1. notleia says:

    I think it’s interesting if only as an experiment, though the quality is very your-mileage-may-vary. Take the in-universe Rule 63 from Adventure Time. I think Fiona is a very well done genderswap of Finn. The plots take a more overt romantic angle, but Fiona retains more interest and skill and confidence for fighting than twu wuv.

    I think the kicker is how much gender essentialist bunkus the author believes. Such a person would make Fiona awful by removing her kickbutt because s/he thinks girls can’t kick butt or it isn’t girls’ “place” to kick butt. Or amputate her confidence as well as her competence because it’s supposedly cuter/more feminine to be shy and mostly incompetent.

    But Thorette (ugh, that seemed less awful in my head) Fem-Thor shouldn’t have to lose the kickbutt or the (over)confidence to be 63’d. Though I’m not sure how the tendency to smash mugs in enjoyment (ANOTHER!) would translate.

  2. I think the outcry here has nothing to do with the caliber of a female character’s kickbutt and everything to do with the fact that Marvel chose a lazy shortcut in order to give us a kickbutt female character. They took the power of an established and beloved male character and just transplanted it to a woman. Not only is that unimaginative, it’s incredibly dismissive of males (how would you react if you learned that Wonder Woman’s powers had been plucked from her and given to a male character who’d henceforth be known as “Wonder Woman”?). It plays into the hands of those who argue that feminism has to put men down in order to raise women up. It demonstrates weakness, not strength: why can’t Marvel create engaging heroines who stand on their own instead of piggybacking off the credibility established by their male predecessors? Why can’t they launch a series called The Mighty Sif or The Ingenious Freja, or something? Why do they have to throw The Male Character Formerly Known As Thor out on his heel in order to make a sociological statement?

    Because they’re lazy, that’s why.

    •  how would you react if you learned that Wonder Woman’s powers had been plucked from her and given to a male character who’d henceforth be known as “Wonder Woman”?

      Here’s how Duncan Jones would react: pic.twitter.com/E1zJjdU80h.

      Seriously, I second everything Austin said. As a woman myself, I’m far more on board with new original female characters. Mary Russell is the best counter example I can give in this case. Her creator, Laurie King, describes her as “Sherlock Holmes if he were a woman,” and indeed, Mary Russell studies under the great detective in her debut novel The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. But she is so much more than a “female” Holmes: she’s a fully fleshed out character who works tangentially with Holmes, has her own desires and fears and goals, and adventures that at times seem to have nothing to do with either him or anything in Holmes cannon.

      For the record, gender swap can be a challenging writing experiment, and generate some decent stories. I actually started a fan fiction story in which Jane and Bingley from Pride and Prejudice were switched. It’s amazing how much that changes things all the way around, in unexpected ways. I hope to finish it some day, but I don’t by any stretch of the imagination wish to supplant/replace the original.

      Maybe I’d be more on board with this move (and the others cited) if it were in a separate, spinoff series meant to serve as an homage to the main source, an alternate universe riff so to speak. Otherwise, it really comes across as an attempt to steal DC’s thunder in the press (pun firmly intended).

      • notleia says:

        Maybe it helps to think of Thorine as a spinoff, even if Marvel isn’t labelling it as such. It wouldn’t be the first time the fandom has declared “okay, that doesn’t exist in my headcanon.” Like that theoretical fifth Star Trek movie that Shatner wrote and directed. Man, wouldn’t it be awful if that existed?

  3. Julie D says:

    I’m slightly more comfortable with them making Sam Wilson into Cap’s replacement than I am with the Thor switch–because they kept the original, but shifted him into another role. I’m still not really comfortable with either.

    I’m not very familiar with comics–I’ve read most of the Civil War arc and bits and pieces of other groups–and from what I’ve seen, character reboots rarely are received well.   But I’m glad to know this won’t effect the MCU–leave the films out of this, they’re great as they are.

  4. dmdutcher says:

    Edit: posted in wrong topic.

    It’s the typical comic book gimmick to drive up sales. It sucks, but if you’re a comic book fan they do this all the time. Everybody gets killed off or depowered at some point, sadly.

  5. merechristian says:

    About what the author and Austin said, it can be done to create or upgrade a female character without hurting the male character directly. Batman – Batgirl, Superman – Supergirl, and others. The most prominent case for me is Ms. Marvel. Carol Danvers was created as a female counterpart (though she’s far more powerful, as strong as the Hulk upon first transforming, which makes her equal or stronger than Abomination, so on) to Captain Marr-Vell. Now, she is the new “Captain Marvel”, yes, but that is because he was killed off and she has long eclipsed him in popularity.

    In other words, building up female characters without getting rid of, or nerfing, male ones, is possible. As the writer pointed out, this is just laziness on Marvel’s part. Well, that and the desire to appear “progressive” or “feminist” in what are really bastardizations of those words.

    • Adam Graham says:

      When Carol Danvers took over as Captain Marvel, Mar-Vel had been dead for 30+ years, which I think made things easier in terms of the rebranding. Through rebranding was nothing new for Danvers who had been under several names including Warbird.

      I like Batgirl, Supergirl, and Spider-girl. That said, I think that it’s probably a good idea to have female superhero who aren’t tied to any specific male hero in any sort of derivative way.  It’s something I’m working on in my current Work in Progress where the wife of my superhero Powerhouse takes on a secret identity that’s very different in look and feel to that of her husband.

      • merechristian says:

        Yes, when that can happen, it’s a good thing. But there is some help to having an established character “help” the new one. This isn’t just women to men dynamics, either. Look at the (overused a lot to the point of being a meme almost) “Wolverine Publicity” thing. Using an established character helps. I also think that it does make some sense to an extent. If you are in a world with some super-powered bloke (whatever- man or woman) and someone very similar comes up, you would naturally call them a similar name. Unless you are X-23.

    • dmdutcher says:

      The second Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, was a good example of how to do this as well. She even wound up leading the Avengers. What’s funny is that a lot of feminists go on about how hostile comic culture is to female characters, but you can tell they never really read comics. There’s a surprising amount of female characters that are done respectfully and even lead superteams.

  6. dmdutcher says:

    Another note that made the decision puzzling is that they already had a character in-universe they could use as a blank slate if they wanted a Norse female superhero. Valkyrie has been around since the seventies, and was most notable for being in the Defenders. She could be adapted with little trouble to fit into that role, and a lot of fans would probably be hooked if characters from the Defenders did cameos.

What do you think?