Thor: Love and Thunder is one of Marvel’s many new movies in its upcoming fourth phase lineup. Barring any changes in the script, it might prove to be the wokest effort the studio has made since it introduced Captain Marvel – and its poorest performer, if reality kicks in.
Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, will soon be giving way to Natalie Portman’s rather forgettable Jane Foster. In the upcoming film, Foster is deemed worthy of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and assumes the role of the God of Thunder him (or her-) self as the female incarnation of Thor. Going forward, Foster, who becomes the “Mighty” Thor, will become a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At least, that’s the plan.
Depending on how Thor director Taika Waititi depicts the transition, moviegoers with no familiarity with film’s source material will be undoubtedly confused – if not fed up by the wokeness. A female Thor? How does that make any sense? After all, Thor is a person, not a title. Or is he?
There is precedent for a female Thor in the comic books dating as far back as 1978. Foster is revealed to be capable of wielding Thor’s hammer. The same storyline played out more recently in 2014, with Foster eventually dying and becoming Valkyrie. Obviously, none of this matches up with the MCU, in which Valkyrie is a character of her own, played by Tessa Thompson, who stars alongside Hemsworth and Portman in the upcoming movie. So why not make Valkyrie the female Thor? She’s best suited for it, and she’s way more interesting than Foster.
In the 2014 comic books, the Foster incarnation of Thor becomes a force of feminist wrath. Designed to provoke readers unhappy with Marvel’s pivot towards social justice activism, entire panels are dedicated to having lady Thor battle a caricature of toxic masculinity named Crusher Creel who complains that “feminists are ruining everything.” Should any of this be recreated on film, it’ll be certain to evoke the same groans that crushed Ghostbusters at the box office.
Jane Foster As Thor Versus Crusher Creel.
We needn’t even go that far. Thanks to the character’s mediocre presence in previous films, Portman’s Jane Foster may very well succeed at keeping audiences away from theatres. She hasn’t a single defining moment in any of the films, serving only as princess fodder for Thor to rescue. Marvel’s marketing department certainly has its work cut out for it if they hope to make Foster interesting.
Despite the draw, Hemsworth has with female audiences (or so everyone would like to believe, given how many teenage girls “stan” for him on social media), the Thor trilogy performed weakest with women in comparison to the Avengers, Ironman, and Captain America.
One can only conclude that Marvel is doing this as an experiment. If fem-Thor fails to capture the franchise’s largely male audience, they can always revert the character back to its original form – just as the comics did last year. In the Marvel movies, no one’s ever really gone.
Maybe the writers simply read too many articles on the Guardian that push the view that “white, male and brawny” are “tired” tropes. “The idea of a female Thor and a bisexual Valkyrie have the Marvel fanboys in a state…but the franchise is just reflecting the way the world is,” claims writer Anna Smith, who appears to be as out of touch with the MCU as its own creators are these days.
In the post-truth age, Marvel’s writers are going to try to weld reality to fit their woke political outlook or kill the franchise trying. If Gillette can write off an $8 billion loss with its #MeToo campaign, what’s a fraction of Marvel’s overall numbers?
Personally, I’d rather watch a Valkyrie movie.