever met [Spider-Man co-creator] Stan Lee, I’d thank him. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

That is what comics can do for people when you take away the politics, the posturing, and the agendas. Continue reading